25 comments on “Financial Abuse as a Tool of Destruction, Coercion, and Handicap

  1. Wow! I was reading and while we are very different, there are many similarities. My ex stole money all the time and guilted me for it, always taking more than his share, 75-90% for him the rest for us or the house. I fought and hid $, by selling things on ebay and taking on extra work without telling him. I never thought of financial abuse in this way before, but your 100% right. So here is to you getting back on your feet and making it x7 back – hope you win the lottery this Christmas season!

    • There are many things that are actually valid forms of financial abuse that people don’t always generally view as such. Even if they don’t take over the majority of the money entering the household, it can manifest in more subtle ways by:

      *giving a nominal amount to cover groceries that cost more
      *being required to ask for permission to make purchases or to use the family credit accounts
      *being forced to account for all spending down the penny
      *the abuser performing audits of the transactions on all accounts to verify what you say you spend
      *having to show the abuser all purchases and tell you what you are allowed to keep and what must be returned
      *having accounts, mortgages, loans, credit cards, etc opened in the victims name without knowledge
      *using money from the victim’s account or even from joint accounts without the victim being informed
      *being forced to quit work
      *being allowed to work but denied reliable access to transportation

      I have sacrificed mostly everything to get back to where I am now…. most of the smaller debts are now paid, and I have improved my credit score dramatically – I can’t say I’d get approved for loans yet but I don’t feel I’m too far off.

      The great thing about sharing our stories is that it can jog our memories and also lead us to look at things that we endured and see them in a different light – and so often for survivors of abuse that means coming to the realization that there were many more things done to us that constitute abuse than we ever could have considered. When we are armed with that information, it can only help us further understand where we’ve been, the true picture of where we stand, and how to come up with a plan to get to where we need to be.

      Thank you for your comment!

      • Dear sweet sister, finally got into your page. I’m so glad that God is with you and has been carrying you through the difficult times. Glory to God you are His and He cares about everything that we go through in life. It is so refreshing to be witness to the glory of God in peoples lives. Our God reigns!

  2. Wow… My heart goes out to you. You have suffered too much and been held responsible for things that were not your fault. Laws need to be changed to protect the innocent. I pray that God will bless you and bring healing and restoration of all that you have loss.

  3. This is an eye opener! You are a very strong individual and believe me, henceforth you only have good things coming your way! Just hang in there and know that by sharing your ordeal you have probably liberated many others. God bless!

    • Financial abuse is one of the least talked about forms of abuse and there are few laws to really allow us to appropriately hold the abuser accountable. As such may of us are saddled with enormous debts. I know survivors who have been homeless or on the verge of being homeless, those who can’t afford medication, and those who sacrifice heat in the winter to be able to have food for their kids. We don’t have all the same story of how it unfolded or how much damage has been left in its wake, but what we can all testify to for certain is that it destroys not only our quality of life but the ability to even secure the most basic things we need to survive. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and for your encouragement. Even on my worst days when I can find nothing positive happening, I can always remind myself I made it out with my life, and that’s enough to bring the gratitude back to front and center where it belongs so I can go on about my day brave enough to face it. In the beginning coming here and strewing my story our across the blog posts was about purging and self-healing and finding my own way. But soon it became more about connecting with others and (hopefully) being help to them of some sort. I try my best every day to always, always give back twice as much as I was given, because I have it in me to give. And my grandmother always said to help others when it’s possible to do so – and emphasized it by saying that it is ALWAYS possible. Thankfully my grandparents did not live to see all the suffering I went through (because they would have been heartbroken), however in my heart I hope that if they were here to see how I came out of it and move forward, hopefully they’d be proud of me.

      • Yes you have chosen an apt portal to share, help yourself and others. By doing so we realize that there are so many others suffering with their own versions of the ordeal. I am happy to know that you had a strong background with your grandparents who seemed to have influenced you plenty. I am sure they’re watching over you and are very proud of you. You managed to surface and feel grateful even after all endured. It takes a strong willed and spirited person to view life the way you do and that in itself is commendable. Take it slow and have faith. I feel for you but I’d like to think of you as the person you have become now than what you were suppressed to be before. I hope everyone who suffers from domestic violence of any sort finds the courage to come out of it and work their way from there. It’s always hard in the beginning but I hope they keep faith and always stay positive even when they have no reason to. Makes a lot of difference.

  4. …You struck so many chords on the financial end of it that I had never really addressed in my won life ..I had tucked it neatly away in my mind….from the I will give you 10.00 allowance a week, to I need this money and I demand your paycheck and your child support for another child or we won’t eat and forget about the affection….until the checks were turned over…at least for a day….Then getting rid of all evidence of his gambling addiction – by not ever allowing me to see the checkbook and finally doing all bill pays online to not ever seeing refunds due to me..only once…but all numbers were hidden from me….Until, I finally said ..this is my paycheck and I don’t work for an allowance….It was pretty much the icing on his wedding blissless marriage – when he gave me an ultimatum when my daughter was about to turn 18 and her child support would be ending…he said choose her or me…easiest decision I ever made….Thank you for bringing this back to my memory..I truly have just been trying to heal from his hurtful put downs for the last 3 years….

    • I think it’s easy in abuse to get overwhelmed by everything happening to you. We can only handle so much at once, so if you’ve tucked away the financial abuse aspect of it, I can completely understand why. In my case, the financial damage was so bad there was no way I could push it back out of sight/out of mind. It’s been three years, and I still cannot, without children, afford to live on my own. But you know, sometimes, we don’t tend to think of these financial controls as abuse. However, because they are used to keep us stuck in the abuse and take away any chance of being able to survive on our own, it’s more abusive than one would guess.

      Verbal and emotional abuse is, in my opinion, the most difficult to overcome out of all six methods (I endured them all). It’s the priming method, how they introduce negativity into the dynamincs little by little so as to desensitize you to it, and then once they feel you ready, they literally rip you to shreds emotionally and obliterate your self-esteem and move into gas lighting and emotional abuse to confuse you and force compliance through extreme levels of emotional duress. Most of us struggle with this the most after we leave, and it’s very closely connected to shame as well.

      I am glad you made your escape from him. All we can do at this point is continue to heal and move forward with our lives. Thank you for your comment!

      • All very great points and i thought of this aspect of it as well – yes I am struggling as a single mom to start life over…very blessed because I have family and yet so many people do not…one other aspect was him knowing i had no money for representation..he knew just how to work around paying child support ..which by the way ..his sister who added to the situation extremely the entire time…said year 10 “I wouldn’t say this to anyone…but you know why my brother is still with you – cause he doesnt want to pay you child support”. His own sister….of course he was furious when he found out she said it…but he had shared with me for years…his belief was that women didnt deserve support….wow you really have me thinking about this aspect …and yes he told me I would never survive without him…..I’m so thankful I have my faith in God. He has brought me through so much and yet i continue to heal and learn…thank you ever so much for all of your encouragement and sharing your blog about this subject matter.

  5. Hey. Have not interacted for such a long time now. I am glad that you are sharing your experiences here. This will definitely help many. Sending you loads of positive energy!!!

    • Hi Deepa! How’s life treating you? I’ve been kind of quiet because I recently went back to school to finish my International Business degree online. I’m still working full time, so the full time course load (especially with statistics) was really difficult to manage. I’ve just really been working and studying. How about you? 🙂

      • Awesome!! Statistics was not my favourite. It is so tough.

        I am so happy to hear that you are studying. Enjoy the process of taking yourself to the heights that you deserve to be at.

        We are doing well. Girls have turned one. We moved to Bangalore a month back to our own house. Loads of changes..

        All the best for everything. Loads and loads of love and happiness to you.

        • How is life with twin girls? One of the girls at work has two sets of of twins – all boys. Growing family, house… I wish you all the best 🙂

          I’m not sure if I told you but I was promoted at work in January. I handle supplier database as well as payments, and I literally get paid to play. I get to call all over the world to talk to suppliers, which I adore. And I, being absolutely shameless, *lol* like to ask all of them how to say random things in their native language because I’m a language geek. It’s fun hearing them get excited when I ask them that.

          • Congratulations!! Sounds wonderful…that’s quite a fun job. All the best for everything.

            Life with twins is exciting and exhausting. With that, I am planning to start working again in a few months. Both of them are very naughty and have a mind of their own.

  6. Iam surprised how a sane person can stay so long without calling the police. if you both were physical with each, it does not make sense how that worked out amidst so much ‘fin abuse’. Also, you complain about the bank as well – they do as they are told. Being with a broke bf and a druggie can be mind-numbing, but your family was right in not taking you in again.

    • I find the language you use of particular interest. It’s clear by the content of your comment that you used a post to troll and engage in victim blaming and shaming. Typically, abusers or their enablers engage in this behavior. You have so much to say, in fact, that the blog you started at the beginning of May is devoid of any content (with the conspicuous exception of your tagline of “coz I said so”), and your profile is blank.

      Perhaps before trolling others blogs, you should be more careful about how revealing the words you choose are:

      “Coz I said so.” (The correct spelling is actually “because.”)

      “If you were….” (Interesting that you attempt to instill doubt when you weren’t even there…)

      “…it does not make sense how that worked out” (Yet I left, so obviously that would signal that it did not work out.)

      “…amidst so much ‘fin abuse.’” (because spelling it out would be too time consuming. Further, there are no quotes, because it WAS financial abuse.)

      “Also, you complain…” (Because it would be much easier for you if we remained silent. Not sorry.)

      “They do as they are told.” (Because clearly survivors of abuse who chose to leave and take away the abusers control don’t obey, am I right? Also, your assumption in this is erroneous as well. It appears they don’t like to “obey” either. I bet you hate that.)

      I’m sure you thought I wouldn’t reply to this comment. Perhaps you thought I wouldn’t approve it – that is, once you saw the “awaiting moderation” notification. I am also sure you thought your trolling was an effective way to elicit a response of shame in such a manner that I would be silent. Unfortunately, like much of the content in your post, you are wrong. You have singularly failed in your attempt to discredit, shame, and blame me. What you have successfully accomplished in the process, however, is calling attention to your pathology.

      • Oh I kept forgetting to reply – coz your response was not worthy maybe. Anyway, Iam sure your so-called partner will havea different story to tell, the one that says you re the loose woman that steals a lot of money and runs away and who knows what else. Nobody gives a damn to your lies and no one has the obligation to believe your stories. No one can damage another person’s credit, that much I know very well. So, your story is bogus. Even if there is an ounce of truth in it, you would have the decency to reply without such long pathological lies and name calling. This blog was linked to another and I happened by chance to click it. And Coz is an accepted slang and its my blog – I’ll write anything. Its none of your bloody business to point it out. Don’t go digging around, shows what kind of a fraud you are, no one is digging your blog. Its clear you are a pathological liar and there is another side to this story that he and your own family will wholly disagree with you on. end of.

        • I pity people like you. You don’t know my family, and they agree with me. His own sisters have admitted to his actions. Troll somewhere else. You wouldn’t have replied if it didn’t strike a nerve.

          • you are a typical fraud and a predator – you don’t have to pity anyone, you must be busy ripping someone off, you are bloody poor now, so you have no right to pity others. STFU. As for his sister, you’re probably lying about her too. Try fixing the loose part of yourself. end of. Blocked this site. No more replies for your crap.

            • I am not the one who is the predator. You came to my blog and started to harass me and insult me, and that is publicly documented. You are the one calling names – I did not. Perhaps you should go read what I said again. Oddly you think you have the right to harass and attempt to intimidate others by saying anything you think you feel like, yet no one else is allowed to speak. Get one thing straight: you DO NOT come to my blog, harass and intimidate me, and then have the gall to tell me not to respond. There are no free passes for your behavior. You came to my blog and started trouble, not the other way around. So no, I will not be silent. Plenty of people I know have seen you comments and reacted the same way I did. I am not the one who needs fixing. Perhaps you can use adjusting yourself, because you are the one who seeks out others to harass. DO NOT communicate with me. I told you that once, and you chose to come back, spew more venom, and then had the nerve to tell me to be silent.

  7. Pingback: Homelessness During Active Abuse: A Confession of Asphalt, Glass, and Steel | Picking Up the Pieces

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