It’s been 10 years, but she still sleeps with a baseball bat next to the bed.
But she doesn’t let fear consume her.
She is strong, she lives her life — a 46-year-old mom and a grandmother to two little ones. She has her dream job.
And she got away.
She remembers carrying her sleeping children to the car and praying as she drove on icy streets in the dark. An older woman at work who knew about the abuse had told Alice she would take her in until a spot opened up at the Friendship Home.
The abuser didn’t know this woman.
He wouldn’t think to look there.
She checked her rear-view mirror as she raced the unfamiliar route.
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“That night, I didn’t make one wrong turn.”
Her face flushes as she talks about the years that led up to that night. The belittling and control. The times he pulled her by her hair and threw her into furniture. The way he made her feel like it was her fault.
How he turned her into a prisoner in their home.
And how that night turned into a new day.
The police came and she told her story.
“We filled out a protection order in our jammies.”
Her phone rang.
“The Friendship Home had an opening.”
Hear Alice share her full journey out of an abusive marriage into safety and hope in "The Courage to Leave," a Journal Star podcast. Listen @JournalStar.com