13 comments on “Another Side of Domestic Violence: Financial Abuse

  1. thanks for sharing this! I am going to reblog. So many of these things happened to me as well. 5 years later I am going to have to declare bankruptcy to be able to clear my credit otherwise i will never get out of this hole.

    • I am sure there are so many things that Kevin did that I wouldn’t even think of…. To be honest, I think looking at everything he has done that actually shows on the list is plenty. I don’t have the issue with child support but he sure likes to duck out of providing for his teenaged girls. So sad. They are turning into beautiful young women, and because of his ridiculousness, he will miss every second of it!

  2. Whew, my heart was racing while I read this. Talk about triggers. LOL. THIS so needed to be said, and I thank you! I am the woman you so aptly describe, except that my children are grown & doing well, thank goodness. I live in a very rural, poor county, with few if any resources available. I am disabled, and it is so hard. I have no family support, no real friends here. I am thankful for my 2 cats, although sometimes, it gets difficult to take care of them in a financial sense. I would go insane without them though. I got paid on Dec 3, and am officially broke for the remainder of the month. I have all my bills paid. I was able to buy my grandsons Christmas, although I don’t know how. One monthly bill gave me the option to skip a payment in December, so I guess that left enough for their Christmas. And no, I don’t have cable, or even proper heat. I use two very efficient space heaters and a heated throw to keep warm. He knows this, so he will come around and try to get me to ask or want me to beg him for money. He has more money than he can spend, but made sure I got nothing to help me in the divorce (that’s another story). Or he will offer it, then proceed to belittle me because I can’t “make a go of it on my own”. People need to understand that not leaving due to financial abuse is NOT an excuse for not leaving, it is a legitimate reason sometimes. I hope that one day there will be resources in every county. If I win the lottery, that will be my charity of choice. 🙂 Thanking you again. Peace and love, D.

    • First, I want to thank you for writing such an honest, emotional post. It is important for others on the outside looking in to see this side of domestic violence, for they so frequently dismiss what you and others like you go through in this case that they need a re-education. They seem to forget that you need money to survive in this world, and for someone with a disability, children, etc., that is compounded in ways so many of us cannot understand.

      I noticed a few things I feel like you were trying to justify the little you are able to do, and I want to let you know that you do not need to explain these things to anyone. Perhaps you do this out of habit because so many back you against the wall and imply you live beyond your means needlessly? I can only infer at this point. You purchased gifts for your grandson out of love and a sincere desire to, am I correct? You mentioned that you didn’t have cable, and unfortunately proper heating either. And if you did have cable, my dear? I am sure you do not live excessively or waste. If you did have cable, one small pleasure that most consider a luxury…. It wouldn’t be anyone’s business if you did. But I so wish you could. It would be a wonderful window into the world for you.

      I am sure the same people would also fault you for having two pets, but if they are not animal lovers, they obviously don’t understand our breed. Pets are not just pets. They become family, almost like children in some senses. They provide companionship and unlike so many people are LOYAL even to those who do not deserve it. They know when you are down, and they know when you are sick, and they will try to snuggle up with you to comfort you.

      I love one thing in particular you said. “I have all my bills paid.” So many people live above their means now. In fact, they have plenty of income to live comfortably, but they chase excess and luxury to no end and get into debt… and then want to fault someone having difficulty making ends meet, even though they are making their obligations? You could just give up and say “Forget it, this month I am getting cable!” or “I am going shopping!” But you are making it on your own, even if it is difficult for you. So resist your ex’s prompts to beg / ask him for money. I am sorry (and cant figure out how he manipualted it) that he is not required to provide assistance with money after what happened.

      Just remember one thing. Your kids are grown, and you are out of the house. He has nothing to control you with now except waving money in your face. I am sure if he was ordered by the courts to provide you with alimony, he would find an evil way to hold it over your head and make you feel like you had to jumps through hoops to get it. Keep resisting that urging and prompting he is brandishing. I know sometimes with the financial difficulties you face it could be tempting, but it’s just an in-road for control.

      And remind yourself, too, that even if you are struggling, you ARE making it without him. And he hates that, or he wouldn’t be slithering around on his belly like snake trying to rope you back in.

      I have been thinking for a while (several months) now about what direction I want to go from here. I will keep the blog, but seeing how strapped DV resources are and how unavailable they can be, this is not enough for me. So many needing help are turned away and brushed aside. It’s hard to direct myself where I want to take this, but I have considered trying to come up with a business plan, incorporating a non-profit, and trying to secure funding for shelters. Since I am hard-of-hearing and I see how difficult it is for victims with disabilities to get out and get stabilized, I was thinking about perhaps focusing on helping those with disabilities, single parents with children, etc. Although, I would never have a callous and turn anyone away.

      Thank you again for your comment. Never forget how strong you are and that your story is encouraging to other survivors. Me included.

  3. Bless your heart, SweetMarie! Now I don’t even know what to say. My, your screen name is quite fitting. You are indeed a sweet and kind person, such empathy. ❤ Your reply brought tears to my eyes, and a smile as well. I guess I am having the holiday blues. I want your readers to know that I am OK. I love and honor them all as sisters/brothers-in-arms. I have trolled the Narc/Socio survivor blogs for a while now, commenting here and there. But I have yet to read a post that is wholly devoted to financial abuse. It is generally mentioned, but not explored to any degree. I think that there may be a little prejudice aimed towards those who are financially abused. I have read articles that left me feeling as if I were weak-willed, because said article insisted that help could be found IF I wanted it. I wanted it. Oh how I did. In retrospect, he probably picked financial abuse as one of his tactics because I offered up the following information, not realizing it would be used against me. You see, I have been thrown on the streets, the first time at the age of 18 with nothing but the clothes on my back. My mother IS a sociopath. Those memories of sleeping in the city park for a few weeks, asking if I could rake a lawn for a sandwich. It leaves an impression on you, and can be so frightening that you try to endure almost anything for some security and financial stability.

    I thank you for posting my reply in its entirety. You are correct. I find myself justifying my every move to this very day. My rational side says what I do is my business, but I am programmed to explain my every move, my every expenditure, and then listen to him tell me I “can’t make it without a man”. Well, I raised 2 wonderful children on my own. And yes, it was very important that my grandson had Christmas gifts from me. I have worried for several months that I would not have the money. But despite all my worrying, I was able to get him just what he wanted. And for that, I am so very thankful. He must know his grandmother may not be able to visit, but she loves him dearly. I hope with all my heart that my comments about being on my own do not discourage anyone from leaving their abuser for any reason. Yes, it IS hard. But I will tell you this: Being around him, cowering in fear while he had his “rage de joir”, nearly cost me life and sanity. I was a wreck, physically and emotionally. My anxiety was such that, when I would hear his truck coming around the corner, my heart would race, my head would swim, eyes clouded over, and I would feel physically ill. I developed that second sense of when he was going to rage. I couldn’t sleep or eat because I knew something was coming. I lived in fear of his next rage. His control was so encompassing that if I wanted a cigarette to calm my nerves, I had to smoke his “butts”. It was my bad habit he said, I should pay for them, not him. That is a little hard to do when he is taking your check each month.

    Yes, it was terrifying to leave and be alone and so very confused. But as I grew used to my new surroundings, with MY things all around me, I suddenly realized what a great sense of peace was creeping over me. There were still bouts of crying and depression, feeling broken…. Amazingly somewhere through it all, I began to realize I could breath again. I was not holding my breath while my heart pounded, waiting for the next rage, trying to guess his next move on the chessboard of my life. I was in my own home. I had very little, but what I had was mine, and he could no longer take anything away from me. Best of all, he couldn’t tell me to leave and that everything was HIS. I didn’t even have to let him in my home. For the first time in years, I began to experience true peace. I hung cheap red curtains from Fred’s, placed all my old colored glass bottles in the kitchen window, and I played Carly Simon, over and over. 😉 My cats had their own window to sit in and sun. They no longer ran in fear when he raised his voice, because he was gone. It was MY home. They were my de facto children and they gave me comfort. I would like to think they are much happier these days, too. They have been there, seemingly knowing when I needed them to be my “lovey dolls”. Yes, I may live in forced austerity, but I am beginning to like “me” quite a bit. I started taking photographs, learned to make handmade jewelry by taking apart old costume jewelry, and started reading and writing voraciously. I am still learning to live and live well, but I refuse to give in to him again. You know why? Because now I have all of you out there! We can do it together. These posts help keep me strong.

    Thanks again for the kind words of wisdom and support, SweetMarie! I agree there is a need for more services for DV victims with no possible means of support from friends and/or family, or even from social services. We are those who fall through the cracks. I sit and ponder how I could start a charity that would assist women in getting off this merry-go-round of DV. There is a desperate need for shelter, clothing, food, counselling, job training, life skill training, etc. for women who have no other way out of an abusive relationship. I commend you, Marie, for all you have done thus far. You are a strong woman, and I have the distinct feeling that you will succeed in any endeavor you undertake. There must be some way. Does anyone know how to right for a grant? There are funds/grants out there for just such a thing. I know, because a friend in another life started one for abused children. I seem to remember the trick was finding someone who knew how to right a request for a grant for a charitable cause. I would be willing to research for you, or help in way possible! Bright blessings to one and all !! (PS: I see you check the comments before posting. Please, please feel free to omit anything you wish. I am not very talented when expressing myself and tend to ramble. Peace and love to you, Marie!

    • I chose my screen name quite deliberately. At the time, I had just left Kevin, so I wasn’t about ready to use my first name in my email. Instead, I opted for my middle name. And by nature I tend to be loving, kind, compassionate, giving, merciful, generous, forgiving… all these things by nature which I apparently am not kind enough to extend to myself. Even after what I went through with him, I wanted to have to be reminded every time I logged into my email and then into my WordPress account in February after I started my blog that Kevin may have left me penniless, burdened with bad credit, without one piece of property, no car, no place to live, etc., this one very central part of my character even his cruelty, his vicious treatment of me could not destroy. I think this one thing helped stabilize my mindset more than I realized at the time. Such a small thing can have such a huge impact. And since then, I have found it imperative that I help others who have endured abuse to remind themselves of the same. That our being made and guided by love is what led us to our abusers and they manipulated and twisted that to the full. That our hearts weren’t the ones that were cold, broken, and shrouded in darkness.

      I do have to be honest… because of my beliefs (I am a Jehovah’s Witness), I do not observe Christmas, but I understand what it means to you. For you, it should be a time where you are able to draw close to your family and be able to spend time with them that isn’t limited by the hustle and bustle of life. You only want to be around them, and if you are experiencing the blues now, it is because you miss them and wish you could afford to be there. You don’t have to be apologetic for this. It shows you are human, that your family, your children, your grandchildren are your center. So if you need to cry, you can just let it out. He’s not there to criticize you, throw it in your face, or insult you because of it anymore. You are completely free to react to things how you need to. Just embrace it.

      Are these articles about financial abuse that you have read written by survivors of domestic violence? If the answer is yes, it makes it wholly evident that they are not yet convinced that they were violated for against their will. It would mean that they still have the victim blame game planted in their head from the person who abused them, and to write an article with that slant is unloving and unkind. To have even one person come away from what you write about an aspect of domestic violence getting that nagging “It *was* me!” thought in their head, even once… is destructive. I hope if they are a survivor, they come to terms with that soon. If it is by someone who is “a professional” or someone else who has never experienced it, then they truly do not have a right to plant that heinous thought in our heads. We struggle enough to escape that when we leave. What we don’t need is for someone to raise those doubts again and erode our progress.

      My suggestion to you when you read these articles is to make sure when you see things worded that way to counteract it in your head as soon as you read it. It’s okay to do this. You know it’s wrong. You have *lived* that it is wrong, so why allow yourself to absorb their negativity? It could be written by someone for all we know who just wants to pass the blame along to someone, anyone, even if it is the person who is not at fault.

      Abusers will take any bit of information they think they can use against you and store it for later use. Initially when you share these experiences with them, they will try to appear genuine concerned for your feelings, and they may try to “alleviate” your fears. They do this so they show you that you can trust them. Once they feel they have earned enough trust from you, this is where the verbal abuse begins. They begin to twist things you have said, they use it to manipulate it into the opposite of what you didn’t mean, to be your fault, to make you wrong, so they have a reason to “fix” you. And then they verbally shred you apart from the inside out. And no one can see what it does to us on the inside. They can’t see it, so they think it is not there. That you’re crazy. That you are imagining it. That the abuser is right and YOU are the one who needs to be fixed. So evil. Insidious, manipulative, warped, twisted, deprived, cruel, hateful to bring someone to ruin and not even care about the damage that is left in their wake.

      We survivors have two sets of logic: the reality where we know that we are not the ones at fault for what happened, the one that also is in our hearts and the illusion that he implanted in our minds so deep that it seems to take over and temporarily over-ride what we know in our gut to be true. Can I tell you a secret? We all struggle with this. As time passes, the fights get less forceful, but we all have to learn to navigate this damage. This is part of the reason we are so conflicted when we leave and we begin to sort everything out in our minds. Reconciling this irreconcilable mound is daunting, because on one hand, we have what know in our heart telling us that if this guy loved us, this wouldn’t have happened, that all these doubts about myself and things *he* planted into my head. The battle comes when his voice echoes from shadows and says things that only a fraction of the way true… and since there is truth in there somewhere, we latch on and begin to obsess, and momentarily it takes control. Compounded with any love or affection we may feel, because we are woman after all –love is our second nature – what is actually true gets warped by his lies and entangled in the emotion. Bringing ourselves back to reality is not always so easy.

      You know where your doubts come from… but fighting them is so hard sometimes. Yet we fight, because we know it isn’t true. So when those doubts come, continue to do what you have done in your reply to my comment… acknowledge the battles you have won, big and small, remind yourself that he can’t touch you anymore, that *HE* was the one who was wrong, faulty, broken. Remind yourself of the love you have for your family, you pets, and your connections with them and remember that you were genuine in your actions with him while he was courting you. That you weren’t the one who lied.

      I know the beginning was rough. But remember that you have made it through the worst part: you left, and you fought through the darkness to begin to rebuild your life. And although you struggle, you have some peace, you have a home he can’t take away from you. You have life again, as difficult as it can be. Only those who have struggled through trauma can understand how much that one statement means and know how much appreciation they feel for this one little thing so many take for granted. Life. We have life!

      Of course I would post your comment in its entirety. 🙂 I never take away a survivor’s voice, ever. I do moderate comments. I think in the beginning I did it more out of fear he would find my blog. However, I really do it now to look for language. It hasn’t happened often, but I have edited swearing out in addition to a few names of survivors who I wasn’t really sure they were ready to unmask that part of their identity, because their blogs were devoid of any identifying information at that point. I try to maintain that privacy here in their comments as well until I have seen that they are ready to reveal that. Sometimes we can get comfortable in our exchanges with other survivors and forget that our comments are public. As a fellow survivor, I feel inclined to safeguard that. I can always edit it back in if they inquire as to why I censored their name or location.

      You don’t ramble. I ramble! LOL

      I may take you up on your offer to research. I will let you know?

      Take care of yourself, dear friend,
      Amy

  4. Awe, my dear friend! How lovely, how generous of spirit, how comforting! Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am crying, but it is more from relief than anything. It is good to finally begin to tell my story. Thank you for being there with the right discussion at the right time ! As my kids used to say, “you rock” !! And I was very serious when I said I would help you in any way I can. My luxury is my internet, and I love to research. I even like to think I am quite good at it, so if ever you can use my skills, please drop me a line. I’ll be following you. Peace and love ! D. (my middle name also) 😉

    • A fellow research geek?! 😀 If you were within earshot, you’d hear a Japanese school-girl laugh like no other. I adore research. ADORE, I say! Need I say more? LOL

      Unburdening yourself by telling your story is such an important and loving act… not only for yourself but others who may need some encouragement to do the same… and an example that even though the person who abused them tried to make them believe they couldn’t live with them… they really can. Even if it means struggling. I had considered doing these posts for a while, and apparently my brain decided the other evening that it was the right time. I was trying to write about something else entirely, and …. well we all know what happened. My brain has a mind of its own! 🙂 I am working on another one right now and hope to have time to do one tomorrow, but I am not sure if it will work out that way. Maybe if I start it during lunch!

      I am happy that you found what you needed at just the right time. Isn’t it wonderful when that happens?

  5. Pingback: Another Side of Domestic Violence: Financial Abuse | 14thgradenothing

  6. Pingback: What I Want Those Trapped in Abuse to Know | Picking Up the Pieces

    • Hi there 🙂 If you scroll to the end of the blog post, there is a row of icons to share to various social media sites – under that there is a “reblog” and “like” button. These two work solely on the WordPress blog site. Let me know if you still have trouble.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s