Sunday, August 19, 2012

Corn '09

3 years ago to the date, I became a single mom.  At the time I wasn’t sure I would ever survive on my own or be able to do it alone.  In three years I have learned that I will survive, and that I can’t do it alone.  I have to accept help.

I had been in CT for a friend’s wedding for a few days.  During my visit there, the truth of what all I was dealing with came pouring out.  Only one person back home knew the extent of the abuse and was a huge support to me.  Once I started telling all that was going on, I knew things had to change or I wouldn’t survive.

That night I went upstairs and prayed and asked God to show me what to do.  I never thought leaving Randy was an option but I knew staying would kill me.  Through prayer I felt like I should open my Bible.  17 times in a row I flipped to the word ‘go, flee, or depart’.  I wish now I had highlighted each one.

I knew then that God was telling me to ‘get out.’  I just needed to have a plan and sort it all out.  On the long drive back to Ohio, I called my friend and told her all that happened in CT.  I told her how I knew I had to leave, how I had to figure something out.  She told me that she had recently been told by someone who worked with Randy that he was using cocaine and selling it out of the garage.  She knew she had to tell me but didn’t know how.  Deep down, I had known for a while but didn’t know how to respond to it.  So I acted like it wasn’t happening. Now I had to face it head on. 

Now with actual confirmation I knew I had to do something.  The abuse was getting more intense and I was in constant fear for my life. 

We made it home late Tuesday night.  Thankfully he was asleep.  The next day he got up and went to work.  As soon as I got up I called the counseling center to ask their advice.  The first question the advisor asked was “Are you safe?”  Considering I hadn’t felt safe in over 3 years I wasn’t sure how to answer it.  Once he found out he told me I needed to get out and get the kids out immediately. 

I started repacking the van and making plans.  I called my family and my friend and they were all supportive in my leaving knowing the abuse that was going on.

I got the kids out to safety (at my friend’s house…we were too afraid it would be obvious to go to my mom’s).  I went back home to finish getting more things.  I felt so scared and confused.  Fleeing from my husband just didn’t seem natural.  I wanted more confirmation.  I sat on the couch and opened the Bible once more.  I opened to where Jesus was casting out the tax collectors and merchants out of the temple and saying “My house will be a house of prayer.”  I felt as though I was getting rid of the evil from my house and establishing a house of prayer (safety) for my children.

I was instructed to call Every Woman’s House to let them know what was going on.  I called and they said they were closed.  Was baffled that a woman’s shelter would be closed….was instructed to call another crisis place but again, they were closed. crisis happened while they were closed :-/

Not sure what made me do it but I turned my van around and went to the Rittman Police Department.  I told them what was going on and an officer came out to talk to me.  He said that it was good I reported it because if Randy came in to report me missing they would tell him “I didn’t want to be found”.  They also suggested I search his garage. 

Because the garage was constantly under lock and I couldn’t get in (wasn’t allowed in it) I was afraid to go in there.  The police offered a civil standby.  Once we arrived back home I was getting very nervous.  At this point Randy could be home any minute and still did not know I was leaving.  As the cops stood there, I knew the only way in was to bust down the door.  They could not help me.  I slammed into the door with no results.  I find in humorous now.  Imagine me trying to bust down a wooden garage door.  I looked at them and said what my sister often says:
I then slammed into the door with all my might and it fell in.  I wanted to high-five the cops but wasn’t sure how appropriate that would have been.   

Once in the garage I found a few things, having been told by Randy’s co-worker what the boxes he stored his stuff in looked like.  I didn’t find anything too incriminating but enough to prove my case.

Once out of the garage, my phone rang.  It was him.   I answered and he asked what I was doing.  First thought was “oh, you really don’t want to know…”  But instead I simply said “Randy, I’m leaving you.  I’m tired of it all” He instantly started screaming and threatening all kinds of threats.  I put it on speaker phone so the police could hear.  They listened for about 30 seconds and said “That’s enough” and made me hang up.

I finally made it out of Rittman and out to my friend’s house. I did end up coming back to the house to talk to Randy.  Probably not the smartest move but I wasn’t thinking straight.  We were talking and he was screaming his usual lies.  Something in me (the Holy Spirit for sure) screamed to “flee”  It kept screaming over and over.  Finally I ran to the van and got in.  Randy reached through the window and ripped out the key from the ignition.  I happened to look down and see my spare key sitting in the coin tray.  Have no idea why it was there but believe it was put there by an angel.  I grabbed it, shoved it in the ignition, and peeled down the drive.  Randy stood there speechless for a moment.   I wasn’t sure if he would chase me, so I drove like a mad woman out of town and over to my friend’s house.  I called her to warn her I was on my way.  She had her back shed ready and waiting for me to slip my van in and hide it.

Where does the corn come in on all this?  Well, my sister had corn for me to freeze.  It was already husked and needed to be done.  She offered to do it for me but I said she could do half.  I wanted something to keep busy that night and my friend and I would do it.  SERIOUSLY JULIE?  Why would I think it would be a good idea to freeze corn that night?  My reasoning was “If I’m going to be a single mom, I need to provide food for my kids.”  Some people call me strong…in reality I’m just not totally with it all the time.  

But freeze corn we did.  She boiled it and cut it off.  My job was to bag it.  I was so scared, stressed, and plain worn out; I laid on her kitchen floor in my pj’s.  When the pan of corn would get full she’d come over and kick me and tell me to get up. 

We still laugh about that to this day.  (It was more of a nudge than a kick but I still tease her:o) We got the corn done; Randy was texting me the whole time accusing me of having an affair and being with my boyfriend.  We would start to giggle saying, “Yea.  If he could seriously see what I’m really doing…I’m freezing corn.” 

It was one of those nightmare nights.  I somehow went to sleep; having night terrors the whole night.  She slept on the couch with her dog by her side just in case he figured out where we were. 

I’m not honestly sure how the kids did that night.  They are very close to my friend and I think she just took care of them.  I would never have made it through without her.

There’s so much more to the story.  So many things that happened the next day, and the next, and the next.  It was horrible, terrifying, and my stomach hurt for months from the stress. Maybe I’ll share bits here and there…. 

I still have some bags of Corn ’09 still in my freezer.  Odd as it sounds when I go to grab a bag, I want to avoid that corn.  I don’t feel like touching the bag or eating that corn we worked on that night.  I hate seeing it in my freezer.  But it is a reminder that I am okay.  I am surviving.  Maybe sub-consciously that’s why I still keep it; as a reminder that even when times seem at its worst to just find a friend to kick me and make me get up and keep going.

God is so good.  Not only did He pull me out of a bad situation but has set me on my feet and held my hand through it all.  He still is providing; more than we deserve and in ways you can’t imagine. 

He has prompted me to move on in life…to find a way to find total peace in my situation.  After months of praying and counseling I feel His guidance in this.  I can’t share now for legal reasons.  I do beg your prayers…that it all goes smoothly and without too much stress. 

After I came to this decision, I stood in awe that God would do this for me.  While our past can never be totally erased and there will be constant reminders, I realized that God is erasing as much of my hurtful past as possible.  It amazes me that He loves me that much.

I think I’m going to start using the corn from ’09.  It needs used up.  But I will leave one bag.  One bag that is boldly marked 2009 on the front.  I’ll keep it in the door of my freezer for the days when I don’t think I can go another day. I can go to my freezer and be reminded of that night.  The horrifics of it and know that God carried me through that night and He will carry me through the rest of my life. 

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