Even in childhood, I was never a child. My first decade was spent in a hospital room watching my younger sister fight leukemia. And watching my parents fight each other. Everything I saw in those first years only warned me off the ugliness that would come for me. Granted, in many ways it already had. I have never known what it means to be innocent.
My parents divorced and went on to have more children when I was a teenager. I started working at 15 to help support them. After high school, I worked three jobs to put myself through cosmetology school. I spent a few years doing hair before going back to get my paralegal associate degree.
In 2012 I began working for a tribal government. In 2013 I almost died when an emergency surgery was performed incorrectly. In 2014 my dad was diagnosed with stage four cancer. I spent two months shuffling him to appointments before bringing him home to leave this world. In 2016 I embarked in my latest nightmare when I married my soon to be ex-husband.
I thought I had been transformed into Cinderella at first. He was kind, he was supportive, he made me think that maybe this world wasn’t as cruel as I’d thought, he had the financial standing to persuade me to quit my career. In retrospect, every step was a classic paving stone in the walkway to domestic abuse.
On March 8th I was hit by another driver. On March 15, I fled my home in the middle of the night fearing for my life. In the panic, I didn’t think to take anything other than a change of clothes. He immediately drained our joint account of thousands of dollars. My car was in the shop being repaired and I have no credit cards. My life has been a daily struggle for survival since.
Divorce proceedings have been filed but court processes are slow. Painfully slow. The homeless shelters are full and I have no children to bump me up the waiting list. I have not been allowed to retrieve any of my things, even clothing, because as the law is written he does not have to cooperate until the court orders it.
It is impossible to find a job without an address or an address without a job. There are no family or friends here, or anywhere, with the desire and ability to help. I’ve already tried. He messages me daily, despite orders not to, asking if I’m ready to come home yet. That he still loves me. The truth is, he doesn’t know what love is.
And so here I am. In my own personal purgatory. Waiting. For anything. For something. For death. Whichever arrives first. Unless some miracle of a person reads this and decides to play the god of my story. The role of the devil has already been filled.