Friday, February 1, 2013

Staring Down the Barrel of a Shotgun!

Before I start on this journey and it is longer than I remembered. . . harder in many ways . . .for it goes on much further beyond this tiny chapter . . .  I ask you NOT to feel sorry for me. This is for those of you who are here . . . on this same turn in the road . . . I'm here to let you know a lot of us have been here . . . way too many of us . . . I'm coming back to help . . . I don't know completely all the ways God is going to use me, but I'm humbled to be his vessel. If you are in a situation of utter hopelessness, please, reach out to someone . . . if you feel you have no one . . . reach out to me. I make a great friend (((hugs))). . .

I am not going to go into great detail on my abuse. Jeff never considered what he did to me as abuse for he never outright punched me. I'm of the belief a push is too much. There is no cause to get physical with another person.

With that being said, I'm a planner. I knew the odds of someone who had been abusive in the past to be abusive again. From what I had read, until you become familiar with why you behave certain ways, you are bound to repeat them.

So, for fun, I would run this escape drill. I think I had myself convinced it was really in case our house caught on fire. Regardless, I practiced fleeing my home with two children in hand. I had a set of keys over the back door on a nail. I would start at my room run down the hall into the first room, grab Billy, run into the back bedroom and grab Cassy and then I'd grab my keys hit the door and race to the car. I'd put Cassy in, tell her to get in back and I'd get in lock the door and put Billy in his pumpkin seat, snap him in and then I'd put the key in the ignition and fire the car up. My heart is racing as I recall this in more detail. Obviously, one running from a fire only would not have to practice to this extent. I find it funny how we trick ourselves into not seeing fully what is going on in our world.

I don't know if Jeff and I could have made it with a ton of counseling as well as a healthy relationship with God. I never wanted to marry him to begin with. When you couple that with everything else, we had a rather large hurdle to overcome. Perhaps the knowledge that I honestly hadn't wanted to marry him to begin with was what drove him to behave the way he did.

Regardless of what the driving force was, one night his mother planted a fatal seed into Jeff's mind. I think it was around the end of  May beginning of June because there was no snow on the ground and it was warm enough that having no shoes on my feet didn't bother me. Jeff had been gone all evening. He was in town visiting with his mom. I'm not sure if his parents were living in Noblesville yet or if his mom was up visiting and looking for a place. Whatever the reason was, Jeff had gone to see her. He still was not home by 9 and I had gone to bed. I knew I would be up at the crack of dawn with the kids. I am not sure when he came home. I just know I went from a dead sleep to being ripped out of bed by my hair. I hit the floor and somehow managed to come up on my feet. I don't think I even knew it was Jeff attacking me yet. You can't imagine the heart explosion that causes someone.

Somehow I managed to get my bearings. Jeff was yelling at me. He was calling me awful names and insinuating that William was not his child. His mother and her friend had been showing him baby pictures of a childhood friend of his and saying they thought this guy was the father. They had informed him that because William's eyes were Hazel and not brown Jeff couldn't be the father. They were convinced I must have slept with this other guy. Jeff was out of his mind. He actually attempted to kick me and would have nailed me full force in the stomach had I not evaded the blow. By the grace of God his foot went into our stereo system. My album in the top . . .yes I did say album . . . shattered. He was stuck. I didn't hesitate. Like I'd practiced I ran down the hall way, grabbed William, to the next room, I snatched Cassy. Like a pro, I snatched the keys and raced down to the car. I put Cassy in and she hopped in the back. I sat in the car, locked the doors and put William in his pumpkin seat. I snapped the harness put the key in the ignition, fired up the car, looked up and found myself staring into the barrel of a shotgun. Jeff was 8' in front of my car gun drawn. My breath caught. I knew he was dangerous. I had no idea until this moment how far he was willing to go. I dropped my shifter into 2nd gear and gunned my car, yanking the steering wheel to the left, I spun gravel like none other.  As far as I was concerned it was him or me. I never heard a shot and I didn't feel a thud. I raced down the road without a clue as to where I could or should go. I didn't stop until I was at the stop sign by US 31. I put the car in neutral pulled my emergency brake and sat shaking like a leaf. I was alive. It was all I could think. From the back seat Cassy asked, "Mommy are you okay?" I somehow managed to get a grip. I put on a fake smile glanced at her and lied. I told her everything was fine.

I had no idea what time it was other than it was very very late or very very early. I drove to the closest house I knew. My friend's house from high school, Aretha. She was still living at home. She let me in and we talked. Her mom was wonderful as always. I don't even remember what she said but she allowed Aretha and I space.

I really can't recall much more about that day. I don't think it matters a lot. I would like to say that I never spent another moment with Jeff after this incident. Sadly that is not the case. It is weird how 25 years later I can still be drained by reliving something traumatic like this but I am.

Today I pray for all those who are in an abusive relationship. May you have faith in Our Father and walk out that door knowing that you will be better off. May you open yourself up to strangers who long to help you. I pray you recognize you do not deserve to be treated like this. I pray you are able to open your eyes to the truth. Amen

Wendy, Mom of Many



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