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She dedicated herself to loving him, doing for him, making life easy for him. She was in a better place financially, she had her own place, it wasn’t much but she invited him to move in. He had his own place but they had both decided hers was a better fit for the both of them. They began to sort out their finances, she insisted she would continue to take care of all the expenses as she had done before he moved in. She wanted him to take this time to pay down his debt and he still had his other expenses, his car payment, his credit cards and his loans. She didn’t ask him to contribute much, at first he made an effort, but then he lost his job and took his time before securing a new job. She offered her support, she tried cheering him up, suggesting an evening out,where he didn’t have to worry about the expenses. He began to take advantage of her generosity by inviting others to join them and insisting on picking up the tab. On these occasions she would slip him her credit card to save him any embarrassment. He promised that one day he would repay her. She wasn’t worried about it, she was in love, he was her priority, he was her main concern. She wanted to see him happy.
Over time he began to use her card more frequently, to fill his car with gas, to buy drinks for his friends and he still had not found a new job. She began to see the charges on her monthly statements and worried about how she would be able to cover the expenses. She was nervous about bringing it up in conversation but she braced herself for it. She fixed all his favorites, served him his favorite wine and as they sat down to eat she decided she would just delve into the subject head on. He became angry and accused her of playing him and accusing her of being insensitive and then moved on to guilting her about his moving in with her.
He was good at manipulations and had her feeling bad for his situation, somehow he had managed to convince her it was all her fault. His old debts, his new ones, his job loss, the fact that he had given up his own place to move in with her.
It took introspection for her to realize she had become his option, she was never his priority. She was good enough to be around when she could take care of the expenses, when she was willing to allow him the use of her credit card, when she was willing to pick up the tab for him and his friends.
To add insult to injury many of the outings on her dime did not include her. When she was included she was practically ignored, the only time he would bother with her was when he would side up next to her and ask her for another $20. The time came when she realized it was time to say goodbye, she left that evening, he never even bothered to ask her how she had gotten home.
Years would go by before she was able to admit to herself that she had lived through abuse. The insults, the verbal abuse, the emotional abuse, financial abuse, the total disregard for her as someone who had put him up on a pedestal, while he so readily made her an option in his life.
Disclaimer**Given the nature of the books I have been reading lately I am inspired to write a few short stories revisiting parts of my life that included episodes of domestic violence….I will be calling this series “The Ex Files” very clever right….lol….I thought so….it will be an amalgamation of my personal experiences steeped with those of others that I was very close to. The parallels are uncanny in some instances….but the patterns of abusers and abusees are almost always the same…it’s like the same behaviors are either taught to the next generation or there are some secret classes