So when we left this scene, I was on an emergency trip from Boulder to Santa Fe to try to get my dad to leave his Ukrainian mail order bride. My dad who’s rage fests had terrified me as a child was himself so scared of this woman that, in his own living room, had to write me a note, furtively, nervously, asking me to meet him at Santa Fe Community College where he taught. Thankfully, I had gotten my brother and his security guard brother-in-law to go back to Albuquerque.
Dad was upset that I had come to the house and that I had upset Yuliya by asking for some time with him alone. He was nervous, looking around, different from the man I knew. I was looking at the victim of spousal abuse. I knew it. We talked about it. I did every thing I could to move him. He promised to think about it. He had a job interview in Florida. He was a chronic applier, he frequently got the jobs then bailed. He promised we would talk more. That he would think seriously about leaving her, for his sake, for my little sister. Yuliya was verbally abusive to her. She called my father’s teenage daughter, my baby sister, who wasn’t sixteen yet, a whore and worse, and he didn’t stop her. She had ripped up pictures of Alex, destroyed her room. Luckily, Alex was living with her mom and we had cut off contact for fear of what she would do to Alex. My dad’s broken collarbone was warning enough.
I wanted to stay, to talk with him more. But he told me to go. He couldn’t get away from her. So I left driving home the same day. My man was worried, of course, she wanted me to spend the night in Santa Fe. I couldn’t stay. I made that drive in one of my faster times. Maybe I should have stayed. I second guess myself still. I was almost home when I got the call. It was awful. Dad didn’t sound right. He told me that I shouldn’t disrespect his wife. That this was his god sanctified marriage. It went on. There was a lot of god in there. My dad was an atheist. He told me that I wasn’t welcome in his home or his life if I did not respect his wife. I was supposed to apologize to her. I really don’t remember the words but with everything we been through, every thing I had done for him, everything he had done to me it was devastating. I was tired and he left me barely able to drive through the tears.
I was home, slamming down a scotch when he called again. He was crying, begging me to forgive him. They had been in the car and Yuliya had been threatening to crash them if he didn’t say what she told him to say. I told him that he had this time but never again. I was not going through that again.
He called back a bit later. They had had a huge fight. He had called the police and she was arrested for spousal abuse and assault on a police officer. He wasn’t sure what to do. I talked him into going to Florida as planned. When he called to say that sending her to jail was the worst thing he had ever done to a person. I grew up with him and know that wasn’t true. He was reconciling with her. For better or worse I told him I was done. I wasn’t going to live an abuse he wasn’t getting out of. It was it quite that easy but it was one of the last times we spoke on the phone.
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