It isn’t a large sum of money, but it isn’t small either. What it represents to me, however, is quite a lot.
I don’t think I’ve ever typed these words in my blog, but I’ll say them now. My ex-husband is an asshole. I wish him well, but he is not a good person. In addition to general jerk-faceness, he was exceptionally controlling about money.
If I paid for ANYTHING, I had to turn a receipt in to him. During our marriage, I was the sole breadwinner. Thus, I was essentially turning in receipts for my own money. On top of that, I’ve never been a frivolous spender.
While we were going through a divorce I tried to separate our car insurance. Because my ex-husband was listed as the primary person on the insurance the car insurance refunded ALL of the money to my ex when I tried to separate the account. So I asked my ex-husband if we could compromise and split the $500+ refund, to which he said, “No.”
In our divorce, my ex-husband gave me the house. However, since the car insurance incident was a disaster I never took my ex-husband off of the homeowner’s insurance policy. I thought, “He’s listed as primary. So they’ll just send him the money…”
Time passed. I got re-married. We sold that old house. At closing I was told I would have a check from my homeowner’s insurance for $257.52 mailed to my new address. Unfortunately, that check never came. Instead, they mailed it to my ex-husband.
Soon after receiving my check, my ex-husband e-mailed me and said he wanted half of the money. He said he would mail me the check to sign, then I was to mail it back and he would send me my half.
I did what you would expect me to do. I told him to go fuck himself, and then I shut down that email and never talked to him again. I’d rather not have the money than deal with being controlled.
I assumed he illegally cashed the check.
That was over four years ago.
But then, a few weeks ago, my old insurance company called saying a check was owed to me. It turns out, the ex had never cashed the check. I explained the situation, and they stated that if I could send them proof they would send me the check.
Oh yes, I sent it proof.
A few days passed, and then – they sent me a check yesterday. #victory
In a strange ironic turn – tomorrow is the anniversary of my divorce. #vindication
Having someone control your expenses changes you. I feel scared about spending money on myself, and keeping receipts seems to be a habit I can’t break. Breaking control is hard.
My husband Del is so good to me. He encourages me to spend wisely. Del is the kindest, most gracious person I know. Del… you’re amazing.
Today, I went to the credit union and cashed my check for $257.52.
I thought about saving the money, but we have enough in savings. I thought about donating the money, but we donate a lot of money. I thought about getting new brakes on my car, but we have money saved for that.
Instead, I’m going to do something different.
For the first time in my entire life I’m going to blow that money on WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT. I’m going to walk into the mall, fill my cart with crap, and then throw away every receipt. I may buy a new coat, or weights, or boots, or food. I just may buy 563 packs of bubble gum, or 200 random things from the dollar store. Because no one controls me anymore.
I’ve spent all of today dancing around. I’m likely being petty, and even a touch juvenile. Living in an abusive marriage takes a toll. When I think back on it, it feels like a slow death. It’s just cut, after cut, after cut. One thing gets taken, and then another. When I add up the sum of abusive behavior it feels overwhelming.
But I got out. I lost money, and friends, and more in the process. But I got out.
I’m happy now. I love my life. I’m re-married. I got it right. And after I go to the mall, I’m going to have a cart full of $257.52 worth of stupid crap just to prove it.