She didn’t make it.
She hit the back of my car, backed up, made a u-turn, and drove away. By the grace of God there were no other cars around, so I was able to make a legal u-turn and follow her to where she got stuck in traffic at a red light.
After snapping a picture of her license plate, I pulled into the lane next to her, beeped the horn, and motioned for her to pull over.
She laughed, basically flipped me off, and sped away.
Not wanting to kill myself while entering a high-speed chase down a very busy road, and unsure of what I would even do if I caught up with her (is it legal to run people off the road? I’m thinking probably not…), I simply pulled into the next business parking lot that I came across, and called the police.
The 911 dispatcher was all over it from the second she answered the phone. “What color was the SUV? Which direction was she traveling? What was the license plate number?” and within minutes an officer had pulled up next to me in the parking lot.
For the first time, I got out of the car to survey the damage she had done to my care, and I’m embarrassed to admit, it wasn’t much.
I mean sure, of course I am thankful that it was minor and I was not hurt, but when I got a good look at the one inch dent in my bumper accompanied by some of her tan colored paint that I was able to rub off with my hands, I felt really stupid that I had made such a fuss, and began to apologize profusely.
The cop though, well he didn’t agree. “No!” he stated firmly, “you can’t just let her get away with that! People who do things like that, those are the same people that do other bad things and think they can get away with it! She committed a crime, and she needs to be held accountable.”
With that, he asked me a series of questions about the car that hit me and what the driver looked like, took a look at the photo I took of her plates, and then got into his car to run the information through the computer.
“Well,” he said a few minutes later as he emerged from his car, "the plate number you gave me does come back registered to the type of car in your photograph, and the description you gave me does match the drivers license that we have on file matching the name of the car's owner. So what I’m going to do is snap a few pictures of your car, we will get a detective on the case, and haul her in for a lineup.”
Bring her in for a lineup. For a one-inch dent. I literally laughed out loud, because I was sure he was joking.
He was not joking.
“Ma’am,” he said. “A hit-and-run is a very serious crime, you could have been hurt, and people shouldn’t get away with doing things like this to people. I can tell that you’re a good person, and you didn’t deserve this.”
And you know what? I suddenly became very, very aware that he was right!!
She should NOT get away with this! When people do bad things, they deserve to be punished! They deserve to be held accountable! They deserve to know that what they did was wrong!
People cannot just go around beating their wives, raping them, hitting their babies, and then abandoning them! They can’t just start new families, and make new kids, and try to pretend that the other ones never existed!
This isn’t allowed!!
In one second, everything that cop was saying became totally irrelevant to whatever-the-hell-her-name-is who hit my car, and instead justified all the feelings that I’ve been struggling with for the last four years, in what my husband did to me, and got away with.
Why, does my town care more about a dent in my car, than the fact that I got raped?
Why, does a judge care more about my husband’s new life, than the children that he left behind?
Because my kids and I, well I’d like to think that we are good people and we didn’t deserve this.
Yet somehow, everything for my ex-husband seems to be working out just fine… because he got away with it.
I’m struggling, I really am. I know that a lot of you come here for my uplifting posts, and my triumphs over tragedy, and I also know that a lot of you troll me because I’m the “plucky survivor” (or so I’ve been deemed), but right now I’m not feeling all that plucky. I’m not feeling optimistic, and I’d be lying if I said that this wasn’t the most depressed that I’ve felt about this situation in a really long time.
I suddenly can’t seem to set aside what my ex did to us, and I’m not sure that I understand why I’m feeling this way. His leaving was the best thing that could have happened to us, and there is zero part of me that wants him back, or wants him in my life, and if he ever came back, I’d grab my kids and be on the first plane to whatever country had the first flight out.
Yet I’m so angry that he got away with abandoning everyone.
And even that doesn’t make much sense to me, because I’m angrier that he got away with everything, than I am that he put me through what he did.
I feel like I should be angriest about the rape, and the fact that the police didn’t do very much… but I’m not. And I’m not even that angry that he abused me either, and I don’t know why. I feel like the right thing to do would be to feel angry… but I just don’t feel it anymore. I’m hurt, I still feel a little bit damaged, and it took a LOT to recover from the long lasting effects of what he did, but I feel like I’ve made peace with the situation. What he did was not OK, and it will never be OK, but I let the anger go a long time ago.
I had to let the anger go so that I could move on, and move on I did.
Which is why I’m having such a difficult time processing why I can’t seem to put out the flames of fury that have been reignited towards his abandonment of us. Well… wait… that’s not even correct. Because when I thought he was homeless and living in his car, well I didn’t really care that he had left us. But knowing that he has been playing me, and playing the system, and living quite fine since he left, well, that anger I can’t seem to ignore.
I’m just, so, angry.
I’m angry that I’ve stood in line at the food pantry for years, while he was not paying his child support because he was “homeless” and “jobless,” when he has really getting married and going on vacations. I’m angry that I have spent YEARS trying to navigate my daughter through a world where her daddy chose not to love her anymore, and he has been busy creating another little girl to replace her. I’m livid that I’ve spent years fighting tooth and nail to get my children the healthcare that they needed in a broken public aide system, while he defied a court order to insure my kids, and instead spent his money insuring his two new kids.
I’m just so angry, and even more than angry, I’m hurting for my kids.
I’m hurting that their dad did this to them, and that there is nothing I can do to fix it. I’m terrified of the day that I will have to explain all of this to them, and I’m so, so, so, angry that he got away with it all.
And maybe that right there is the key; I know how hard it was for me to get past what he did to me. I know how much counseling it took, and how many bad choices I made because of what he did to me, and how it changed who I was. It took me years to undo the damage that he did to me, and I want to protect my kids from all of that, but I can’t.
There is some strange level of comfort in knowing that what happened to me, was partly my own fault. I mean it was NEVER my fault for getting abused or raped, but it was my decision to marry him, my decision to stay with him, and although I am not, and never will say that assault is the victim’s fault, there is something mentally and emotionally helpful in knowing that all the work that I’ve done on myself in the last few years, will hopefully give me some measure of safety in preventing any of this from happening again.
But my kids, they were completely innocent victims in this, and it hurts me to know that I had any hand in what their father did to them.
I created them with a man who doesn’t want them.
It makes me angry that I spend every second of my day protecting my babies, and trying my hardest to do everything in my power to make the world a safe place for them, and this guy, this loser who isn’t even here, is making my job harder.
He is damaging them in ways that I can’t even comprehend yet, and in ways that I’ve spent the last four years trying to heal them from. He has created a whole new family that I have to one day explain to my kids, and I don’t know how to do that. I’m angry that he was so easily able to set my kids down, and walk away from them.
I’m so angry that he hurt my kids and there have been zero repercussions for it.
For everything. The rape, the abuse, the abandonment, the lying, and now, he continues to keep avoiding the punishments.
I’m angry, and I’m not sure what to do about it because I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry before, and I’m beginning to wonder, even after just writing this, if some of my anger is born from the guilt that I brought my children into this.
I chose this man.
What was done to me, I walked right into, but what was done to my kids, I bore them into this.
A couple days ago the police station called me and said that I didn’t need to go in for a line-up, because they had found the driver who hit me and drove away. They said that she adamantly denied it, but when they inspected her car, her front bumper was completely crushed in and my blue paint was streaked from her headlight to her taillight. The cop said that in all his years, he had never seen an SUV with so much damage, when the much smaller car (mine), only had a dent.
He told me that I must have good luck since my car wasn’t damaged more, and since I had gotten a picture of her license plate before she drove away. Among other things, she was then charged with a hit-and-run. Her insurance company assumed full liability, and my car will be getting the
Lucky the cop told me, “you are so lucky.”
I know that I should feel happy, but I just can’t seem to feel that way.
My kids are safe, and I am safe. I know that I should feel nothing short of incredibly blessed, and I feel like a bad human being for feeling otherwise. Reality tells me that this is not the end of the world, and logically I know that; this is not the worst that things can get. Things could be so much worse, but they’re not, and I know that makes me lucky. I still get to tuck my babies into bed tonight, and that is the most important thing.
I am lucky, and I am blessed.
But I’m angry, and I don’t like feeling this way. I feel like I should expect better of myself right now, and I’m not proud of how I feel.
I’m not proud that I’m feeling this angry.
And I’m not happy that this man once again, has me wondering if this was all my fault. I don't like feeling the domestic violence mindset that I've tried so hard to free myself from, creeping back up and over me once again.
So there you have it folks. It's not always pretty and perfect in blogland. Sometimes it's ugly and unflattering, and today that's where I'm at.
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