My Story: Chapter Ten
My Abuser’s Life Goes Up in Flames
Did he hit his rock bottom?
One morning about two weeks after the abuser took our children home I was preparing to leave for my daily visit when the shelter director asked me to come to the office.
The legal advocate was on the phone with someone who worked at the abuser’s company. She began to relay questions to me from the person on the phone. Was I safe? Did my husband have access to guns? And then questions about his arrest and order of protection hearing.
What was going on?
Finally, the person agreed to be put on speakerphone and then the rest of the story came out.
My husband had been fired. I was speaking with the security officer who was trying to gauge how dangerous he was. The officer was afraid he would come in and do something crazy and wanted to know what increased security measures needed to be in place to prevent violence and loss of life.
The officer had called the court upon hearing that he had been arrested and had learned about the order of protection I had filed against him. Instead of being treated like I was crazy, I was told how he had been watched the last few months at work. He had been walking around like an alpha male and had finally done something worthy of being fired.
It would be months before I found out why he was fired but the hints given to me were alcohol use and that my suspicions of an affair were valid. The officer asked me to verify the brand of whiskey he drank and mentioned the same brand and size had been found in his work bag.
We never asked the security officer why I had been sought in a shelter. Suspicions must have been heard through the grape-vine at work. I wonder now if the abuser’s girlfriend is a gossip or if the tale was told by his former boss.
Having my suspicions about his fidelity confirmed was still a difficult blow to take. It was also a sigh of relief that I finally knew the truth. I don’t think I even cried about it. I had already done all the crying I needed to about the end of my marriage and was ready to get on with life. This confirmation helped me work harder to begin.
I was advised by the women who worked at the shelter not to go visit my children since my husband would most likely be there. He was much more likely to be violent since his life was spinning out of control.
I texted the abuser that I would not be coming to visit that day or the next. I talked with the women at the shelter about the safest way to see the children and how to ensure my husband would not be near me. It was time to come up with a better safety plan. I was so grateful to have over an hour’s distance between us.
This part of my life was like a cat and mouse game. I had to choose meeting places carefully. They had to be busy, have security cameras, police nearby if possible, and be somewhere he would most likely not enter. It was more complicated because we had to exchange vehicles and car seats with the children since my car was not large enough for all of them.
A few days after he was fired he texted letting me know he had quit his job. He said he had already sacrificed his family for his work and wouldn’t let them have any more. Then he had the audacity to ask if we could do what was best for the children and reconcile.
He had lost his lucky charm and now his life was falling apart.