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My husband is an alcoholic abuser. Now I have left him for good and I feel free! Here is my ode to the freedom that I have taken into my hands.
Today is the day. The day I have been waiting for for years – yet did not fully realize it till 3 months ago. I have planned since then – day and night, step by step, little by little. And today I am free.
I have moved to my new home with my sons – a clear break from my past life and my husband. I know the journey ahead is going to be hard and will test my patience and grit but I am ready for anything now. I have recorded my life in your pages but today with this last entry it will be a clean break with the past chapters of my life. Tomorrow I will write in a new diary about my new life. You have been my friend and confidant all these days but now I need to look ahead. I want to forget all the past hurts and pains and look forward for me and my son’s sake.
The decision to separate was not easy. I know ahead lies a bitter divorce battle but today I feel happy. I feel at peace. The past ten years of marriage were an agony, the likes of which I never imagined.
I was a bright student, well liked in school and college. I finished my masters and was about to enroll in PhD when my marriage was fixed. My fiancé was an NRI, settled in Canada for many years with a good government job. My parents were overjoyed and married me in the best possible way. They did more than they could afford to do for my wedding. I waited for family visa in India for a few months and then flew to Canada.
Little did I know the horrors awaiting me in my new life. Within the first week I came to know my husband was an alcoholic. He could drink one case of beer in one sitting and go out to pubs for more after the drinking marathon at home. I requested him many times to at least have dinner with me, but his policy was to have nothing to do with me unless it was sex.
He was a sex maniac – he wanted to be intimate whether I was feeling it or not. Whenever he wanted to do it, I should be ready. I became pregnant quickly. I was happy thinking a child would save my marriage. I would think – he will leave drinking once a daughter or son is born. I was wrong again.
He did not take it well that my parents came to help me for my delivery. He misbehaved with them but the worst thing for me was that he did not even care for his son. He did not want to help me with anything – taking care of the child, managing the home everything fell on me once my parents left for India. I somehow managed both. But relations between us soured with constant fights due to his alcoholism.
With the birth of my second son, the rift widened. He mentally harassed me – by not talking to me for months on end, by not eating the food I make, refusing to hold his younger son – in fact he refused to even look or talk to both kids. He wouldn’t let me work or drive. In front of my kids, he would demean me. My only request to him was not to drink and smoke in front of kids but even on that he did not cooperate.
One day he was caught on DUI charges. Another time he started hitting my younger son, in an alcoholic rage and I had to call the cops. He was asked to stay away from us for 6 months. I still wanted to keep the family together and gave him another chance once the 6 months were over. For a few months he did not touch a drop of alcohol but again it started.
Finally one good thing happened in my life which was buying a house. I never imagined it would be possible for us, so I did everything in my power to make the transition to the new home as easy as possible for everyone. I was excited to decorate the house even though I was never consulted on anything – from furniture to curtains his word would be final. But still I was happy as I could see my sons were excited about our new home. But the saga of torture and abuse continued. I did not know domestic violence was not only physical – the mental abuse takes a lot more out of you.
I was constantly derided and ridiculed. Since I did not work I had to depend on him for grocery. Many times essential things would be over at the house and I would wait for him to get it for days. Somehow I managed – looking back I don’t know how I managed with 2 little kids.
My patience gave out one fall day. After years I had planned to go to India to visit my parents. I told him the plan, pleaded with him to let me go for a vacation and somehow he agreed. I booked my tickets and the day before I was supposed to leave with kids to India – he refused to sign the consent letter for the kids. In Canada if one parent is traveling out of country with kids, a consent needs to be taken from the other parent. I pleaded and pleaded – kids pleaded – but to no avail. He refused to let us go. More than my disappointment it was my kids disappointment that I could not bear. That was the day I took my decision to get out of this marriage for good.
I prepared for 3 months before I stepped out of that house. I pride myself on how I prepared. My soon to be ex husband had disconnected the home phone after our last fight for India trip. So I had no means to talk to my parents or friends. I did not lose heart. I took a bus, went to the mall and bought a burner phone. I kept the phone switched off always except when he went to office and I had to call NGOs. I found an NGO which aids destitute women. They helped me in getting financial aid from the Govt and also found me an apartment to rent in a lower income area.
Today is the day I moved from that big house to a 2 bedroom apt. My sons are sad but I am happy. I know I will sleep well today since the door is closed and I am safe inside my home. You ask why? My soon to be ex husband used to get drinking urges in the middle of the night and many times I discovered he even forgot to lock the door in his haste. I found a lawyer again through the NGO who will take up my divorce filing. My lawyer advised me to call the cops as soon as I move to let them know about my separation from spouse. Otherwise my husband can file a report with police claiming I ran away with his kids.
I have a dream now – I want to study and get a job. I want to bring up my sons to be happy, well adjusted humans who are feminists. They have seen my struggles – and I hope to god they will always treat women with respect and kindness. He managed to bruise my ego and shattered my confidence but my soul is undamaged. Although the pain will always be there, with time the intensity may diminish. Who knows, I may find happiness with someone else?
The future is bright and I am a kite in the sky-watch me soar in the winds of change. Thank you for being my friend and confidant.
Published here earlier.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.