How Can I Leave With No Money?

How Can I Leave With No Money?
This is from my book ‘Yes Daddy’, due to be released 2022

Sometimes, women in shitty abusive relationships use money and security as an excuse to why they cant leave. Whether you’ve gotten accustomed to the lifestyle that your man provides for you, and you believe you will never reach that level on your own, or you are a stay at home mum with small children and you have no idea how you would be able to support yourself and your children alone – do not use money as an excuse to stay somewhere toxic or dangerous.  

Before I met my ex-husband I had never held down a steady job. I was a check out chick for about 8 months in high school, and that was the extent of my career. I was at Uni studying Social Work, but I was emotionally unstable and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I just studied a million different things and had a few casual jobs waiting tables and doing admin.  

Transitioning from living a life without much direction, to suddenly being a rich housewife was – funnily enough – extremely easy to do and very welcome. I finally had a purpose. Cooking, cleaning, and looking pretty.

Pathetic, huh? 

I am not saying being a housewife is a bad thing, hell – if you have a man that supports you enough that you don’t have to work, that’s awesome! In no way am I saying you have it easier, especially as a mum. I’ve been there and I know that’s twenty jobs in one!  

When the kids came along, I had even more meaning. I never had to worry about money. Sure, I had to worry about my husbands many issues and my crumbling marriage and mental health, but money was something I never had to worry about. There was plenty of it. Now, for someone who has never had a lot of money, you may think ‘’That sounds frickin’ awesome! Imagine never having to worry about bills!’’ and yeah, I guess it was, for a while. But ultimately I started feeling empty. I needed something more.

There was a time I remember very clearly, I was feeling down and alone, so I did what any rich housewife would do. I went online shopping. I spent hundreds of dollars on a wallet. Just one wallet. Afterwards, I just sat there waiting to feel better, but I realised that feeling wasn’t going to come because the wallet was just a ‘thing’. I would get it, be excited, put it in my bag and then….what?

Nothing.

Just another ‘thing’ clogging up my wardrobe, literally not making me any happier. Not one iota. From that moment on, material things were not exciting or fulfilling for me anymore, they were just things.  

A Dolce and Gabbana bag was just as much a bag as a Target bag was a bag, just made with better materials and a brand name. It did the same shit, it still looked nice. Why the fuck would I spend so much money on a bag? So other people thought I was successful? How pathetic. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and they certainly have their place, but as a source of happiness or status? It just didn’t do it for me anymore.  

When I left I had nothing to my name and had to move my 3 kids into a caravan park. My credit cards were cut off (lesson 34567 – always have your own money stash).

I got a retail job and worked my ass off, through stalking and intimidation, court cases and constant trips to the police station to report stuff. Eventually I worked my way up to where I am now – owning my house, a well paid job and an amazing husband. How did I do it? I had no choice, I didn’t want him to win by destroying me, and by god I wanted my nails done.

I want money, sure, but I want it on MY terms. I want to work for it. Of course I want a nice house and a car and to be able to get my lashes done – but only on my terms. To me, having a partner who I am 100% attracted to in every way, is all I care about and I have that in ways I never thought possible. My husbands wage did not factor in my decision to spend the rest of my life with him (his bedroom skills and intelligence did! Haha).

I guess I’m sharing this with you because I want to dispel the myth that you can’t be a hard working single mum and be happy. I’m here to tell you, you absolutely can and the grass can be so much greener on the other side when you make the decision to work hard and believe in yourself a little. Just start with a little. Baby steps.  

I would, without a doubt, rather live in a cardboard box with my husband, then live in a mansion with my ex.

Bethany x

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