Well, it's been about a month since the Soctopus spoke. I think it's time to let you know what's been going on in the Soctopus' life lately. I debated long and hard about making this post, but I feel strongly that it is important for people to know and understand, that last word being the key.
Most of you who read my blog (hi, Mom!) (just kidding - Mom doesn't read blogs) know that I'm going through a divorce. It's been sad and difficult, as I've been with Mr. Soctopus for 19 years. I moved out of my house with my art, my books, my tiki bar, and the clothes on my back. Mr. Soctopus kept everything in his name. Everything. Including my vehicle, which I made every payment on, including insurance. The cell phone. Everything. So I had to start over, from scratch, with nothing.
I found myself a sweet little pad in a new apartment building in my neighborhood of choice. (Yay! Sweet pad!) I moved myself out one day before the two-week anniversary of my dismissal. During this time, I had to force Mr. Soctopus to talk to me about what we were going to do, because the one thing I *do* own is 50% of a $450,000 house. Our agreement was simple: since he gets the house and I have nothing, AND he wasn't willing to part with any of "his" things to help me, he paid for my furniture, dishes, silverware, etc etc etc. Only fair, and the Soctopus shopped cheap, let me tell you. Macy's sales were my friend. The Soctopus agreed to sign a quit-claim on the house in return for her truck and the remainder of the truck's note paid off. That's it. Nothing else. No retirement split. No wages. No insurance. NOTHING. Just my truck. That I paid for.
Seems fair, right? Mr. Soctopus agreed, and we were headed towards a civil, if passive-aggressive and unpleasant, divorce. Mr. Soctopus' only job was to file the divorce paperwork, since he was the instigator and wanted the divorce. Now comes the part of the tale that gets ugly. The Soctopus mentioned to the Mr. that half of the records he had acquired during our marriage were legally mine, and perhaps I should take a box of records for safe-keeping until such time as he filed the paperwork. Oy vey. Here is the part I dread sharing....
Mr. Soctopus got angry. Very, very angry. So angry he told the Soctopus he was going to "slit her throat" and kill her. So angry he told the Soctopus she better hide, because he was going to find her and kill her. And so, in one quick moment, the Soctopus became the victim of domestic violence. Police were called, guns were confiscated, and an order of protection was obtained. Because I can tell you this much: I wouldn't be here, writing this sad, sorry blog if that conversation had been in person, and not over the phone.
So as of today, the Soctopus is now a lover of sparkly things, future divorcee, and survivor of violence and a threat of death. Hearing the officer say those words: "...as a victim of domestic violence, you're entitled to...". Oh, that hurt. A lot. Because the Soctopus IS NOT THAT WOMAN. Except, she is. Now. And anyone can be THAT WOMAN. Easily.
I shared this blog, painful and humiliating as it is, to share with other women that ANYONE can be touched by domestic violence, no matter who they are and what their relationship is or was. And guess what? I'm scared. I'm scared of what Mr. Soctopus is going to do when he learns that the police were called. I'm scared of what he'll do when he realizes the police seized his guns. Because I don't know what to expect, and one phone call changed every view I'd had of who my husband was. Because someone who loves you would NEVER tell you how they are going to slit your throat, right?
My message to anyone reading this, male or female, that feels afraid or threatened by their partner: call someone for help. The police. Your family. A stranger. Someone. Anyone. Get help. Get out. And understand that the consequences for your partner are not your fault. I tell myself this every single day, several times, because I still feel nervous and unsure. But the bottom line is that I didn't ask for my life to be threatened. I didn't cast this die. He did, and he will have to face the consequences of his actions.
There. So now you know what the Soctopus has been up to. Now you know why this post was so hard to write. If I can become a statistic, anyone can. Take care of yourselves and each other, and be kind to yourselves, because the world won't necessarily be kind to you.