Hi Lancashire Lad
Lancashire girl here! Well born and bred anyway, although I don’t live there anymore.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. Like you I also suffered financial abuse 10 years ago, and like you I buried the emotional stuff until now. Partly because at the time, I didn’t even realise it was abuse, or how bad it was, and partly because I was so focused on getting out of the relationship, it was purely about survival. It simply didn’t occur to me to ask for help (other than friends and family). Also the first year of freedom from my ex was wonderful. I could afford to feed myself properly and buy some new clothes. The first time I paid for my food shopping in the supermarket I burst into tears, the relief at finally being able to choose and pay for what I needed and I didn’t have to go without.
I’m sorry you’ve been left with such debts. I still have a mortgage with my ex that I can’t get out of. I’m glad you are feeling a bit better but I can totally relate to what you say about it making your blood boil when you recall. Me too! It’s so unjust. My ex is living the life of Riley with no consequences. I’m looking into getting some counselling to help with the intrusive thoughts.
I think it’s really important to speak up about these things especially in the LGBT+ community. It’s too late for us, but I believe financial abuse is now a criminal offence. But to take action you have to understand what’s happening to you, and like you say, with the gaslighting and mind games, I just didn’t. Even if I had, I wasn’t in a position to think clearly, I was too busy and exhausted ‘firefighting’ on a daily basis.