Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finding the Way to Me (2)

When I ended the saga last, I was walking out on the ex, who I tend to refer to as "the psycho" in conversations. As much as I wanted it to be over, and expected it to be when I walked out, he had a different idea.

I had no where to go, so I managed to sneak back in to the house later when I saw him leaving. I grabbed my keys, my phone, and as many clothes as I possibly could. I knew it was my only chance to get what I could. I threw everything into my car, and just drove. Luckily, I found a friend, who coincidently lived just down the street from the ex and she offered to let me stay with her and her brother. I could've gone back home, but I was scared and ashamed to admit what had happened to my parents.

For a day or so, I managed to stay out of sight. But, like in my worst nightmares, he found me. He started out just following me. I'd be driving down the road, and see him in my rear view mirror, I'd go to pick up dinner and he would walk in a few minutes later, or I'd go to the store and see him across the aisle. Everywhere I turned, there he was, lurking.

A few times, he tried to drive me off the road, I'd be forced into opposing traffic or onto the shoulder, but thankfully, I never hit anyone. He followed the friends I was staying with. He'd be waiting across the street when they got off work and follow them home.

He tried calling me a few times, once to tell me he was going to kill himself, to which I responded "the world will be better off." He showed up at my work, the managers were forced to call the police, another day he screamed obscenities at customers, and kicked down a wall. One night, he showed up telling me if I would come with him just for awhile, he would let go forever. Why I believed him, I'll never know. But I went. He drove me up into the mountains, in the dark, although I pleaded with him not to. He parked in a secluded spot and told me we were going to sit and talk on his tailgate. At that point, I had no choice. As we sat there, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a gun, which he proceeded to lay between us. Although he never threatened me, he just left it lay there, the moonlight glimmering off the silver of the trigger said more than he ever could.

He took me back to my car that night, I'll never know why he let me go, but he did. A few nights later, he found me again and I heard the faint click of the gun booming in the darkness. He didn't pull the trigger back, someone called the police in time. Yet, the police did nothing. I asked them if I was lying dead in the street, would they arrest him then? Did I need to be dead to get anything settled?

After that night, I filed a PFA, all I could think was, I'm not a victim, I'm not being abused. I couldn't see what was right in front of my face. Detailing all the incidents for them was the hardest thing I've ever done. I had to admit on paper all the terrible things he had done. For months, he refused to sign it, court dates came and went, and his lawyer continually had the hearing pushed back. Finally, a day before the final date, he signed the papers.

He broke the PFA once, and I wasn't about to give up everything I had worked for. I called the police, and finally, they arrested him. He was put into solitary for three days. At the courthouse, he was brought in wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, but just as cocky as ever. They told me not to look at him, not to give him any satisfaction. But, I had to look, I had to face my own demons. What I saw was a boy, who would never grow up, never know the pain he caused others, never know how to take responsibility, sitting there, hands cuffed, yet put behind his head so I could see them, trying to make me feel guilty for putting him there. Fortunately, he was the one found guilty.


Greg - TellingDad said...

I am so sorry that you felt guilty. It says a lot that you worked so hard to try and help him but I'm quite sure that's a lot more than many would have done.

Heather said...

Staci you're so brave for putting this out there and standing up for yourself! I'm glad it's all worked out and you've been able to move on with life.

Cheryl said...

Oh wow, Staci. Such a moving post, I had tears in my eyes the whole time. I really hope you can learn to be at peace with yourself. We never know how we would act if we were faced in the same position, kwim? Congratulations for getting away. xoxo

Amanda said...

I'm glad you stood up for yourself and made the police take action.

Unknown said...

First of all I have to say that you are very brave for sharing this story, so many wouldn't...including me.

I went through a chillingly similar situation with my oldest daughter's didn't end well. I am always amazed at the women who are willing to share their stories with others, having to admit the truth is sometimes the hardest thing to do and you did it beautifully!

Unknown said...

what an absolutely terrifying experience. It shows what incredible strength and determination you have and it makes you a good role model for others going through smiliar experiences

Kasey@All Things Mamma said...

Thank you for sharing such a person story. You're a very brave and strong women!

Sara Elizabeth said...

Dang. You are so strong to post this. It sounds like a living hell you had to go through. I had a stalker once, but she stopped when I got a restraining order. I cannot image having it go on this far. You are very brave to stand up for yourself the way you did. Thank you for sharing this very personal post with us.