Water can flow or it can crash

So, since my bad ex smokes weed and is on welfare, money is forever and ever tight. His dealer keeps trying to get him to grow some plants at his, or anything of the sort. He never did while I lived there, but now I have reason to believe he’s more comfortable. Either way, it was hell on earth living with him, and it was still hell on earth to get over my time there, but I do have to credit him for being the absolute shittiest catalyst for my drive to do something about my state of mind. My rock bottom. My Mariana Trenches.

Because we’re still legally partnered, we file taxes together (easy and still irrelevant, since he’s still on welfare and all my income is considered a gift -money from my mom abroad-), thus non-taxable, so neither one of us ever expect a big payout or something. The one area where our partnership has meant so much for me instead of him is that it gave me time, as I no longer had to pay the insane outside-of-the-EU student fees at the uni, and so it eased the pressure to perform and it gave me room to breathe. Also, I was forced to join the national healthcare system, which also made the deductibles on my two years of trauma therapy slightly more bearable. Time and mental healthcare, two of the most valuable things I can own.

So I lend him money from time to time. First, I should clarify: I literally told him Hey, I realized I can pay way less at the uni for tuition if I’m married to an EU national, would you do this for me?, and he said sure. There was never any pretense, any sweet-talking that led to us being partnered up (it’s called a civil union, idk if this is a thing in USA but very normal/common in LatAm and Europe, and slightly different than married, but I’ll just write married and y’all know I mean civilly unionized/unified, lol).

His one act of generosity towards me. It cost him nothing, so he did it.

Which perhaps explains his POV when it comes to money: only bill folds and bank statements, he understands. Things like that civil union, in a way, go over his head. He doesn’t value time or mental healthcare in the way that I do (more like at all, I’d say).

And it also explains why everyone that knows just how abusive he was to me, they can’t seem to understand why I don’t fully write him off of my life, if he expects/gives nothing in it.

It’s two things, I’d say. I had an abusive “family” back home, and here I had nothing and no one. To know that at least on paper someone will be informed if I get hit by a truck or something happens to me, makes me feel like there’ll be a registry of my existence. Someone will know (even if he does absolutely nothing with the information). I’ll be discussed, however briefly that might be (in this country, as I’m aware of course my mom would have some sort of feelings about it, and some friends too). My other ex, bless his heart, he’s not terrible, but I wouldn’t call him loving either. Whatever he may feel towards me now, he has gone to great strides to be the sole connoisseur of his feelings, so I’m in any case not impacted by him finding out. For better or for worse, he’s chosen invisibility (from my heart), and his wishes must be respected. So, to not be connected to anyone, as a trauma survivor, I cannot explain how terrifying that is. This was (when it was sentimental) of course trauma bonding, but at least after that was broken off, there’s still a bond, however paper-thin and electronic it may be. I’m linked to someone (moral standing aside) in here. There will now be a record of me. Utter invisibility has been somewhat evaded.

The other thing is, I am indeed still grateful. I’m figuring out my life. This was my first time venturing out of my “home”. I had to go through cultural shock, societal, legal, institutional shock. It’s been a double-edged sword (time), but I’d definitely rather have more time than less. I don’t know if I could’ve coped with going back “home”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from realized and connected in here, but back there, I lived less than 10 mts away from the neighbor that orally raped me at 6-7 yo (though I hear from my mom he moved a year or two after I left with his then-girlfriend, and they have a daughter together. Terrible, I know). And I would’ve had to fear the doorbell thinking it’s one of my mom’s harassing brothers coming to see her from time to time, and fear being called/surprised with the visit of cousins that never gave two shits about me. Go back to studying, to horrid teachers, in search for horrid jobs (and more than likely horrid bosses).

Here, I get to live the life. Later today or tomorrow, I gotta write another letter to the housing corporation to let them know that a neighbor alerted me that there was an envelope with my apt number by the water meter closet. When I opened it, it was from the harassing neighbor, who dares not put it in my mailbox, but will throw his shit on the common basement area for all to see. (It’s only six apartments in my building, hence my only coming out for appointments or from time to time the shops, but hardly ever, since I also don’t like people’s looks when I interact while brown and foreign).

But you know what I mean. I’ve mostly traded in racism for sexual harassment, and I’m “happy” with that trade-off. I wouldn’t have it any other way. So this is my hunker-down place. While I figure out life. While I figure out my next steps. While I figure out whether I can survive on my own or not.

My lifeline to a (future) life.

You can’t really be “super” grateful with someone utterly abusive, and considering how much I tried to get him out of the mental shithole he lived in while we lived together, I really did try my best. How do I know? I was trying to avoid dealing with my own mental shithole, that’s how I know. So nowadays, that gratitude mostly expressed itself in listening to his nonsense from time to time (narcissists don’t really talk with you, but at you); and lending him money if need be. But that also turned pretty abusive soon too. He would hound me for a loan. And I realized that I was just helping him get further into debt as the money he would ask inevitably would be needed again after he paid me back and got his next welfare check, so I cut him off (note that I did it for him, not for me, as I could still lend him money). So that was restricted, and then the pandemic hit and that was restricted again to only sending pizzas to his place, since I literally offered him cash to get vaxxed, and he refused because of his principles.

Ok wife-beater, weird flex but sure, you do you.

But now with the insane energy crisis spurred by German greed (you might know it as the Russian invasion of Ukraine), low-income households are getting some reprieve, a reprieve that he will surely squander by the end of this month. But he got almost a thousand euro, no questions asked (I have to send an application, because while terribly low-income myself, I’m not entitled to welfare on account of being brown an outside-of-the-EU resident, so my case is currently being “reviewed”.

Because my last roommate is leaving, I’m saving up to pay her her deposit back. And I needed new glasses because I lost them on my birthday, when I went to see my non-terrible ex. So I’m a bit strapped. I can get loans from my non-terrible ex or even perhaps go back on my word and ask my half-friend for a loan (I told him never again when he again offered to gift me the money, absolutely not knowing how insulting that felt when I asked for a loan), but I’d rather not to, I figured, if I can ask my hUsBaNd for said loan.

Which he did. Mid-April. Then he got this energy allowance (for which, by the way, he did not want to facilitate his ID or welfare specification, making me wait until he got his money), and I had the glasses expense plus other shit, so I said: hey, since you’re flushed and I’m strapped, can I pay you back at the end of May? I’ve got your money but would be left without emergency money.

Readers, he lent me €70. I wasn’t deep in the hole in the thousands (lol, like he could ever loan me that or I could get credit like that), and this wasn’t a long-standing debt or anything. I am my mother’s daughter. Money I owe is money I pay, and considering how cold and withholding my momma is, I might indeed be a Lannister (just not a little person or an incestuous yellow-haired shit, lol). And minus expenses, he had almost ten times what he had lent me.

He complained that he always has to chase around people that owe him money.

I paid him on the spot.

I get that he’s an animal raised by animals, but at what point does he acknowledge to have met me, to even know me in the slightest? I’m not gonna stand there and read a message saying how he’s so put upon he has to hound people eVeRyTiMe he lends someone money. FUCK THAT.

Between my SEVENTY euro “emergency fund” and hearing a peep out of his cancerous mouth, I chose poverty and may the winds decide my fate till the end of May. I can ask money from other people, but I’m still so hurt he took this approach (even though, by his standards, he was kind to me). He knows that when he spent the rent money, I ate lentils for 5 days straight while he pretended not to be hungry and my far-gone brain believed him, while he was eating at his friend’s. He knows (but has probably forgotten by now) that once I was in a small class and my stomach made such a grumbling noise because the money was only arriving later in the day, and I had rushed to make the class.

He knows I would only ever ask him if I truly needed it, which is why lends me now even when he knows that, by principle, I won’t lend him money again, only food can be delivered at his. Which is why sometimes he’s offered tiny loans (€20 or €30) if he knows I’m thread-baring it. And for me that’s rare, I tend to plan my shit out, and for example, now, please don’t fear for me dear readers, fridge is stocked, rent is paid, so are utilities -lol, not that you’d do anything about it either, but I’m saying I’m not “at the end of my rope”).

I’m a planner. Having trauma means the shit you care about, you plan for. I’m also poor, which means two big expenses can throw me off balance, like now, and so I wanted peace of mind.

The one he could’ve ever so slightly eased by giving me a postponement on my loan (not forgiving it).

Kinda hard to ask from a trauma survivor in a mental crisis that he’ll never address to show some restraint, some consideration, some compassion. To for once bite his tongue instead of saying something the other person might consider hurtful. To, in any way, acknowledge my humanity. You know, the humanity of the woman that would decide whether he gets unplugged or not if he were in an accident.

Nope. Nada. Zilch. Niente. Nooit (never).

So now, it’s been almost three years since the terribly traumatizing and liberating day in which the cops “talked him into” -since he wasn’t forced at all, can we say #WhitePrivilege- leaving while I packed my bags and left him (I’ll never forget the look of shock in his face when I gave him my keys, like, what do you expect mf, you put your hands on me in no uncertain terms, what do you think this is?). And lo and behold, he can still make me cry.

My death will be registered and informed to someone that will go through some mild shock and emotion, only to forcefully push it down with weed. I’m sure he’ll try to get a key from my place to get my stuff, and my “good” ex goes quiet when I tell him he has to stop my mom from paying my “husband” to keep my ashes. I want to be scattered in the sea, not kept in her living room, watching her not liberate herself from any of her emotional shackles.

The prices we pay not to live next to our rapists, or his parents.

So now, the weight of change is on me, right? Just when I wished I could dig a hole and never come out again, it’s on me to pass my courses, clean my house, organize community support around evicting the mentally impaired creep. Only thing I’m currently doing is feeding myself properly, with lots of greens and fruits #GreenSmoothiesFTW.

I want to pity myself and despair, but that’s a feeling I know far too well. Alone, in company, in professional company (therapists). I’ve worked so damn hard for my own self-liberation, and it still needs this insane amount of mental fortitude that I gotta get from where? Outta my ass?

I can get it, and I don’t even need a loan for it. But now y’all know why there’s no mental capacity to throw myself into my studies, or things like house chores.

The strong woman of color trope is a lie. She has to give up so much to win just one of the multiple wars she’s battling. And I’m doing it all on my own, while facing the relentless capitalist bullshit of oNlY pEoPlE wItH jObS aRe VaLuAbLe, and how I’m made to feel weak for needing a partner. A helping hand.

With so many things pushing me in, can you now see the kinda push I’d have to make to break out?

How many fucking TIMES am I gonna be born again in this life? With the strength the friggin’ galactical womb is sucking me in, idk what they think I’m made of that that many times I’m expected to push and make it out.

I do know I want out of this shithole (my current apartment). I just don’t know how much to invest in fucking with the housing company before I ever make it out of here. Would I stand by my bluff of telling them I won’t pay a dime until they remove the creep (or relocate me)? Would I want to do that now? Should I just hunker down some more and live as is? When do I get to make whatever apt I’m in a home for myself, if I’m to ever live in fear of moving next to another worm-like entity?

My current roommate finally leaves, and it couldn’t happen a minute sooner. No help at all, and cowers behind the door if the doorbell ever rings. Far be it from me to ridicule someone with anxiety, but if you know you’re making someone else stand up in those situations, be helpful behind doors? I don’t know whether to use those two extra rooms in trying again for sustainable humans in my apt or if I should just cut my losses and spread out and LIVE in my full apt.

Decisions, decisions…

And while doing all of those, I gotta study and move forward in my study, even if I end up just driving a taxi or whatever the fuck.

It’s not being poor as shit what bothers me, as you can tell, is having harassing/indifferent forces around me, and being as alone as I was on Day 1.

But I am more knowledgeable, though. And short of googling “how to murder your victimizer”, I have learned that if people don’t listen to you, fucking with their money will immediately get you their attention, so I’ll only play nice with the housing company if I do decide to get a roommate again. And I’ll only play nice with this rommate if she gets her fucking shit together, otherwise, she can wait 3 (instead of one) months for her deposit back. And I should thank my ex, for that legal bond we have clearly has been meaning (as everyone else suspected) so much more for me than it has for him. Why have positive feelings towards someone that continues to bring you sadness, with the ever small influence you have still allowed them to have on your life? I’ve extended my care and compassion for people that in no way shape or form go out of their ways to do the same for me (not even when it’s easily within their powers to do so).

Sounds to me like it’s time to get what’s mine. Because even when selfish, I’m still thoughtful and accommodating to others. If a selfish L = a super caring regular person…

It’s L’s turn, baby, wouldn’t you say?

Reappropriatingly mine,

L.

My friend.