Exactly two years ago, I left my husband.
Everything in me knew I had to go. Sometimes you feel 100% sure about something and this time, I knew I couldn’t spend another 5 minutes in that house with him. I briefly planned out my escape, nervously trying to get the kids ready for a supposed play date that was really a turning point in our lives.
He had a scary, controlling look in his eyes, not wanting me to leave and suspecting that I actually intended to abandon him. I had never lied to him before and so he felt like I must have been telling the truth when I said I’d be back. At the time, I didn’t lie – I thought things were going to change and I would come back.
The last thing I wanted was to break up my family.
That act of leaving, however, set in motion a chain of events that solidified how even though I doubted myself, internalized guilt that my marriage ended because I wasn’t enough, and my confidence was at an all-time low, I made the bravest decision I had ever made in my life. It became the most genuine and right decision, validated by the countless times he later showed no mercy in post-separation abuse antics.
Most women flee from domestic abuse situations an average of 7 times, leaving and then coming back, before they finally go for good. I left and never came back, letting go of my entire life and possessions. I had to completely shed my skin, sloughing off something raw and broken until I crawled out as a new being entirely.
Sometimes you have to lose everything in order to gain something greater. This day became my personal Independence Day. Each year, I will celebrate inside myself and applaud that inner strength, that intuitive voice, that ultimately saved my life.