In October 2009, I was 5 months pregnant with Houston. Georgia was about 15 months old. I was 4 months into being a full-time SAHM mom and LOVING it. To make ends meet, we were living in a 2 bed/2bath one story apartment-like condo with a small yard in a not so gravy part of town. Rocky has always car-pooled to work, and for the last months he had been car pooling with a particular friend that I really liked and respected, HOWEVER, Rocky was coming home drunk more often than not. If you've experienced a closet alcoholic, you know the signs and symptoms of them being drunk, however they don't come home waving flasks or toting an 18 pack.
Rocky was never a physically violent drunk - he never struck me. But he was volatile. Things could be thrown, broken, shattered, and arguements only escalated until he passed out or left (driving - eeek!) in a rage.
It was Friday, October 30, 2009.
Rocky had not come straight home from work. I couldn't get a hold of him. I called his good friend (and another drinking buddy) Sam to see when the last time he saw him was. I was oddly worried about Rocky having been arrested for a DUI - the feeling was so intense!
We typically grab fast food Friday nights. Since he wasn't home yet, and I couldn't get a hold of him, I decided to strap Georgia into her car seat and do 2 things: #1) pick up dinner. #2) drive between Sam's house, his carpool buddy's house, and our house to see if he was pulled over somewhere for a DUI. As I was walking to the car, swaggering down the sidewalk, was Rocky. I simply said, "I'm going to get dinner" and continued on my way.
At this point I was pissed, but picking a fight with a volatile drunk is not a good idea. When I came back home, Rocky again, was MIA. THIS time he answered his phone, and said he'd be home right away. 2 hours later he showed up.
So here's how to piss off a drunk:
Rocky decided to do laundry (random). I had dry clothes in the dryer, but I did not want to take them out because I didn't want to fold them. So he took them out anyway and threw them on the floor of my daughter's room. My "straw snapped". I grabbed Georgia's jammies (I was in the middle of getting her ready for bed and now had to fold the clothes on her floor), threw them at his chest, and said, "since you're demanding I fold clothes right now, then YOU get her dressed." Well, apparently one of the sleeves of her shirts flew up and hit him in the eye. That was enough to send him into a rage. I was sitting on the floor of Georgia's room with my back to the door, folding the clothes. Next thing I know, Rocky grabs me by the hair and with a fist full of clothes, smacks me in the face three times - in front of Georgia.
Since he had never hit me, I was shocked. I started crying. I didn't know what to do. I grabbed my cell phone, locked Georgia's bedroom door and called my SIL - which I NEVER do.
"Danielle, he just hit me."
"He's drunk, he grabbed me by the hair and punched me in the face with clothes."
"Where is he now?"
"In the other room. What do I do?"
"But we can't afford bail."
"But Jessica, he hit you. You're pregnant."
"But he'll go to jail and miss work."
"But he hit you in front of Georgia."
"If you don't call, I will..."
I made that dreaded 911 call. I even remember my choice of words: "My husband is belligerently drunk and I'd like him removed from the premises." I didn't even say he hit me initially! I had to stay on the phone with the operator until the cops showed up.
Rocky at this point had figured out I was no longer talking to his sister. So he did what any drunk man would do when he knew he was going to jail - he brushed his teeth. Well, he brushed his teeth and unloaded his guns - yes, my drunk alcoholic husband was unloading the ammunition out of his guns while I was on the phone with 911. What about this entire situation does not scream "GET OUT! RUN!".....ironically so....
The 911 operator asks me, "does he have any weapons?" "Why yes," I politely respond. "He's currently unloading them now." This trained, lovely, calm woman, on the other end of the line, very nicely says, "I'd like for you to grab your baby and immediately walk to the parking lot. The cops are outside waiting for you." To which I respond to her, "but I'm not wearing any shoes and my daughter does not have a jacket on." Looking back I felt dumber than a cow chewing it's own cud.
I silently slipped out my front door, and was met with a blinding flash light, and a sheriff whispering for me to "quietly walk towards him." From there I was instructed to walk behind sheriff #2, #3, and #4, and onward to the waiting cop car while ALL MY NEIGHBORS WATCHED. See, when I mentioned Rocky was unloading his weapons to the 911 operator, they cops arrived on the scene expecting the worst. Meaning their guns were drawn, their back-ups guns were drawn, and there were more sheriff's on the way to draw their guns as well.
The sheriffs knocked on our front door and instructed Rocky to come out. I don't know if he passed out or what, but he didn't respond. They asked me for his cell phone number and tried calling him. To which he still didn't respond. Then they asked me to call him on my cell phone and instruct him to come out (with his hands up by the way). Amazingly he responded and 3 cops nabbed him and flung him in cuffs.
I was allowed to come back in the house where they took a statement, took pictures of my face (though there was nothing to show), checked out my daughter just in case, and gave me a brief case of paperwork on domestic violence. Yeah, it was all pretty mortifying, embarrassing, sad......you name it, I was feeling it.
And off my husband went to the slammer.
Now the funny part - this bonehead husband of mine, calls me at 330a in the morning to come post his bail. SAY WHAT?! No darling, it's Friday night, you can sit there until Monday morning as far as I care. Click.
So again....why am I telling this?
Because I'm not the only one. Yes, there are those trashy redneck women on Cops, you know the ones - stained white t-shirts, no bras, babies running around in nothing but diapers and unkempt hair, cigarette butts and beer cans piled high on the front porch - but I wasn't one of those women. My house was clean, I belonged to not one - but two mommy groups, my child was well dressed and taken care of, I cooked 3 healthy meals a day, I hadn't had so much as a speeding ticket since I was 18 years old, I drank little, cursed even less.
I was so ashamed of the night's events that I couldn't even tell the 911 operator my husband struck me - a stranger trained in handling domestic disturbance calls! I couldn't call my parents to come comfort me. Other than my SIL on the other end of the line, I felt like I was living in this constant secrecy and shame.
I follow quite a few mommy blogs - you know the ones: sharing crafting tutorials, talking about home remodels, laughing about funny things that happened at the gym. It's all rainbows and sunshine. Every once in a while, you get one that has suffered from postpartum depression or has a child with special needs - but none that take the gloss off the those shiny painted rainbows with an electric sander and reveal what's behind the blog.
So I share.
I share for me. I share for you. I share for that girlfriend of yours that's on the other end of the line. And I hope that I pass on just that....hope. Because one day, somehow, though you might walk that path alone, things will get better.
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