Chapter 2: Life or Death
March 1987 – June 1988
March 29, 1987
Sometimes I feel out of control, as if I’m watching my life instead of directing it. I mistrust Erik. I question his words to be truth or lies. I hate it but I can’t help it. I’ve given up. This is the way it is so make the best of it, I tell myself. I used to think it could be better if I just tried harder, but some things I do not have control over, no matter how hard I try. Like Erik.
Last month, he was at a friend’s house and we got in an argument over the phone. I called him a son of a bitch and hung up on him. He called back and said, “You don’t call me names like that to my face because you’re too chicken, so don’t call me names like that over the phone God Dammit. I’m coming home and you’ll be sorry you ever called me a name.” As scared as I was, a sick part of me still wanted to see him. I debated on whether to leave or stay. After about five minutes, I got in my car and took off. I was scared he would kill me when he got home. He sounded that mad.
I saw his red Bronco on the road. My heart started beating like a bass drum, and a heat rose into my throat. He made a U-turn to follow me. I stopped at a red light and he almost hit my car pulling up behind me. He slammed on his brakes and got out, stomping towards me. Luckily, I had my door locked. I wouldn’t roll down the window, which made him even madder. He told me to pull over so we could talk. I knew he would continue to chase me or even run me off the road if I didn’t stop, so when the light changed to green, I pulled into a Fred Meyer’s parking lot ahead. I thought if there were other people around, Erik wouldn’t hurt me as badly. I eased into a parking space and he swerved in right beside me. He came to my door and shouted, “Open the door.” I said, “No Erik, I’m scared.” He shouted again, “Open the door!” I screamed, “No Erik! I’m scared!” He took his keys out of his pocket and started unlocking my car door with the extra key I’d given him. I screamed, “Erik, stop! Please don’t do this!” He didn’t stop so I started my car and put the gear in reverse, but all of the sudden, the door flew open and he pushed me aside, threw the gear into Park, and jerked me out of the car. I fell on the parking lot pavement and hit my head.
A man loaded groceries into the trunk of his car about 10 feet away. He just stared but wouldn’t help me. I cried as Erik and I continued to scream at each other. A car pulled up with two older ladies inside. One got out and said, “Don’t you hurt her.” Erik said, “Shut up bitch. This ain’t none of your business.” They started screaming at each other. The lady said, “I got your license plate number and I’ve already called the police.” He said, “That’s ok. I got your number too bitch, and I’m coming to get you next.” He got back in his Bronco and quickly took off. She turned to me and said, “I really didn’t call the police but he needed to be stopped. You shouldn’t take this abuse.” I just looked at my feet, ashamed that I was so weak. She said, “You should put a restraining order on him.” I had thought about it. I had thought about calling the police many times before, but if I got Erik in trouble on his military record, I knew he would kill me for sure, and not only me but my family. He had already warned me of that.
I don’t want my family or me to end up dead, like the person in my dream.
March 30, 1987
A TRIP ON THE OTHER SIDE
Yesterday she dreamed
of running in those white wildflowers
softly bending in the breeze
on the other side of the fence.
Now she just dreamed of running.
Start from the beginning. Click here: To My Future Ex-husband(s) – Chapter 1