Part 6 wow ok and the story continues…
So there we were in the Naknek/King Salmon area in the domestic violence shelter. It was time to go, I couldn’t make it there. It was just too isolated/remote to give us the services we needed. Especially the help that Cece needed with her developmental disabilities.
So then many other challenges needed to be faced:
- How do we get there?
- How much can we take?
- How long can we stay?
- What services do they have that I need to utilize ASAP?
- Who do I tell that we are leaving?
- Who can I safely tell where we are going?
- How am I going to travel alone with two small children?
- Am I making the right decision?
- What am I going to do with the 4-wheeler and snowmachine?
- Self doubt! Nervousness! Fear! Anxiety! Excitement!
- Can I make it out of here without running into the Ex?
- Would Segundo approve?
- What will my family think?
- Can I really make it on my own?
- What do I do with all my stuff?
- How will Cece doing having to fly in a plane?
- I’ll have to pull Cece out of school in the middle of the school year, and then get her enrolled in the new area.
I had so many questions floating around in my head. I was so scared while at the same time excited. I had a destination, a goal, a hope now I just had to make it a reality. I was a nervous wreck trying to sort through everything from all our belongings to my mixed emotions.
I think I need to add something here. All of this didn’t happen overnight. The soul searching, deciding to move, and fully coming to the decision to leave took about a month. I broke up with him the day after Christmas 2010 and didn’t ask the SAFE shelter for help relocating until Jan. 25th.
After several emails and conversations with the Shelter staff in Dillingham they told me that they would be able to fly us to Anchorage. At first they wanted us to leave two days after they got approval of the funds but I told them that there was just no way that I could be packed up and have everything in order to move that quickly. Unfortunately the next week the local shelter advocate was going out of town so we had to schedule our flight for Feb. 10, 2011.
At this point I was very excited but also at the same time scared to death. I spent some of my time getting pep talks from friends and family telling me to just get there and everything would be ok, don’t worry just get out. I was still on pins and needles worried I would bump into my Ex. He was still sending the occasional email asking for this or that. I had a lot of self doubt going on mostly residual from our relationship.
Things he had used to control me would occasionally pop into my head. “How are you going to make it on your own?”, “Are you just going to go be someone else’s burden?”, “You don’t want to go through life without someone to hold your hand do you?”, “You can’t raise two girls on your own, especially with Cecelia’s issues!”. But thankfully I am the type of person, which I am sure most of you already know, that when someone tells me I can’t do something then I have to go out and prove them wrong.
I started packing up our stuff, sorting through everything because the new shelter said that there was very limited space and I should bring as little as possible. What to take? What to box up to send later? What to donate to the shelter or the tribe? I reduced our belongings from what would’ve easily filled a two bedroom home down to eight boxes and three duffle bags. I only packed up the important things. Our clothes, pictures, computer, momentos, my sewing machine and sewing items, some toys and a few other items like favorite bedding, winter gear, etc.
I donated everything else. I knew I couldn’t take my 4-wheeler so I sold it despite that it was the last gift that Segundo had given me. I knew that he was watching down from above and I could hear him telling me to just get out of there! I kept Cecelia in school until the day before we left. I took care of all the little things and wrote a lot of poetry to help ease my nerves about this huge new scary step we were taking into our new lives.
Finally the big day arrived….Feb 10! The shelter advocate came and picked us up that morning as our flight to Anchorage was scheduled to depart at 10 a.m. She helped load everything into her vehicle, we got the girls all buckled in and went to the airport. I got all of three of us and our baggage checked in and then sat there and waited to go.
We were leaving. This was it, I was doing it. I was finally escaping Bristol Bay where I had felt trapped for the past 18 months since Segundo had died. The girls looked at me expectantly not sure what was going on. Why was mommy a nervous wreck and on the verge of tears. While scared to death and excited all at the same time? One of my ex’s good friends was at the airport but thankfully didn’t stop to talk or do anything but offer a passing hello.
Thank goodness the Shelter Advocate was there to hold my hand and keep me from flying in all directions like I felt was going on inside me. The time came, it was time to get on the plane and leave King Salmon forever. I hugged the advocate good bye and offered a million thanks for everything that she had done for us. I wheeled Glenna out to the plane in the stroller with Cecelia holding my hand as she walked. Cecelia does NOT like airplanes. So another passenger had to just physically pick her up and carry her on board.
We all got situated, Cece buckled in, me buckled in and Glenna on my lap. I knew enough from past experience that Cecelia was in a panic with all the noises, sights, and things causing a huge sensory overload. I had made certain that I had her favorite stuffed puppy in the diaper bag close at hand. I gave her her puppy and explained to the flight attendant to please just ignore her. Because if anyone tries to engage her while she’s in sensory overload it just makes matters worse. So I held her shaking hand while she clung to her puppy all the while whining.
The other passengers boarded, the engines started and we taxied away from the terminal. Cecelia really didn’t like the sound of the engines, nor the sense of moving. Glenna was all excited, she was loving the whole experience and flirting/smiling with anyone she could see.
We reached the runway, the engines roared as we sped along. Cecelia screamed and shaked, unable to even hear my efforts to calm her. Then we were airborne. We were on our way. I hugged both the girls as tears streamed down my cheeks.
We were free. We were on our way to a new and better life. We had done it, we had escaped! Cecelia calmed down a few minutes later and Glenna had already been lulled to sleep by the engines. I continued to cry and hug them both at last feeling a sense of not only freedom but of accomplishment. I also know that Segundo was right there with us, holding us all, cheering us on, wiping my tears and holding his daughters as I led them to a new life…a better life!