I have never felt so alone as I felt in Tokyo when I was being abused. I knew if I ran back to my home country with my oldest child while pregnant with my Boy, I would be in trouble with the Hague. I knew I could not secure a divorce in Japan, he blocked and fought it all the way. If a husband does not want to divorce his wife, it goes to mediation. Mediation with a man who is intent on killing you is not a great plan.
I was standing in the living room, asking him for the cash to go to the prenatal check up. He refused. I started to insist and he pushed me backwards. Girl started screaming. She was only a toddler. I pulled her behind me, and starting backing up towards the front door. There was only one exit to the apartment and he was between us and it. As I bolted, he dragged me into the bedroom the Girl hanging onto my leg crying and screaming in terror. He slammed me back onto her bed she stayed behind me. As he put his hands around my neck he started yelling in Japanese how he was going to kill me. His fist missed me and almost hit her slamming into the bed next to her. In the terror and confusion I realized I had trapped her in there with me and him, and being four months pregnant, and weak and hungry because he was keeping me without enough food and no access to money, I was not the best protector. I started trying to appeal to him, yelling I was pregnant, and he had to stop, he had to stop because he might hurt his son. His fist hovered in the air before it smashed into my face.
My Girl squirmed and cried behind me. The most noise she made, the more irate he became. He stalked up and out of the room, and as he went to the bathroom, as if nothing was wrong, I grabbed our shoes in my hand, put her on my hip and started to run out the door, shoeless begging her to be quiet. The elevator was a trap. He could press the buttons on a lower floor and get in there with us, so I ran down the stairs, not stopping to put my shoes on, hauling her with me, her chubby little arms around my neck. I didn’t pray. I didn’t beg. I didn’t think about anything other than survival. We got out of the gate that led to the road, and I started to pull my shoes on, and put her down shoving hers onto her feet. I held her hand. “Baby, Mommy can’t carry you further, you have to run, ok? Are you hurt?” She shook her head. “Mama. Your face….” I heard a door slam, and fastened my hand around hers. “RUN!” We started to sprint towards the main road, no money, no cards, no phone, no friends, no family. No help. No one. Just me and her and my pregnant belly holding us back.
“We’re going to the train station, honey. Can you run?” She nodded, as I wiped the blood that was dripping from my brow. “Im ok. Im ok. You are ok. We are going to the embassy, sweetie.”
As we walked past a small curry restaurant the man who waved to us every day looked at me concerned. I kept on walking. Humiliated. Embarrassed. Broken. Terrified he had killed the baby. Worried that the girl was lying that she was ok. Vaguely concerned that I was feeling as if I was going to puke or pass out or both. I went up to the first gaijin (foreigner) I could see and asked them for help. The kind older American man bought me a train ticket to the embassy, and we made our way there.
I thought I would be safe. I was wrong.