I had always thought that I was a strong enough woman to know my value. That no matter what he said to me, I was not the “dumb ignorant” — you know, what he called me in moments of short circuiting.

I cared for him, his children, my children and our children. Then one day, he said I had overstepped my bounds because I told his daughter to do something. He short circuited. Then our daughter came to him when he started to yell and said, “Calm down daddy, it’s ok.” It was at that moment that I knew I had to cross bounds. To free myself. To free our daughter.

I reset my outlook on marriage and family. My vow of marriage and the “until death do us part” changed. I decided at that time that you are entitled to a “get out of marriage alive” card, if there is abuse involved.

For the next three months, I saved extra money so that I could afford a place for me, my son and our daughter to live. Before I made my deposit on the apartment, I said to my husband, “Just tell me you love me, that you want to make this work and we can go get help. I won’t make the deposit to move.”

He responded very quickly: “Go make your deposit b%*@% !!” And I did.

I own my own house now. My daughter is much more open and less shy. She is happy. We have girl talk. My son is comfortable enough to hang around and eat dinner. I wake up and for a moment all I hear is quiet and the birds. Life is good.????