The next few months were hell, he would fight with me non-stop, telling my kids that I was a terrible mother and I didn’t know how to take care of them. Michael stood up to him for me and told his father that I did a better job than he ever would. I jumped in front of Michael because if he had laid a finger on my child for trying to protect me, I think I would have at least knocked him out he was so drunk. I was out of work because of my mental health and PTSD. When he would get home I would leave with my friend Kim who has also witnessed the abuse. I was trying to avoid him at all costs. I was making myself sick over this shit when he was not worth any of it. I cried myself to sleep every single night, wondering how I have let this go on for 11 years. I told myself that I was trying to keep my family together, which was the worst possible excuse I can use. My children were watching their father treat me like I was nothing, and I allowed it. My biggest fear in life is that my children turn out anything like their father. Matter of fact, the only traits I hope they get from me is my heart, my compassion, and the way I treat others regardless of how they treat me. I hope they never have the feeling of being weak, because I see their strength every single day. Yes, I see a lot of Mike in Michael but I am working on love, respect, and loyalty with him. Matthew is sensitive and sweet, when someone is hurt, he cries for them because he is scared for them. I will do everything in my power to protect them and reteach them respect, and how a woman should be treated, I will also teach them how a man is supposed to be treated. It is a two way street. I continued to let this man belittle me, slam my door open when I was trying to close it to get away from him. After 11 years of marriage it took something disgusting, tragic, and painful for me to finally leave. On March 13, 2019 my friend was brutally murdered by her abuser. She reached out for over a week to Cranston police telling them she was in fear of her life, and our city failed her. They told her there was nothing they could do because there was “no evidence.” On March 19th, 2019, we all came together for a candle lit vigal for one of the kindest, loving, beautiful, and amazing woman I had the pleasure of calling a friend. Lauren Ise gave me strength, and when I hugged her mother, I told her after 11 years I was leaving my abuser. I heard Laurens voice in my head telling me over and over that I could do this. That night I sent an email to the mayor of Cranston which I will post below. The next morning two detectives were at my door and asked if I would like to go down to the station and fill out a report. I told them I had to get my children ready for school. They asked if they could send a detective and their domestic violence advocate over to talk to me and ask some questions, and for the first time I did not hesitate and said absolutely. On March 22, 2019 the exact day I had met him 11 years prior I went to the court house and filed a restraining order against him which they served him at work. For the first time in 11 years, I felt relief, hope, and fear. Lauren Ise, my beautiful angel, you saved my life and I wish I could have saved yours.