I filed for a legal separation so that child support payments could start right away. It wasn’t much, but my point wasn’t so much about how much child support would be, but about being one step closer to divorce. Quite a few people thought I was crazy for leaving him and the things we had and even thought that I was lying on him when I would talk about what it was like living with him. I guess that like him, they were caught up in the image. Didn’t they know that I created the image they saw? It didn’t have to be real. It just had to be what I created. But because of what they saw from a distance and the outside, they concluded that I was crazy or as he put it, under the influence of witchcraft.
I chose to go to my mother’s house. She later told me that when she saw me coming up on her porch I looked like was running from the “pure dee devil”. Me and my babies slept in her extra bedroom for a few weeks until my brother came and took the bed because he said he needed it. I wondered if part of the reason he did that was to try and force my hand, figuring that if I had to sleep on the floor I would take my butt back home to my husband where I “belonged”. Church folks do stuff like that sometimes. They take it upon themselves to put you in positions to do what they think you should do. Well, all I have to say about that is, “Sike!” I took quilts and blankets, pillows and sheets and I slept on my mother’s living room floor with my babies for 3 months. My mother told me that I “slept like them babies on that floor”, so I couldn’t have been lying about the things I said I had gone through with him. She said if I had been lying, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep so peacefully. I had no idea that she would come in sometimes during the night and sit in the chair next to us, watch us and go back to sleep. I did wake up a few mornings and wondered when she had come in and sat in the chair. I guess I was “sleeping like them babies” not to notice someone coming into the room and sitting over me in a chair.
From there I went to a roach infested 1 bedroom apt. When I say roach infested that’s exactly what I mean. I only put a few can goods in the cabinets and when I would go to open the cabinets, I would have to step back because whenever I opened them, roaches would leap out. There was also a mouse that traveled back and forth between the first and second floors, and plumbing that flooded the hallway right outside my door. But I was at peace. From there we moved to a 2 bedroom apartment with horrible LOUD neighbors (who I knew from a church I used to go to). My babies had to get used to the noise without thinking that something bad was happening. My entire living room and hallway was flooded at least twice because the neighbors on the two floors above me put the wrong things down their garbage disposal. But I had peace. In the mean time I had to file bankruptcy because of so many bills that had been accumulated during the marriage. I didn’t realize at the time that when he was encouraging me to have credit cards in my name, it was insurance for him in the event of a divorce. From there I bought my first home on my own only to end up in a bankruptcy and foreclosure, to a duplex, back to my mom’s house where I’d slept on the floor for 3 months. Only this time it was after my mom had passed and I had bought it.
When you get TIRED, you’ll get the hell out. It won’t matter how much he buys you, or what you have to walk away from. You’ll go to a shelter, a one room studio, move in with someone and sleep on their floor, sleep in the bed with your babies, put up with roaches for a while, anything to have peace of mind and safety. When you get tired you’ll change your mind about what’s worth fighting for. You’ll come to the conclusion that YOU are the thing that’s worth fighting for, and if you have little ones, they are worth for, not some image that you’ve created for the sake of keeping up appearances. When you get tired of dying, you’ll choose to live.