I was pretty much doomed from the beginning.
I’d finally stood up for myself and my daughter, and told my X that it was over between us. Even though we were completely dependent on him, living in his house in Hawaii had gotten to the point of being scary and unbearable. I had no clue how much worse it could get. It wasn’t like I had a master’s degree in the psychology of a psychopath.
After my X literally threw me and our toddler out of his house, I called my dad for help. As I cried into the phone, the first thing he asked me was, what had I done to make my X so mad? On the second call, when my X had threatened my life, my dad accused me of exaggeration and told me I was being hysterical. If your own dad doesn’t believe you, who would?
I called a women’s shelter, but my child and I were denied protection and support because I was Canadian and considered an illegal alien. The same went for getting any kind of legal aide. And my X’s threats on my life scared me into believing that if I called the police, he would have me killed. I was pretty much screwed.
With the help of my mom, who had long been divorced from my disbelieving dad, my daughter and I were able to leave Hawaii and come home to Canada. But there started the onslaught of threatening phone calls from my X. Even though this time I reported them to the police, and got a restraining order, I was told that there was not much they could do. And anyways, I was in Canada, right? There was 2700 miles of Pacific Ocean between us. We were safe.
Wrong. My X hired a private detective to find out where we lived. When I began a series of custody hearings, my X used loopholes between our two countries, and the sympathies of the male judge, to postpone the court dates. What seemed to be an obvious case of a mother being awarded custody, went way south. Like Antarctica south. I had two options: hand over my twenty-month-old child to my abusive, drug dealing X or not. I chose not.
This is not a new story. There are countless women and children in hiding and on the run. Fugitives from the law. Ordinary women living under extraordinary circumstances. They traverse the planet in hopes of finding safety, comfort, and normality. I’m just one of many.
Do you have a similar story? Write to me @firstname.lastname@example.org