Years ago my husband and I were seeing a marriage counselor. After one particularly grueling session, my husband stormed out and left the therapist and me to finish the hour alone. When the session ended and I started to make my way to the door, she stopped me. “I don’t usually do this,” she said, “but in your case I’m making an exception: I don’t think you are safe living with him and I suggest you get out as soon as you can.”
I already knew that. Although he wasn’t an avid jail-attendee, my husband was criminally-savvy enough to not put his hands on me, but typically chest-bumped or threw household items instead. Several times I would shield myself with a laptop while running out the front door of our apartment.
At one point, his own friend said, ”You know he’s an alcoholic, right?”
I planned and executed the escape with the help of my closest friends, both packing and moving possessions in what I called an “a’ la Sleeping With the Enemy style,” – and later, the ultimate result was nicknamed “The Evacuation.”
”You’re the strongest person I know,” a friend said.
”Therapy,” I replied, ”And I’ll be damned before I let an abusive alcoholic who can’t even control his own life to turn my baby and me into a stereotypical cinematic drama. I refuse to lay down and play victim!”
I did it with friends. Not one family member helped. I was in shock. Depressed. Saddened. Angry. And scared. But I did it. And I’m glad I did. And I would – without hesitation – do it again.
Don’t let anyone control your life to the point where you’re in fear every day. If I can do it, so can you.