I was increasingly concerned about leaving the girls in his care due to drinking. “His” behavior was becoming worrisome. He was shifting from announcing the marriage as “over” to writing long, bizarre and rambling emails begging for me to come back. I was still couch surfing on the weekends and trying to stay distracted every second that I was away. It was waves of different emotions for me– a sense of freedom that I had not felt in a very, very long time and then the ache of being away from my babies for the first time ever.
Our tenant who was living in the upstairs granny unit called me in a panic on a weekend morning. She heard the girls crying downstairs and went to check on them (8am-ish) to find that they were completely alone. They were so alone that my four-year old daughter was trying to change my two-year old daughter’s diaper because they couldn’t find their father. My little girls had even wandered outside looking for him to no avail.
I was 30 minutes away and beside myself. A million thoughts ran through my head– where in the hell was he?! Why would he leave two little girls alone? How long had he been gone? What would have happened had our renter left the house for the weekend?
I repeatedly called his phone and after three calls, he answered.
What could the excuse possibly be? I was waiting. There was silence. I was yelling. I could barely breathe.
He answered: “I left around five am to work at the coffee shop and lost track of time”.
Tears started to flow. For starters, there are no local coffee shops open at 5am. That’s another story…and another lie.
How is this possible? How could a 36 year old, well-educated man think that it was ok to leave two little girls home alone?! He seemed calm. He eluded that I was overreacting– that it wasn’t a big deal. “CALM DOWN…it was a few hours”….that was his response in a very condescending tone.
It was a few hours that my daughters were walking through the house and calling for him….walking outside alone and calling for him….their calls turned into tears because they were afraid and then my little girl had to change her baby sister’s diaper.
This was the day that I knew my daughters were no longer safe in “his” care.
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