October 11, 2007

Independence Day

This is a part of the series I am doing to try and help raise awareness of Domestic Abuse.

Other posts from this series can be found here:
I'm Sorry
Don't Ignore It
Buddy's Hiding Place

Independence Day......

Mine was September 28, 1995.

"I'm not sayin' it's right or it's wrong......"

I'll be honest....doin' these few posts about my "other life" has kicked my ass. Big time. If you think they've been hard to read, try reliving all that crap.

But, I really believe it had to be done. Based off of some of the emails I've had it has served a least part of my purpose. It's made people think. It's made people realize it can happen to ANYONE.

It's raised awareness.

As I mentioned, my "Independence Day" was September 28, 1995. That was the day I left. My divorce wasn't until the following summer, but that's a whole 'nother story in itself.

I celebrate September 28th as Tammi Day. But it took years of thinking and planning to get to that point.

He quit drinking back in 93. That stopped the physical abuse. But the emotional beatings just got worse. You see, a mean drunk is a mean person. And many times when an alcoholic stops drinking the behavior doesn't change. They call it, at least *I* call it the Dry Drunk.

Once I was no longer terrified every day, my head started to clear. I got a good job, making more money than he did. I moved quickly up the ladder and started to gain a bit of confidence in my ability to support myself.

That is huge! Many people stay out of fear. Fear that they will be found and made to pay. Fear that they CAN'T make it on their own. Fear of having to come back.

Once I knew I could support myself I started to make a plan.

I wanted, no needed to know that the boys would be ok. One was married and a daddy. He was fine. Working a good job, with a wonderful wife. Strong, responsible - a good man. The other boy was also a daddy, but engaged to a fabulous girl with a family that loved him. He had a great job and real, focused plans for his future. The baby, Buddy? I needed to know he would be ok. He was still in school and I just felt it wasn't right yet.

But I planned. I told Mama Vi what I wanted to do. We started putting little things aside. When I had extra cash I bought dishes, and silver ware. Bed linens. I kept them all at her house.

The only thing I didn't do was put money in a safe, secret place. THAT one hurt a bit, but I recovered. Eventually.

Finally the day came. It wasn't the day I planned, it wasn't HOW I planned, but we had a fight and I just said "F*ck it! I'm outta here!"

And I left.

I took almost nothing. I didn't want anyone to say I took advantage of him. That was important to me. And yes - the song linked above was BLARING on the truck radio. And I was singin' at the top of my lungs. I still cannot watch that video or hear that song without feeling so damned proud of myself.

The boys couldn't understand why I stayed all those horrible years and left once things were "better". And I didn't know how to explain it. They still don't understand and have never forgiven me for that.

But you know what? My boys don't hit. My boys are good daddy's (yes, I know that for a fact). My boys have families and jobs and homes of their own.

Is knowing that worth everything I went through? I can't honestly say. But I do know it makes it easier. Easier to deal with 11 years of hell.

But I'll tell you this much. It AIN'T happening to this girl again.

Posted by Tammi at October 11, 2007 05:10 AM | TrackBack

Good for you!


Posted by: Chuck at October 11, 2007 12:31 PM

Second the motion. Oorah, Tammi!

Posted by: Peter at October 12, 2007 02:00 AM
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