I soon found myself having an occasional glass of wine and a joint, just to take the edge off and as an attempt to numb the pain. Yes, even during pregnancy.
In September of 1980 I became pregnant with our second child. By this time, I was just thankful that in four months I would be stateside and wouldn’t feel so trapped.
In January of 1981 we left Germany and relocated to Lawton-Ft Sill, OK. He became extremely possessive, on day a trip to the corner store for a loaf of bread ended with an interrogation. That was my first and last trip to the store by myself.
He would rig the house when he left for work to make sure I didn’t leave without his knowledge. I had become afraid to look another man in the eye and a conversation with another man was definitely off limits because there were always accusations of me checking someone out.
It was a blessing that we moved next door to another military couple because the wife became very instrumental in my escape from this situation.
After our second child was born, he began threatening to take our lives.
One day he bought a gun home and showed it to me. No words just showed it to me. One evening, that same gun ended up at his temple with me at the other end. My baby’s cry from the bedroom jarred me from what I was about to do. I knew then it was time to go, but I also knew it wouldn’t be easy.
The first time my neighbor's wife knocked on my door, I recall of being afraid to answer. He’d left for work approximately 30 minutes earlier. My first thought was, “it’s him testing me to see if I would answer the door." As we spoke through the door, she simply asked if I had family that she could call. I gave her my mom’s number and she went away.
At that very moment I was both relieved and terrified at the same time. My mom, years later, told me that when my neighbor called, she said, “If you all don’t come get your baby, he’s going to kill her.” Someone might be asking, “Why didn’t she call home herself?" He made that impossible because he would take the phone when left.
During the next couple of weeks that followed she would come to my door and relay messages from my family to me and vice versa. One message was that they would either purchase airline tickets for me and the children and have them waiting for me at the airport or my dad and one of my uncles would come get us. I knew the latter wouldn’t turn out well, so I opted for the airline tickets.
The initial plan to leave didn’t go quite as smoothly as intended, but I ultimately got away physically intact; mentally was another story. I’d been beaten down so much mentally that my self-esteem was at its lowest.
After returning home to my family, I dove into some hard drinking, getting high and partying while trying to find myself. I was on a path to destruction, but thankfully, God had a better plan for my life. On June 19, 1982, I was baptized in Jesus Name & filled with the Spirit of God that same day!
This format won’t allow the time or space to share the details of my escape or what happened after receiving Christ in my life, which is why I’m currently writing a book to tell my story.
Here are some helpful resources if you or someone you know is in a domestically violent relationship-
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Advocates are also available to chat 24/7.
National Center for Victims of Crime