‘Does he own a firearm?’ I told the operator ‘yes.’ They found it hidden, loaded, in my daughter’s toys.’: Woman leaves abusive marriage to set strong example for 3-year-old, ‘My daughter’s smile is worth every struggle’

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“My world came crashing down on February 26, 2017. That was the day the man that I had been completely devoted and dedicated to for 7 years of my life, my husband and father to our daughter, was arrested for domestic violence.

Our marriage had been rocky for about a year, but it all started when we moved into our very own apartment.

Before having moved into our place, I had found this great job for my husband. Better pay, great benefits and a whole hour closer than his last job. Which was now located in the same town we lived in. With this new job came new associations; that maybe weren’t the best.

I was raised in a very Christian household. Meaning I was raised on bible principles and so was he. We shared the same faith; however, this new job and these new associations started making small shifts in the lifestyle we had established as a family. His desire to spend any extra time with us dwindled. He spent it with the new co-workers, at bars and eventually their houses doing drugs.

This caused lots of stress, anxiety and depression for me. We had many problems within that year, but I ALWAYS tried to fix them. Divorce was never an option for me. Even after I had caught my husband asking out a woman on a date on social media, even after the constant verbal abuse – in front of our daughter, and even after he spit in my face. I would never give in to getting a divorce. For me it was just a matter of giving ourselves time to work at our relationship.

Courtesy of Anabel Delgado

Then came February 26, 2017. My husband had left in the early morning and next thing I knew he was back home heavily intoxicated. This man was slurring his words and could hardly stand still. I had no idea how he had managed to drive without causing a single accident. I found myself having no choice but to confront him. He rudely came into our home and scared away 2 of my cousins with very inappropriate language and made them cry. I had to stop him.

I told the girls to leave and I would handle him. I tried my absolute best to control the situation but he was so upset and so intoxicated. He yelled, ‘Get the f**k out of my house stupid b**ch.’ I responded, ‘Honey calm down. Sit down and we can talk about this.’ I said this as I reached out to put my hands on his chest and guide him back to sit on the bed. That was a huge mistake.

He grabbed me by my wrists and thrust me back. Thankfully I caught myself or else I would have hit my head on the dresser and without a doubt been knocked out. He was visibly angry as he repeated, ‘Pack your  f**king bags and get the f**k out.’

At that point I did not hesitate. Our baby, who was just 3 at the time, was screaming and shaking in fear. I packed as quickly as I could, but it was not fast enough for him. He started throwing drawers across the room, nearly missing me and punching walls. That’s when I said forget the bags, my baby shouldn’t see this. I picked up my baby and tried to walk out. He was right behind me pushing me towards the door.

At the door I realized I forgot my phone. I set my daughter down right outside the front door and turned around to get my phone which was sitting on the counter right by the door.

I managed to grab it but then my ex-husband reached to try to slap me across the face, my baby was right behind me. I managed to move to miss the hit. I turned around, picked up my daughter and started toward the door again. That’s when he pushed me and made me lose my balance with our daughter in my arms. I fell towards a rail. I managed to turn just enough to fall and hit my back instead of having my baby hit the railing.

My daughter and I sobbing, drove to my parents’ home. A short 7 minutes from my apartment.

Courtesy of Anabel Delgado

When we arrived, you can imagine how alarmed my parents were. Sitting there trying to calm me and my daughter down. That’s when I knew what I had to do. I dialed SRPD to report what had just happened.

They asked me so many questions. Questions I did not expect. I had been blessed to never have had the need to dial 911 or call the police department, well at least until this point in my life. ‘Does he own a firearm?,’ was one of the questions they asked. I was so against him purchasing one that I didn’t even know where he kept it, but I told the operator that yes, he did. After giving them all of the information that they asked for, I hung up. They dispatched a police officer to my apartment.

I sat and waited. They had dispatched a police officer to my parents’ house as well to get a full report on the incident. They studied my body for any obvious bruises or other trauma, as well as my daughter’s. All I had was marks from where he grabbed my wrists, but other than that we found ourselves physically okay. They also asked if I wanted to place a restraining order to keep him away from not only myself but our daughter. They sadly had to interview her too and get details on the incident from her perspective. She cried, I cried, as this innocent 3 -year-old had to explain what she saw. I declined the restraining order but filed a peaceful contact order instead.

Courtesy of Anabel Delgado

In the middle of the interview I received a call from the police officer that was at my apartment. He stated that my husband was visibly very intoxicated and refused to tell them where the firearm was located. They needed my permission to search my apartment. I gave the okay.

Minutes later my phone rang, it was the same police officer at my apartment. He said they had located the firearm and found it hidden, loaded, amongst my daughter’s toys. What they said next sent chills down my entire spine. ‘From what we can gather, it seems as if he had it loaded and ready to threaten you with it in case you decided to come back. Then hid it the second he realized the police were at the door.’ He was arrested and booked that night.

I cried, I sobbed, I was so broken. I loved this man, madly. That night I received a call from my husband in jail. I accepted the call, ‘Hello?’ His response, ‘You f**king c**t, I’ll never forgive you for this. You ruined my life. I hate you.’ I hung up. He called back. I stupidly answered, wishfully thinking I would hear him murmur the words, ‘I am sorry.’ I was wrong. I said, ‘Hello.’ He said, ‘Anabel all I need is my mom’s number because…’ I hung up and he called two more times after that. I let it ring.

I went back to my apartment to get a few things I needed for myself and my baby. There was nothing that could have prepared me for what I was walking into.

My home looked as if a tornado had struck it. There was broken furniture thrown all over the place, mirrors shattered, holes punched into the walls, vomit on the carpet and blood along almost every wall and throughout the entire apartment. I gathered what I could and left in tears yet again.

The following morning, I was advised he was let out on bail. I couldn’t resist but to check up on him to make sure he was okay, after seeing the amount of blood I had seen in my apartment, I needed to know he was okay. When I got there, he was outside on the phone. I rolled my window down, but he wanted nothing to do with me and I left. After a month or so he came around and asked for forgiveness. I forgave him but I refused to move back in until things changed in his life. Months passed and I tried to help him, but nothing changed.

Courtesy of Anabel Delgado

One night in October 2017 he invited me to our old apartment.

‘I no longer want to try to fix things. I’m giving up on our family,’ he said.

In tears I told him he did not mean it and then, he had me escorted by police out of what was still my apartment and away from the man I called my husband. Shortly after, I found out he had actually left me for someone else; who he had moved into what was legally still my apartment. That really broke me.

I cried for weeks. It wasn’t until I heard my daughter ask my mom, ‘When will mommy stop crying?,’ that I knew I had to pull all my pieces together – if not for me, then for her. I had to reinvent myself. After feeling pity for myself for having lost the one thing I wanted to succeed in life, keeping together my own family, I decided that my daughter would never get to know this side of me.

Courtesy of Anabel Delgado

After a year of my parents kindly letting me live with them, for the first time in my entire life, I packed my bags and moved out into my own little apartment. Just me and my baby. I knew at that moment that my life was about to get a hell of a lot more challenging, but worth it to be a great role model for my daughter, so someday she could look back and say, ‘My mom did it all.’ I want my daughter to be the strongest, most independent woman I know, and if that’s what I wanted my daughter to be then I needed to start setting that example.

I focused on my goals. I want to establish 6 sources of income. Have a business of my own. I want to build and establish my own brand. I want to expand my knowledge in crypto to continue to be more involved in it; as well as the Forex Market. I want to expand my modeling portfolio. Also, continue to work on my professional photography business.

I am a proud single mother, but nothing, not even my own feelings come before the needs of my daughter, and after 6 months of being absent from our daughter’s life, her dad decided he wanted to come back into her life. I had no choice but to allow it. It was not my right to take away the opportunity for her to develop a better relationship with her dad.

Our divorce was being finalized and we seemed to be co-parenting perfectly. There was a smile on our daughter’s face and that was all that mattered. We then got the news that my daughter would be becoming a big sister, her dad and his girlfriend were expecting. I can proudly say that in September 2019 I was able to take my daughter to the hospital to meet her baby sister for the first time.

It’s a work in progress, developing what I call my modern family, but let me tell you, the smile on my daughters face when she feels the peace between the home I provide her and the home her dad and his girlfriend provide her, is worth every bit of the struggle it took to get us here. I’m thankful to be at peace and to be able to share the smile on my daughter’s face and to continue to do what I can and provide whatever it is she might ever need.”


This story was submitted to Love what Matters by Anabel Delgado of Santa Rosa, California. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more inspiring stories of single moms:

‘Hours shy of our wedding, at 5 months pregnant, I was assaulted. ‘I don’t know what is wrong with me,’ my fiancé said, begging me to forgive him.’: Woman files for divorce with 3 children, now living their ‘best life’ after bonding together through trauma

‘At 7 months pregnant, I found messages online to a dozen women, telling them he hated me, wished I was dead. He was my best friend, and had promised we could co-parent.’

‘My child’s father was leaving me. I was a new mother to a 3-month-old baby girl. The only items I had were a bag of clothes and a computer. She didn’t deserve any of this.’

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