None of Your Concern
I met Terrance in the 10thgrade and we became inseparable. He was my high school sweetheart. I went to his junior and senior prom and he went to mine as well. Once we graduated from high school we attended the same university together. We both graduated with honors. Once we finished college Terrance enlisted in the US states army.
In order to live together Terrance and I eloped the day after graduation. We flew to Vegas and got married at a local chapter. The wedding was not fancy and our families did not attend the wedding because it was a spur of the moment idea. The only witness that we had at our wedding was Lance who was Terrance’s dorm mate, and best friend. Terrance and I agreed that after he completed his first five years in the army we would have another wedding and this time all of our family would be in attendance.
After Terrance completed basic training we found out that I was pregnant with our first son Tyree. Terrance was the perfect father from the start. He supported me throughout my whole pregnancy never missing an appointment. He was in the hospital with me when Tyree was born. When Tyree was six months old we found out that Terrance was being deployed to Iraq. He was giving a six month tour in Iraq. My husband leaving during my son’s newborn years was extremely hard, but with the support of family I survived.
My sister Angela came down to help me with the baby. Angela is my older sister our mother passed away right after Angela graduated high school. When our mother died Angela was 18 years old and I was 8 years old. Our mother left Angela money to help raise me and we never really struggled. Losing our mom was hard, but we stuck together. Angela made sure that I finished school and went to college because that is what our mother wanted. Our mother always wanted us to be close she even name me Angelica after my sister. Angela and Angelica Etty.
When Terrance came home from completing his six months in Iraq he told me that he hated being deployed. He told me how much he missed his family. Terrance and I were joined at the hip since we were teenagers so it was hard being away from each other for such a long period of time. The first three months Terrance was home from Iraq everything seemed to go back to normal. My sister left and went back home and it was just Terrance, Tyree and I once again. I found out that I was pregnant after Terrance was home for six months. We both were so excited to hear that I was pregnant. Terrance prayed for a girl, but I wished for another boy. We both were happy when I learned I was having a girl. We named our daughter Tyleah.
Once again Terrance was the perfect father always holding Tyleah and taking care of her. My son Tyree was so protective over his little sister. I was so happy that God blessed me with my family. Everything was perfect until we found out Terrance was being deployed once again this time for 12 months. Even though Terrance did not want to leave his family he saw it as his duty to protect and fight for his country. We agreed that after Terrance returned from his tour overseas we would have our wedding. Terrance advised me to plan the entire wedding while he was away.
I planned the whole wedding with help from my sister. The year came and went so fast. I wrote Terrance every day and sent pictures. However before I knew it Terrance was back home being the head of the house hold. However after the second detour in Iraq I noticed a change in Terrance. He wasn’t as loving or patient with the kids or me. He was harsh and he had such a quick temper. The kids and I began walking on eggshells when Terrance was home. I found myself happy whenever Terrance would leave for work. I still loved my husband, but I was starting to fear him.
I remember the first time Terrance ever became violent with me. It was a Tuesday evening and I ordered pizza for the kids. We always had tacos on Tuesdays that was our thing, but I was tired and didn’t feel like cooking. Ordering pizza seemed like the best option. Terrance liked structure and liked sticking to the rules.
“Why didn’t you make tacos” he asked.
“Honey I’m just so tired today. I ordered pizza for the kids. I can order taco pizza for you” I said.
Without word Terrance grabbed me by my throat and began choking me. I blacked out and when I came too I was in my bedroom closet and Terrance and our children were gone. Once I came too I realized hours had pasted and it was now 3 am.
I called Terrance to find out where my children were. I was afraid that Terrance hurt our children I didn’t know what to think. I called via FaceTime and Terrance answered on what seemed like the first ring. Once he answered I could see our children sleeping peacefully in a hotel bed together. Terrance was shocked to receive the call, but I could also tell that he was relieved. I could also tell that he had been crying, and before I could say anything Terrance began to talk, and express his sincere concern.
“I thought I lost you forever” he stated. As soon as he said that I realized my throat felt damaged. Looking at myself in the camera I saw my husband print around my throat. It all kicked in that he really tried to kill me over tacos.
“God brought you back to me for a reason. I am going to get help, and I will never hurt you again” he said.
I began to cry. I knew that I would never feel safe with my husband again. I also knew that being overseas made him different. He wasn’t the same person I married years ago. He went overseas to fight for the country and to provide for his children and me.
“You need to see a therapist, and we need to do marriage counseling” I said. I knew what PTSD was and I never enough about PTSD to realize that my husband needed serious medical attention.
“I will do that. I need you please don’t leave me. Please don’t take my kids away from me” he began to sob.
“I am not going to leave you. Bring the kids back and come home” I said. I didn’t plan on leaving Terrance at the time. I also didn’t plan on letting him move back into the home with the kids and I. He was a danger and a threat to us I just needed him to bring the children home safely.
Terrance advised me that he drove the children 6 hours away out of the state. We both agreed not to wake the children up and wait for morning. I however did not trust leaving Terrance alone with our children so I stayed on the phone with him. I didn’t let him hang up. I texted my sister and asked her to come down and stay with the children and I. She agreed.
Once my sister came over I advised her to look for apartments that offered military discounts. I also advised her to back his bags. I knew my sister would do anything necessary to protect me. I knew she always carried and wouldn’t hesitate to shoot to protect her baby sister and nieces and nephews. I also knew with or without a gun my sister and I would put up a fight if necessary. We also had each other’s backs.
Terrance and the children arrived home safely. The children ran into the home happy once I announced auntie was home. I met Terrance outside and advised him that I was not leaving him however he would not be allowed into the home until he started therapy and made great strides in getting better. I advised him that his bags were in the garage and gave him the address to his new apartment. As quickly as I delivered the news I went back into our home not wanting to argue or give him time to react.
Terrance left after sitting in the driveway for over 30 minutes. We started couples therapy the following week.
Terrance stayed out of the home for 6 months and completed heavy therapy. We also attended couples therapy weekly. However his behavior only changed temporarily. He would come home appear to be fine for a week and then violate me again. After one 18 months I gave up on Terrance every being the man that I married again. Iraq turned him into a monster, a monster that I was no longer willing to deal with.
One night my sister and I were home alone drinking wine and watching Snapped our favorite show.
“Do you have a life insurance policy on Terrace?” my sister asked.
“We have one through the military and one personal policy we took out once we got married” I answered.
“What if he just popped up dead” my sister said with a slight laugh.
“Then I would believe in miracles” I jokingly said back to her. I still loved Terrance with all of my heart, but I was not going to sit around and be abused. I was not going to walk around with bruises and hide my face from the world because of Terrance. It was clear that Terrance was a lost cause at this point. However killing my husband just sounded absurd.
“It would have to look natural or like an accident” my sister said.
“How would we make that happen” I asked.
We both sat in silence and continued to sip our wine.
It was like at the same moment both our faces lit up and we unanimously said “suicide”.
Terrance would take his own life and I would be a widow. I would become the face of advocating for veterans, and speak out for our troops. I would use Terrance’s suicide to bring awareness to PTSD and the struggles soldiers face coming home from deployment. Terrnace’s death would not be in vain.
Terrance was given physiological medicine to help cope with his PTSD and other mental issues. He would ingest them all and then fall asleep with the car running in our garage with a little help from my sister and myself. Everything we planned worked perfectly a little too perfectly actually.
I made dinner for Terrance crushed some of his pills into the food. After dinner Terrance took his pills as routine. He was already abusing the pills. He started getting sleepy. I told him he couldn’t stay the night. He stumbled to the car with the help with my sister and I. We helped him turn the car on and left the empty pill bottle in the car. Terrance fell asleep in the garage with the car running. It was actually simple to assist in my husbands suicide.
Exactly one month after drinking wine on my couch with my sister my husband was found dead in his car from an apparent suicide. He was struggling with PTSD and coping with being home from Iraq. He was buried with military honors and received a 21 gun salute. I received a half million dollars.
I thought the money would help me cope. However once Terrance was buried I realized he was actually gone forever and I would never get him back. Our children no longer had a father and I was a widow. I didn’t want to be married to anyone else or date after losing my husband. After my husband’s death I decided to stay single and not introduce our children to any other man. I was content with having my sister and my children around while I grieved.
Many nights I cried missing my husband and feeling bad for taking his life. My sister and children held me during my sleepless nights. I didn’t feel bad for ending the post Iraq Terrance’s life because he was a monster. However living in that monster’s body somewhere deep inside was my King Terrance that I married. The Terrace that provided pleased and protected me. My husband Terrance.
My sister understood my pain. She was my rock through everything. I knew she was grieving as well because she also grew to love Terrance as a brother. I knew my sister would forever be my rock. What I did not expect was for her to start dating and fall in love.
End of Part 1
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