Part Three: Our Survivor Story

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

The final chapter of the worst time of my life occurred on March 25, 2019. My son was 15 days old. I had just been beaten and bruised 2 days ago. I woke up in the morning, made our abuser lunch and coffee, and drove him to work. He was in a good mood and kissed me goodbye. I reluctantly returned it. I didn’t do much that day but I do remember my mom and sisters asking if I wanted to come over for a visit. I agreed but knew that they would definitely say something about my bruises. I had a shower and did my makeup. I remember thinking how lucky I was that I was good at makeup because I managed to mostly cover the bruises on my face and neck and what I couldn’t cover, my long hair managed to hide. I had the visit and my mom kept asking me what was wrong. I denied anything being wrong. She asked me how my abuser behaved the night we left her house and he beat me. I told her it was fine, we just went to bed. I knew she didn’t believe me but I left shortly after that conversation to pick my abuser up from work.

I didn’t leave the car when I got to his work. I saw him walk out and I was disgusted with him. I didn’t even want him to come home. He got in the car in a good mood. He asked me how my day was and I told him that I saw my mom and sisters and I had to wear a pound of makeup to hide what he did to me. He told me I did a good job and he could barely tell. We then went to Costco because the baby needed diapers and wipes.

On the way to Costco our abuser mentioned that he wanted to pick up some beer. I angrily replied “I don’t think you need any alcohol after what happened” he replied “you’re probably right”. We entered Costco and he very loudly said “You still haven’t apologized for what happened on Saturday” (the day of the assault). I told him I had nothing to apologize for. He continued to loudly tell me I never apologize for anything. I asked him to be quiet or I was going to leave. He didn’t stop. I tried to find a way out but I knew id just be followed so I got the diapers and wipes and walked ahead of him. My 7 year old asked me “are you going to marry him?”. I knew she was asking because she felt the tension and she was worried. I told her “no I’m not and we’re going to be okay”. She agreed and dropped the topic. We got in the car and drove home in silence.

At home, our abuser went outside as usual and smoked pot. I sat down on the couch and started breastfeeding the baby. He comes into the room about 5 minutes later and says very aggressively “so Elle told me you don’t want to marry me?!” I said “ I don’t. Why would I after what you’ve done?”. He got angry. Really angry. He sat down on the opposite couch next to me and stared at me and said “If you leave, I only have one thing left to do”. I said “what?”. He then used his fingers to make a gun and pretending to shoot both me and our new baby in the head. At this point, I absolutely panicked. I stood up. He hit me hard across the face again and I fell onto the couch with the baby in my arms. I told him that I had pictures and evidence of everything he ever did to me. He fought the phone out of my hands and smashed it. I knew that he meant what he was saying at that point. I got up off the couch, one breast out and a newborn in my arms, and kicked the screen out of my living room window. Our abuser forcefully grabbed me by the hair and pulled me back. He then restrained me by putting one arm behind my back. I still had our newborn baby in my arms. This next part is kind of a blur but I’ll do my best. It’s all happened I’m just unsure of in what order, to be honest. It was traumatic and I have a hard time thinking of it.

My daughter who was 7 at the time, ran out of her room and started to hit our abuser in the back. She was yelling “stop hurting my mommy” and crying hysterically. I looked her dead in the eyes and said “Elle, you need to get out of the house. Run out the front door and run to your aunties” (my sister lives down the road). Elle ran to the front door without shoes and as soon as she opened it, our abuser had let go of me and grabbed Elle forcefully and pulled her from the door and told her to “stay the fuck here”. Elle was terrified. I was terrified. I managed to get to the kitchen and grab a butcher knife. I’m pretty sure this moment is what saved my life and the life of my kids. With one breast out, a newborn baby in my arm, and a knife in the other hand I told our abuser that he better let us go. He backed away from us. I told Elle to get outside by any means possible and she managed to get out the back door and hide under our bench on the deck. The dogs sat under the bench with her. I told our abuser that he is going to let us leave. He fought the knife away from me and told me that I could go. He said he was going to kill himself. I headed for the door with my naked baby and told him that I hope he does. I started coaxing Elle over the fence in the backyard since it was frozen shut. I tried lifting her with the baby in my arms. I was hysterical. She had no shoes or coat. She was hysterical. Our abuser agreed to let her come through the house. I told her to run. She ran as quick as she could and met me outside in the front. I didn’t have my car keys so I ran inside quick and grabbed them. While I did that, our abuser was on the phone with his Dad saying he made a mistake but it was all my fault. I told him to go to hell and shut the door. That was the last time and I knew it. I was driving away from the man I loved and the life I wanted so bad but he just couldn’t be good.

I didn’t have a phone so I couldn’t call anyone. I wanted to get as far away as I could. I drove 24 km to my parents house. I don’t even remember that drive. I was crying so hard. I got to my parents and they saw us walking up the driveway. They knew something was wrong because my mom and dad met me at the front door and asked what was wrong. I could barely get out what I wanted to. I think all I said was “he’s fucking crazy”. My mom instantly said “what did he do?!?” I asked my sister to get a makeup wipe. I wiped it all off and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such horror in my parents eyes. My mom started crying and my dad said “I’m going to grande prairie”. I told him not to bother because our abuser told me before I left that he was going to kill himself. My sister called the police. They said they were going to make a wellness check and come and get a statement and place an EPO (emergency protection order).

I cried with relief. I cried for the death of the life I wish I could have had. I cried in anger because he (abuser) just couldn’t be good. I cried because I tried so hard to give him everything I had and it was never enough. I cried for my kids for losing the only Dad they knew. I cried for myself for having to raise my kids alone.

There is a lot that happened after. I will one day get into that. For now, all I’ll say is our abuser was convicted of assault and mischief on July 15, 2019. He took a plea deal and plead guilty. The judge told him that he has a “dark side” that he needs to fix. The judge also said the that if the case would have went to trial, our abuser would have absolutely went to jail. He got 18 months probation and a no contact order on myself and my kids for the duration of the probation. I was able to read my victim impact statement in court to our abuser and he chose to not make a comment. That day being over has been a huge relief. I felt validated that what I went through was horrible. I don’t wish that nightmare on anyone.

My babies and I are getting better everyday. Elle and I have been attending therapy regularly. Wells is such a joy and he’s healthy! Without my babies, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through the last 2.5 years. They are the reason I get up every morning. My family has been amazing. I escaped our abuser when I was in a poor financial situation being on EI. My family, especially my parents and grandma, have stepped up more than I could ever imagine. I could never repay them for what they have done to help me find peace again.

Thank you for reading my story. It has even a release for me. I hope other domestic violence victims find comfort in knowing they’re not alone and that they will be okay if they leave. The peace you feel is so worth it.

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