Not Allowed

“I will not allow you to leave me. You are not allowed to leave me.” That was his mantra. And it is what plays over and over in her head as she showers in the hosue alone after the sheriff removed him.

“This is my house, you are my wife, and this is my room. And you cannot make me leave my room so you can lock my door to keep me out of my room. Besides, what am I doing that’s soooo wrong, huh? All I’m trying to do is have a conversation with my wife. I’m not abusing you? I’m not thouching you, am I?

“Well, what are you going to do about it, Jill?” You think you are going to leave me? You can’t leave me! I won’t let you leave me! I will not allow you to leave me! If you try to leave me, it will be an abomination against God!”

After hours of being followed through the house and poked in the arm and back while he screamed in her ear … after many days and months and years of being yelled at, of being pushed and shoved, of being locked out of her home at night and forced to sleep outside, of being lied to and tricked and humiliated ….. she had decided it was enough.

Who would have thought that she would finally have had enough. He surely didn’t think it would ever happen. The deputy said that when he removed Bill from the residence, he didn’t seem mad, but he was genuinely shocked. I certainly didn’t. I’d just started working at Sasfeplace when I first heard from her. We talked on the phone for almost two hours. She wasn’t really looking for options because for her, divorce wasn’t really an option. Was it? She’d separated from him before, but that was short lived and it changed nothing. So we started with safety planning but the conversation eventually evolved into long term escape planning. She was not sure that she would use it, but at least we talked about her options in case she ever decided to leave. We talked P.O. boxes for safe and private correspondence as well as establishing address history, secret bank accounts, etc. I sent her, ok, I bombarded her, with all of the information that I had. Just as quickly as she had come into my awareness, she was gone, not another word.

And then, after almost two years, we heard from her again. She had worked her plan. She had squirreled away a savings. She had secured a job and timed her escape with percision. She was ready to take advantage of our resources and ready to navigate the court process.

He didn’t think she had options. He didn’t think she had the audacity to dare to leave. I didn’t think I would hear from her again. Boy were we wrong. I never been so glad to be wrong.



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