december seventh

first of all, today is ezrael’s natal day, and there was a wonderful party in his comments.

for me, this makes seventeen years i’ve been in ventura. it wasn’t your ordinary traditional kind of ‘oh, i’m going to move to ventura’ moves — it was rather a spur of the moment decision.

i was living in phoenix with the husband. we’d been drinking the night before, and slept through the alarm, which he then accused me of forgetting to set. and i remember setting it, i do. in any case, that was cause for an ass-whupping, as many things were. this one was different – amanda, age (almost) three, got hit by a stray belt, and i rather freaked at that point. and the cops came, and out the bathroom window he went. less than an hour later they returned to tell me he was in custody, and by then i had made the sobbing collect call to the parents (who in the time i’d been away from home, had moved from the bay area to ventura and acquired an unlisted address, without which i could not have inflicted myself and my vengeful spouse on them). they prepaid a plane ticket, and i packed everything i had into a suitcase and a military duffel bag. feeling sad for him getting out of jail and being broke, i left five of our last seven dollars behind in the nightstand drawer. why? well, that was rather typical of my behavior at the time.

in fact by the time it was time to get the bus to the airport, i was already regretting calling my parents. afterall, hitting the kid was an accident, he was mad for good reason! he was late to work! actual work! things were getting better and he was sorry! he was always really sorry.

but the fact my parents had prepaid the plane tickets obligated me to go, and so i went. missed the first plane, called, rescheduled — three hours later. three hours in an airport with two dollars and seventy pounds of luggage and a three year old. she wouldn’t get on the escalator, so i had to carry her *and* the luggage. luckily i was young and strong, eh? she sensed that i was quite hindered by the luggage, and that this meant better mischief. twice, she ran into the mens’ room, and i had to flag down airport employees to go get her (why i didn’t just barge into the mens’ room myself, i don’t know. i’d do that now, but then? i was … shy? scared of everything? something.)

flew into burbank and all piled into the parents truck (not sure how all four of us fit, probably illegal use of seatbelts and things. we made do. it was a time of making do.) drove up the 5 to the 118, through the farm country and the sunshine, the whole time regretting everything about what turned out to be one of the best spur of the moment decisions i’ve ever made. after all the times i’d left, which had backfired, and i’d almost learned not to leave, i left. almost by accident, i left. and this time, it worked.

and the next day, it snowed in phoenix.

21 thoughts on “december seventh

  1. Ah KD. I really wish you and I could get together and drink a toast to the days we finally learned how to leave. What an amazing turn of phrase, it’s perfection. Congratulations on 17 years in Ventura. I’m so glad you got out. ((((the dreaded cyberhugs))))))

  2. it generally takes a few tries before you learn to leave. not the easiest subject. sometimes, hell has to actually freeze over (ok, that was just a coincedence, but it was a very cool one)

  3. Congratulations on your escape. See, aside from that little fracas in 41, December 7th is a good day. We should all celebrate it more often.

  4. it took 4.25 years, even though i married him after knowing him three whole days. mostly, it was that i lived in fear of him — and he knew where my parents lived. in those days, in california, it was next to impossible to get a cop to arrest a man for domestic abuse, because they were tired of the women dropping the charges — they were much more progressive in phoenix, and that’s maybe the only reason i got out of this. in phoenix they had changed the laws so that the cops could press charges and the woman could not then retract the charges.

    and that’s the only way, because beaten women will retract those charges so many times. and it will make the cops as apathetic as the ones who answered my calls for help during the first years, in california.

  5. I’ll join the cheers to you, kd. I’m glad you found the strength to leave, whether it was by accident, or fate–it was a good, smart, brave thing. Big hugs to you, dear. 🙂

  6. hey kd, i hope you don’t mind that i’m going to answer your email here 🙂

    never having been in that position (knock wood that i never will), i can still understand how difficult it must be. i’ve talked to women (and a couple men) in abusive situations. i’ve always counseled they should get out and get out now. they can always work on the relationship (if they want that, if it’s at all salvageable) from a distance. distance lets everyone involved cool down and think (for the most part) more rationally.

    so often the hesitation is because of kids and/or money. (i won’t go into the “deserving the abuse” feeling many have in this rant.) being a child of divorce, separation, divorce and yet another separation (my mum’s history) and always with no more than 2 pennies to rub together i can say divorce/separation is better.

    the “oh, we gotta stay together because of the kids” excuse is bullshit. please don’t think kids don’t know what’s going on. they do, trust me, they really do. and from a very early age. believe me you – it’s much better to go without your own bedroom or a TV in your bedroom or the coolest clothes or whatever-luxuries-you-want-to-name than have the two adults in the family yelling, arguing and physically abusing one or the other. i think a lot of adults don’t understand what kind of an affect this has on kids. (issues? nahhh, i don’t have any issues ;-P)

    that’s the reason that i was adamant about not getting married. i had -0- good role models. thank goodness Eli has shown me how a real marriage/partnership is supposed to work.

    my apologies for hijacking your comments, kd.

    disclaimer: none of this is directed at kd or any of her readers!

  7. Toss a wounded dove into the air and she will still possess the strength to outstretch her wings, and take flight into the open sky.

  8. Well, I think you’re really brave.
    And I was afraid to read this until now – I had a feeling this would be a big scary post.
    Glad that’s in the past and far away, something to look back on and not have to relive.
    And yeah, glad you’re here.
    Or, I mean, I hope you don’t have to relive it.
    I wouldn’t want you to have to relive it.

  9. i’m out of it now. but it’s only been about, say, three years. so there were many years in which i demonstrated poor comprehension of this subject.

    The only thing that matters is that you do now, sweetie, that you got this far. You’re safe and looking forward and that’s what’s important. I’d best stop lest I get all mushy in your comments, I still have your emailreply to finish. heh.

  10. by the way, i kind of decided to delete the comment that you just quoted, you know, without looking to see if there were replies. heh. now i feel silly 🙂

  11. I thought your comment was quite profound KD, but never question anyone’s decision to change something on their own site. Let’s just pretend I was channeling a KD from a parallel dimension who said that wise thing or that I’m just completely nuts and quoting things from other blogs in people’s comments. That would be surreal. Or, you can delete my comment too, it will not offend me in the slightest. Then of course you’ll have to delete this one or it will all seem very mysterious.

    I have a sneaking feeling this is about to be a double post.

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