If anyone could put a price on the encounter with a narcissist, what would it be? Money is taboo right? Either you have it or you don’t, but you don’t say how much you have or miss, except with your close friends.
My ex-husband had a big issue with money. He forbade me to say “we can’t afford…” These words were banned, and like the ostrich with its head in the sand, he dealt with money problems by not talking about it. One evening, we went out for dinner with not less than twenty-six people. I had not worked in months and he had spent all the cash I had scraped from his money melting hands to buy stuff we did not even use.
I dared to say the words! Half way through the dinner, I asked if all these people expected us to pay for dinner. After all, he invited them! He got upset silently, he took my hand and squeezed so hard, tears came to my eyes. I stared at my plate fo the rest of the night.
He paid for the twenty-eight dinners. I choked on my piece of salad, which was all I ordered: “I had a big lunch” were the words I spat out at some stage. They all looked as if they had skipped lunch to eat more at dinner. I was furious.
If I want to count all the money this relationship cost me, I have to add in all the salaries I received while working. They went straight into his pocket. I came home and handed over the cash. He proudly paid the rent, the bills, and gave me some pocket-money, enough for my bus ride and a coffee during my break. I was not allowed more, because “I could not budget”. Seventeen years of salaries.
Then, when there was not enough, he came with me to the bank and had me asking for loans after loans. A bigger loan to cover the smaller one. Each time, he had long talks about his investments and whether or not he should transfer his (imaginary) fortune to this bank. I was begging and he was the richest man on earth. His usual chit-chat:
-“I don’t need money, you see. I make a fortune with my business… But if people did not take loans, how could the banks survive?”
Then we bought a house abroad. The house had a loan attached to it of course, as with any of his “projects” and when he finally understood that we could not pay for this anymore, he gave it to his parents to sell, and let them have the bit of money that came out from the sale after paying the loan back. He could not ask his parents to send the money, after they troubled themselves to sell it. How grandiose of him! The reality was that they would have understood that he needed money, and he could not accept this.
When I ran away and filed for divorce, he refused it, and the court condemn me to give him all the money I earned after paying my rent. Even far away, this abuse continued on.
The judge’s said: “You have functioned this way for seventeen years, there is no reason to change this!” and he slammed his stupid little hammer.
How not to be angry? How not to resent all these years? I will not put my head down and cry, because I have been a victim. I said it many times, and I will say it again, I used to be good with money. I had a car, I was going to buy a house, I worked and paid for my studies, I paid my rent, I put money aside, I gave to charity… All was well with me… All WAS well.
I will get well again. It will take the time it takes, but I will be OK with money again. I did not deserve what happened. So, even if I am still in that money trap, wondering every day how to get through tomorrow, I can claim “well, I did get through today!” and I will tackle tomorrow when it comes with my chin up.