How Could This Happen?
I look down my quiet street. The trees line the lane on either side and overhang the street. It snowed 5 inches last night, the street looks like a postcard. Looking at my street, life seems so idyllic violence could never happen here. How many other women are looking out their window thinking the same thing? I still don’t know how this happened to me. Everything is just the way it is suppose to be. Two kids, a lovely three bedroom home and the good side of town what could be better. I should have nothing to worry about. But here I stand looking out the window, every breath I take brings nothing but pain, and I can barely see out of my right eye. I just can’t do this anymore.
I have to change, but I don’t know what to do. What happened last night can never happen again. Carl’s in jail and I don’t think I can handle the questions the kids are going to ask about their father. Thankfully, Aunt Sally is here to help with the kids. They are in the kitchen now making cookies. Maybe they will be distracted enough that they won’t ask about Carl until tomorrow. What do I do?
Carl has always handled everything. The electric bill, credit cards, and mortgage all of it was handle by him. I haven’t had a job since I got pregnant with Wendy. She’s ten now. Do I even have the job skills to support us? I don’t even know how much our mortgage is. This is all so overwhelming. I can’t seem to stop crying. I have to get it together. Wendy, John, and Ashley are counting on me.
Sally says that talking about it well help heal the pain. But how do I tell her that I’m not the niece she thought I was. I have failed so much. The betrayals, hidden bruises, and humiliations that have been occurring over the years, who knows how long this would have continued if Carl hadn’t gone over the edge last night.
Last night, how could a night that started out so well end so badly? A simple family Christmas party with a few friends and family. It was a get together to not only celebrate the holidays but Carl’s promotion at work. The children were dressed in their holiday finery. The smells of turkey and ham coming from the kitchen filled the air. Laughter and excitement abounded in the atmosphere. Carl had been drinking, but then everyone had been drinking. It was a night for celebration. Dinner went well and there was plenty of food for everyone. It was late when everyone left and that is when Carl began. Just after the door close behind Sally, Carl grabbed the back of my hair and threw me to the floor. It felt as though he had ripped out all of my hair. Grabbing the back of my neck, Carl shoved my nose in a small spot of cheese that had fallen on the floor. How could I let the cheese get ground into the carpet, he yells at me. I try to reason with him. It’s a party how could I prevent spills from happening? I tell him that he is being unreasonable. Unfortunately, this only makes him angrier. I run upstairs to get away from him, but he catches me before I make it into the bedroom and throws me back down the stairs. His rage is everywhere. It has contorted his features until he looks like a monster. I don’t recognize this person in front of me. He is a monster and not the person I married. I clutch my side; I must have hurt it in the fall, and beg him to stop. That I will get it cleaned up. I can hire a carpet cleaner in the morning. He screams at me about the added expense of the carpet cleaning and back hands me into the Christmas tree. The tree and I both fall to the ground just as Sally walks back into the door.
Sally doesn’t waste a moment and takes her cell phone out and calls 911. Within minutes police and an ambulance are at our door, and I am being placed on the stretcher to be taken to the hospital. Thankfully, the kids have slept through the whole thing. Sally has told the police what she witnessed when she walked into the door, and they have placed Carl under arrest. I’m not sure if it is anxiety or relief I feel as I see him being taken away in the police cruiser. Sally stays with the children while I receive medical attention in the emergency room. With a couple of cracked ribs and various bruises, I return home a few hours later.
And now, I stand looking out the window contemplating the future for my children and I. Will we have to move? Sally says that there is no point in thinking about these things now, but how can I help it? Tomorrow is Monday and I need to get in touch with our lawyer, but is he my lawyer or Carl’s? If I go through with a divorce, how do I keep us safe? The questions never seem to stop rolling through my mind.
How I wish I could be on the outside looking in. Seeing the lovely home, on the perfect street with fresh snow to hide the dirt underneath, everything looks fresh and clean. It hides the turmoil that is inside. From the outside, our home looks warm and inviting. Just outside you could hear the ringing of children’s laughter. A soft glow comes out of the windows illuminating the front porch. The swing on the porch slowly rocks back and forth with the wind. Small snow flurries cascade off of the roof and land in a pile at the base of the house. It’s so peaceful and comforting. If I stand here long enough maybe I can immerse myself in that feeling. Maybe I can believe that the inside of this house can really be that safe place from the storm. Can there be a sliver of light on the horizon for my family?
Sally says she will stay here as long as we need her too. I think that she just wants to make sure that I don’t let Carl back into our home. I know she means well, but how can I support the children and I? Sally doesn’t have a family to think about. Children who need to be taken care of and Carl is a good father. Maybe, Carl will get the help he needs this time. What if a judge gave the children to Carl? What would I do then? It is all just too much to think about. The answers seem so easy when it’s not you with the problem. It’s easy when you aren’t the one having to decide the future for your children. I know that what Carl did was wrong. But does that mean that I shouldn’t give him a chance to change. Do I have to put my children through the battle of divorce?
The questions and thoughts are overwhelming. I don’t know what the right course is now. Maybe it’s just too much to process. I think I’ll go lay down and maybe things will be clearer when I am rested.