While on that August 21st birthday flight to the dentist, I was overcome with a strong feeling that Lou was going to intentionally crash the plane with all of us in it. Nothing had been said or implied… it was just intuition. I sat in the front passenger seat scoping out the area around me for what I could use as a weapon to blind and then kill him, and then stepped through how to normalize the plane from a dive or spin and how to radio for help and land the plane. I stayed calm, but ready to take the actions I had imagined in detail. We landed safely, and I was overly friendly throughout the day. On the flight back, I silently cried in the dark, knowing that he was happy and we were safe that night.
Over the next few days, I prepared to actually leave him. I knew I had to be careful and stay safe until he got over the rage from my departure. I finally had the nerve to see a lawyer…who advised a restraining order. I stopped off at the local police station to tell them I was planning to leave my home and take our daughter with me to a hotel, and that I wanted to be sure it was legal and that they were notified. Oddly, Lou insisted that he pick up Anjelica from camp that day, which he had never done before, and it threw off my exit strategy to just leave from camp. I met him at the end of the still soft, freshly paved 1000 foot driveway to our house. We had planned to bring his vehicle in for service, and would be driving two cars to drop one at the dealership. He had somehow noticed that the spare keys to my car were missing from the kitchen drawer; I claimed to not know their whereabouts, but was very aware they were with the mace I had also stashed beside me in the center console. I said I would follow his car, and managed to casually get Anjelica into my backseat, and lock the doors. On the drive, I explained to her that Mom and Dad had not been getting along, that we had been trying to work it out, but I had talked to several people who said the best thing to do right now was to have some time apart, and so we were going to a hotel. I said that Dad would not be happy about it. She said she understood and that it would be better to have divorced parents who were happy than ones who were together and unhappy.
When his car took the highway exit, I followed him part way up the ramp, but then at the last minute, when he was unable to turn back, I darted back onto the highway and headed south. He immediately called, asking if I had missed the exit. I said I just wanted peace and needed some space on my own while we work through filing for divorce. I said I had called a lawyer that day and suggested that he do the same. He said I had better get home right away and that he would let it go that I had done this. He kept calling, and I repeatedly told him I just wanted peace, Anjelica repeatedly told him she was fine. We got to a hotel near my office in Massachusetts and I explained that I would not tell him where it was because I just wanted some peace and knew he would not let me rest. He spoke to Anjelica again, and she told me he wanted to know where we were – I asked her if she knew, and she answered, “yes.” – “Then tell him,” I said. We left without checking in, and I drove back north to find another hotel, and eventually landed not far from home. I told the clerk to mark my room information as confidential, and to be sure to tell others that if anyone asked, I was not there. He finally stopped calling me after I said I was checked in somewhere else, and would have to turn the phone off if he didn’t let me sleep. I later saw on the phone bill that Lou had spent hours that night calling hotels.
The next day, I stood before a judge to request a temporary restraining order. He was not convinced that there was any rational reason to grant it, but did so based on my professional, but obviously fearful demeanor, and suggested that I would need to “beef it up” before the actual hearing. My sister was concerned and drove from NY with her husband to support me. That night, after taking angry calls from Lou all day long, I was contacted by a police officer who was about to serve the restraining order, and wanted to know about weapons in the house, etc. I told him where I had hidden all the guns from Lou. I warned the officer to be careful and said that if Lou takes a “you are going to have to make me leave” stance, that he means it. The officer basically laughed me off, saying they do this all the time. About an hour later they called and said he’d resisted at first, but then got some stuff and left for a hotel. I only planned to go home briefly to get some clothes. He could have the house and everything in it.