Many people are of the belief that domestic abuse is limited to physical beatings. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Domestic abuse/violence can be physical, mental/emotional, and economic. Notice that I didn’t use the “and/or” option because if one type of abuse is present, the likelihood that is accompanied by at least two other aspects is 100%. While the actual circumstances of the abuse may differ, understand that while the economic aspect may be missing or the physical beatings may not be present, the mental/emotional battering will be there in ALL cases.
You will never hear that she only suffered the physical abuse; you will never hear that she only suffered the mental/emotional abuse; you will never hear that she only suffered the economic abuse. Nah, there will always be an “and” in that thing. A woman cannot be beaten without suffering some level of mental and/or emotional damage. A woman who is battered economically will likely suffer mental and emotional damage. Some scars are visible, some are not. Scars are still, and will always be, the result of wounds.
As His Grip Tightened
All my life, I’ve been self-sufficient. All my life, I’ve been good with money. I grew up straddling the poverty line so I know the importance of making a dollar stretch and to spend wisely. I lost that control once I became a stay-at-home-mom. Don’t get it twisted — I will never regret choosing to stay at home with Will. Leaving a career is a personal choice and I’m glad that I did. The end-result is a huge part of my story.
Anyway, when we made the mutual decision that I would stay home, he started giving me an “allowance” of $300 – $400 every week. I used very little on or for myself. When I did spend, though, chances are it would be on a nice purse. That is still my weakness. Ultimately, he would tell me that he thought it was stupid that I spent money on purses; I, in turn, told him I thought it was stupid that he spent all his money on anything that resembled coke with his ring-around-the-nose ass.
Eventually, that weekly “allowance” was reduced to about $250 every week because when the economy tanked, so did his earnings. Where he had been earning $100 and up per hour, he was down to $50 – $75 an hour. Managed correctly, that is more than enough for a family of three. Then again, he gambled, drank, and snorted so…
Once, I asked him for an extra $25 to get my nails done and he promptly said no. I would learn later that he had loaned a girl from work $2500 because “she needed help, Trē”. He ended up having to take her to small claims court to get his money back. Y’all…
By the time we made it to Dallas, my “allowance” was down to $150 every two weeks. It took $80 to fill my tank and I always kept it full because I never knew when I would have to leave for Louisiana to help take care of my mom. That left me $70 for the next two weeks. He told me I needed to learn to budget better.
In the End
After he came in and announced that he wanted the divorce, he waltzed off to Baltimore and left us in dire straits. The water was turned off, as was the gas and the satellite/internet. The only solace I had was that Will was in school every day so he only had to endure the nights. We must have watched The Book of Eli on DVD 250 times. That summer was the hardest I’ve ever experienced. There were times when I felt like I was watching it all happened to someone else, but I have the scars to prove it all happened to me.
Rebuilding, Reshaping, and Restarting
While it is true that I was the victim of domestic abuse for nearly 20 years, I decided that the things I endured would become the things I survived. Healing takes time. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, I was ravaged. I will not, however, leave this life as a victim. I will be remembered as a survivor.