Then…later…now Part 5

This post seems like it’s turning into a tome!!  Part of me wants to just skip to the here and now.  I want to talk about all the exciting things that are going on now but realize that “now” might be important but it’s the struggles, battles, accomplishments and let downs that got us here that are the most important.  

So we shall continue on from where we left off… 

We were through.  I was done, I had had enough. 

So there we were in the shelter and I needed to rethink my life.  I had applied for help with housing but the waiting list was very slow moving.  I was still in the same area as my Ex and dreaded seeing him.  I didn’t have very much support there and I could see that I was going to have a very hard if not impossible time making a life there for the girls and I.

I was again feeling trapped.  Knowing that my Ex was in the same area put me on edge.  Every time a car would go by I’d get nervous and look to see if it was him.  A plane would fly over and I would check to see if it was his.  Why was I scared and on edge you are probably wondering?  Well I knew that if I had any contact with him that he would pull me back in.  I knew that despite the fact that I did love this man I couldn’t be with him.  He wasn’t the man I fell in love with anymore, the “honeymoon” period had long since ended.  I didn’t trust him, I couldn’t be with someone like him.  He was too controlling and manipulative and emotionally abusive.  

The biggest most important factor in all of this was that I didn’t want him around my girls.  When doubts would arise and I would  start to question my decision to end our relationship all I had to remember was my girls.  I want/wanted someone who will treat them like Segundo would.  To love them and care for them the same as Segundo did.  He wasn’t that man, nor would/could he ever be that man.

Segundo and Cecelia May 2009 on the plane on our way to Bristol Bay

I knew that I needed to go somewhere that was on the grid so to speak aka not out in the bush.  Somewhere that I could get Cece the help that she needed and that I could get the help and support that I needed also.  

I made the decision to move.  It was time to get on with my life.  To make my own decisions and those decisions had to be in the best interests of my girls.  I was scared.  I was excited.  I was even mad.  I was mad not only at my Ex for everything that had happened but also I was mad at Segundo.  Why was I mad at him you wonder?  Simple.  He died and it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

We, the girls and I, weren’t supposed to be in Bristol Bay alone, scared, trapped and floundering.  We were all, Segundo included, supposed to be living happily in Nunam Iqua.  This wasn’t how our lives were supposed to be going.  This wasn’t the life that we had planned/dreamed about.  

So I did some serious soul searching and with the help of friends and family again found my strength, my power, and my motivation to keep living… My girls!  

The first time I went through a domestic violence program, back in 2000, I again had the help of a wonderful advocate.  She imparted two very important pieces of wisdom to me.  To this day they are something that I carry with me, hold on to, and remind myself of frequently.

1.  “You are the only mom you children will ever have!” No matter what may happen, no matter how many miles may separate you, no matter if they gain a step-mother, YOU will always be their one and only MOM!

2.  Not all men will hurt you!  Just because you were in a domestic violence relationship doesn’t mean that you will never find a relationship that is free from domestic violence.

With this knowledge I decided to start over again.  I talked to the shelter advocate because she had mentioned early on that the shelter could help with relocation.  So I told her that I wanted to relocate.  I told her where I wanted to relocate and I swallowed my pride and again asked for help.

There were so many things to consider when I decided to relocate.  But the biggest wasn’t getting to the new place it was what in the world was I going to do when I got there!!  Where was I going to live?  Again I looked to a domestic violence shelter and asked for help.

Like I said I had been doing some research online.  I knew where I wanted to go, I had decided that this new place had the potential to be our home.  There was an abundance of services and help for Cecelia and her special needs.  There was housing, daycares, stores, and just about everything we would need to start anew.

I just had figure out where to live and where to get services until we could find a home.  OUR home, just the girls and I!!!  So from my internet research I had discovered that there were domestic violence shelters in the area.  I studied their websites and talked to people about them.  Then I contact one that I thought might be a good fit.  

I sent an email and waited.  Okay I didn’t wait I was too impatient, I was ready to move on and I needed to talk to someone!  I gave them a phone call and talked to one of the advocates.  She did a intake interview over the phone:

  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Date
  4. Time
  5. Are you in danger of being harmed now?
  6. Are you currently feeling suicidal?
  7. Do you need assistance from law enforcement?
  8. Do you need medical attention?
  9. Do you have injuries?
  10. Abuser/Perpetrators name
  11. Are there weapons present?
  12. What kind of weapons?
  13. Where are you now (physcial address)?
  14. Phone number
  15. Do you have children?
  16. Are the children safe?
  17. Do your children have any injuries?
  18. Names and ages of children
  19. Will you be requesting your children to come with you to the shelter?
  20. Where is the abuser that is trying to harm you or your children?
  21. Please describe your current situation/why do you feel you need to come into shelter?
  22. When was your last contact with your partner/abuser?
  23. How does he abuse you? emotion? physical? sexual?
  24. How often does this occur daily/weekly?
  25. Was law enforcement involved in any of these instances?
  26. Does your family know how he treats you?
  27. How do they respond?
  28. Whose family do you live near? partners, yours, neither?
  29. Do you have pets?
  30. Are your pets safe?
  31. Do you need a safe place for pets?
  32. Have you ever been to this shelter before?
  33. Who referred you to us?

I answered the questions.  I fought back the tears trying to provide all the information she asked for.  She was patient, understanding and cared.  

I held my breath.  Would they be able to help us.  I am nervous.  Hearing the words perpetrator, weapons, law enforcement, etc.  Would we be allowed to seek shelter there?  

She had one more question for me to answer.

A question I didn’t have the answer to.  

But it was a question that forever changed my life…

(wait for it…)

When can you get here?

We have room for you here, we can help you!

to be continued….


About annstrongheart

About me...hmmm where to start. I'm a proud single/widowed mom of two beautiful girls who currently works full time for the local Tribe. Life. Is. AWESOME!
This entry was posted in Ann Strongheart, Domestic Violence, DV Shelter, LeeShore Center, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Then…later…now Part 5

  1. FEDUP!!! says:

    WOW That last question… I bet the answer was “YESTERDAY!!!” 😉

    • annstrongheart says:

      LOL FEDUP!!! Well yeah I suppose I wished that but when you live in the bush it does take awhile to get out and flights aren’t cheap. I’d say more but that will all be in Part 6 😉

  2. FEDUP!!! says:

    I know, and fully understand the problem about logistics, but I guess *my* first response would have been ‘yesterday’ – and then worry about the logistics. 😉

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