This isn’t a philosophical post. I’m not even sure what I’m doing today. Aside from feeling like I’m giving birth the Aliens’ way, it has been two years. Two years to the day.
Two years from what? Well two years from when a life ended, figuratively speaking, and from where my life almost ended literally.
In 2006 I was working in a bar, just trying to make a life for me and my 2 year old son. I’d never been real good in the relationship department. Somehow, the real losers know how to find me. But I was changing that. So I had thought.
Jay found me on MySpace. I’d known him in high school, and he’d sort of disappeared off the face of the earth in the previous 10 years. Sure, I’d heard all the rumors about his life since, but in a small town you have to learn to not pay attention to those things. Small towns breed small minds. People talk. People gossip. Hell, I’d been in the mix of some pretty unreal stories going around.
I wanted things to be different. I didn’t want to make all the mistakes I’d made before. My self-esteem was so low. So made up my mind that things would go slow. I let him message me a few weeks before I handed my phone number over to him. And I made sure it was a few more weeks of phone calling before I agreed to meet with him. But I knew from that first phone call I was losing. He talked about his daughter a lot. About being a father. He was so much more than anyone I’d dated. We started meeting for lunch, and after a week and a half I agreed to go on a real date with him. Well, a family date. The kids and us.
From there on out things went fast. He came home with me to watch a movie that night, and he never left. Within a week he was living with me. After a month he started talking about marriage, and I was lost to love. Then it happened. I found out I was pregnant. And then, there were two. So quick. I was scared, but we both were happy. I mean, we planned on getting married anyway. I just didn’t want to walk down the isle with a belly. I have never been more greatful to putting something off, as I am over that.
I was four months pregnant with the twins when the first incident happened. He was working in his parents garage, and we I was trying to pack up the little apartment we were moving out of. I simply called him to see when he’d be done to help, and he went ballistic. Demanded that I just come get him right then and there, since I couldn’t let him work. When I got into the garage it didn’t stop. Then he grabbed my sweatshirt and started shaking me a little. This progressed to him grabbing my wrist and dragging me through the garage to show me all the work he had to do. And like a person in love, I made excuses. His family wasn’t the most stable. I blamed the stress of them hounding him to work.
That was the only time he put his hands on me, until the end. After that it was all verbal, and controlling.
I found out where he’d been the last 10 years. Well, correction. I found out at this time where he had been the two years before he met me. Prison. Apparently he’d had 4 DUIs within a month. The state sent him directly to prison for 26 months. He told he he’d been going through a hard time with his last ex. She accused him of a lot, and he didn’t know how to handle it, so he drank. I was 6 months pregnant when the court decided he needed to finish some time out. He didn’t let me go to the hearing with him. I just knew that they decided he was to do 90 days, with work release. 90 days would be up 2 weeks after I was due with the twins. And that is where he was when they were born.
Things never became better after that. My family and him had a falling out, and I was stuck in the middle. Then, we got into another drawn out fight. Over a dishwasher. He showed up where I was living at my grandparents and through a major fit. There was so much going on at this point, and he brought his 6 year old daughter along for the show. At this point, I’d grown to resent her. I hated that. She was a child. But he made everything about her. She got everything, while I couldn’t do anything for my sons. That day, Jay’s mom looks at my grandmother in the middle of all this says “Kayleigh would like to see the babies.” Well, my grandmother, flustered, held the baby up and said “SEE!” Then walked away. Finally, I threatened to call the police, and they ran off.
Of course, not even a week later we were working on things. He promised therapy. It didn’t last. A month later he had another meltdown. He was throwing things, screaming, yelling, threatening. His brother got in the middle and I ran. Shortly after his brother convinced me I needed to get a PFA on him. So, I did. And the day that I signed the papers to file, he called Children’s Services and told them that my grandmother shook one of the twins. He said that the day his daughter asked to see a baby, that Meme held the baby up and shook him in Kayleigh’s face. We knew it was a lie. But she was investigated. It just so happened the day they investigated, Jay was served with the temporary PFA, and his father called to give me a hard time. The child abuse file was dropped. Deemed an act of revenge.
So then it was to court. The first time. Jay requested to have a private conversation with me before the hearing. The judge and the attorneys agreed. He went back to his claim of going to therapy. He said all the things you want to hear. I wanted it. So the judge gave the lightest PFA possible. 6mos. Contact allowed. Counceling on both sides, with the Counselors in contact with each other.
So you know where this leads, right? Within a month we were fully back together. Things never seemed better, and I felt I was standing up for myself a lot more.
Then April 26, 2008 happened. We were in Carisle, trying to make a new life there. He had worked all day, I’d cleaned house and looked after the kids. When he got home we went shopping, buying stuff for the house. We were joking in Lowes because our song was playing on the radio. And we went home.
I could see the trouble brewing. I knew his moods. It was coming on hard. He ripped my cell out of my hand because I was playing a game on it. It continued. Then, it became physical.
First, it was just grabbing me. Then shaking. The wall became involved as I was repeatedly slammed against. I was grabbed around the neck. I tried to call 911 and hide my phone, but I became scared. The police of course tried to trace it, but we hadn’t established an address just yet. It continued. I was kicked, I was punched. I had my asthma inhalor smashed off my leg, which left a perfect imprint that lasted 3 weeks.
He wanted me to leave with him. Take a ride in the van, and leave my kids alone in the house. I’m not sure how I managed out of that. I knew I wasn’t coming back if I did. He told me he knew what he was going to do for a while now. He said he’d been planning it. That if I ever left the house, he’d never see me and the boys again. He knew he was going to kill me.
I honestly don’t know what was protecting me that night. For some reason, Jay decided he needed to get us ciggerettes and he left. He left me along with the boys. I couldn’t just leave, he had the van. So I called the police back. He threatened me when he got back. He arrived just as the police did. But it was done. So I thought.
A whole new nightmare began. I found out that he and his family had lied to me about so much. He’d been in jail in and out for the last ten years. All violent crimes. In fact there was over a 30 page file on him. Drugs, assult, armed robbery, drinking, and rape. Yes, rape. That is what he did to his ex girlfriend. The courts jerked me around. They told me he was going to jail for a long time. He did 9 months. They dropped his parole violation. They did give me a maximum PFA. 3 years. No contact. He has no legal rights to the boys.
His parents stole $3000 from our joint account. The kids and I had nothing after that. We’ve stuggled.
But, you know what? I’d rather struggle. Because I could still be there. Or I could be in the ground.
I haven’t dated in 2 years. I’m taking this time for me. Yeah, I’m ready. I’d like to find someone, but maybe I’ll let the right someone find me instead.
That was the end. And it was my beginning. I’ve built a life for us here. I did yoga classes, and I’m now certified. And I started Goju Ryu Karate Do. Sensei know’s Jay’s family. He was adament on getting me safe. And the dojo has. Not just physically, but mentally.
I am me now. Only a little more so.
Two years. And counting.