Part two or…what made me so stupid?

Hi there…so you came back for more of my story! Well, I’m willing to share. If it opens the eyes of any other young woman, it will have served its purpose.

Now where was I? Oh yes. In three weeks time all my money was gone. In the back of my mind I will never release the nagging thought that the cost of the racetrack was not what I was told and my ex pocketed a good chunk of change, if not all of it, but I never saw any financial evidence of that. I had a friend who called me frequently. She called the day after the fiasco. When I answered she immediately asked what was wrong. My voice was dead. All I could say was, “It’s all gone. ..It’s all gone.” I couldn’t even cry.

We struggled along together for several more years. One day I received an insurance check from the aunt who had moved in with my father shortly after my mother had died. My father had made her beneficiary and she now passed the money along. It was for $10,000. Once again, my ex had a use for it. He wanted to buy a franchise and open his own financial services  business. He so much wanted to be independent. By this time he had gotten his MBA and I thought more sense. He kept “charming” me and conning me, two things he did very well, and I believed him. I gave him the money to buy the franchise.

He was now working two jobs. He was still with his employers and behind their backs also working on his own business. One day he brought a young woman home whom he introduced as his secretary. They were on their way to a potential client. She certainly did not act or dress the part. It made me almost sick to my stomach but by this time I could no longer speak for myself. I took it all, blow after blow. My marriage was circling the drain at a faster and faster speed. That client called looking for my ex  soon after he moved out. He related that my ex and his secretary were certainly not acting like professionals with each other the day they visited his place of business. I think I already knew that.

During our marriage, since we kept moving, it was very difficult for me to get a full time position in my field. I did work part time and tried to start my own business as well. When I approached my ex about how he was spending so much, his reply was, “If you don’t like it, get a full time job.” “Earn your own money.” etc, etc. He had to buy the CBs, the $1,000  HP calculators, and every gadget that caught his eye. He was a compulsive buyer. At one time we had to have an RV although we only used it for a couple of trips.

I have a phobia about being in debt. The more he spent on his own pleasures, the less was available. After monthly bills and food there were months where there was absolutely nothing left for me or our son. It didn’t matter. My self-esteem by that time had tanked to a new low. He was going on more trips, coming home later and later, becoming more violent and abusive and I let him.

My ex was spending huge amounts on alcohol. One Saturday he opened a vodka bottle in the morning and about two thirds of it was gone before 2. I stood up to him and told him I didn’t want any more alcohol in the house. I didn’t want my son to have to live in that environment. He agreed but spent even more time hanging out in bars. One night he came home exceptionally drunk. For some reason he wanted me to have more plants in our home, even though there are few windows where plants get sun. He told me I should go down to a hotel downtown and talk to the bartender about plants in a home. He fell asleep before I could ask how he knew about this bartender’s home. I didn’t question him about the woman bartender he was talking about, but in my heart, I knew the days of our marriage were numbered.

I grew up without a mother. I didn’t want my son to grow up without a father. I always thought he’d come to his senses some day. He had spent so little time with his son while he was an infant and pre-schooler, but now that he was in school, I thought there would be more things they could do together. I vowed never to leave his father.

There were no helplines back then. If you go to the Domestic Violence Hotline at800-799-7233, they can help with affordable housing and emergency assistance funds. The article I mentioned yesterday has even  more helpful advice listed.  There is help out there now. You don’t have to live like I did.  Attic Annie


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