Five Years Ago

It was five years ago right now…my soon-to-be ex-husband was being removed from our home by the police.  My two boys, then 4 and 7, were running around, literally in circles, and then were frantically trying to pick up their toys and make the house look nice, “so daddy will come back and see what good boys we are!”  The worst day of our lives.  My babies heard everything that happened in my bedroom that day, despite my pleas for them to go in the office and lock the door.  When I got away from him, I grabbed my phone and saw those two precious faces, standing just outside the door, hand-in-hand in the hallway, eyes wider than I’d ever seen them.  I grabbed them and we locked ourselves in the office until the police officer came.

Before selfies were cool.  I took this one while the police officer was talking to my husband.

Before selfies were cool. I took this one while the police officer was talking to my husband.

It was a 50/50 fight, the police officer said.  My injuries were not extensive enough to press charges and I did go for the groin to get him off of me.  (I’m not sure if I’m more mortified that I’ve posted a photo without makeup on or because I don’t like looking back at this girl who felt so helpless!)   I felt so alone, terrified and unprotected.  I tried to explain to the boys that it wasn’t about the mess they had made but rather that daddy had to go away to get some help.  I was homeschooling at the time and hadn’t worked full-time since we were married, 11 years earlier.  I had no idea what to do.  My husband had been keeping all the money away from me for months but I was able to access the last $800 that was just deposited.  He went to the bank the next morning and closed our joint accounts by 9:00am.  Because he insisted on keeping the money, the $350 gas bill wasn’t paid and we were shut off the day after he left.  The low that night was 4 below zero.  He then brought in large heaters from a job site he was on and almost burned the house down, carefully placing them near boxes and fabric in my sewing room.  Our close friends found out what was going on (as I was chopping wood in the garage to build a fire in the fireplace) and insisted the boys and I stay with them for a few days until the heat was turned back on.  We were in a place where they were able to love on us and we felt safe.  I was in a fog…what would I do now?

I didn’t know anyone close to me that had been through a divorce.  I didn’t know where to start, had no money to get a lawyer, no job and two very scared little boys.  I was very involved in my church and the Christian community but these aren’t the subjects that make the prayer chains.  Unless you’re sick or dead, you’re not prayed up!  But you can dare bet everyone will know about it and have a strong opinion about it…that they’ll share with everyone BUT you.  Now don’t get me wrong.  There are well-meaning Christians in every church.  We’re all human.  We just don’t know what to say in certain situations.  Domestic violence, drug abuse and alcoholism and divorce are at the top of this list.  I was literally told to be quiet by a woman who thought she knew all about divorce because her brother went through one.  She told me in very large font via email to just be quiet.    The people I thought would be there for us were not, but the people I never expected to walk through this with us really stepped up!  When on paper, we shouldn’t have been making it, God somehow worked everything out and took care of us more than Iwould’ve ever hoped for!

I’ve been wanting to start this blog since my divorce papers were signed, three and a half years ago.  It was a very messy divorce…it still is.  I’ve decided to tell my story through this blog and have made it my personal mission to help other women in similar abusive situations so that they don’t have to go through this alone. (keep in mind that I don’t condone divorce or advocate it unless absolutely necessary!)  But if even one woman can learn from my mistakes, then I’ve done my job.  As I find the happy medium between battered victim and angry beeeotch, welcome to my graceful mess!

5 responses to “Five Years Ago

  • Virginia Davis

    You rock Gina! (((Hugs))) for your courage through the trials and tribulations….literally.

  • Marsha Oliver Romanowski

    Excellent first post. I am so sorry you and your boys had to go through that mess. The women I know today is a strong, beautiful example for all who are blessed to know her. Keep on, keeping on, girl!

  • djpruim

    Ditto! I knew when I first saw you online that we had a similar past. Thank you for having the courage and the words to get it in the open.

  • Allison

    Thank you for sharing, your strength is amazing!
    Doubling up on the prayers 🙂

  • gracefulMESS

    Reblogged this on gracefulmess and commented:

    It’s been a year since I started this blog. Although it’s a slow process for me right now, the message of domestic violence must be told. Many women, just like I, are not not protected (especially by those with the power to do so) This is my story. I hope by starting the story, I can help. If you find yourself in a similar situation, please reach out to me and I will help you the best I can.

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