Monday, November 28, 2005

A Dangerous Explosion

I woke up this morning nestled up next to my daughter. I felt like the glowing red light on a charging battery. She felt so warm and soft and smelled so sweet. I kept thinking, “I’m in love with her. I’m in love with her.”

I also felt quiet tears trickling down my cheeks, as scenes from last night played in my mind. I thought, “This isn’t what my mother would have wanted for me—this isn’t what she would have wanted.”

I felt relieved when I heard the front door close at 6:30 AM, as my husband left for work.

My husband went on a fishing trip yesterday with a buddy and a guide in hopes of catching stripers. He called me midday to tell me that they were on their way to another location. He explained that, so far, the morning had been fruitless, but he felt like they learned some good fishing tips from the guide. He was eating some lunch, while they drove to the next spot. He said, “I love you.” I replied, “I love you.” And then I went back to working out in my living room.

He left before sunrise and came home after sunset. They didn’t catch any fish. He was tired and disappointed when he came home. He watched the rest of the Eagles game, while I read next to him on our bed. He began snoring after the final minute of football.

Three hours later, it was time for me to tuck our kids into bed. I got them settled and snuggled. I came back to my room and put my book on my nightstand and turned off the light. I realized that he was laying on top of the covers when I tried to pull them over me. I gently touched his shoulder and asked him if he could get under them, so I could do the same. He growled and rolled over onto his side.

I got up and went to look for another blanket. I realized that they were in the laundry, so I got back into bed and softly nudged him and repeated that I wanted him to get under the covers. He scowled, but didn’t wake up.

I settled onto my back using what little blanket I could get, since moving them from under 200 pounds is impossible, when I felt my five-pound puppy land swiftly onto my face. He swatted her off of his chest. I didn’t know such a small poodle could pack so much wallop. I petted her and turned over mumbling to myself, “He’s such a jerk.” I didn’t realize that it was audible or that he was awake enough to hear me, but I found out that he did when he sprung up and his hands grasped around my throat. He yelled, “I’M A JERK? I’M A JERK? YOU FUCKING CUNT! I’M A JERK? I WORK HARD ALL DAY SO YOU CAN GO TO THE GYM AND GET YOUR NAILS DONE AND HAVE CLEANING LADIES AND A ROBOT FOR A VACUUM CLEANER, AND I’M A JERK? I felt his hands stop squeezing my neck, as spit continued to splash down onto my face. His pressed his gigantic fist against my cheekbone and nose and threatened to punch me. I could feel him trembling and more saliva was spewing as he repeated, YOU CUNT! YOU CUNT! I heard myself apologizing, “I didn’t mean it. I didn’t mean it. I was just angry because the dog hit me in the face and it hurt. I’m sorry. I’m sorry! Please stop, you’re hurting me. Please, I didn’t mean it.”

He got off of me when he heard our kids coming down the stairs. He stood in the bedroom doorway pointing and yelling at me, “ONE OF THESE DAYS I’M JUST NOT GOING TO COME HOME. THEN YOU’LL BE SORRY! YOU’LL LOSE EVERYTHING! YOU BETTER HOPE THAT BOOK OF YOURS IS A NUMBER ONE BEST FUCKING SELLER! WHEN I DON’T ANSWER MY PHONE TOMORROW, YOU’LL KNOW WHY. Then he addressed our son who was repeating, “Dad, dad, please stop. Calm down, calm down.” He screamed at our son, WOULD YOU KNOCK IT OFF? I’M NOT GOING TO BEAT YOUR MOTHER. JUST GET OUT OF MY FACE! IF I DON’T ANSWER MY PHONE OR COME HOME TOMORROW YOU KNOW WHY!” My son said, “Dad, just go outside and have a cigarette and calm down for a minute.”

My husband paced like a lion waiting to be fed and continued to seethe with hatred. My son continued to block the hallway with his body to deter his father from stomping back into our bedroom. He followed his dad out onto the back porch and tried to change the subject. He was only wearing boxers and a t-shirt.

My daughter was crying. She got into bed with me. I heard her lock the bedroom door. She asked me if the key was in the hallway. She told me to hide it.

I whispered, “It’s over now honey.” I felt her press her little girl body up against my back. She put her small arm around me. We held onto each other tightly. I heard her soft, slumbering breath a few minutes later. I tried to block out the whole scene. I didn’t want to think about it. I could feel my face and neck throbbing. He didn’t punch me, but I was sore. He terrorized me more than he inflicted pain.

I think he stops himself from doing major damage to my face because he doesn’t want to go to jail, not because he doesn’t want to hurt me. He was there briefly once and he doesn’t want to go back.

I tried to go to sleep, but couldn’t relax. I felt the palms of my hands and the soles of my feet sweating. I felt guilty. My kids shouldn’t have to be scared or have to try to protect me.

I went out into the living room out of fear. I was looking for closure and measuring his mood, so I could sleep. He was watching an old movie. He seemed to have calmed down. I apologized for calling him a jerk. I leaned down to kiss his cheek. He turned away and said, “Don’t even try it, Jessica.” You make me out to be such an abusive asshole all the time.” I said, "I’m sorry. Where are you working tomorrow? In New Jersey? He said, “Yeah, Lambertville.” I replied, “Okay, well goodnight.” He didn't reply.

I got back under the covers and told myself that I would be safe for the rest of the night.

Thankfully, my dreams helped me drift into comfort.


15 comments:

Bud said...

You said it yourself, Jess. "Dangerous!" You now what I want to say and what everybody else wants you to do too. Do it while you're still young.

SCH said...

Jess, like Bud said, you know what you need to do. Living in fear is not a life. How long will it be until he goes after your son for trying to stop him? I hope you don't becaome another statistic.

txyankee said...

I think it's pretty clear what you need to do.

jbgrinch said...

Ive said it before and now Ill take the chance and offer again. you know that you can reach me wthru my blog I live in cheltenham not far from you if you need to get out even for a cup of coffee and a chance to talk about things let me know. I know that you are not dumb and I know that you dont want to get hurt or hurt your kids! Please think about your family and how it would hurt your dad and sister and your kids. I am worried for you. I would really like to atleast talk to you on the phone get in touch please.

love and prayers
jeremy

Inka-Wolfy said...

Hola Jess,
luv your honesty and how you are able to express it to the international public which includes me, of course. Very admirable. I found your site thru Leftbanker, noticed your problems with the porn-site referrals... and I am glad you're back in business.

Greetings from sunny and warm Lima, Peru
Inka-Wolfy

Anonymous said...

Please do something -- go to Laurel House or stay with a friend. You aren't doing your kids any favors keeping them in that situation. I live less than 1/2 a mile from you (site meter is notoriously bad about pinpointing people and my IP address won't help you out any) and kids I care about walk past your house every day going to and from school. Press charges against your husband and you will protect the lives of a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

how many active volcanoes are in that man?

The Taorist said...

Don't let this blog be a eulogy. Time to control your life Jess.

Jessica said...

Thanks for your concern guys, but I'm okay. I just needed to vent.

Hola Inka,

Thanks for following me from Lefty. He and Journal of Doubt are my favorite bloggers.


Anonymous,

My husband is not a danger to any child who might walk down my street. He has never attacked children, so your concern is unwarranted. Pressing charges won't save the lives of strangers. Nor will it save mine. Restraining orders and all of that red tape don't work. I'm friendly with a police officer/sergeant and captain from different local areas all of whom admit that doing that only escalates things. I don't want to make him my enemy.
I intend to get out of my marriage as soon as I have the monetary means to do so.

John said...

I've known several women who go through this stuff repeatedly and reason as you do about escalating the cold war with restraining orders and whatnot, so they stay.

They rationalize that they will leave as soon as they "acheive independence," which never happens to their satisfaction. They still reason that the time is not right, going through the motions the entire time, placating their abusive asshole of a husband in whatever ways are necessary-- having sex with him, being nice to him, walking on eggshells around him, being afraid of him.

Victims, you know, the ones you read about in the paper and see on documentaries, many of THEM explained to everyone that he wasn't really a threat to anyone else, that he was, somehow, "under control." They NEVER thought they'd be next. If they did realize on some level that they'd be a news story in the future, they would have taken action.

And you even have KIDS who are mixed up in it. Screw the finances. Screw the security and illusion of stability. Muster up some courage for your children and get the hell out of there NOW.

Or maybe you'll explain again how your situation is different from the "extreme" ones that I'm referring to. It's your life. What about your kids, though? There are men out there longing for a beautiful, artistic, talented woman like you who will not treat you this way.

SCH said...

Amen John, Amen.

Anonymous said...

Jess,

Please look at this: http://endabuse.org/programs/display.php3?DocID=9916.


As others have said, you must get out of there. No waiting, no pausing, no negotiating. Get out.

Call this number: (215) 665-2500 WOMEN AGAINST ABUSE. Tell them your story and ask the professionals what you should do. They will say get out. Don't do this to yourself. Don't let him set a model for you son to perpetuate 20 years from now. Don't let it happen.

Take up Jeremy on his offer. Listen to John. I am really scared for you. Please don't rationalize this. People can help...we can help. Let us know, please.

Buddaemt6192 said...

Hey Jess,

Take some advice from a person who had to deal with a abusive stepfather...Its hell on the children. Get out while you can!!!

Melissa said...

You really need to take some action. Do you want your son to become an abuser? That's how it works you know, the gift that keeps on giving. And, if he doesn't abuse, he certainly won't respect you for staying in a bad situation. Not to mention your daughter, she'll be lucky not to develop an attraction for "dangerous men" too. I wish you would listen to all the people who tell you to get out. I understand venting, I've done plenty too, but it's time to quit talking and start moving. You don't want people to start ignoring your pleas for help after they've decided you're not going to listen anyway, do you? Sorry for the harsh words, think of it as tough love. :)

jkirlin said...

Not to switch the topic but...

You have a Roomba? Do you like it??