Dangerous Ex Liaisons

By Trauma Blog – July 27, 2019

Edward Krakow had his life etched upon his face, evidence of the years of working in the sun without taking care of his skin had filled every wrinkled and weathered crevice. 

Alcohol and cigarettes had taken their toll on his sixty five year old body, he didn’t care about his appearance, and all he really cared about was being able to trace the girl called Sally who he’d rescued thirty seven years ago from the violent clutches of her then boyfriend, Robert Miller. 

As he leant against one of the old outbuildings in his yard, smoking, squinting into the sun he thought about how all those years ago Sally had called him one night after a particularly aggressive beating. 

All those years ago, knowing Robert Miller as he did, Edward had sensed the danger many months previously, he’d given Sally his number and said to call him if ever she needed him for anything. And many months later on the night when she did call him, he went and picked her up from a side street near to the flat from where she had fled. 

In the session, Sally recalled how he had driven her back to his place where he lived alone, he had cleaned up the gaping wound on her forehead, washed the blood from her hair and kept her safe at his house for several days. He fell in love with her in those days and when he knew he had to take her to a new place of safety he felt his heart break. 

Thirty seven years later a chance comment by the sister of Robert Miller grabbed Edwards attention, she’d been contacted by Sally and although he didn’t let it show as he asked what Sally’s surname was so that he could pretend to try and remember her, inside his heart was racing.

Within two days he had found her through a social network platform with the help of his mate. They were soon talking every day and emailing when possible. They planned to meet as soon as possible. 

Before the arranged meeting, slowly and as if in some dream state, Sally started to feel loved and completely overwhelmed by the interest he seemed to show in her, by the questions he asked her, such as what she was doing every day, who she was speaking to and if she was happy.

The time of their meeting came and they were both very nervous, as they saw each other for the first time in thirty seven years Edward immediately pulled her to him and they stayed locked in each other’s arms for what seemed like an age outside in the car park of their chosen venue. 

They had found a quiet table in the pub where they talked and laughed for hours. Edward would not allow Sally to pay for anything and he treated her like royalty. He had cried when he saw her, tears of relief and repressed love. 

Sally was married and knew that this was so wrong but so right on so many levels all at the same time. She felt that she owed this man her time, after all he had literally saved her life.

Edward suggested that she leave her car at the pub and go back to his house which was about two hours away. Sally wasn’t comfortable with this at first but in her excitement and passion for seeing her hero again, she agreed and they went to Edwards’s house. 

He was the perfect gentleman and Sally felt as if her whole world had been turned upside down.  It didn’t take long before their physical hunger for each other took over and as he led her to his bedroom he undressed her as they started to enjoy each other’s bodies again. It wasn’t long into their intimacy before Edward turned from the gentleman that she had come to know again over the weeks and months, to a rough lover. He kissed her face hard and passionately and although Sally still felt safe, she sensed a change in him, it was like a switch had been flicked.

The next day he went to work in the morning, leaving her at the house to entertain herself.  As she sat relaxing, drinking her cup of tea. She felt slightly uncomfortable in one of Edwards’s big shirts as well as in his special chair, she reflected on the evening before and her inner survival alarm started ticking in her head. She thought about the inconsistency in his behaviour. There were quite a few warning signs that she had ignored from some of the emails, images and messages that kept flashing in and out of her mind’s eye. A realisation had started to surface for her. Maybe he had become an abuser too she thought, just like the man he had rescued her from, all of those years ago. 

She could just go now, she thought, get dressed and leave. Then she remembered that she didn’t have her car, a taxi, maybe she could get a taxi back to that pub, pick up her car and go, and it wasn’t too late to put it all behind her. She knew in an instant that this had all been a big mistake. She decided to get dressed and make a move for home but when she went back to the bedroom, she couldn’t find her clothes. Her bag was missing too, it had her phone in. Starting to panic she heard the front door click and she heard Edward say 

 ‘Honey, I’m home.’ 

 ‘Oh thank goodness, Edward, I’ve lost my clothes and my bag, I can’t find my phone, have you seen it anywhere?’ said Sally.

 ‘No you haven’t lost it Sally, I’ve put it away just for now.’ replied Edward as he smiled at her, head tilted and a certain look in his eye. It was a familiar look that heightened her current sense of danger. Sally began to cry quietly and as tears rolled down her face with the realisation that he wasn’t going to let her leave. She knew she had to think quickly to get out of there and said to him

 ‘Look, Edward I have to get home, and I will tell my husband that I’m going to leave him I promise. I’ll come back to you to here with all of my stuff, so that we can start again.’

 ‘No way, I’m not losing you again, don’t you realise that I love you, I’ve always loved you and I’m not risking losing you again, not ever.’ he replied firmly.

Sally sat down on the sofa amid all of the clutter of the room and leaned forward holding her head in her hands just not knowing what to do.

 Edward kneeled down in front of her taking her face into his own hands and told her that she wasn’t going anywhere not that day or any other. Sally started to panic, her breathing became laboured and she got up to try and get out of the room. He dragged her back down by her hair, telling her to shut up, that she had always belonged to him, she owed him for saving her life. Trying to fight him off was futile, he was so much stronger and he punched her again and again, blood poured from her face and out of her left eye and then he seemed to lose his head completely as he became more and more aggressive and violent. It was as if a volcano of rage that had built up in him over the years that he had been looking for her, had surfaced.

Sally’s husband, Jack, had known that things hadn’t been right with her for some time. He had watched his ever faithful and loving wife constantly distracted by her computer and emails for weeks. He had put a tracker on her car because she was always getting lost and they had previously agreed that this might help him when she called him asking for directions because she was lost somewhere. When she didn’t come home, he was able to track her from the app that he’d installed onto his iPad. The tracker took him to the pub car park where Sally’s car had been left. He spoke to the landlord and the staff that were there on the day that she went missing. The landlord said that if he informed the police then he could show him the CCTV footage of when Sally was at the pub. Jack made a call to the local police and waited inside the pub for them to get back to him.

Sally who by now was in a world of pain in just about every part of her body, looked across at Edward who was standing in the doorway, swigging from the neck of a bottle of beer as he smoked yet another joint. Staring at her, speaking with his eyes without uttering a word.

 ‘Edward, please let me just go to the toilet, I’m desperate.’ she said quietly.

 ‘Come on get up, I’ll take you.’ said Edward taking her by her hand. He led her to the bathroom at the very moment that one of his lodgers was just arriving home from work. 

He pushed Sally into the bathroom as he guided the lodger into the kitchen out of the way, Sally quickly locked the bathroom door behind her. She recalled that someone somewhere must have been looking out for her that night. The toilet roll was empty and as she looked for a new one, she noticed the corner of her bag stashed in a cupboard at the top. Kneeling up on the sink, she reached in, taking her phone out, she quickly put the bag back. Stuffing the phone into the pocket of the shirt she was wearing, she quietly unlocked the door just as she heard Edward moving the door handle on the other side. He came in and told her to hurry up, finish what she was doing and to get back to the bedroom, He led her by her hand again back to the room and he left her momentarily while he went back to the kitchen to talk to his lodger. 

Swiftly, she stuffed the phone just under the bed out of sight and she sat up on the bed. Edward kicked the door as his hands were full with a beer and a glass of water for her, making her jump. He laid down next to her and pulling her to him, he said that she didn’t need to be scared of him, he said he was sorry for what he had done, he didn’t know what had come over him and he would never ever do anything like it again. The pain coursed through Sally and she tentatively accepted his apology and asked if it would be okay if she could have a bath as she was sore all over. Edward told her to stay where she was and that he would run a bath and make her feel better.  When he left the room, Sally reached down for her phone and sent a text message to her husband with the address she was at and told him to come and bring the police as she had been badly beaten up and was being held captive. She managed to hide the phone again just in the split second before Edward came back in the room. She knew that she had to stay alive, to keep him thinking that she was staying with him, she smiled at Edward and thanked him for running her bath and asked if he would help her as she was in pain. She told him that she was sorry for making him upset and was looking forward to staying with him and talked about a future together. It was literally thirty minutes later after she had got out of the bath with Edward helping her, that the front door was rammed by two thick set police officers. Six others barged their way into the bedroom, grabbing Edward as they did and handcuffing him. Sally had managed to get a bath towel around her and ran to her husband as he held his arms out to her. 

They had a lot of talking to do and for several weeks they engaged in a programme at a couple counselling centre, where they were able to resolve the issue of Edward and the debt that she had come to believe that she owed him. They decided that social media had a lot to answer for and both closed all of their accounts in order to concentrate on each other and their future together. Sally stated in her sessions that she was able to be so much more honest with her husband and as a result of the experience they had become much closer.She’d had a very lucky escape.

Outcome following therapy

After sixteen sessions of EMDR (Eye movement desensitisation reprocessing), alongside a course of lymphatic drainage massage which helped her body after the surgery she had undergone, she sought Reiki by a master practitioner and spent some time in a physical rehabilitation, retreat centre, Sally was able to think clearly again.  She began to see what role she had played in the toxic relationship. Sally found the Life Plan useful and she worked the Granite© Programme to assist with an understanding of her situation. Sally wanted to become a counsellor and after researching the area she wanted to work in she signed up to her local university. All exercises and programmes as above are featured in ‘Working with the Aftershock of Domestic Violence.’

Sue J Daniels
MBACP & UKRC (Snr Accred).
EMDR Practitioner
Professional Counsellor &
Trauma Specialist

The following books supporting this article are available on Amazon and all major high street and online book stores…

Pocketbook of Power: (For Females Affected by Domestic Abuse and Violence)
LAVA Therapeutic Workbook (Life after violence and abuse)
#Me Time: Therapeutic Workbook (for those affected by rape and sexual violence)
Trauma Therapeutic Workbook(80 Key Points for Working towards Post Traumatic Growth)
Working with the Aftershock of Domestic Violence and Abuse
Bitesize Book of Bullying (For Adults affected by Bullying and Intimidating Behaviours)
The Splinter Audio CD: A Guided Visualisation for Those Affected by Sexual Violence and Assault