Wake Me Up When It’s All Over. When I’m Wiser And I’m Older. 

As we were preparing to get married, E shared a “tradition” from back home that he wanted us to partake in. This might be difficult to explain as it’s regarding names and I try to avoid them, as well as the fact that the “tradition” turned out to be 100% fake, and we did something that I’m, to this day, trying to remedy because E felt like making up some random story just for shits and giggles.

The tradition he told me went something like this… and keep in mind at this point, I’d never yet been to Kenya, and I had no reason to doubt anything E was saying, because quite frankly I never thought anyone would be capable of making up stuff as extreme as this just… well just because I guess. I’ll never actually know why he did it.

Anyways, he told me that when a man gets married, at least in his tribe, it was custom for him to drop his last/surname and have his middle name became his new last name. So from that point on, he’d only be known by his first and middle name.

So if I was dating a Billy Frank Smith, when we got married he would still be known as Billy, but our new last/surname would be Frank, and Smith would be out of the picture. He said then as a man, you would be starting your own family and be more removed from your Dads ‘tribe’. Also, to make it even more complex, the middle names were to be chosen from a limited group of ‘family’ names. So that the man could still be recognized as part of this certain tribe. He said they do it this way so that as a man gets married it is his way of starting his own tribe/family.

I hope I’m explaining it well, because trust me it was confusing as heck to me. Probably because it’s not a tradition that his tribe had been following for centuries or has ever done. It was something E made up in his mind. But I trusted him, because this was the man I was going to marry so I figured he was telling the truth, and I had no reason not to believe in him.

Therefore at our wedding we had to make it known during a speech to explain how we would be known as Mr and Mrs M. instead of the expected original Mr. and Mrs. S that everyone was expecting. Since E was still dealing with immigration issues though and both of our names were on so many of those documents at that time as our maiden names, neither of us changed our names at that point, which was for the best. The person it has affected most though, is little E.

When I became pregnant with him, more about this whole name thing was ‘explained’ to me by E. About how the middle names should be chosen from selected tribe names etc. At this time, our plan was that we would be moving to Kenya and living there on a more permanent basis, and I really wanted my kids to fit in as much as possible and was counting on E’s advice to make that happen. So E supplied me with a list of about 5-7 male names from his family tree that we had to choose from for little E’s middle name, that, according to E would one day be his last name once he married. We settled on a name that sounded good when said start to finish “little E, then the chosen middle name (also started with M) then the last name M’ that we would all have one day once we finished our paperwork. So it was decided. I thought. Until literally 5-10 minutes after I had given birth to little E and I was drugged up and totally out of it and E decides to ask if we can change everything we had previously decided on.

Instead of the original E.M.M, for the newly born baby boy, he wanted little E to be named E.S.M. So that little E’s middle name would be E’s current last name starting with S. So that when little E gets married and drops the last name of M, he will have E’s family name of S remaining. Confused? I was too.  I said yes, because I just didn’t care at the time, I was just glad my baby was healthy and I had successfully brought forth life. Plus I had JUST given birth, and was in no position to argue.

So little E now had the initials E. S. M. Not to bad eh? Well, it was fine, until we flew with our little boy to Kenya, where lo and behold, his family and pretty much everyone else in the entire country told me that E was full of crap. They’d never heard of that tradition before. I was mad. Now E has gone and messed with our kids names! And for what???

I confronted him about it and all he could say was that he must’ve been mistaken, and that oh ok, we’ll keep the original S last name like usual. I couldn’t believe it. Did he not realize that now little E has the S middle name and now E says it should be his last name too!?!? Like are you kidding me? Your want our son to be called little E then Smith Smith for example? No thanks.

So I bring it up today because little E has finally chosen a new middle name. He understands that his middle name of S will now be his last name so he can match Z and Dad and Mom and all share the same last/surname and since I am too stubborn and did not want little E to just have his middle name and last name switch place, mainly because I don’t want E to have that small pleasure of having his family name remain after all the chaos his lies caused. So we’ve been taking our time deciding on a brand new middle one. And little E choose it today.

We’ve read through many names and meanings and little E choose the name Theo. It means divine gift and he loves it and although there are others that I might prefer, I don’t mind giving him the lead on this choice as I can see the confidence it gives him. Plus it’s a step up from last summer when he wanted to change it to Tyrannosaurus. Plus if it was that awful I would always veto it. But I think he choose well and I’ll be working on the legal process to change it throughout the coming weeks. Oh and yes, it’s already been documented in the divorce that I can change his name without consent from E, because of the exact reasoning above. So we’re in the clear. Although I did inform E of little E’s choice and he is fine with it.

So, I guess all I can say is I’m not a fan of fake tradition.


-Avicii/Wake Me Up-

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Mama She Has Taught Me Well Told Me When I Was Young Son Your Life’s An Open Book Don’t Close It ‘Fore It’s Done

So I took the kids to the park yesterday and as Z went off on the slide, little E and I had our “conversation”

The whole “Why doesn’t Dad live with us?” question that he had asked me earlier in the day… I thought I had mentally prepped my answer, thought it through, and I thought I was ready to handle it in a way a 6-year-old would understand, without many follow-up questions.

I thought wrong.

We sat on a park bench and I told him that dad used to live with us and asked him if he remembers living in Kenya with him. He said oh yeah. I went on explaining that something happened between mom and dad, where dads imagination/brain made him think he was in danger a lot and at that time, his mind told him that mom was a bad person, so he hurt mom. So I made the choice that even though at the time I loved dad, I had to make sure you little E and Z, plus myself, were going to be ok. Because I didn’t know if dads mind was going to think up any other silly things that might hurt anyone else. So I took you, little E and Z and we moved out of the house where dad was, and back to Canada to live with Nanna and Nonno.

I wanted to make sure everyone was safe. And now, like I’ve told you before, dad takes medicine to help his voices go away, so he’s not scared anymore. But the medicine also makes him very tired. Which is why when he visits you and Z, he just likes to sit there and doesn’t talk much or have the energy to play with you.

This whole time little E was taking it all in and asking a few questions here and there, but then he asked this ‘how did you disobey?’

It occurred to me that little E STILL remembers what happened to me (he was unfortunately in the room) and also still views it as a spanking. I do spank my kids, but I don’t beat them like E did me. I think because I closely monitor what my kids watch on TV or see online etc, this was the only ‘violence’ he’d really known. So the only word he had to describe one person hitting another in any fashion, was spanking. And therefore, since I obviously don’t spank my kids for fun, he associated it with the fact that I must’ve been being disciplined for something I’d done wrong in the eyes of E. Totally reasonable though process for a 6 year old.

So I explained that (please bear with my very basic explanation, he’s 6 not 16, I had to make sure I was on his level) husbands and wives don’t have to obey each other like kids should obey their parents. Parents have to teach kids because you’re still learning and we are there to guide you. But moms and dads should be a team. Not one the boss of the other. I’m still on your team little E, but I’m coach. There’s a difference. Ok? He kinda nodded but I think he still wanted to know what I did wrong to warrant such a ‘spanking’. Probably so he could avoid that behaviour in the future and not get in such “trouble” himself.

But I reassured him that dads meds made sure that when he’s with little E and Z, he’s ok. Meanwhile my mind is screaming out a million ‘what if’s’  And reminded him that we’re doing great and having fun living in our house with just the 3 of us.

That’s when he pulled out “Maybe I’ll have another dad one day, that would live with us!” And I said yep. (and then of course the tears welled up, seriously what is wrong with me these days) One day mommy will maybe start dating a man and then get married and you and him can talk about him being your dad. Because little E, E will always be your dad, but… and then he interrupted and said ‘but then I could have two dads!’ With a big smile on his face. I said ‘one day, maybe.’

And in my head simply thought how much I wanted that for him as he joined his sister in the park.


-Metallica/Mama Said-

B*tch Better Have My Money, Pay Me What You Owe Me

$36,408.00 That’s how much E currently owes me in back pay for child support.

I’ve been trying to sort this thing out with my lawyer for what feels like forever now, and I feel like (hopefully) we’re nearing the finish line with this whole divorce. To be honest, it could’ve been much worse than how it’s gone though.

Yes, E is extremely difficult to work with and I have a love/hate relationship with leaving the kids with him, since while technically I get a break from them, I spend the whole time worrying about how he’s probably not caring for them properly.

But to be truthful, we’ve had a fairly amicable divorce. There’s none of that “trying to get the kids against the other parent” stuff happening. One, because E just lives in his own little world in his head and that’s too much thinking on his part to try and manipulate little brains against their mother, and two, I don’t waste effort on bringing him into our conversation in my house when he’s not around. If the kids ask to call him, I let them for sure, although it’s only Z who does and maybe only once every 2-3 months. Also, to avoid conflict, my family and I have come up with a code name for E so if we want to discuss the divorce or anything about him and the kids are around (although we try to avoid that) we can use his alias and then talk freely without worrying about tainting the kids view of him.

We also didn’t have that unspoken “competition” to see who would find a successful new relationship first. Basically because I feel like E would most likely never be in a relationship again. Now don’t get it twisted, I totally think people with severe mental health issues can be in long lasting healthy relationships, but I just unfortunately don’t see that happening for E. He’s just not capable of it. As for me? I really wish him the best, and if he does find someone to marry…. I would wish them all the best like literally because they would need it, but I wouldn’t feel pressured to race to find someone myself if E was “first”. To each their own you know.

But now after 3 years and 2 months since filing for divorce, 2 lawyers, and one psych ward lock up later, we’re nearing the end (again fingers crossed). Plus it looks like it will be worth it. $36,000+ worth it.

When I think of that amount… I get frustrated. I think of the standard of life my kids and I have been living for the past 3 years, while we could have been enjoying 12 grand more a year? It pisses me off. My kids could’ve had those lessons they wanted instead of chilling at home every night. Or the newest toy for Christmas that everyone was talking about instead of new pyjamas and underwear. We wouldn’t have had to live with my parents until a year ago. Their college funds could’ve been jacked by now! It just would’ve, and apparently should’ve been much better in the past if E had paid up like he was supposed to. But since he’s a cheapskate, my kids missed out on some things that should’ve been theirs. Although in the past little while, since I finished school and got a job, I’ve been able to provide all those things on my own. And yes, the support E sends each month, although not as much as he’s supposed to send, is welcome, it’s just nice to know the kids and I would still be alright without it.

Now… I just have to plan a nice $36,000 vacation! Suggestions?


-Rihanna/BBHMM-

I Tear Myself Open I Sew Myself Shut / Our Scars Remind Us That the Past is Real. 

My biggest physical scar is from E. We had been apart for about 9 months due to immigration issues. So he was stuck in Kenya and I had had to come back to Canada to support us and little E. I sent E money every week for his rent and groceries and whatever else he needed. But finally, in the new year of 2012, it had just been too long apart. Too long with just long distance calls or Skyping. Too long where we had only been texting. Too long since little E had seen and felt his dad. So in a last minute move I got two weeks off work in January and little E and I were on our way back to Kenya for a visit.

I’m sure you can imagine that travel with small children is not the most pleasant experience. You’d be right, it’s not. But imagine traveling with a boy who’s 18 months old, on a trip that will take at least 45 hours one way. AND… throw an 18 hour straight flight from Dubai to Toronto on the way back in there. It is draining. You don’t sleep. The food you eat upsets your stomach, but even worse your kid’s stomach. You are constantly making sure your child is ok, and not bothering anyone else. On top of the regular stressors travel brings… finding gates, catching planes, maintaining passports and other documents, carrying luggage, navigating new cities, attempting to communicate in foreign languages, sleeping in new beds/airport seats. All of that, plus a kid or two. Not my definition of glamorous to say the least.

Either way, I set out with little E tucked in a sling and my trusty bag in tow. Thankfully this trip wasn’t as eventful as my last trip with little E. He behaved exceptionally well, and the stewardesses even found me a great spot on all my flights with an extra spot for little E. Bonus!

E bussed to Nairobi to meet us there. I had asked him to find us a hotel there for us to spend the night before we had to bus back to his sisters house the next day. This turned out to be a Herculean task for E, which in hindsight, I should have anticipated and just took care of myself. The hotel he found was two towns over. So he had arranged for us to take a taxi for almost two hours to the bed and breakfast place he had found. It was a cute little place, but to be honest, after being stuck on a plane, in a chair for the past two days, the last thing I wanted to do was sit in a car for another 2 hours. All I could think about were the zillion hotels we were driving past as we inched into the night.

Either way, we finally got to this secluded place. We were the only guests staying there, and because of the drive, we didn’t arrive until close to 3 am. It took about 15-20 minutes to rouse the guard at the gate, and then get someone awake to  get us into our room.

As we were shown into our room, E was holding little E, which was great, I wanted them to bond. But it left me with the luggage, not as great. I had packed a huge hockey bag of things for E that he had asked me to bring that he needed/wanted from Canada and that thing weighed a ton. Also, at some point during one of the flights, part of it has torn, exposing some metal wiring on the bottom, which I didn’t realize as I dragged it in.

I asked E to help me get the bag out of the way of the door, and as he lifted it up to throw it on the bed, the exposed wires cut a huge gash on my leg. The cut was so long and deep I learned more about the inside of my body that day than anything the Magic School Bus ever taught me.

It also wouldn’t stop bleeding.

At first I headed to the bathroom and just tried rinsing it off, but it kept bleeding, so I grabbed a shirt and tied a makeshift tourniquet around my leg. I ended up going through 4 of E’s shirts in 6 hours during the night before the bleeding showed any signs of slowing.

I asked E to find a Dr. or somewhere we could go so I could get stitches, something that seems like I obviously needed to anyone. But nope. E said he was too tired. What? You? I’M the one who just flew around the world with our 18 month old kid on her own. I’m the one who’s been working her butt off to support our kid and E. I’m the one who’s loosing mass amounts of blood from a cut you caused. But you’re too tired?

Ok. Thanks. I just arrived in the country. I have no phone to use, it’s about 4 in the morning, and I don’t even know what town I’m in. So I really didn’t have much choice but to wait until the morning when he wasn’t “as tired” to get help.

Well, by the morning, the bleeding had slowed and so by this point I didn’t care about getting stitches as much as I cared about getting to E’s sisters place and attempting to get a decent sleep.

We grabbed a matatu and after another 8 hour ride arrived at our final destination. And his sisters were PISSED that he hadn’t taken me for stitches. They spent the evening disinfecting and bandaging my leg like I was a wounded solider. Well that and berating E for not taking me to the doctor that I had so obviously required.

And yep. I’ll admit I was petty and revelled in the fact that they felt the same way I did. And that they were making him feel bad about not helping me. Because it’s not like I expected him to magically heal me. Or sew me up himself. But I would’ve appreciated if he had acknowledged my body was broken and needed to be fixed. And at the very least wanted to see me whole.

But no. E was always only about E. No matter whose blood was spilled in the process.


-Papa Roach/Scars-

I’m Friends With the Monster That’s Under My Bed. Get Along With the Voices Inside of My Head

Once E was served with divorce papers, he called me freaking out. It took over two months for my lawyer and I to get everything straightened out on paper and all the proper documents filled out, before he was actually notified on April 29, 2014. All the time between my flying back from Kenya and him being served, I think he thought I was joking, or just playing a game, hoping he would change or something. I honestly don’t know why he was so surprised that I actually filed for divorce. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it…

But, those papers started a whole myriad of amazing lies on his part.  Time after time I was left speechless at the items he put in his “sworn statements.” Things he “promised” were the truth, and it just confirmed to me how much of a liar I’d been married too.

First and foremost, he claimed that he had caught me IN BED with our farm boy that Sunday morning back in January, but no violence occurred, and so he wanted to divorce me because of that. Seriously? At this point E, I don’t even care as long as I get out of this marriage to you. But then it went on to say that I had beat up his mother when I was trying to leave Kenya (claiming she had suffered a concussion) and that the incident with his father and the van never occurred. Oh common.  Next, he said that I owed him some $21,000.00 for some reason. Haha for real? Dude, you haven’t held a long-term steady job our entire relationship! I’ve paid for practically everything in our lives, meaning houses/land, cars, and multiples cross-continental trips every time you had a whim that you wanted to move back and forth between Kenya & Canada. If anything you owe me a ridiculous sum of money. But I wasn’t asking for money. All I wanted was a life free from E. As soon as possible.

Life never works out like that though. Because after I left E, his mental health deteriorated quickly. He slowly stopped answering phone calls, and even texts became too much for him. He started missing meetings with his lawyer which delayed everything even more than necessary. I was on the phone with him one day after not hearing from him for a while. I asked him how he was doing, knowing his past problems with anxiety. He shared with me then, that he was too scared to leave his house to even get groceries. I tried my best to convince him to get help, to find a Dr., or someone he felt comfortable confiding in to talk to, but nothing ever came of it.

Then, a couple of weeks later, he went missing. Not answering calls, or texts. He even missed showing up to a prearranged visit with the kids. So I got worried. Just because I no longer wanted to be the man’s wife, didn’t mean I wanted anything bad to happen to him (or anyone). So the search was on. He had been staying with a guy from work, who said he hadn’t seen him in a couple of days (also mentioned that E owed him rent money if I felt like paying, haha no thanks). I called his work, who said E didn’t show up to the plane to head up to camp for his latest shift. I called some of his family in Kenya, as well as his one brother living in the States… No one had heard from him.

So I ended up calling the police to file a missing person report. I explained that he might be dangerous, and that he didn’t have all his faculties at the moment. They, again, weren’t helpful. They explained that even if they did find him, they couldn’t do anything. E was a grown ass man. If he didn’t want anyone to know where he was, then the police couldn’t inform me of his whereabouts even if they did locate him. Fine. I was just trying to be helpful. It’s the middle of January and I’m thinking he’s out on the streets somewhere, afraid of life and no ones around to help. And I felt bad. During this time, I felt bad for leaving him. I felt like I had been the stability in his life, and maybe if I had stayed with E, then his illness would’ve never progressed to this point. I felt like my leaving him had “pushed him over the edge” so to speak.

But then a phone call came. It was E, and he was on his way across the country. He told me he had sold everything he owed except what fit in one suitcase, and had bought a bus ticket to Ottawa. What??? WHY??? Oh, C. Don’t ask a mentally ill person to explain their actions… because then you get answers like the following.

He felt like people were out to get him, and so he didn’t feel safe where he was. Umm Ok? Why Ottawa though? Two reasons, he has one friend from Kenya who lived there, and the Kenyan Embassy was located there. What the heck is the Embassy going to do? You need a Doctor! I couldn’t hear much else over the phone so our call was ended abruptly since the bus was going through a tunnel of sorts, but I knew he was at least alive. I called his family to let them know where he was and to let the friend in Ottawa know to expect E. I had to then call the police and cancel my missing person report, even though I knew they had been putting zero effort into finding him.

Another month or so went by with no word from E. Until finally one day I receive an email from his email address, but I knew right away it wasn’t him who had written it. “He” asked how the kids were doing and also needed some paperwork from me. I emailed back asking where he had been for the last month, and who was writing his emails and then they whole story came out. Kinda… Well as good as it gets with this man.

After he got to Ottawa, he somehow found his old rugby buddy and stayed with him for a bit. But the “voices” became too much for him. And the paranoia was so bad, that his friend found him one morning sleeping UNDER the bed. So at that point, his friend took him to the hospital. Where he’d been officially diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, depression and extreme anxiety. He was locked up in the pysch ward, fed a concoction of medication, and hadn’t had access to his phone or email until that day, since he had earned access outside the ward. His therapist had helped him write the email to me.

In some ways I felt relieved that he was finally getting help. I felt like it validated my feelings of frustration. Trying for years to make a marriage work. A relationship work. But constantly feeling like I wasn’t getting through. Feeling like he was never listening to me. In a way, he never was. He was listening to the voices in his head. The voices telling him everyone was against him. That I was against him. It explained a lot, and although it didn’t forgive his behaviour, it made me feel like less of a failure. Like I had done all that I could, but he was legitimately ill. I could’ve tried ’til I was blue in the face, but nothing would’ve helped our marriage. Not until he received the proper care he needed, and I and others had continually suggested. And now he was getting it.

E was held in the psychiatric ward for about 4-5 months. The doctors called me a few times asking for a little background information, and informing me of his treatment plan. I had to explain many times that we were no longer a couple and that no, I wouldn’t be helping him once he was released. E ended up staying with his friend in Ottawa for about 3 months once he was released from the ward. The Doctors wanted to make sure he was following up on his medication and counselling, letting me know that there is no cure for his condition, and that he would be on medication for life. Also letting me know that a relapse is likely, and that if there was a history of violence, there was a strong possibility of more violence.

E’s friend was fine with having him stay there, but after a while, I could tell that he was getting a little frustrated with E’s extended stay, and I had to break it down to E. He couldn’t live with his friend forever. His friend was married with two kids, and although I’m sure they’d enjoyed this catch up time, he and his wife probably wanted to get back to their own life. E was able to call his old job and get his previous position back for himself, even though his hours/duties had to be modified. I was probably just as glad as his friend was for him to start back at work, because I’d been missing out on child support payments for the last 8-9 months.

Now that E is on medication, he is a little more reliable as far as payments for the kids go, but the meds have changed him. He is constantly tired and has gained a solid 50 lbs. His thinking has slowed dramatically and it’s like talking to a kid. When he does get to see our kids (about once a month) he takes them to the same place and sits there while he watches them play. Actually, now that I think about it… that’s pretty much how he was before minus the weight gain. So not much has changed.


-Eminem/Monster-

I Got a Notion to Say What Doesn’t Feel Right

As it stands now, I hate Mother’s Day.

This will be my 7th Mother’s Day, and I’ve yet to enjoy a single one. Yes, I’ve been a single parent for 3 of them already, coming up on my forth this Sunday, and I’m actually dreading it.

When married to E, he never understood the whole concept of celebrating the woman who gave birth to his children. The woman who brought life into the world. It never occurred to him to actually do anything special for me, whether it be something as simple as a card or flowers or something more extravagant (Ha, yea right). But nope, nothing. Ever.

So I learned to keep my expectations super low.

But now, as a single mom, for some reason people feel the need to bring up “How hard it must be” or “How do you do it alone” and all that crap on Mother’s Day. But then they have no follow up to it. No offers to help or anything. It’s like, I don’t need your pity. I don’t need a holiday to acknowledge my status of pushing a human out of my vagina. I have my life everyday to show me the reality of that.

What I need is a vacation. Or a night away from my kids. Or a simple massage.

So, no. I don’t need your words saying “I’m doing great” or “you could only imagine how hard it must be” Because first off, I know I’m doing a fantastic job of raising my kids. Your two cents makes no difference in how I choose to parent. But also, yeah, it’s beyond difficult. And I do struggle every day. Not just one stupid Sunday in May when Hallmark decided they wanted to make a huge profit. This is my life. 24/7. So keep your moronic comments to yourself. Don’t try to appease your guilt by talking to me on this one day a year. If you truly cared, or wanted to imagine what it must be like for me, why don’t you try it for a night. Why don’t you take my kids for a night?

I have my kids ALL THE TIME. Which I am SOOOO grateful for because I don’t want them to have to spend a single night with E. So yeah, after 3 years I do have sole custody. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish for a break sometimes. After 3 years I’ve had a couple nights where my kids have slept at my parents house. Maybe 4 or 5 nights in over 3 years. A handful of nights in more than 1175 nights where I didn’t have to do the bedtime routine alone. I can count on one hand the number of nights where I could relax and sleep in as late as I wanted and not have to worry about what are my kids going to eat for breakfast. A few nights where I could walk around my house naked and not have to worry about scarring my son for life ;0 .

But the other thousand and change… was me and my kids… and no one else.

So I don’t wanna hear you saying “Happy Mother’s Day C” with a fake smile this Sunday. Cause no. It’s gonna be a Sunday like every other Sunday. Where I’m going to wake up in bed, with no breakfast on my nightstand. I’m going to go down to my kitchen. I’m going to make my kids breakfast. I’m going to wash the dishes. I’m going to help Z get dressed for the day. I’m going to open the handmade cards from my kids that have been sitting there since Friday, that they made at school/daycare. I’m going to appreciate them like nothing else.

And I truly want that to be it.

I don’t want those dumb e-cards. Or generic emails. Or annoying voicemails, because you know I’m not answering your call this weekend. Or ridiculous Facebook posts. Or obtuse comments from hypocritical people.

Just please leave me and my kids alone.

Like you do the other 364 days of the year.


-Kings Of Leon/Notion-

Nobody Said It Was Easy. No One Ever Said It Would Be This Hard

I’d like to say that once I got back to Canada things got better fast. But that would be a complete lie. It was hard. There were so many stressful factors I didn’t even consider when thinking the whole “leave E” thing through.

My parents let us stay with them for which I am so grateful and my parents were SO happy to have their grandkids back from Kenya for good. We figured out a reasonable rent amount, and each of us had our own room downstairs in the house I grew up in. It was nice to have built in babysitters with my parents but to be honest I never really went out. So most nights it was TV in between my parents on the couch. So cool, I know.

It took us about a week to get settled and over the jet lag. We took many trips to Value Village and Goodwill (thrift shops) to outfit the kids with winter clothes and a few toys. Considering we had just moved from +30 to February in Canada it’s an understatement to say we were underdressed and ill prepared.

I was still officially on maternity leave with Z so that helped financially for a bit, but I had huge credit card bills to pay off mainly from flights, E’s most recent one included, so I had to think about what I was going to do to support my kids. I had 3/4’s of my teaching degree already under my belt, but at this time I really didn’t feel like it was my thing. I figured if I was going to go back to school anyway, I might as well make sure it was something I was really wanting.

So I started taking multiple personality tests to see what kind of traits I had and which jobs they matched well with. I needed to make sure I made the best choice because I couldn’t mess anything up. I had little people looking up to me. After at least a dozen quizzes (no joke) I narrowed my decision down to the area of accounting/HR that I though suited me well. I found a program close to home that offered an accounting degree and payroll certification for across Canada start to finish in 10 months. The program was designed to be intense but for a faster finish. Sounded perfect for me, since I needed to be back in the work force ASAP making as much money as possible. I applied, got accepted and started all within a week.

I had to find childcare for my kids which was hard since I didn’t even have a regular babysitter. It took me a little while, but I found the perfect dayhome for them 2 minutes from my parents house and on the way to school. The kids loved it and D was and amazing lady.

Now I had to buy a vehicle. I looked around for a while at second hand ones that I could buy straight out with cash, but couldn’t find one I really liked, and that didn’t have any issues. I didn’t want to be dealing with car troubles with all the other troubles I had going on at the time. I ended up going to a dealership and buying the most beautiful Rogue for myself straight off the lot. It was the nicest thing I had ever owned/done for myself and it made me happy every time I looked at the car. I’ve had to sell it since then to buy my house so I currently drive a bucket of bolts I hate, but one day I’ll get myself a nice car again.

Then, there were the people I had to deal with. OH the people. Where to start.

My mom just kept comparing my divorce to hers like a gazillion years ago and the similarities were few and far between yet I was supposed to do everything how she had done it and all the advice was in her opinion super helpful… It wasn’t. She kept telling me about different laws that were so outdated, or paperwork I should file that didn’t exist anymore. It was frustrating. I just wanted to tell her what was going on without her telling me what to do. I just wanted her to listen. But that’s not my mom.

Then at a family get together about a month after I’d gotten back, my older sister R felt it was a good time to give me her opinion on my life. Now R is very dedicated to her Christian faith (her and her husband J are Pastors) and from her perspective, I shouldn’t divorce E. I should “separate from him. Separate forever, but don’t divorce” Also she felt it was appropriate to then tell me that, if I choose to remarry, her and her family would not be attending my second wedding. Her and her husband didn’t believe in divorce and remarriage and therefore wouldn’t support it.  Unless he had cheated on me. (Apparently physical abuse is ok according to God though) She felt she was being kind by giving me a heads up on this. I hadn’t even officially filed for divorce yet (I hadn’t even decided to get a divorce yet) and you’re already talking about my hypothetical second wedding? It was frustrating and made me feel like no longer discussing E with her.

*Since this time R and I have discussed this moment and I explained how it made me feel, and R has apologized for making that comment at that time and the insensitivity of it all. I have forgiven it and we have moved past it*

Anyways then in April, my little sister’s boyfriend D wanted to propose, and asked for my help. The last thing I wanted to do while dealing with my divorce from an abusive crazy ex is help other people in happy healthy relationships get engaged. Petty? Yes, very.  But I helped. I wanted to cry the whole time, but I helped. I also must’ve subconsciously been pissed because I was supposed to record the whole proposal on my phone, and I honestly thought I was videoing the whole thing, but when we went to watch it after there was no video. I don’t know if I forgot to press record or what, but I honestly felt terrible. Either way, she got a beautiful ring on her finger in a room full of her family and friends and flowers. I know she’ll remember it forever without the video… I hope :/

My dad sort of kept to himself about the whole thing. That was his style though. Mostly just let my mom do her thing.  But when my sister got engaged, I’ll always remember he brought up the whole “don’t you dare hurt my daughter, or I’ll kill you speech” And in that moment I was so mad at him. It was the same speech he had given E. I was his daughter. I had been hurt. And Dad… you did nothing. You literally did nothing. In the one moment I NEEDED someone to keep their promise to me, to protect me, to keep me safe. You did nothing. For a few weeks all I could think about when I looked at my Dad was how he let me down. I obviously don’t condone violence, and I didn’t actually expect him to do anything to E. But I did want him to shut his mouth about it. It was so hypocritical and made me feel like maybe I wasn’t worth it to him. It took me a while to get over it, and still bothers me to hear him talk about it. I’d rather hear him say nothing than false promises like that.

Then on top off all this, I had constant calls, emails, Facebook messages, texts you name it, from E and his family. Harassing and threatening me at every turn. I blocked all sorts of numbers and they would just call from other phones. Then, they started bothering my mom on Facebook.

It was no wonder that I became depressed and suicidal by the Fall of 2014.


-Coldplay/Scientist-

 

I Mean This Is Exhausting You Know We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

So today I was back at the airport for the first time since flying back from Kenya 3 years ago.

I felt like a deja vue kinda thing happening. I had to head out there for work to meet some of the guys we’d recruited for work and it was just a causal meet and greet before they headed for their shift up north, but just being in the airport was weird. The last 8 times I have walked through those doors I was either flying to or from Kenya.

People ask if I will ever go back, and I don’t think I’m strong enough for it. I love Africa, and yes I will go back someday. But not to Kakamega. Most likely not even to Kenya. I have a house there that I designed and paid for, every square inch, and I know people, but I can’t go there.  I’d love to travel to maybe Egypt to see the pyramids or something if it ever settles down in the area, or back to South Africa and Namibia again as far as Africa goes. But, no. I will not be going back to Kenya. There are too many memories I don’t want to have too deal with. Denial at its finest.

In the same way I will not be going back to E. He actually had the audacity to send me a text last week asking me to forgive him, and that we get the family back together.

UMMMM What?!??! Are you delusional? Ohhhh wait. Yes, you are. Here I am, just wanting this stupid divorce to be done with and finalized. It’s been over 3 years of back and forth and him. And now he wants to get back together. Like are you daft? It’s not the first time he’s asked me to get back with him, but I honestly can’t believe that after everything I went through, he would think I would want to go back.

E pic

So I texted him back and in the most polite and simple way (I’ve learned to use small words with E) explained that, I have forgiven him as best I can, but that doesn’t mean we will be getting back together.  A couple days later I got a call from him and I asked if he understood what I wrote. He said sort of, but he just thought we should be done with this divorce and move on. I told him this isn’t some sort of “phase” I’m going through. The only “moving on” I’m doing is without him. 3 years and he still thinks this is a joke or something.

So I asked him if he thought I enjoyed being his wife, if he thought it was nice for me. He actually said yes. So I asked him to name 3 times it was pleasant for me to be his wife. That’s less than one occasion per year of our marriage.

The phone was silent on his end. A good solid 30 seconds go by before he responds with “That’s a tricky question”

That’s the problem E. It shouldn’t be a tricky question. You can’t even think of ONE time where it was somewhat nice to be married to you. And you think I should do it again? This is your last ditch effort to win me back? Hell. No.

I’ve tasted freedom. And however hard and shitty and difficult and sad and lonely it may be sometimes… most times…It’s infinitely better then being with E.


-Taylor Swift/We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-

Tell The World I’m Coming… Home Let The Rain Wash Away All The Pain Of Yesterday

I booked flights for about 10 days out. They were the right combination of cheapest and nearest in date. Well they weren’t cheap, but I just wanted out of there ASAP. Then, after I booked the flights and paid, I sent an email to my mom letting her know our itinerary and just an update on what was going on. I didn’t let anyone else know what was going on because I already felt I was being watched like a hawk with my in-laws visiting all the time, probably reporting back to E.  So I attempted to go about life as normal.

Until, I got a call from E. He apparently had been monitoring my email and had seen the email to my Mom. In reality, there was not much he himself could do about me leaving since he was back in Canada now, but that didn’t mean he made it enjoyable for me. He hacked my Facebook and made a single post saying “I’m divorcing E” My friends and family started reaching out to me before I had a chance to delete it. I’m never on FB so they all thought it was a little out of the ordinary and wanted to make sure things were OK.  Although the statement wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t how I wanted word to get out, for obvious reasons. So after changing all my passwords, I braced myself for what was to come next, while still trying to get over the fact that E had been keeping tabs on all my emails and social media without letting me know. Not that I had anything to hide until now, but still, pissed me off.

Visits from my in-laws increased ten-fold. In fact my mother in-law took it upon herself to just come and stay ALL day. No matter how many times I asked her to leave my house. She would come in the morning, and grab a chair and sit in the middle of MY living room, and order around my farm boy and whomever else had dropped in for the moment.

Calls from E were constant. To myself, to my farm boy, even to the neighbours. It became so overwhelming. To everyone.

So I decided to switch my flights. At this point I didn’t care how much money it cost to re-book them, but I had to get us out of there. I paid the $2000+ to change my current booking from a week out, to 2 days away. Then I started the packing. At this point everyone knew what was going on, so keeping it on the down low was pointless. I gave away most of the kids things to the neighbouring children. Clothes that had bee worn out by the Kenyan sun, toys that were replaceable, everything. I had very little to pack personally, since anything of mine that hadn’t fit in the 1 of 3 suitcases that fateful Sunday, E had taken upon himself to throw down the outhouse instead of burning like he had threatened leaving me with hardly anything.

I gave away our chickens to the farm boy and sent him on his way, thanking him for everything he’d done for me. We spent time with our neighbours, visiting and them crying, knowing in the back of my mind I was never going to return here.

Everyone was constantly telling me it wasn’t a big deal and I should forgive him. Which further cemented my belief that I HAD to get out. Now.

M had offered to help drive us to the airport which was in the town over after we pick little E up from school at lunch.  I had told her she could have our mattress which I had brought from Canada a few months ago. I felt it was the least I could do for them and everything they had done for us. Because finding a good mattress in Kenya? Is like me finding a good man.

The morning of the flights arrived, and lo and behold so did my mother-in-law. Whatever. What’s she gonna do to stop us? M arrived with her husband and 1 son to help with the luggage. They backed the van up to our back door and that’s when one of the most stressful days of my life started.

My M-I-L seriously thought she could singlehandedly stop us from leaving. She stood in the doorway and would refuse to move for anyone trying to get in or out with a suitcase. Everyone was super polite with her… “Excuse me, could you move please, I have to get out please,” then trying to squeeze past. Which wasn’t simple because my M-I-L isn’t a tiny lady. Then when she realized that her just standing in the way wasn’t working, she started grabbing the luggage out of the van. So M had to guard the van, while her husband and son brought the things out. But my M-I-L was still not impressed by that. She started grabbing things straight from M’s hands, which M was not having. My M-I-L even went so far as to push M away from some of my things, and then claim that M had beaten her!

I know, that in this moment I was not this most helpful person, but I honestly think I shut down. I couldn’t believe she was behaving like this. She started screaming and yelling and acting like we were the worst human beings in the world.

Then I saw my M-I-L walk towards the gate, so I rushed out the front door to get there first. I didn’t want her to close the gate and then sit in front of it or something ridiculous so that we couldn’t drive the van out. So I sat on the ground calmly in front of the gate holding I open with Z on my lap and watched her come towards me.

You could see the look in her eyes she was pissed. She knew that she was helpless in stopping me from leaving. She walked up to me and started on a huge rant. So I simply told her to fuck off. I know not kind or polite, but the situation called for it. Which I’ll always remember led to her saying “Yeah fuck me. Fuck me in the vagina” I hate to say I kinda chuckled at that. Then she grabbed her phone and called my father-in-law. She spoke in Swahili but I could tell she wasn’t happy. I also knew that what she was telling him was probably a lie. Seemed to run deep in that family.

M & D pulled up the van and then I got in with Z and we headed down the road. We got about 5 minutes down the road on our way into town to get little E from school, when I see my F-I-L racing towards us on a piki piki.

The piki piki pulls over and I see him pull a stone the size of Z’s head out of his bag. Which means at some point on his way to my house, he stopped on the side of the road and chose a rock specifically for this purpose. He stops in front of the van so D couldn’t drive. And then proceeds smashed the front of the window with the rock. M was yelling at D to drive past him but my F-I-L was standing right in front and D didn’t want to run him over. My F-I-L grabbed the rock again and slammed the front window again. By now, M is frantic, I can’t believe this is happening, and D starts slowly moving the van trying to get away.

I’m starting to panic. I have no idea what my in-laws are trying to achieve with all this, or what they are capable of. But D slowly starts to drive and my F-I-L moves out of the way. D speeds up and M is yelling at him to just drive! D can barely see out the window because it’s been smashed to bits by the rock, so he’s trying his best. But all of a sudden we see the piki piki pull up on my side of the van again with my F-I-L on the back. He hurls the rock again and it smashes through the front passenger side window shattering broken glass everywhere. M is covered in glass and yelling at D to drive faster. He’s doing his best to see through the broken window and navigate down the very rough dirt road that’s filled with pot holes. I was brushing glass off myself and Z, and all I could think about was little E.

At this point, I had no idea how far my in-laws would go to try and get me to stay. I was honestly worried that they would kidnap little E from school as like a hostage type thing. D drove off the main road to a friends house where they arranged to borrow a different vehicle for the remainder of the drive. You know, one without the windshield smashed in. I was the most frantic I’ve ever been. I just wanted to get my son and get the hell out of the country.

I called little E’s school and told them not to let little E outside at all. I asked them to please pack all his things and have him waiting in the classroom. I told the teachers to not let ANYONE else, under any circumstance, pick him up except his mzungu (white) mother. Not his grandfather, not his grandmother, no aunts, uncles. Nothing.

The new car arrived with a clear windshield and we switched the luggage. The car was smaller and so just M, and her son and I went in the new vehicle with Z. D stayed behind to deal with his smashed van. We got back on the road again when two minutes later, who pulls out in front of us? My F-I-L.  M’s son was driving so the rest of us ducked down so my F-I-L wouldn’t see us. We figured he wouldn’t notice the new car but we didn’t want to take any chances. And at this point I didn’t know what he was thinking or what he had spent the last 20 minutes doing/getting.

We sped as fast as we could into town but it still felt like too long. I called little E’s school twice more to make sure he was safe. We pulled up and I felt like it was a grab and go. I was on the phone with his teacher telling him when we would be pulling up and to get little E. The guard opened the gate and ushered little E out and we pealed out like we were filming the next installment of the Fast and the Furious.

Next, we had to make a stop at the police station to report what had happened to M’s van. I, myself just wanted to get out of town, but I realized this was M’s life and she wasn’t leaving the country. They still had to come back to this mess at the end of the day, so it should be dealt with properly. M filed her police report with a little input from me, and after about an hour we were back on the road.

The first airport was about 2 hours away and it was a stressful ride. So many crazy scenarios ran through my mind. Every ridiculous thing that could happen I thought would happen. I thought maybe my F-I-L might be at the airport when we got there. I thought he might make up all these absurd accusations that would affect me leaving the country for some reason. I’m pretty sure M could sense my paranoia. Her and her son offered to stay with me at the airport until I absolutely had to board the plane. But I was still so stressed out. I thought at any moment I would see the face of any one of my in-laws pop up from around a corner with who knows what to do any number of things. My mind was exploding with possibilities.

Imagination much?

It was finally time for my flight to Nairobi. I can’t even remember if I hugged M goodbye. I know I was so thankful for her and her family for everything they had done. I told her I would pay for the damage to her van. I knew as missionaries, they didn’t have extra cash to be throwing at things like that, and it was definitely not her fault. We would be keeping in touch for sure.

Once on the flight I had about an hour of peace. The kids were relatively good. I had told little E we were going to see Nanna and Nonno (my parents) so he was excited, and Z was only 6 months old so not much trouble there. Once in Nairobi though, I was paranoid again. I had more in-laws there, and I legitimately thought that one of them would show up at the airport. I also last minute realized that my 3 month visa had passed the expiry date, and I might have trouble with exit customs. Originally we were working on duel citizenship so I would have been fine, but now…. I grabbed a pen and altered my entry dates on my visa. I couldn’t handle any more issues, and I just wanted to get out of the country. I was desperate. Highly illegal yep, but this is how desperate I was.

I made it through customs by the help of my cute kids and talking about my Kenyan husband. No shame, because at this point I would do anything to get out. I finally relaxed a little once I was in the boarding area. It was the first time I think I took a full breathe all day. We made it to London without much trouble. Other then the normal perils of travelling with 2 small kids but not like I had a choice of travelling without them.

From London next was Toronto. Where I always get pulled over at customs. Every. Single. Time. This time though, I must’ve looked like a crack head. I’d been through a lot in the past few days and totally got it. But then they started asking little E questions like “”Who is this lady?” “What’s her name” and instead of saying mom he took it so literally and said what my actual name was. Which of course led to more questioning and a search of my bags. Like for real? Do you honestly think I want to be travelling with 2 little kids? Nobody in their right mind would do this for fun! Trust me, these tiny humans are mine and I am obligated to care for them! No human trafficking happening here.

We finally passed customs but had now missed our connecting flight to our final destination. I had to go through the hassle of rebooking (and paying extra for) the final flight a few hours later then the original. Then I grabbed some food for the kids and I and found a place to nap for a few hours until our flight. Once our boarding time came, little E was dead asleep on the floor. I had Z in a sling, also asleep and two carry-ons slung over my shoulder. I tried waking up little E but he was exhausted. No one was around to help so I had to try and pick up little E. I grabbed him as best I could by his arms and lifted him up to carry both kids. I ended up popping his elbow out. Not my best mothering moment, I know. Little E just wanted to sleep though, so even on the plane, he didn’t want me to touch his arm. I wrapped it in a blanket to keep it tight and still and little E slept the whole flight. Meanwhile, I was back and forth to the gallery making bottle’s for Z. During the last 2 days I had been so stressed that my body had entirely stopped producing milk for her. So even though I loved nursing my kids, Z was done at 6 months old, thanks to this stressful situation.

We got to my hometown a mess. Little E was holding his arm because I had popped his elbow out of place. Z was cranky because she wanted to nurse, and there was no milk for her only bottles. I was exhaushed and at my limit. I hadn’t slept in almost 50 hours, I had been through one of the most stressful ordeals ever, and I had no idea what was next.

But we were all alive and would be safe. And that was what was important.

M's pic

M’s van after the fact, posted with the following on FB:

“God never promised a problem free life but He does promise to never leave us. On Wed we were helping a friend leave Kenya when her family attacked our van. The father in law blocked the road and threw rocks at our windshield and then when we got away he came again to continue throwing another rock into my passenger window. God showed us a place to hide and many friends that came to help. We are bruised, cut and shaken up but very happy to be ok”


-Diddy&Dirty Money/Coming Home-

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now If I Go There Will Be Trouble And If I Stay It Will Be Double

I spent the next couple of days in what can only be described as a fog. I was there. I was alive. But I was definitely not thinking clearly. Everything was blurry. Fuzzy. I couldn’t concentrate on any of the mundane day to day things that needed to be done. The kids needed to be fed… I’m sure they were. They needed to be dressed, I remember seeing them walking around in clothes and then at night in pajamas but I have no idea how they got from one to the other. Diapers were changed, but I can’t for the life of me remember by whom. Life just happened. I apparently didn’t need to be 100% present for the world to keep on turning. E would be leaving in a few days back for work in Canada, and I just had to make it until then.

I did my best to avoid any talk of what happened on Sunday. His various family members came to visit, and I stayed in my room. I left the house to visit neighbours at every opportunity possible. Basically, if there was an chance to be away from E, I jumped at it.

Of course he apologized profusely, and constantly. But it wasn’t something I wanted to hear at the time. I told him it was fine, and that I was done with it, but it was more that I was done talking about it, than I had forgiven him in that moment.

No I didn’t feel comfortable around him. No I didn’t want him in my bed at night. No I didn’t want him touching me.

But on the other hand, I was trying to lessen the uneasiness in little E’s eyes. I wanted him to feel like everything was OK and that there was nothing wrong. I wanted him to be comfortable and happy. I didn’t want him to be scared every time he heard E enter the room… Like I was.

I only had to survive the next 3 days until this man was gone. If I  could get through it, then I would have some space to clear my head and think.

Unfortunately, the 3 days weren’t smooth sailing. Ha story of my life.  I’m drawing a blank about the correct terminology but, a council of sorts was called regarding E. The local elders all gathered at my house one morning and discussed (in Swahili, no less) the circumstances that had occurred on Sunday. I had no input in the conversation that was centered around me. As a white woman I wasn’t even allowed to take part in the conversation. I was relegated outside with the kids who interpreted as much as they could for me as we all held our ears to the door. But the jest of it, was that what E had done was bad, and he shouldn’t do it again… No shit Sherlock. At the end I remember they asked me if I agreed and I straight up told them I had no idea what they said, and it was rude of them to talk about me, without me, in a language I don’t fully understand, without invitation. And that they were welcome to leave my house now. I was done with people thinking they could discuss my life and somehow talking about it would solve all my issues. Because trust me, it was NOT helping.

Once E left Kenya for work, I immediately felt the change in the house. Our farm boy and I had many conversations about how he thought E was a “bad man” and he didn’t want to work for us any more. I asked him to stay with us until E came back since I didn’t know anyone else available/capable/trustworthy and I couldn’t handle the farm on my own. He agreed to stay. For now.

My in-laws were constantly dropping by “just to visit.” Mmmhmm, sure. I’ve been living here for how many years, and now all of a sudden you want to come over and see how the kids and I are doing? Screw off. My father-in-law literally came over everyday 5 days straight on his way back from town with a yogurt for little E, or raw beef for the dogs. He would boss my farm boy around and annoy my house girl. He’d only stay for about 10-15 minutes but it became the most frustrating part of my day. Especially when I would go for months without seeing him previously. Just how I liked it.

My neighbours were constantly at my house, just because. A few of the pre-teen boys skipped school for a couple days and I would see them around the yard helping my farm boy until I had a discussion with them about the importance of school. They told me they just wanted to help me out because they felt bad about what had happened. I told them I truly appreciated it, but school was much more important and they could come hang out after.

My house girl finally quit after being harassed by my father-in-law so much. Apparently she wasn’t doing well enough according to his standard. I had no one to help now. So my neighbours would come by every day to help me with the basics. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d gotten pretty good at life in the village, but it takes two for sure. If I needed to cook something, I had to gather wood, and start a fire out in the kitchen on the dirt floor between 3 carefully placed stones that would hold up the pot over a fire I had to build. If I wanted to shower, same process, but I also had to haul the water from the well. The clothes all had to be hand washed, so that meant hauling water every day, and then hanging them up to dry. We had no electricity so groceries had to be bought everyday fresh, since there was no fridge to store anything, so that meant at least a 3 Km walk one way for anything.  Dust was everywhere, so the floor had to be swept and washed daily. Not to mention the kids and the basics of keeping them alive. It was a two person job for sure. And now since my father-in-law had felt the need to stick his nose in, I was a (wo)man down. I wasn’t pleased.

One day I just needed to get away from the house and all the bustle. I decided to take little E to school in town instead of him taking his normal bus. I wanted some quiet time away from everyone who was trying to help. I hadn’t had free time to myself to process that Sunday yet. There had just been to many people in and out of my house, too many fake apologies, too many people saying “just forgive him.” All I needed was myself and my mind, unencumbered by other peoples perspectives and unhelpful advice. Thinking they knew what was best for me, but not knowing me.

After I dropped little E off at school, I walked. Plain and simple. I walked. The entire length of Kakamega and back. I made a pros and cons list in my head about leaving vs. staying with E and all the ramifications. I thought through every step that would have to happen in either circumstance. Which one would be more beneficial for myself and the kids.

Was I strong enough for either situation?

Was I capable of leaving him?  Would I be able to be a single mom? I never had a chance to finish my teaching degree, since I got pregnant with little E. Plus since then, we’d been flying back and forth between countries since E couldn’t decide what was what… I had no home to go back to. I had no job. What I did have though, were two kids whose lives I was responsible for. Two children who didn’t choose this man. Two kids who deserved all the best life had to give them, and that wasn’t happening if I stayed here, with E.

So, by the time I had made my way from one end of town and back, I had decided. I had made the choice to leave E. I called my mom right there on the street and told her. I asked if the kids and I could stay with my parents when we got back into the country. I needed to tell someone right away or I felt like I wouldn’t follow through and I needed to be held accountable for this choice. After my mom said of course we could stay with them, I hung up the phone and headed to the house E and I had built from scratch. That I had paid for 100% from my pocket. And hatched the plan to get out of the country.

When I opened my laptop to search for flights, I noticed the date.

It was Valentines Day, 2014.

The day I gave myself the most loving gift anyone ever has. The decision to leave an abusive marriage.


-The Clash/Should I Stay Or Should I Go-