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Chapter10 ON my way to learning how to survive
Chapter10 ON my way to learning how to survive
Well we were finally approaching another year. I was learning more and more about serving, and making more and more money each night that I worked. New Years eve was said to be the one of the busiest days at Red Lobster, and after running constantly for 6 hours I believed them.
Harry picked me up from work that night. And after getting home, he said, Deb and Doc had wanted us to come by for a New years drink. He knew that I was tired, but he insisted we would only be there a short time.
Once we got there, I sensed some tension in the air. I had just met Deb earlier in the summer. We had formed a bond right away. And I really enjoyed spending time with her. She was laying on the couch, she said that she was not feeling very well. She was pregnant and apparently not doing good. The few minutes turned into a few hours, and finally I told Harry I was ready to go. Both him and Doc were drunk, and both were acting real stupid!
When we got ready to leave, Doc also said he was leaving. Deb told him he didn’t need to be out there driving after having been drinking all night, but he insisted he was OK.
Once we got in the car, Doc pulled up on the side, and suggested we go to Archie’s for a nightcap. I told Harry I really wanted to go home, but instead he told DOC that we would follow him. First they went on Potter Street, and Doc got into a confrontation with someone no sooner then he had gotten out of his car. Harry got out of the car, and broke them up.
When he came back to the car, he could tell that I was getting pretty frustrated! He said we were going home, and eventhough I didn’t feel like it I managed a half smile of sorts. We were finally heading home, when DOC flew pass us again and sped into the parking lot of Archie’s. Harry said well let me just make sure he’ll be OK.
He said let’s go inside for a drink and I promise we will go home. Once inside I saw Laine, and then I saw Denise Harry’s ex-wife. It was all of me to stand there and watch as he walked up to Denise and gave her a kiss. I could not believe he had done that after just telling me a week ago that she had been trying to get him to come over her house this summer knowing we were married. I kept thinking back to our anniversary , and all that I had gone through.
Finally I told him to come with me now or otherwise I was leaving without him. He followed me out of the bar, and once outside he started arguing with me. I told him I was tired, and all I wanted to do was go home, get a hot bath, and go to bed.
All the way home! He screamed about my having an attitude about an innocent kiss! I told him there is nothing innocent about you kissing a woman who you yourself told me has been trying to get you back since you divorced her some 7 years before.
When we got home I went about preparing my bath, while he continued to drink, and scream. I asked him to quiet down. Reminding him the children were sleeping. Once my bath was ready I went in and hurried and slipped into the bath. My feet were aching so bad, I thought I would never walk again. I had just laid my head against the back of the tub, when Harry came into the bathroom screaming about me going off on him. I said “Harry please I am tired I just want to get my bath, and go to bed” the next thing I knew I was being pushed down under the water! I tried to push his hand off my head but he had a death grip on my head.
It seems funny that as soon I started to talk about this event. I can clearly recall that same song being a new release in 1986, it was one of my favorite songs. And here now 10 years later I can still recall how hard it was for me to sing that song again. It was at that time that I realized my voice was leaving me. Anyway as I lay on the bottom of the tub beneath all that water, I thought my GOD is he really gonna kill me this time. I was kicking around like a fish out of water, gasping for air every time he would pull me from under the water. He must have dunked me 3 or four times. I could feel a knot growing on the back of my head, as I lay struggling helplessly to get out, and giving everything I could give to hold my breath.
Finally I could feel myself getting weaker and the last time he pushed me under, I had made up my mind that if I was gonna die he would see the look of terror on my face, and I looked into his deranged eyes as I laid helpless on the bottom of the tub. Tami had gotten out of bed and came in the bathroom. I thanked God as I heard her little voice call ” Daddy”. He turned around and said “Tami go get in the bed with Nookie” and as I sat up with water running off my head I prayed that she would not leave. I could hear her muttering something to him, and I watched without saying a word as he went and picked her up closing the door behind him. I hurried to get out of the tub. But before I could get out the bathroom he came and knocked me back down under the water again.
I remember him saying “if you ever accuse me of doing something again I will Kill you” and he bared down on my throat again. I could feel the air seeping out of my tightly shut mouth, and I prayed the lord would continue to breathe for me. He pulled me from under the water, and threw the towel on my head as he stalked out of the bathroom. I sat there for awhile afraid to move, thinking any minute he may come back in. I sat there till it start to feel I was shrinking up. My head was starting to really hurt, and I could feel the knot that had finally stopped growing on my head.
I got out of the tub, and ran into the bedroom. I slipped into a gown still shivering and wet. I crawled into the bed, and just collapsed it seems. I didn’t get much sleep if any. I was sore and terrified. Also I knew I had to be back at work that afternoon. I got up around 10am and start looking around for my glasses. I hadn’t had a chance to wash my work clothes the night before, so I did that while still looking for my glasses. I never found my glasses and the time had come for me to go to work. I had already made up my mind that once I got out of the house, if I got out of the house I would not be coming back. I figured I could get the kids later, knowing that sooner or later he had to go to back to work.
I never found my glasses, but still I managed to get to work without causing an accident. I went in and tried my best to do a good job without anyone noticing that I could not see well. I ached all over and several times I had thought about calling in sick. I didn’t want to have a bad record being I was still very new and still on probation.
We were rather busy, and I found myself getting blowed away. Not having my glasses was making it more difficult then I needed, but I continued to give it my best. Eventually Amanda came over to me and asked if I needed any help. I told her that I was OK, but I was having some difficulty because I could not find my glasses. She did everything she could to help me, and take care of her section as well, and when we finally got caught up I shared with her what had happened to me. I asked her not to tell anyone, but I told her I only told her because I was thinking about quitting. She assured me that I was not alone, and told me that she would do anything she could to help me. When my shift was over and I was doing my side work Archie the general manager asked me if she could talk to me.
I thought oh god wonder what I did wrong, as I quietly walked back to her office. She asked me if I was OK and I told her yes. She told me that Amanda had shared with her what had happened to me, and she wanted to let me know that if there was anything she could do,, don’t hesitate to ask.
I assured her that I was fine, and that there was nothing she could do. I told her that I thought it best if I just quit, and she quickly told me that was not the answer! I told her that I was still having some problems with the servers, and that I just didn’t feel as though things there would change. She assured me that my job was secure, and that my performance was nothing short of “ Fantastic.” She told me that many of the other servers have had their share of problems infact some have had to leave, flee other states, and come there.
After talking to her I felt much stronger and more secure about my job at Red Lobster. When I got off work, I went to the mall, and got a new pair of glasses. I knew that more then likely Harry had hidden my glasses, and that I was better off to just get some more. Once I did that I went over Ronnie’s house. I didn’t feel real comfortable, but I needed some place to go, and somewhere Harry wouldn’t look right away.
I sat and talked with Ronnie for awhile, and she suggested that I stay there. I did that for a few days waiting to see if Harry would go back to work. He didn’t go back to work right away, and he would call Red Lobster every night and demand they fire me or he would threaten to bring the kids and leave them on the counter.
Archie had told the other manager Deb what was going on, and the cashiers were told not to call me to the phone if anyone called! Both managers assured me that I would be safe whenever I was scheduled to work. They told me to just call and they would be looking for me. Archie told me that she would not tell me when or what Harry would say when he called, she told me to go to work, and not worry about anything.
I would work, watch, and wait. I felt at any moment Harry was gonna come busting through the door. It was very stressful, but I knew that I was somewhat safe, and also that I had to continue to work, so that when I was able to get the kids, I would be able to provide for us.
The day finally came when I realized Harry had gone back to work, and it was then that I went to the house, and got my children.
I was glad to see them but; not as glad as they were to see me! I wasn’t able to gather many things, but I got what clothing I could get and left. I went to the prosecutor’s office, and told them I wanted to press charges against Harry for trying to drown me. The prosecutor said that it would not be a case of attempted murder, because obviously he was not trying to kill me. I told him yes he was trying to kill me, but he kept insisting that because I was not dead or half dead the most it could be charged; was a misdemeanor.
I told him I thought that was ridiculous, and I also asked what is the bond for a misdemeanor, and again was told $50.00. I told them that was crazy, and asked if I held one of my kids under water would that still be considered a misdemeanor. He told me no, because a child is helpless. I told him I was helpless also, and that there was no way I would press charges, knowing that he would pay the money, and no doubt come back, and do something else to me.
I couldn’t believe that everything he would do the system would viewed as a misdemeanor. I asked so if he kills me will that be a misdemeanor too? I left there feeling more helpless then I felt under that water, and I continued to fear the day would come when he finally did kill me.
Again I tried to think of a way to get out permanently. I worked everyday, and continued to save money so that I could get us a place to stay. Having to buy diapers for 2 babies, was costing just about all the tip money I was making. Between the kids, and the gas in the car. I didn’t see where I would be able to afford to get an apartment.
We continued to stay with Ronnie, and that too was getting rough. Seems when she would get drunk all she wanted to talk about was how wrong my sister had done her brother. Although I could sympathize with her I just could not agree that it was beneficial for her to continue to beat up on me about something I had nothing to do with. Finally the day came where I just could not deal with it anymore, so back to Harry we went. Back to the misery that I wanted so much to escape. Back to more of the same arguments, verbal, and physical abuse. That it was becoming more evident that I would not ever escape. Back to praying for the day when it would somehow come to an end.