This post continues my sister’s story that I started in ‘Why She Stayed’.
On December 9, 2006, my little sister’s life was changed forever. That was the night that her estranged husband killed her best friend and tried to kill her. That was the night that she lost the two best friends she had ever had. That night ended her story of abuse, but before talking about how her abuse ended, I need to address the events that led to that night.
As she prepared to complete her Associate’s Degree, my sister started looking at what college to get her Bachelor’s Degree from. That led her to look at a few different colleges that were out of state. Coincidentally, my husband and I had also started to look at the possibly of moving our family to a different state. It just so happened that both my sister and I were considering moving to the same location.
But back to her and her husband’s potential moving plans. They discussed two different possibilities, but ultimately settled on one in the same state that my husband and I decided to move to. Unbeknownst to me at that time, as my sister and her husband talked about moving he did express some trepidation about the move. Ultimately, he said he was excited about the move and wanted to move forward with it. His concern about moving did cause my sister to ask my mother whether she should move with him or whether maybe it would be better if they split up instead of both of them moving. My mother told her that she thought the move would probably help the issues in their relationship. Now, it is important to say that none of her family knew that there was any form of abuse going on at that time.
As I said in my last post, I am not a big fan of playing the what-if game, but I have often wondered what would have happened had she left him before moving instead of moving with him. My believe is that the outcome would have been very similar, except instead of her best friend dying, I believe she would have died. It is something that we can never know, but a part of me will always wonder.
By the time my sister’s school year ended, it had been decided that both my sister and her husband, and my family would be moving to not only the same state, but also the same city. During this same time period my parents also decided it was time to reunite with at least two of their three children by also moving to the same location. Due to some things that have happened between my family and my parents in the last year, I now find myself thinking that my parents choosing to leave the state that they loved to be closer to their children might also have contributed to why my sister felt she should stay with her husband. There does appears to be an inter-connectedness in my family that borders on codependence. That is not to say that I wasn’t happy about having most of my family in the same location for the first in over a decade, it’s just that when that move is thrown at you during an argument, you begin to realize that maybe something is not right in the relationship.
Back to my sister and her husband, and also how it came to be that her best friend also moved with them. The week before they were ready to move, my sister’s best friend called her from the state she was living in to say that her boyfriend had kicked her out due to a very misguided suicide attempt, and she didn’t know where to go. My sister proceeded to get her best friend on a flight back to the town they had grown up in, and convinced her to move with them and start fresh. Her husband had already applied for two different jobs, and was set to interview for both them within a week of them getting here. They had also signed a lease on an apartment close to her school.
They got to town in early July of 2006, and things seemed to be okay for the first month. The first couple of weeks they were able to explore their new city, and even went on a longer trip to one of the local tourist destinations before she started school and he started his new job.
Due to both his job starting and his desire to have their apartment to themselves, my sister’s best friend moved in with us instead of continuing to live with them. That decision ended up being the beginning of the end of their relationship. With the apartment to themselves they started to fight more than ever. There were many things that they fought about, but the biggest thing seemed to be her desire to not only continue her schooling, but also her lack of desire to start a family with him. He also stopped doing things with her that she wanted to do and would get sulky if she decided to do them anyway. For awhile that meant that she compromised, and did the things he wanted to do instead. All of these things and multiple others led her to decide that a separation was necessary.
It was the day that she told him she was moving out that gave the rest of us a clue that there was abuse in the relationship. That day in his rage he threw her computer at her damaging it, but luckily not severely hurting her. He ended up being arrested which gave her the ability to get her stuff together and move in with my parents. This all happened in early October.
She continued to live with my parents as she tried to figure out what she was going to do next. I know that most people would probably think that obviously she needed to divorce him, but unfortunately it is never that simple. Although she was still leaning towards divorce, he apologized and tried to convince her that it wouldn’t happen again. He was also getting counseling, court ordered counseling, but counseling still. You also have to understand that she did feel some guilt because she had moved him away from his family and the town that he had grown up, therefore taking away his support system.