Blog: Floating the Abyss
by SoulfulSurvivor

"Financial" Abuse?

How financial abuse factors in the abuser's destruction of their victims.

Date:   4/13/2011 6:55:34 AM   ( 11 y ) ... viewed 1289 times

Oh, yeah, this is real and it's intendednto render the victim absolutely hopeless.

Financial abuse happens when an abuser seizes control of the victim's finances: joint accounts with access denied, refusing to pay bills unless the victim submits to the abuser's whims, opening credit accounts in the victim's name, coercing or demanding that the victim dissolves their investments, insurance fraud, forcing the victim to beg for necessities, and so forth.

In my case, I experienced all of the above examples, and then some. It coincided with the former abuser's need to appear affluent and successful - superficial appearances were his first priority. The abuser intended to appear affluent and successful by squeezing, cajoling, and literally taking money that he did not earn from other people. He absolutely believed that he was ENTITLED to others' assets because he "deserved" it.

The former abuser was ver subtle, in the beginning, by merely suggesting that my parents might have some extra cash that they could "lend" him for gasoline, or some other item. This eas how it began:
Abuser: do you think your folks would lend me some money so I can get some better clothing for job interviews? I'll never get hired if I don't look nice.
Me: I don't know. Why don't you ask them?
Abuser: I can't do that - your dad doesn't like me.
Me: if you need to borrow from them, you need to ask them.
Abuser: forget it, then! I won't work and we just won't get our own place, then! You don't really love me, do you?
Me: of course, I love you! Didn't I talk them into letting you live here? If you want to borrow the money, you need to ask for it.
Abuser: can't you just do this for me? I just can't ask them for another thing, and if you don't get it for me, I can't get a job so we can have our own place. Don't you LOVE me? It's not like they can't afford it, either! You just don't WANT me to get a job!
This could go on for hours until I finally gave in and would get money from my parents. It is important to try to get a grasp on the depth of the manipulations, here. To break it down, he couldn't get a job without a suit for the interview. He couldn't afford a suit because he had no income. If I truly loved him, I would get the money he needed to get a suit, to get a job, to afford a place of our own, amen. If I failed to get the money for him, it was clear that I didn't REALLY love him and that I wanted him to fail.

Now, these tactics changed after we were bound by a contract of marriage. But, the demand and coersion to garner money was frequent, and the manipulations could go on for days. If I dared to defy his demands, I would be punished with the Silent Treatment until such time as I either got another "loan" from my parents, or agreed to be involved in an insurance fraud, or agreed to dealing illegal substances. As the years went on, he threatened that the children would not have gifts for Christmas, school clothes, and even prescribed medications unless I did as he demanded. On many occasions, he made good on his threats - he would hide the checkbook so that I couldn't5 go grocery shopping, and refused to pay for the Paxil that I was taking which threw me into a very painful episode of withdrawal.

Financial abuse is far more involved than what I've mentioned above. It also isn't confined to romantic relationships. Anyone who demands or promises financial support with specific emotional or physical demands attached is perpetrating financial abuse. I'm NOT talking about the parent who promises their child an XBox 360 if they mow the lawn each week. I'm talking about my own example of enduring sexua| assault in trade to feesd my children. I'm also talking about agreeing to be involved in insurance fraud so that the abuser would pay the utility bills. I'm also talking about the abuser's refusal to discuss finances on a factual and reasonable basis.

As I mentioned, the financial abuse is specifically perpetrated to render the victim utterly powerless - a mountain of debt, children, and a mortgage is often enough to make a victim remain with their abuser. By the time I finally left, we were in the midst of declaring bankruptcy and "owed" my parents over 70K. In total, we had amassed nearly $250,000.00 in unsecured, and secured, debt. AND, I uncovered 3 "secret" loans with a minimum balance of 7000, and two additional credit accounts in MY name that I never applied for.

If you are experiencing this type of situation and believe that there's no way to get out, please visit http://www.ndvh.org
and http://www.lovefraud.com
to learn what financial abuse is, and the many options that are available to you. If you have a friend or family member that is living in this type of situation, the temptation to "help" by loaning or gifting money is tremendous, especially if children are involved. Avoid the temptation of , instead, offer to help purchase groceries and STICK to that offer, only!

Brightest blessings!!

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Comments (18 of 18):
Re: I stayed becau… msavo… 9 y
Re: Non-romantic N… Soulf… 11 y
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