Tell The World I’m Coming… Home Let The Rain Wash Away All The Pain Of Yesterday

I booked flights for about 10 days out. They were the right combination of cheapest and nearest in date. Well they weren’t cheap, but I just wanted to get out of there ASAP. Then, after I booked the flights and paid, I sent an email to my mom letting her know our itinerary and just an update on what was going on. I didn’t let anyone else know what was happening because I already felt I was being watched like a hawk with my in-laws visiting all the time, and probably reporting back to E.  So I attempted to go about life as normal.

Until, I got a call from E. He apparently had been monitoring my email and had seen the email to my Mom. In reality, there was not much he himself could do about me leaving since he was back in Canada now, but that didn’t mean he made it enjoyable for me. He hacked my Facebook and made a single post saying “I’m divorcing E” My friends and family started reaching out to me before I had a chance to delete it. I never post on FB, considering I was living in the middle of nowhere with limited access to internet, so they all thought it was a little out of the ordinary for me and wanted to make sure things were OK.  Although the statement wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t how I wanted word to get out, for obvious reasons. So after changing all my passwords to everything… social media, banking etc, I braced myself for what was to come next, while still trying to get over the fact that E had been keeping tabs on all my emails and social media without letting me know. Not that I had anything to hide until now, but still, it pissed me off.

Visits from my in-laws increased ten-fold. In fact my mother in-law took it upon herself often to just come and stay ALL day. No matter how many times I asked her to leave MY house. She would come in the morning, and grab a chair and sit in the middle of MY living room, and order around my farm boy and whomever else had dropped in for the moment.

Calls from E were constant. To myself, to my farm boy, even to the neighbors. It became so overwhelming. To everyone.

So I decided to switch my flights. At this point I didn’t care how much money it cost to re-book them, but I had to get us out of there. I paid the $2000+ to change my current booking from a week out, to 2 days away. Then I started the packing. At this point everyone knew what was going on, so keeping it on the down low anymore was pointless. I gave away most of the kids things to the neighboring children. Clothes that had been worn out by the Kenyan sun, toys that were replaceable, everything. I had very little to pack personally, since anything of mine that hadn’t fit in the 1 of 3 suitcases that fateful Sunday, E had taken upon himself to throw down the outhouse instead of burning like he had threatened, leaving me with hardly anything.

I gave away our chickens to the farm boy and sent him on his way, thanking him for everything he’d done for me. We spent time with our neighbors, visiting and them crying, knowing in the back of my mind I was never going to return here.

Everyone was constantly telling me it wasn’t a big deal and I should forgive him. Which further cemented my belief that I HAD to get out. Now.

M had offered to help drive us to the airport which was in the next town over after we pick Little E up from school at lunch.  I had told her she could have our mattress which I had brought from Canada a few months ago. I felt it was the least I could do for them after everything they had done for us. Because finding a good mattress in Kenya? Is like me finding a good man.

The morning of the flights arrived, and lo and behold so did my mother-in-law, bright and early. Whatever. What’s she gonna do to stop us? M arrived with her husband and 1 son to help with the luggage. They backed the van up to our back door and that’s when one of the most stressful days of my life started.

My M-I-L seriously thought she could single handedly stop us from leaving. She stood in the doorway and would refuse to move for anyone trying to get in or out with a suitcase. Everyone was super polite with her… “Excuse me, could you move please, I have to get out please,” then try to squeeze past her. Which wasn’t simple because my M-I-L isn’t a tiny lady. Then when she realized that her just standing in the way wasn’t working, she started grabbing the luggage out of the van and started carrying it back to the house. So M had to guard the van, while her husband and son brought the things out. But my M-I-L was still not impressed by that. She started grabbing things straight from M’s hands, which M was not having. My M-I-L even went so far as to push M away from some of my things, and then claim that M had beaten her!

I know, that in this moment I was not this most helpful person, but I honestly think I shut down. I couldn’t believe she was behaving like this. She started screaming and yelling and acting like we were the worst human beings in the world.

Then I saw my M-I-L walk towards the gate to the yard, so I rushed out the front door to get there first. I didn’t want her to close the gate and then sit in front of it or something ridiculous so that we couldn’t drive the van out, possibly causing us to miss our flights. So I sat on the ground calmly in front of the gate holding it open with Z on my lap and watched her come towards me.

You could see the look in her eyes she was beyond pissed. She knew that she was helpless in stopping me from leaving. Why she wanted me to stay, full of so much hatred for me, I don’t understand, but she was determined. She walked up to me and started on a huge rant. So I simply told her to fuck off. I know it was not kind or polite, but the situation called for it. Which I’ll always remember led to her saying “Yeah fuck me. Fuck me in the vagina” I hate to say I kinda chuckled at that. Then she grabbed her phone and called my father-in-law. She spoke in Swahili but I could tell she wasn’t happy. I also knew that what she was telling him was probably a lie considering all the yelling and hand waving that was going on. Lying seemed to run deep in that family.

M & D pulled up the van to the gate so I could get in with Z and we headed down the road. We got about 3 minutes down the road on our way into town to get Little E from school, when I see my F-I-L racing towards us on a piki piki.

The piki piki pulls over and I see him pull a stone the size of Z’s head out of his bag. Which means at some point on his way to my house, he stopped on the side of the road and chose a rock specifically for this purpose. He stops in front of the van so D could no longer drive. And then proceeds to smash the front of the window with the rock. M was yelling at D to drive past him but my F-I-L was standing right in front of the van and D didn’t want to run him over. My F-I-L grabbed the rock again and slammed the front window again. By now, M is frantic, I can’t believe this is happening, and D starts slowly moving the van trying to get away.

I’m starting to panic. I have no idea what my in-laws are trying to achieve with all this, or what they are capable of. But D slowly starts to drive and my F-I-L moves out of the way. D speeds up and M is yelling at him to just drive! D can barely see out the windshield  because it’s been smashed to bits by the rock, so he’s trying his best. But all of a sudden we see my F-I-L’s piki piki pull up on my side of the van again with my F-I-L on the back. He hurls the rock again and it smashes through the front passenger side window shattering broken glass everywhere. M is covered in glass and yelling at D to drive faster. He’s doing his best to see through the broken window and navigate down the very rough dirt road that’s filled with pot holes. I was brushing glass off myself and baby Z, and all I could think about was Little E at school.

At this point, I had no idea how far my in-laws would go to try and get me to stay. I was honestly worried that they would kidnap Little E from school as like a hostage type thing. D drove off the main road to a friends house where they arranged to borrow a different vehicle for the remainder of the drive. You know, one without the windshield smashed in. I was the most frantic I’ve ever been. I just wanted to get my son and get the hell out of the country. NOW.

I called Little E’s school and told them not to let Little E outside at all. I asked them to please pack all his things and have him waiting IN the classroom. I told the teachers to not let ANYONE else, under any circumstance, pick him up except his mzungu (white) mother. Not his grandfather, not his grandmother, no aunts, uncles. Nothing.

The new car arrived with a clear windshield and we switched the luggage. The car was smaller and so just M, and her son and I went in the new vehicle with Z. D stayed behind to deal with his smashed van. We got back on the road again when two minutes later, who pulls out in front of us? My F-I-L.  M’s son was driving so the rest of us ducked down so my F-I-L wouldn’t see us. We figured he wouldn’t notice the new car but we didn’t want to take any chances. And at this point I didn’t know what he was thinking or what he had spent the last 20 minutes doing/getting.

We sped as fast as we could into town, to ensure we’d arrive anywhere before my F-I-L but it still felt like too long. I called Little E’s school twice more to make sure he was safe, I didn’t care if the principal thought I’d lost my mind.  We pulled up and I felt like it was a grab and go. I was on the phone with his teacher telling him when we would be pulling up and to get Little E ready. The guard opened the gate and ushered Little E out, and we pulled him into the car like a sting operation then pealed out like we were filming the next installment of the Fast and the Furious.

Next, we had to make a stop at the police station to report what had happened to M’s van. I, myself just wanted to get out of town, but I realized this was M’s life and she wasn’t leaving the country. They still had to come back to this mess at the end of the day, so it should be dealt with properly. M filed her police report with a little input from me, and after about an hour we were back on the road.

The first airport was about 2 hours away and it was a stressful ride. So many crazy scenarios ran through my mind. Every ridiculous thing that could happen I thought would happen. I thought maybe my F-I-L might be at the airport when we got there. I thought he might make up all these absurd accusations that would affect me leaving the country for some reason. I’m pretty sure M could sense my paranoia. Her and her son offered to stay with me at the airport until I absolutely had to board the plane, which I was so grateful for.  But I was still so stressed out. I thought at any moment I would see the face of any one of my in-laws pop up from around a corner with who knows what, to do any number of things. My mind was exploding with possibilities.

Imagination much?

It was finally time for my flight to Nairobi. I can’t even remember if I hugged M goodbye. I know I was so thankful for her and her family for everything they had done. I told her I would pay for the damage to her van. I knew as missionaries, they didn’t have extra cash to be throwing at things like that, and it was definitely not her fault. We would be keeping in touch for sure.

Once on the flight I had about an hour of peace. The kids were relatively good. I had told Little E we were going to see Nanna and Nonno (my parents) so he was excited, and Z was only 6 months old so not much trouble there. Once in Nairobi though, I was paranoid again. I had more in-laws there, and I legitimately thought that one of them would show up at the airport at the request of E. I also last minute realized that my 3 month VISA had long passed the expiry date, and I might have trouble with exit customs. Originally we were working on duel citizenship so I would have been fine, but now…. I grabbed a pen and altered my entry dates on my visa. I couldn’t handle any more issues, and I just wanted to get out of the country. I was desperate. Highly illegal yep, but this is how desperate I was.

I made it through customs by the help of my cute kids and talking about my famous  Kenyan husband. No shame, because at this point I would do anything to get out. I finally relaxed a little once I was in the boarding area. It was the first time I think I took a full breathe all day. We made it to London without much trouble. Other then the normal perils of travelling with 2 small kids but not like I had a choice of travelling without them.

From London next was Toronto. Where I always get pulled over at customs. Every. Single. Time. This time though, I must’ve looked like a crack head. I’d been through a lot in the past few days and totally got it. But then they started asking Little E questions like “”Who is this lady?” “What’s her name” and instead of saying mom, like a normal kid,  he took it so literally and said my actual name – C. Which of course led to more questioning and a search of my bags. Like for real? Do you honestly think I want to be travelling with 2 little kids for almost 4 days straight? Nobody in their right mind would do this for fun! Trust me, these tiny humans are mine and I am obligated to care for them! No human trafficking happening here.

We finally passed customs but had now missed our connecting flight to our final destination. I had to go through the hassle of rebooking (and paying extra for) the final flight a few hours later then the original. Then I grabbed some food for the kids and I and found a place to nap for a few hours until our flight. Once our boarding time came, Little E was dead asleep on the floor. I had Z in a sling, also asleep and two carry-ons slung over my shoulder. I tried waking up Little E but he was exhausted. No one was around to help so I had to try and pick up Little E. I grabbed him as best I could by his arms and lifted him up to carry both kids. I ended up popping his elbow out. Not my best mothering moment, I’m well aware. Little E just wanted to sleep though, so even on the plane, he didn’t want me to touch his arm to fix it. I wrapped it in a blanket to keep it tight and still so he could just sleep the whole flight. Meanwhile, I was back and forth to the gallery making bottle’s for Z to keep her quite. During the last 3 days I had been so stressed that my body had entirely stopped producing milk for her. So even though I love nursing my kids (my absolute favorite part of being a mom), Z was done at 6 months old, thanks to this stressful situation. The one small saving grace is that she had started taking a bit of formula a few weeks prior when the girls in the neighborhood wanted to hold and feed her while I was dealing with our situation, so I at least had some on the plane.

We got to my hometown a mess. Little E was holding his arm because I had popped his elbow out of place. Z was cranky because she wanted to nurse, but I was dehydrated and had dried out. I was exhausted and at my limit. I hadn’t slept more than an hour in almost 60 hours and I had been through one of the most stressful ordeals ever, and I had no idea what was next.

But we were all alive and would be safe. And that was what was important.


Below is M’s van after the fact, posted with the following on FB:

M's pic

“God never promised a problem free life but He does promise to never leave us. On Wed we were helping a friend leave Kenya when her family attacked our van. The father in law blocked the road and threw rocks at our windshield and then when we got away he came again to continue throwing another rock into my passenger window. God showed us a place to hide and many friends that came to help. We are bruised, cut and shaken up but very happy to be ok”


-Diddy&Dirty Money/Coming Home-

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now If I Go There Will Be Trouble And If I Stay It Will Be Double

I spent the next couple of days in what can only be described as a fog. I was there. I was alive. But I was definitely not thinking clearly. Everything was blurry. Fuzzy. I couldn’t concentrate on any of the mundane day to day things that needed to be done. The kids needed to be fed… I’m sure they were, I mean they’re still alive today right? They needed to be dressed, I remember seeing them walking around in clothes and then at night in pajamas but I have no idea how they got from one to the other. Diapers were changed, but I can’t for the life of me remember by whom. Life just happened. I apparently didn’t need to be 100% present for the world to keep on turning. E would be leaving in a few days back for work in Canada, and I just had to make it until then.

I did my best to avoid any talk of what happened on Sunday. His various family members came to visit, and I stayed in my room. I left the house with the kids to visit neighbors at every opportunity possible. Basically, if there was an chance to be away from E, I jumped at it.

Of course he apologized profusely, and constantly. But it wasn’t something I wanted to hear at the time. I told him it was fine, and that I was done with it, but it was more that I was done talking about it and didn’t want to discuss it anymore, than the fact that I had forgiven him in that moment.

No I didn’t feel comfortable around him. No I didn’t want him in my bed at night. No I didn’t want him touching me.

But on the other hand, I was trying to lessen the uneasiness in Little E’s eyes. I wanted him to feel like everything was OK and that there was nothing wrong. I wanted him to be comfortable and happy. I didn’t want him to be scared every time he heard E enter the room… Like I was deep down.

I only had to survive the next 3 days until this man was gone. If I  could get through it, then I would have some space to clear my head and think.

Unfortunately, the 3 days weren’t smooth sailing. Ha story of my life.  I’m drawing a blank about the correct terminology but, a council of sorts was called regarding E’s behavior. The local elders and the Chief all gathered at my house one morning and discussed (in Kiswahili, no less) the circumstances that had occurred on Sunday. I had no input in the conversation that was centered around me.

In fact, as a white woman I wasn’t even allowed to take part in the conversation. I was relegated outside to the kitchen with the kids who interpreted as much as they could for me as they ran back and forth to keep me informed. But the jest of it, was that what E had done was bad, and he shouldn’t do it again… No shit Sherlock. At the end I remember they called me in and asked me if I agreed and I straight up told them I had no idea what they said, and it was rude of them to talk about me, without me, in a language I don’t fully understand, without invitation. And that they were welcome to leave my house now. I was done with people thinking they could discuss my life and somehow think talking about it would solve all my issues. Because trust me, it was NOT helping. So that was the end of that council.

Once E left Kenya for work near the end of the week, I immediately felt the change in the house. Our farm boy and I had many conversations about how he thought E was a “bad man” and he didn’t want to work for us any more. I asked him to stay with us until E came back since I didn’t know anyone else available/capable/trustworthy and I couldn’t handle the farm on my own. He agreed to stay. For now.

My in-laws were constantly dropping by “just to visit.” Mmmhmm, sure. I’ve been living here for how many years, and now all of a sudden you want to come over and see how the kids and I are doing? Screw off. My father-in-law literally came over everyday, 5 days straight on his way back from town with a yogurt for Little E, or raw beef for the dogs. He would boss my farm boy around and annoy my house girl. He’d only stay for about 10-15 minutes but it became the most frustrating part of my day. Especially when I could go for months without seeing him previously. Just how I liked it.

My neighbors were constantly at my house, just because. A few of the pre-teen boys skipped school for a couple days and I would see them around the yard helping my farm boy until I had a discussion with them about the importance of school. They told me they just wanted to help me out because they felt bad about what had happened. I told them I truly appreciated it, but school was much more important and they could come hang out after.

My house girl finally quit after being harassed by my father-in-law so much. Apparently she wasn’t doing well enough according to his standard. I had no one to help now. So my neighbors would come by every day to help me with the basics. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d gotten pretty good at life in the village, but it takes two for sure. If I needed to cook something, I had to first gather wood, and start a fire out in the kitchen on the dirt floor between 3 carefully placed stones that would hold up the pot over a fire I had to build. If I wanted to shower, same process, but I also had to haul the water from the well. The clothes all had to be hand washed, so that meant hauling water every day, and then hanging them up to dry. We had no electricity so groceries had to be bought everyday fresh, since there was no fridge to store anything, so that meant at least a 3 Km walk one way for anything.  Dust was everywhere, so the floor had to be swept and washed daily. Not to mention the kids and the basics of keeping them alive. It was a two person job for sure. And now since my father-in-law had felt the need to stick his nose in, I was a (wo)man down. I wasn’t pleased.

One day I just needed to get away from the house and all the bustle. I decided to take Little E to pre-school in town instead of him taking his normal bus (Yeah they start pre-school at 3 years old there). I wanted some quiet time away from everyone who was trying to help. I hadn’t had free time completely to myself to process that Sunday yet. There had just been to many people in and out of my house, too many fake apologies, too many people saying “just forgive him.” All I needed was myself and my mind, unencumbered by other peoples perspectives and unhelpful advice. Thinking they knew what was best for me, but not knowing me. So I asked a neighbor to watch Z for a bit while I took Little E took school and did some grocery shopping and we were on our way.

After I dropped Little E off at school, I walked. Plain and simple. I walked. The entire length of Kakamega and back. I made a pros and cons list in my head about leaving vs. staying with E and all the ramifications. I thought through every step that would have to happen in either circumstance. Which one would be more beneficial for myself and the kids.

Was I strong enough for either situation?

Was I capable of leaving him?  Would I be able to be a single mom? I never had a chance to finish my teaching degree, since I got pregnant with Little E, and E’s refugee denial. Plus since then, we’d been flying back and forth between countries since E couldn’t decide what was what… I had no home to go back to. I had no job. What I did have though, were two kids whose lives I was responsible for. Two children who didn’t choose this man. Two kids who deserved all the best life had to give them, and that wasn’t happening if I stayed here with E.

So, by the time I had made my way from one end of town and back, I had decided. I had made the choice to leave E. I called my mom right there on the street and told her. I asked if the kids and I could stay with my parents when we got back into the country. I needed to tell someone right away or I felt like I wouldn’t follow through and I needed to be held accountable for this choice. After my mom said of course we could stay with them, I hung up the phone and headed to the house E and I had built from scratch, brick by home-made brick. That I had paid for 100% from my pocket since he just played rugby and farmed. And hatched the plan to get out of the country.

When I opened my laptop to search for flights, I noticed the date.

It was Valentines Day, 2014.

The day I gave myself the most loving gift anyone ever has. The decision to leave an abusive marriage.


-The Clash/Should I Stay Or Should I Go-

The Cat Came Back The Very Next Day The Cat Came Back They Thought He Was A Goner

The drive away from my home and my life was quiet. I was doing my best to stay calm. I had my kids to worry about, and I didn’t want them to sense anything was more wrong then what was blatantly obvious…

Daddy had just beat up Mommy, and had packed up our things and kicked us out of our own house. For honest to goodness, no apparent reason. When I first told this story to people, whether family or close friends, I could feel the hesitation on their part to believe me. “Common C, you want me to believe that he just randomly walked in and started swinging without any provoking on your part? MMM k… she must be hiding something”

It got to the point where I stopped discussing it. I didn’t feel like I should have to explain the actions of a mentally disabled individual. Or feel like I was hiding part of the story where I did something completely horrible and therefore somehow his actions were justified. I know what happened. I was the one there. I lived it. I don’t give one fuck if you believe me or not. Your faith in my recounting my own story correctly doesn’t change what happened. So once I felt like the people who absolutely needed to know, knew, that was enough. I wasn’t explaining it anymore. If you believe it or not, it happened. I chose to no longer waste my time trying to justify it to people whose opinion I really didn’t even care about. And quite frankly, you shouldn’t get an opinion on something like this.

My friend M who had come to pick me up that day, came with her husband D, and 2 of her teen aged boys. She had previously met E once and wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she got to our place, but thankfully the reinforcement wasn’t needed as E had already left. The boys were quite during the ride, helpfully playing with little E and just respecting my space and giving me time to think.

Although space for what I’m not quite sure. I didn’t know what to think or feel. So I felt nothing. Well apart from mass amounts of physical pain, but beyond that I was numb. My mind was on pause. I couldn’t process any of what had happened. I kept thinking through the whole event of the morning, trying to figure out what I might’ve said or done that could’ve possibly set him off. Trying to imagine what in the world might’ve gone on at his parents house that could’ve changed his mood so immensely. But no matter what path my mind went down it came back empty.

Literally absolutely nothing that had occurred during the whole course of the morning set off any red flags that might be an indicator of E’s behavior. Not even any orange or yellow flags. This was all on him, and whatever was going on in his twisted mind. This was a result of whatever his paranoid voices and hallucinations had lead him to believe and therefore act upon. Either way, not okay.

We finally got to M’s house in town and the boys spent a few minutes rearranging mattresses and bedding so my kids and I would have a room to ourselves to share. The boys hauled our few suitcases in and then they left us to settle for a bit.

M’s boys dug out an old box of hot wheels cars for little E to play with and I attempted to nurse Z and put her for a nap. I tried to sleep but my mind was racing.  Also my phone didn’t stop ringing. First it was E. Then his dad, brother, and sisters, calling repeatedly. I couldn’t answer. Finally after about 3-4 hours I shut the phone off. I didn’t care that he didn’t know where I was. I preferred it that way. I needed to feel safe for a little while. I was given some cold compresses in an attempt to stop some swelling but it just seemed like the swelling was everywhere. So instead I went for a shower once Z fell asleep. I remember looking in the mirror for the first time all day and seeing how bad I looked.

I will never forget that image. It was blurred through 2 swollen eyes. My lips were busted and covered in dried blood. I was wearing a strapless sun dress (the first one I could grab after E ripped off my other one) so my bra straps were showing and what showed was also speckled in blood. I wasn’t wearing underwear as there had been no time to put on any more since mine had been torn off. On the back of my head was a large goose egg from where I had been slammed into the concrete and I could feel the bump growing as a reminder. Bruises and scratches had already appeared on my arms and legs where I had tried to protect myself from him. But there were no tears in my eyes. Now was not the time for crying. The time wouldn’t come for years.

I quickly showered and M invited us for late afternoon tea. Her and her family made it as comfortable as possible for us while still trying to give us our privacy. After tea, we let the kids play and M and I talked. Kinda. I explained as best as I could what had happened and just tried to get a grasp of what was going on now, plus what my next step was going to be, but to be honest, I had no idea. And it would still take me a couple weeks to figure it out for real.

I stayed with the kids at M’s house for 2 nights, but then I started feeling like I was in the way. I also knew that I would have to deal with life eventually and that this wasn’t just something that would go away if I ignored it long enough (my go to coping mechanism). I also couldn’t just live with M and act like this was our new normal. I had to decide what was going to happen, and so finally, on the second day, I answered one of E’s calls.

He was so so so sorry. Of course he was. But it sounded so sincere. And I was exhausted. I just wanted to have a proper sleep in my own bed. I just wanted to eat my own food. I just wanted Little E to be back at school on the proper schedule. Besides, I knew E and I would have to talk about it eventually, and that he would be leaving back to work in Canada soon. So on the third day, I caved. I told E where we were, and asked him to come get us.

Yeah, I know what your thinking, but unfortunately this isn’t a made up story. I can’t change facts about what happened in the past. So it is what it is.

E came to M’s house and her husband D had a little discussion with him outside. We can all imagine the words that were said and how little was actually heard and absorbed by E. Then he rode with our bags on one piki piki and the kids and I went on another. I went back with him, but the whole ride to our house I didn’t think about it, I couldn’t. So I just rode. I just felt the wind in my hair and tried to remember to breathe.

E apologized over and over again once we arrived home. But I didn’t want to hear it. I was exhausted. It had been a very long 3 days and Z and Little E were both beyond cranky.

I just wanted to be. Just be. I wasn’t up for long conversations and discussions or sorry’s that would help ease his guilt. I just wanted to be. Preferably alone. But E had other plans. His parents arrived shortly after we got there and had a big conversation about how what E had done was bad, but how I should forgive him… I don’t remember most of the details, I was past exhaustion. Mainly the just of it was them trying to save face. Keep things quiet. Keep our personal life personal. He made a mistake, and I should forgive him and move on.

I walked out on the conversation. Of course I thought it was rude of me to walk out on my in-laws like that, but I couldn’t take it any more.

I had come home, but that did not mean E and I were all good. We never were good. And we wouldn’t be close to half decent again.


 

 

 

Sunday Morning, Rain Is Falling /Clouds Are Shrouding Us In Moments Unforgettable

It was actually a bright and sunny day in Kakamega. But rain would’ve been a simpler reason to explain to my 3 year old son why Daddy had changed our plans for the day.

It was Sunday morning, Jan 2014, and the night before E and I had decided we would take the kids into town to go swimming for fun. E was in Kenya for 10 days between his shift work in Canada and we wanted to make as much of the time together as we could before he flew back to Canada for another 20 day shift. Well I wanted to at least.

So when we all woke up that morning our son Little E was so excited to be going into town. He loved riding the piki piki’s! And swimming. With Daddy too? Could it get any better than this?

E decided that he was going to make a quick visit to his parents house before we went to town. He left early morning to walk to their place … and when he left, as far as I knew everything was fine.

But about 3 hours later when he got back our lives changed forever.

He announced abruptly that we were no longer going swimming. We weren’t leaving the house. Everyone had to stay. I tried asking him what happened, why’d he change his mind, did something occur at his parents, was everything OK? I reminded him that he was only here for a few days and he should spend some time with the kids. But he was having none of it. With no further explanation he walked out of the house in a huff.

Little E was so sad. He had already packed his Thomas the Train backpack with his swim suit and towel and had been walking around with it on for the last hour with a huge smile. He ran after E calling out for Daddy but E ignored him. I picked up little E and explained that Daddy had some other things to do and I would take him and his baby sister Z swimming another time.

I was sitting on the edge of our bed, holding little E, with our daughter Z (5 months old) laying behind us near the pillows, when E stormed back into the house.

He was silent this whole time, suddenly grabbing me by the arm and yanking me off the bed. I struggled to quickly put Little E down and tried to walk out of the room away from the kids, when E started hitting me and pulling at my clothes.

Please bare with me as it all happened so fast yet it felt like it went on forever…

I was doing my best to defend myself against his massive hands that kept swinging towards me and for some reason ripping off my clothes. I kept looking for Little E and telling him to go outside or back in the bedroom. I called for help since we had a farm boy that I knew was just outside, but no one came to help.

It was just myself against E… with Little E peeking from behind the bedroom door.

E punched me in the side of the head a few times and knocked me over and than began kicking me, I remember seeing my head-sized hole in our concrete floor. He’s now successfully ripped off my dress and underwear between punches and I’m left with just a torn bra, and I don’t even care. I’m just trying to make sure I’m left with my life, and that my kids are safe.

I’m fighting back but at the same time I’m trying to calm him down and protect myself. I know that I’ll never be able to over power him. E is literally the strongest man I’ve seen in person physically. Mentally… not so much.

Either way I’m trying to deflect swinging fists and grabbing hands, while calling for help and trying to ask him what’s wrong/please stop, AND trying to maintain all his attention so he doesn’t notice little E standing off in the doorway.

When all of a sudden he stops and walks away. Just like that. I jumped up and grabbed Little E and went to our room and shut the door.

I look out the window and see him coming back. I managed to frantically grab another dress and throw it on and shove my phone in my bra. E had gone out and gotten the farm boy who was hiding in the kitchen. I don’t blame him at all. Our farm boy was about 16 and maybe 120 lbs. Not much of a match for E.

E instructed the boy to pack all my things and the children’s things into 3 suitcases. Apparently E had decided to kick us out of the house.

I was told to sit on the bed and stay there while E and the farm boy shoved a few of our things into bags, informing me that anything that didn’t fit he was going to burn. Then after E left again without a word, and our farm boy helped me carry the luggage to a neighbors house as instructed by E.

Me? I was relieved to be leaving the house alive.

My neighbor was having a bible study, so I literally hid in the kitchen ( I should explain the kitchen is a separate building) while I called a friend I had met maybe 2 months before in town (while swimming with the kids no less). She was a missionary from the States, and as another white woman in Kakamega, we had bonded. I called her and in a surprisingly calm matter told her that E had beaten me up, and kicked us out of the house, so could the kids and I please come stay with her and her family for now until I figured something out.

She was all over that. She talked to her husband and they said they would be right there to get us.

Unfortunately “right there” was about an hour away since they lived in town and I was out in the village. So while I waited in the neighbors kitchen, word spread around the village. Probably thanks to my farm boy. But people came to stay with me. Kids kept watch out for E. I was given a cool cloth for my swelling eyes, and older children played with my kids.

Finally, my friend arrived. Our bags were put into her van by the neighbor boys and the vehicle was surrounded by people. “Mama E, are you ok? Mama E are you coming back? Mama E, please stay”

But I couldn’t, I had to leave. Now. I just needed to get out to feel safe.

So then, as we were pulling away… E’s mom showed up. Someone had gotten word to E’s parents and my mother in law came. But she didn’t come to make sure I was ok. She was there to protect her son and her families reputation. She stood in the way of my friends van saying I shouldn’t go to the police, it was a mistake, stay at the farm, forgive him etc. My friend politely explained that it had been E who packed my bags, and that I would be gone for now, at the request of E himself. Anything else could be discussed on the phone. And then started driving. Slowly, but it was a move or get run over type thing. I was so thankful for her in that moment because I was so shaken up I could barely speak, let alone defend any action on my part to bring myself and the kids to safety.

People finally moved. Kids ran after the van tapping on the windows for so long. They didn’t want to see myself and the kids leave. We had become family to them.

But when push came to shove… they would protect blood over us.

And the shove had most definitely come.


-Maroon 5/Sunday Morning-

Side Bar

Just a pause from talking about me for now.

I’ve been getting a few comments and so many emails from you guys talking about how you’ve either been in or are currently in a similar situation.

First off, I’m sorry. I know it’s not my fault, but I wouldn’t ever wish this on anyone, not even E. I can imagine what your feeling and I understand that’s why your reaching out to me. I’m doing my best to get back to each of you who send me an email. But most importantly I want everyone to understand I’m not a therapist and everything I’m saying is just a response and a recommendation based on my experience or just a friendly person at the other end of your email. I will do my best to help you, and please know that you always have someone to talk to who truly understands your pain. I just don’t want to steer anyone down the wrong path or claim to be anything I’m not.

Otherwise, thank everyone so much for all the overwhelming support. The response from across the globe has been phenomenal, but also heartbreaking. To know that so many people can relate to what I’m saying is too sad.

But I will continue to write and …. spoiler alert… keep you updated on how I got out.

Hopefully you can to.

I Can’t Believe Deez Ni**az Came And Tried Ta Rob Me Fo’ My Shit After All I Did Fo’ Yall, This Tha F**kin Thanks I Get

While living outside of Kakamega, Kenya, it seemed more difficult for E to adjust than for myself. New things don’t scare me much, and I’m always up for talking to new people and having fresh experiences. But for E, what we didn’t understand at the time (about 2013-2014) was that his schizophrenic tendencies were becoming more common  during that time frame. Day to day life was becoming more overwhelming for him, and by extension for the kids and I.

One day I offered to take the trip into town to get the few things we needed as far as supplies, so that E could just work on the farm. Normally E went to town just because when I went it was a little more dangerous as a white woman traveling alone and E enjoyed the possibility of seeing some old friends from his childhood. Recently however, even having neighbors over to our house seemed too stressful for him.

So I strapped our youngest in a sling in preparation for the walk and headed out the door. Normally I would only have to walk between 10-20 minutes before I would be able to wave a piki piki down on the road and then enjoy the 15 minute ride into town on the back of the motorcycle. But today there seemed to be none on the road, or they all already had passengers on them.

So I just kept walking. Until after about 30 minutes I hear E calling my name. I turn around and he is running after me. I waited for him, since I really had no idea why he was there, or what prompted him to run the last few Km’s. But when he finally caught up to me, it was nothing that I expected… Which funny enough is something I’ve come to expect with E. That I could never expect anything from him.

Anyways, as soon as he got to me, he roughly grabbed into my bra for my wallet. Yeah I kept my money in my bra for safe keeping, something E had told me to do to keep it  away from thieves. Little did I know the only person who would even attempt to steal anything from me the entire time I was in Kenya would be my own husband.

I can’t even remember what he was saying or why he was doing it. I just remember that I was holding a baby and he was pushing me around and grabbing my things in the middle of the dirt road. I honestly wasn’t sure what his intent was, or why it bothered him that I was headed to town, but he was trying to take my wallet, and I remember that I was having none of it. Or at least I was trying. I did my best to hold onto my wallet and at the same time protect/hold on to our baby daughter. I wouldn’t say a crowd gathered, but a few people started peering at us through the bushes/fences along the side of the road, and I tried calling for help. I tried calling out that he was a thief or a robber. I can’t remember which, but anything to draw attention, and what I thought would be help. But no one did anything. E got my wallet and ran off for home, but not before spilling most the contents along the dirt road.

So left with only my embarrassment and half the contents of my wallet strewn on the road, I picked up the few things that had fallen out and I remember for some reason I was more upset that no one had helped me, then the fact E had just done that to me.

With no money left, I had no choice but to return the direction I had just come.  Walking past all the yards of the people pretending nothing had happened. I took about an hour to walk back to our house, and even then I didn’t go home. I had no interest in seeing E anytime soon, since I had no clue what was going through his head at that moment so I went to a neighbors.

I stayed for tea and a standard “how are you” chat, before E showed up. He said he had been looking for me…

I told him I wasn’t interested in going home right then. He apologized to me right there in our neighbors house, and I had to explained to her what had happened. My neighbor said I should go with him. He’d apologized and that it would be good now. Apparently, that should be good enough for me to move on.

I knew then, that if anything more serious happened to me, E would have the support of the community. It was how they lived. It was what they were used to. Men being able to literally do whatever they wanted and the women being treated pretty much like property.  It for some reason was ok for them.

Not for me.

At that point I knew I was alone.


-Soulja Boy/Go To War-

The Wedding Of My Dreams. My Worst Nightmare 

E didn’t want anything to do in planning the wedding. My mom on the other hand… She wanted to be all up in there, whether I wanted it or not.

I’m a fairly easy going person. I don’t like to stir up trouble. And my mom was getting so excited about this whole wedding thing that I didn’t want to say no when she wanted to invite every last person she knew to the wedding. The list went on and on until I felt like it was her wedding with touches of me here and there. I had no support from E in trying to arrange things any differently. “She’s your mom” “Let her do it” were all the responses I got from him.

I didn’t realize until much later that E was scared of her.

My wedding day was nothing like I wanted it to be. Actually if I had to do it again I’d probably just elope and forgo all the hassle (Probably something I should’ve done this time, with someone different lol). From start to finish I hated it. Except my dress. I loved that thing. I could’ve lived a week straight in it and not complained once. Unfortunately I had to leave in Kenya, so it’s gone for good.

I spent the morning going to my friends to get my hair done. Then back at my house I did my own make up while alone. There was none of that “all the women gathered/photo op” stuff going on. The place was completely empty apart from myself. My bridesmaids arrived later on in the dresses they had picked out themselves. Black. Haha, that was my colour. Black. If that’s not foreshadowing I don’t know what is. It’s like they were dressing for my funeral and I didn’t even clue in.

Anyways. They showed up and we had a few pictures taken in my parents backyard. Then we headed off to see E.

I had chosen to have the wedding on a Friday night. I figured people wouldn’t want to waste a whole day on me, so we had planned for a quick ceremony at 6 ( I think, I don’t even remember now) followed right after by dinner in the same hotel. Wham bam done. Simple, easy. I already knew by now I didn’t want to make a big deal of the whole E+C thing, and had already become embarrassed to be with him in public, so the quicker we got it over and done with, the better.

Because there was no time in between the ceremony and reception, we chose to do our pictures first thing. No big deal. No big reveal. Just him seeing me and us doing our thing.

So my 2 bridesmaids and I drove to where E was staying at what would be our new house and that’s where he saw me for the first time on our wedding day.

“You look nice” is how I was greeted. Wow thanks hun. Way to really make a girl feel special.  I looked nice. But thinking back… E has never once called me beautiful. I’m not saying I should be in the movies or some model, but I don’t think I’m ugly. I guess average is the word I’m looking for. But on the other hand, I also think that if you love someone and you think they are the one for you, the one you’re choosing to marry… that you would find them attractive. Beautiful perhaps. And that maybe once in a while you would tell them just that, that they look beautiful. A great opportunity being on the wedding day. But, not the man I chose. Nope my picking skills are something else.

We did some pictures at the house and around town, then headed off for the ceremony. I can remember the most special part of that afternoon… the whole day, is when my shoe-strap became undone and E bent down to do it up for me. I specifically remember the most romantic thing he’s ever done was do up my shoe for me. First and only time he’d ever bent on one knee in front of me that’s for sure.

The ceremony was quick and simple. Not a wet eye in sight. Yep you heard that right.  Dry and emotionless. Like a lecture hall. Filled with 60+ of my parents closest friends. I was so glad when E and I walked back out down the aisle at the end. It meant that not so much attention would be on me and this sham.

Dinner was horrific. My MC hardly planned anything and it was just awful all around. People began leaving before 9 PM and I didn’t blame them at all. I’d have been outta there ASAP if it wasn’t my own wedding. We had rented a photo booth which was fun but other then that, nothing. E didn’t want to talk to anyone so it made for awkward conversations and you could just feel the tension.

I was embarrassed for my wedding.

Finally an appropriate amount of time had passed and we could make our exit. I swiped a bottle of wine off a table, told E I would be upstairs in our hotel room and asked if he needed anything. Nope, he’d be up in a minute.

Over an hour later E finally came up the stairs reeking of weed. Ok fine. You lit up a joint on your wedding night to ease the stress. I can get over that. But then when he was in the washroom, his phone rang with an unknown #. I answered it thinking it wasn’t a big deal, someone needed something or was calling to say congrats… maybe a family member from Kenya not realizing the time difference.

It was a big deal. It was his ex. His baby mama. The chick he’d just spent the last hour on the phone with. On our wedding night he left to get high and chill with another chick on the phone.

Needless to say I wasn’t in the mood for standard wedding night festivities. But E didn’t care. And that was just the first time he didn’t care. When he wanted it, he got it. Correction. He took it. My awful wedding day was topped off with rape.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t wear something borrowed and something blue….


 

You Should Have Put A Ring On It Don’t Be Mad Once You See That He Want It

E had big hands. Huge hands. Like it was ridiculous. We went multiple times to different jewelry stores looking for the perfect wedding ring for him. I asked him so many questions about what he would like, what did he want it to look like, how big, what style. I really wanted him to like his ring. The issue though, was his fingers. His fingers/hands/knuckles what have you, had been broken/injured so many times playing rugby that finding a ring to fit was proving to be more effort then it was worth in the end. Any ring that would fit over his knuckles would just hang loosely around the base of his finger once on.

I researched so many options because I wanted it to be perfect for him. I found a company that will take a ring and put a clasp in it, so you could open it and then once on, tighten it, similar to a watch. The cost to alter a ring was crazy but worth it (I thought at the time) for E to comfortably wear his ring. Since we would be spending a fair amount on the customization, my dad offered his dad’s ring for us to use to save us money on the gold. My Nonno had passed away years before and my dad had been holding unto that ring tightly. He didn’t even offer it to my older sister when she got married.

I accepted the ring and knew the importance of it to my Dad in regards to the memory of my grandfather. E just kinda was glad to get it for free. Because I know for sure he didn’t value it at all.

After the marriage, any time we had the littlest disagreement, he took the ring off.  If anything escalated into an argument, he would take that important part of my family history and walk outside the front door and would chuck it. Normally way over the roof in a dramatic fashion. In fact we didn’t even have to be arguing. One time he did it because I simply asked him if he got high after a game. The first time I found it in the backyard while weeding and stupidly gave it back to him. The next time our neighbor was mowing his lawn and ran it over. The third time it was gone for good. Never once did E go out looking for it on his own time, or show any remorse for what he had done. There was never an apology linked to him loosing that ring. Not even loosing it, but deliberately throwing it away, never to be found again, and not even a simple I’m sorry. My deceased grandfathers ring was thrown out like last weeks garbage, because of E’s temper.

The ring I spent so much time, effort and money on meant nothing to him. He used to insinuate that by taking off the ring we were done. To him, it was as simple as throwing it away and he would be done with me. I never once saw him out there looking for it. It didn’t matter to him. It was no big deal to him. I was no big deal to him. I could’ve easily been thrown away like that and he would’ve cared just as much.

The story of our marriage.


-Beyoncé/Single Ladies-

My Precious 

I’m finding as I come to write these posts, I can’t decide where to start since so many memories and tantalizing stories come to mind. I figured it’ll be best to start with the one I’m thinking in the moment that’s closer to the start of the timeline for you to follow along a little better, other than that I’m just winging it and hoping it’ll all come out in the end. 

After E and I had been dating about 6-7 months we started talking more seriously about the future. At this point I figured I’d invested this much so far that there was no turning back. We discussed getting engaged and married eventually. It just felt like the right thing to do. Not the right thing as in this is the man of my dreams kinda right, but right as in this is what you do next and the the proper protocol kinda right.

So we basically decided together that yeah, it was something that would happen and I was just waiting at this point. Imagining how E would propose, as girls are prone to do. Thinking of all the romantic things he could do, while still keeping expectations very low. I mean common, it’s not like I’d just met the man, I’d learned how he operated by now. He’d bought me flowers once the entire time we were dating on Valentines day and that was it. No birthday gift. No Christmas card. Nothing. I knew there would be no dramatic, romantic proposal, so all the scenarios I was imagining were just that, thoughts and imaginations.

Anyways, one day I was helping him with some paper work at his place for immigration and needed something from a drawer. That’s when I saw it. The little black box. I left it as is for the time being, but as soon as E had left the room I snuck a peek.

I know, I know. How awful of me to ruin the surprise. You need to understand I have this ridiculous need to know what gifts I’m getting before I get them. I’m the reigning queen of finding my Christmas gifts pre-Christmas. So much so that my parents started wrapping them the day they bought them and then hid them, so when I found them I couldn’t see what they were. Little did they know I’m also the queen of unwrapping and rewrapping gifts anyways 😂.

So I opened the box. And I saw my ring. Pre-proposal.

… You guys it was awful. It was a purple stone. Ok, yes I appreciate that he went to the jewelry store and bought me a ring. But purple? I hate purple/pink. And how could this man not know that? And now I would have to walk around with this ring on and everyone is going to be asking to see it and I’m going to have to act like I love it. Ugh. I closed that box and left that night with so many conflicting emotions.

First, he was going to propose eventually. Which was exciting. Because every girl wants to be chosen by a man to the point they want to wife them. But secondly… that ring 😩. I guess it was my fault for peeking but either way eventually I would see it and hate it, what did it matter that it was now or later. At least this way it gave me a chance to work on my “Oh, I love it” face.

Christmas comes and goes. No ring (No present at all from him tbh). New Years. No ring. The day after NYE, I invite E to go on a roller coaster. I love them and thought he’d like to try. We actually had a semi-fun night. I laughed so hard at E on the roller coaster. Here he is standing 6″4 and 250+lbs and when we went on that roller coaster he had his eyes closed and was screaming at one point. It was actually hilarious. But at the end of the night I dropped him of at his place kinda hoping for that ring. I mean common he missed so many opportunities during the holidays. But nope. We said our good nights and I headed back to my car. I sat in my car a couple minutes kinda dejected and that’s when my phone rang. It was E. He was asking me if I could come back up for a moment.

This was it. I knew what was coming. I walked back up to his place and went in, thinking maybe he had taken the time to prepare something for the proposal. I walked in and there was nothing special. That’s fine. He sat down on the bed, and so I sat down beside him, because I’m not supposed to know anything’s up remember. And there’s where he asked me to marry him.

Flat out. “C will you marry me”. Sitting side by side on the bed. No, I love you so much I wanna be with you forever. No down on one knee. No flowers. No candles. No music. No nothing. Just that stupid purple ring. But I was still the idiot who said yes regardless. And that was that.

Nothing else happened, and I literally walked out 10 minutes later, with that gaudy purple ring on my finger. If there was a prize for least romantic, heartfelt engagement, we would have won it hands down.

I drove home for the night. Still feeling excited. I mean common, I was engaged now. Not proud of my ring or anything connected to it, but still I had accomplished something. I felt wanted by someone. That was something at least. Right?

My mom knew the moment she saw the ring that I must not like it. My sisters could tell. My best friend asked me straight up how I could wear something I didn’t like so much. I never told anyone outright I didn’t like it. These were just people who had gotten to know me and my style.

That ring was a representation of everything E knew and cared about me. Which ended up being very, very little.
Did I mention I found out the ring cost $249 when I went to have it sized the next week? Oh I felt so valued.


 

Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked / I Can’t Hold Back Though You Know I Wish I Could

We’d been living in Nakuru for about 2-3 months now, and had settled in as best as we could. E had been asked to come back and play for the national rugby team so he kept busy with that. I was occupied with attempts at learning a new language (unsuccessfully), raising a baby (successfully), and adjusting to life in a completely different environment then I was used to. E’s old local team asked him to come play with them when he was in town and normally I took our son Little E to watch. But on this one occasion I was just getting over my first experience with Malaria and so I had to pass. E went to the game and said he’d be home early since he didn’t feel like staying out late with the guys. No big deal.

Normal game time passes, plus an hour or two and I don’t hear from E. I tried calling him to see how it went with no answer. 2 hours turn into 4 then 6 then its overnight… and nothing from him. I’m going through every scenario in my head about where he could be, what could have happened, is he ok, what can I do? Everything. I’ve been calling his phone practically every 15 minutes since 3 AM with no response. At first I figured OK fine they won and he’s partying with the guys that’s fine. But after no answer. No text. No call.  And no E. It got scary. By the morning I called his sister to see if she had heard from him, but she was in Nairobi for the weekend and no, hadn’t heard from him and gave little no advice about what to do to find him. So my next option was to go out looking for him.

E had told me stories about him growing up and being arrested a few times walking home from rugby with friends just because they looked like a bunch of guys up to no good (making trouble in the neighbourhood 😉). Or being beaten up on the way home by a group of guys and getting robbed. (Again probably lies) So I’m thinking the only reason he hasn’t called is because he’s locked up, or half dead in a gutter somewhere, while at the same time trying to maintain my own sanity and logic and not freak out before I figure out whats actually happened.

So I strapped on Little E in a sling and set out to find my husband. Still half sick with a deadly disease and all.  In a town I barely knew. In a place where I was literally the only white woman there. I had no idea where to go first so I decided to head towards the rugby club. All the way across town. I went on foot so I could keep a closer eye on the sides of the road for E. My thought process was to check the gutters one way on the way there, and the other side on the way back if needed. Morbid, but true.

I made a stop at his sisters house to see if maybe he had stopped there for the night and was greeted by a guy I’d never met, but somehow through a bunch of marriages, he knew we were related. I realized by now, that everyone knew me, and I knew… like 4 people. Anyways, I explained what was going on and he agreed to take me to the police station.

At the station, the long lost relative left me, to go back home to sleep, I’m pretty sure he was hungover. It took about an hour for the cops to go through all the guys they’d locked up the previous night, while I waited nervously in the waiting room, trying to ignore the catcalls and other offensive things coming from the cells, to determine that E wasn’t there. So, now  I guess it was off to the rugby club. Another hours walk away all while lugging Little E. Turned out to be completely empty. I had no other ideas of where to look or what to do, so I headed home. On the opposite side of the road. After about 5 hours of wandering the city and repeatedly calling E, I was still no closer to knowing where he was or what had happened to him, so I went home.

I got to the house and took my son off who by then felt like he was 100 lbs. I took my medication for the malaria and did my best to sleep considering I was supposed to be resting, you know to not die and all, but it alluded me. Until there was a knock at the window. There was E. Casually trying to stroll in at around 3 in the afternoon.

I was so relieved and SO mad at the same time I didn’t let him in. He stood out on the back porch and explained through the window that he got so drunk he went and slept at his sisters house in the backyard because he didn’t want me to see him. I told him everything I had done to find him while trying to control my anger. All he had to say to me was not thank you, but instead he had the balls to say that when I went to his sisters I should’ve thought to come to the shed in the backyard to find him.

What the? So now it’s my fault I’m sick and carried our son all over this foreign city to find your drunk ass and I didn’t look in the right place!

I didn’t care that he got drunk. People do that.

I didn’t care that he didn’t come home. Although a call would’ve been nice.

But to blame me for not thinking of looking in the shed? Fuck off.

I opened the door. Handed him the baby, and finally went to sleep myself.

His hungover ass could deal with making himself dinner that night. I had had enough E for the day.


–Cage The Elephant/Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked-