Chapter 2: adulthood

I’m shaking at just the thought of posting this. But, to quote my toddler when he has to get out of bed at night to pee, “I am brave”
People know very little of my life between the ages of 19- ? (I can’t remember how old I was when I finally broke free). 

It took until I was in my 30’s to talk about my childhood and that was a cake walk compared to the next chapter. The chapter after foster care. 

I told a few people yesterday that silence is what holds us prisoner. That abusers count on our fear to sew our lips shut. But, I was a hypocrite in telling them that because I have never given a full account of my abuse when married to my ex husband. 

Who am I protecting by keeping silent? Definitely not myself, after 12 years I’m just now strong enough to speak. The only one who benefits from my silence is a monster. I’m not protecting him anymore. 
**** What is a good wife? My nanny would have said it is a woman that can cook. 
So I learned to cook. The chicken was still bloody most times, the beans unwashed and spaghetti became a staple. But I cooked for him, because I had to be a good wife. 
  he was a little conventional; church does that to people. But, I had no idea who God was so everything I was told was so confusing. Why would God think I’m a lesbian if I prefer female singers over men? Why was I going to burn in hell because I like hard rock music?
I had no idea what a normal marriage was supposed to look like. So, I was locked in the house with no phone, tv, or radio. We were broke and just starting out. 
I was not a good wife in the beginning. I was depressed and sloppy. I should have cleaned out the truck when I was told to or he would not have had to burn my stuff. I understood THIS. But, I still ventured down to the fire pit to watch my music turn to ash and My sons only pair of shoes burn. 
Another night of spaghetti. I was so tired; a day full of silence pierced by a bored toddlers crying was exhausting. 
He came home needing a shower. The baby already ate and needs one as well, but I can’t let dinner burn. I can ask him to put him in the shower with him right? I never thought twice when I heard the door lock. 
12 years later that sound rings the loudest in my head. The click of the lock is deafening; it is the answer everyone needed to put him away for good but it was locked in my head to become my hell. My punishment for what happened. 
Like my former foster mom told me years later when everything was out in the open, “if you had been a better wife that would never have happened”. 
I am crazy and I bring this on myself. I can’t just get away, he follows me. It is my fault; if I were not such a sad sack of bones. If I were happier, or more sexual, or cleaner. If I didn’t smoke, or cuss. If I was not desperate to leave. 
Back then, before I knew what I know now; it was only me that was being hurt. So, I have had worse as a kid. He’s my knight in shining armor; saving us from foster care. 
I have to get out of here. One day, I swear he will snap and end me. He bought me an old car to get to work. Put new tires on it and even drove it around to make sure it was safe. 
After work the next day I told him about the tire coming off as we were driving home, that one nut held it on and how God must have been watching out for us. I watch his light blue eyes get darker as I finish the rest of the story. 
I tell him that a coworker just so happened to be behind me and her husband had the tools to fix the tire. His blue eyes are now black. But I finish anyway, I am mad! 
Her husband looked up at me before he started on the tire and said, “all the lug nuts have been loosened”
He rages asking me what I’m accusing him of. I grab the baby and run back to the piece of metal that just tried to kill us. I have to get backed out before he can get in his truck to follow us. I can’t do a high speed chase with a baby in the car. I’m not a pro at backing out of the curved driveway yet and he Rams the truck into the front end of the car. There is no escape. Not today anyway.