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April 08, 2010

Some Of The Things We Left Behind

He growled "If you try to leave me I will kill you." He pointed a rifle at her head to show he meant it.
A couple hours before, he had some more visitors who knew their way out to the garage.
There was a large cardboard box on a shelf, nondescript, ordinary, but evidently worth a great deal of money. No one bothered to seal it closed. She was surprised and saddened to look in the box and see pounds and pounds of marijuana.

Most of the men who drove their cars to the front of the house and walked to the oversize detached garage were scruffy looking. Actually that would be a description of a person cleaner and less scary than these men. It was just not acceptable to have these strangers in the vicinity of the children.

The drinking and drugs were evidently more important to him than the family. The confrontation ended with the rifle pointed at her head and his telling her "If you try to leave me I will kill you."

The plans for the escape began discreetly. A visit to the childrens school determined the date they would be able to leave school and meet the requirements for days attended. The teachers and coaches were disappointed they would be losing some of their favorite students. The wrestling coach had plans for her son to participate in Junior Olympics and pleaded for the mother to continue the boy's involvement in wrestling. This was one of the dreams they had to leave behind.

The two older children were informed of the plan. They didn't want to live with fear each day, but the thought of moving so far away and starting over brought its own fear: The Fear of the Unknown. It was necessary to keep up the appearance of a normal life while they plotted and planned and took steps necessary to leave in a hurry on the last day. A yard sale provided money away from his pockets.

He left for work early as usual. As soon as he was down the street, the mother and the children started packing the car. So many things had to be left behind. Four people in a mid size station wagon leave little room for their belongings.

Within two hours they were headed out of town. They drove in silence, leaving each to their own thoughts. Feeling compelled to put as many miles between them the first day, they only stopped for gas and take out food when necessary. When they finally felt they could rest for the night, they were in Tennessee and it was late at night. Paying for a small motel room for one night, they slept on uncomfortable beds and in sleeping bags on the floor.

When the mother visited the bathroom during the night, she found her son sitting at the door in the motel room, holding his baseball bat, standing guard. They had to leave a lot of things behind that day, but they brought so much more with them.

56 comments:

cinner said...

Oh my, this seems like this is about you, whoever it was did the best with getting the children away. Domestic Violence scares me, for the safety of all concerned, both mentally and physically. thank you for sharing this very powerful my friend.They had each other and that was good. Hugs to you.

Gappy said...

I work in domestic abuse service provision.

It takes an enormous amount of courage for a woman to leave an abusive relationship - on average in the u.k. a woman will attempt to leave 7 times before she is finally able to make the break for good. Some women never make it.

The story you tell is of an extremely resourceful and gutsy lady. I hope that she and her children were able to find some peace.

Here's to new beginnings.

Jana said...

This story was scary beyond words…growing up in a very nice normal and loving family I have thankfully never had to live with any fears. I pray for all those women and children who have to live under such dire circumstances and pain...

secret agent woman said...

I am working right now with someone whose boyfriend said the same thing. She did, and he attempted to follow-through on his threat - I'll never forget the day I opened the door to my office and found her waiting with her face a mass of black and blue. Domestic violence is sadly far too common.

Brian Miller said...

wow. great piece. sometimes leaving is the only answer, especially when someone is being hurt or threatened. wow. you blew me away today. great write.

Margie said...

Dear techoBabe
You ended your story with ...
"They had to leave a lot of things behind that day, but they brought so much more with them."
This was not a happy story, far from it but your ending to your story did make me feel joy for this family.
The mother was brave and took her children away so they would be safe.
She was a good mother!

And you are a wonderful writer!
Thank you for sharing this powerful story!

My dear friend, I have to take a little break from blogging as I will be going to visit a family member that is not doing very well.
I shall be leaving in a few days.
I shall miss you!
Till I return be well, be happy!
You are a special person in my life!
A dear and kind person that I have come to admire very much!

Love
Margie :)

DJan said...

Starting over is so much better than living in fear day after day. But for children to carry these burdens, that is what is so hard for the mother to bear. I am glad they made it, and hopefully they now realize how important and brave a journey they made.

Jeanie said...

You've told a tragic and all to common story. You did a great job of expressing fear, courage and hope.

willow said...

Excellent piece. Sad and powerful story.

Mama Zen said...

Beautifully written.

Betty said...

What this must be like for children to go through such terror, is incomprehensible! If it´s a true story, I feel for them and hope they survived without damage to their souls.

Ina in Alaska said...

My word verification for this comment is "lionn" Powerful words for a fierce and wise mother lioness! Sadly the children live with this all of their lives. Such tender minds to absorb big trauma. xoxoxo

Hilary said...

Powerful and heartbreaking.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

This sends chills up and down my spine,.. it leaves me feeling sick,.. this is not a story,...

Sometimes when I think back to the tourment I felt as a child I would reach my arms up to the heavens, with tears rolling down my freckled cheeks and beg for answers I would never hear,...
I know now that it is a journey
and many of them are on bumpy roads with big assed pot holes,.. and sometimes it feels like you drive off the road and roll,.. but then, you carry on,.. you do because you are strong,.. you do because life is worth living, and living in a cloud of pain and fear is not living, it is dying.

Praise the woman who saved her children

Shanel said...

What I found amazing and awesome is the the woman in the story found the courage to leave.... many women stay out of that same fear... that mom was wonderful and I'm sure that her children appreciate her selflessness... loved this story

terri said...

It's so sad that this story plays itself out over and over in the lives of so many. I only wish all of them could make the escape and find a better life for themselves.

anne h said...

This person and I share a page of history!
Small world - enlarged by a healthy outlook!

Yousei Hime said...

Very intense. And very sad. Finished it thinking, "Yes! She made it out." Thanks for sharing this.

As for my humorous poems -- Heh heh. Glad you liked it. I really was just teasing him. If you're laughing then the humor of the moment made it into the poem. Glad you visited and left your comment. :)

Try to read Day 6 too when you get the chance. I'm interested in your response to those.

Karen said...

I just stumbled on your blog.

This is an amazing story. Scary, but amazing.

Suldog said...

Very compelling writing. I hope it is NOT a story of your own past (I know it's not one of your present, as you have a much nicer hubby than that.)

Kathy M. said...

Wow. What a chilling and powerful tale. Kind of a "Things They Carried" in reverse. The ending really got me. I continue to grow in respect for you and your journey. Hugs to you my dear sister.

Syd said...

This really is powerful. I am glad that she and the children got away. What an awful situation to live in.

Charlie said...

I agree with Gappy—not many women have the courage to walk out into the unknown, especially with children to care and provide for. This is a hard-hitting piece, and so well told.

Cheryl said...

I can only sit here in stunned silence. What a story. Unfortunately it happens all the time. Bless the mother who saved her family.

Ronda Laveen said...

Very powerful story, TechnoBabe. And so well written. I see you followed Dave King's advice about the details. The ending was perfection and strength of that family and your ability to tell a tale.

Dave said...

powerful and sad, but your words are wonderful and you "speak" to us all.
Thank you

Nezzy said...

What a powerful heartwrenching post.
A story far to many families have to live. Thank God for new beginnings of a life without fear.

Have a beautiful day filled with sunny blessings!!!

LL Cool Joe said...

I love someone who stays in an abusive situation. It takes strength to leave but it takes strength to stay. I have to believe that.

Maggie said...

No words to describe the feeling you gave me. It's so sad how even when all of it is over people remain tainted and broken for so long.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

This must have been a scary situation to be in for either you or a friend.

Some things/people are better left behind.

Big hugs!!

Kristina P. said...

Domestic violence is such a sad situation. Kids are affected more than parents realize, and like Gappy said, it is much more complicated than just telling a woman to leave.

Wow.

gayle said...

Very well written and something that happens to a lot of women. Leaving is one of the smartest and bravest things that a woman can do!!

ds said...

Very powerful piece; that last line is so true. Thank you for sharing this.

lisleman said...

great post
I think (I hope it's true) that family problems are more in the open today than 50 years ago.
I know there is so much confusion, fear and emotion under those words.

all the best

Kazzy said...

Bone chilling. WHat did she have to lose, really? She was already dying, huh?

Rock Chef said...

It takes a lot of courage to do that, and sadly not enough have the strength to do it.

Dave King said...

Good, very good. There seem to be all sorts of undertones and overtones here.

jinksy said...

I like Khalil Gebran's phrase:-
"Every end is a new beginning." Makes a lot of sense.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Wow, this is a powerful and amazingly written post..thank you.

Many hugs,
Gabi

Deidra said...

Really powerful writing here. I have a friend in a truly awful situation with a man who calls himself her husband. She knows she should leave him. We all know she should leave him. She and I have talked about it. She knows she always has a place to go. But the life she has is all she knows. She doesn't have a vision of herself in a brighter place. And so she stays. Along with her children. From time to time it gets so bad that she says she's leaving and she spends the night in a hotel, or at the home of a friend. But she always goes back. Always. I guess she's not ready to leave anything behind.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Wow, TB - major goosebump inducing for sure. So glad there was a happy ending. And the last sentence "They had to leave a lot of things behind that day, but they brought so much more with them." is so VERY true.

blueviolet said...

That took a lot of courage to leave like that. I imagine that the memories are still there, possibly even some scars, but that escape opened up a chance at life. I SO love this story!

deb said...

I so pray this wasn't you, or your children.
If it was, you are a hero.

The story is told with just the right amount of everything. Love the last line, because it's never really over.

Everyday Goddess said...

i'm so glad they got away. no one should have to live in such peril.

Eileen said...

Oh, this story hurt my heart, but it also gave me such a feeling of hope for the family. Beautiful that the Mom had the courage to put her children first.

I've been reading back posts, all so wonderful. Smiles, tears, even chills, I've run the gamut of emotions!

Great blog!
I've been a neglectful blogger these past few months. Will try to do better in the future!
All the best,
Eileen

LadyFi said...

What a courageous woman!

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is a very, very brave and smart mother.
What a powerful story Techno.
xo

Sunshine said...

Wow I love this article .. Very provking as long as we have each other that's all we need...
Thanks For sharing this with us

Sniffles and Smiles said...

I am so glad "she" had the courage, foresight, wisdom and savvy to carry this off...People are what count...the things could be replaced! Yes, the most important was housed in the hotel that night! An incredibly powerful and moving story...and you have written it wonderfully. Thank you! I don't think anyone can read this and be indifferent to the horror of domestic abuse and violence. ~Janine XO

Far Side of Fifty said...

What courage and strength..she was a good Mom..I hope things turned out good for her and her children:)

Life with Kaishon said...

So sad. And scary. I pray they are all ok and doing well. Thriving.

Shadowthorne @ Ramzu Zahini said...

I did a lot of abusing myself, as a teacher. I am a rather morbid person, but I do try to keep the abusing to a minimum :)

Don't wanna lose the dream job :)

Robert the Skeptic said...

Both sad and scary... we've had two incidents up here in the Pacific Northwest were the guy has made good on the threat; in both cases killing their wife, innocent bystander(s) then them self. Still, NOT leaving is never a good option.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I am not sure whether this is "fiction" or not. I am pretty sure similar stories happen all over the country, and possibly the world. Of course I wish this were fiction, that no woman and child has to go through this ever. Whoever they are, wherever they are, I salute their courage and wish them the best.

Julie said...

This story touched me more than I can even say. The last sentence hit me in the gut with a thump. I have never experienced domestic violence personally, but I know so many kids who have. It's an awful thing. Some of them were friends of mine who later entered into abusive relationships themselves. It's such a horrible thing.

The woman in this story is so courageous. I want to hug her and her kids. I am glad you shared it here. It's a powerful story that needs to be read.

Marla said...

Amazing story of courage. I am inspired.