I recently met up with a friend whose partner (in secret), had racked up substantial debts, which they were repaying at $550 per week. If you asked her partner what he’d bought, I don’t believe he would be able to tell you, such was the lack of value placed on the items. It has added up to a huge chunk out of their wages. Financial abuse is insidious, tied in with emotional and mental abuse, and at it’s heart, control. Ultimately, living with someone whose goals aren’t aligned with yours, is unworkable. Being lied to, having money taken out of your account and being forced to withdraw what you have saved in order to live, is more common than most people think. It consists of regularly making up excuses when you can’t afford to go out, whilst trying to keep the household running and school supplies bought. It is incredibly stressful.
I have seen and heard it all in my time. I have seen people I love left with nothing after sacrificing everything, in order to pay off debts that aren’t even theirs. I have seen people trapped by ill health and other issues, rendering it harder to leave. I have seen people promised money over the Christmas period, or a partner swearing that they would pay their share, and then not do so. I have seen it all, and wept with those on the receiving end.
I have written an ebook about financial, emotional and mental abuse, available on iBooks and Amazon Kindle. It is such an important subject, and my main goal was to help people feel less alone. The fact that you are still here and fighting for yourself and any children you may have is extraordinary! It takes such a massive effort (and toll), when you are locked out of your own life; financial matters and fines, debts and betrayal hidden from you. If this is you, keep going, please. I have seen lives rebuilt after suffering these particular traumas. I have seen a woman five years down the road- and now financially secure-cradling the hands of another, promising that they too shall get through it. I believe her.
I have always had a will of iron. I had to take control at a young age. Had to learn to eat and drink again. Had to learn how to walk. Had to rebuild the strength in my body, mind and soul. I hit all my targets. The same applied when I started correspondence school. Whatever I focused on, came to be. When I went out into the world at eighteen, I had huge dreams, and expected them to all come true, and in the allotted time. I was going to be a published author in my twenties, have several kids, a big rambling house and a strong body. As time passed, I saw the vision become clouded, as though someone had smeared petroleum jelly onto the camera lens. Instead of a tribe of kids, there was infertility. Rather than my body getting stronger, I slipped and fell, breaking my spine again. Instead of a large rambling house, there was a string of dodgy rental properties. Instead of peace there was turmoil. There were times when I lived on potatoes for a week, times when I had to walk miles home. Life was reduced to survival. The dreams refused to die, but they were tempered. The shoots dared to rear up from the soil. Spindly little things, they were, and I feared a downpour would flatten them. My saving grace was the removal of a time frame. Letting go of control. Having a tight schedule and discipline saved me as a teen. It wouldn’t work now. I was down on my knees as infertility and pain and uncertainty pounded me. I was pummelled. “I surrender!” I screamed.
As soon as I uttered those words, the kaleidoscope in my hands turned, and a beautiful geometrical pattern took shape. Everything about it was different to what I had stubbornly cleaved to. The colours were somehow more vibrant. Perhaps, it was a portent of things to come. I didn’t want the next decade to be remembered by a series of operations, disappointments and scars. As I was admitted to hospital yet again, I had to believe that this provided another step to where I wanted to be. I had to surrender all control, yet hold onto the kernel of my dreams. They had after all, given me the fuel to keep going. Life is very different to where I thought I would be at this age and in this year. Yet as I reflect on the friends I have met, the miraculous daughter I birthed, the fact I am still able to walk, and am a published author, I can see it is damned near perfect. It is hard to surrender control. It is hard to accept that the vision has evolved and changed. It is scary. When you hit a target after the storm has pummelled your home, it tastes that much sweeter. Don’t give up! Don’t you ever give up.