So...this sort of follows on a bit from John's post last night. And also from some of the recent comments, which I've found...helpful in understanding myself a bit better, I guess.
I'm sure this won't be comfortable reading for anyone, but, well, I don't want to upset any of you either, so don't worry, I won't be offended if you choose not to read.
Basically, this is an example of one of the 'controlling behaviours' Bryan used. And how that felt then, and now. And you know, if this helps anyone else have it not happen to them, then all the better.
In our relationship, I was the one who brought home a steady wage. Every month, pretty much, whatever happened. Bryan was either loaded or broke, depending how much work he'd done, or if he'd sold anything recently. And when he was loaded, he'd spend it - and be generous. And that made people like him. And I won't lie, I liked it. I liked big nights out with mates. I liked getting presents. Who doesn't?
And then, when he was broke, I'd pay for things, food, bills, and him. He'd have literally no cash, having blown it all, so he'd ask for a tenner here, twenty there. And then when I didn't have any cash, and was heading out to work, he'd ask if he could go to the hole in the wall with my card. Which, you know, was fine. Except after a while he'd have my card more than I would. And then when I asked for it back there'd be some excuse, but he'd be the one giving me cash in hand, saying he just needed to use the card to put petrol in the car, or, well, whatever. All plausible, you know? Until I'm not only having to ask him for my own money, but I'm having to justify why I need it. Money I'm earning. And if he doesn't deem it important enough - going out with my friends, or sorting something out on my bike, then I don't get it, because you know, we're broke. But what do you do? Well...in the end I took the card back, because he was fast asleep and I needed fuel for the bike.
And he'd changed my ..effing PIN number. So I didn't even have access to my own account.
So then, the inevitable argument, and he says he did it because he found my number really hard to remember and he was scared the card would get taken off him if he kept getting wrong, and the line that always came out. "Don't you trust me? Don't you love me?" And what do you say? What do you say to that? It's turning everything around and making it my fault suddenly. Like I'm the one doing something wrong, I'm the one who's not trusting and not loving. And by that time you can't go to the pub with a mate and talk about it and realise it's really not okay, because you've got no money and anyway, all your mates have given up on you because you never go out.
You look back and you can't believe what an idiot you've been. But by that point, it's already been well and truly drilled into you that you are an idiot, and useless, and stupid, so the last thing you want to do is go and ask someone for help and tell them what situation you've managed to get yourself into.
Of course, when you can take a step back and see it all once you're outside it, you can eventually see it wasn't you, it was them, and it wasn't your fault, it was theirs. But that takes time and space and support if you need it. And one thing an abuser will never give you is time and space to sort yourself out.
There you go. Never told anyone that before.