Aside: Bad Day at The ATM

bad day at ATM atmSomething happened today that pissed me off.  I often find myself making excuses for my ex.  And then an occurrence such as this reminds me of why I have a protection order and a divorce.

Should I hate him or hate the drugs? Blame him or blame the drugs? I made some foolish decisions and committed some horrible crimes during my years as a drug user. When that shit gets a hold of you, you might as well be shackled to a concrete wall.  It is nearly impossible to get away from the lifestyle.  So laborious, it remains easier to stay where you are rather than change.  Breaking loose from those shackles is like being stuck in a well or a man hole, you cannot reach the top no matter how high you jump or far you reach, and there is no one at the top reaching down. It’s daunting. It’s just too hard.

So I understand why he did what he did.  Every addict has a maxing out point, or a wall they hit when they say “Okay. That’s enough.”  Sometimes that realization is forced by outside circumstances and sometimes it’s the weighing down of your conscience and soul that you finally surrender.  More often, I believe, it’s the former which leads to the latter. The outside circumstances, for example, could be something as obvious as running out of money. For me, in the beginning, when the money was gone, I was done.  Just sleep it off.  It was fun, but it’s over. Just plain and simple acceptance. For him, when the money dissipated, the game had just begun.  As you might imagine, cohabiting with this person spawned a disastrous lifestyle.

We were two people who reacted to our own drug addictions in contrasting ways.

Firstly, I dreaded pay day.  He lived for it.  As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I lived in fear of what I would come home to find.  I didn’t want to get high because it never failed to become a nightmare.

Secondly, if I caved into using, I never wanted to use until the money was depleted.  My giving in, without fail, accompanied a stern assertion that we needed to stop after a certain amount.  My agreeing to $100.00 turned into him spending $1,000.00.  I now recognize that he never intended to stop, that was just his way of getting me to stop fighting so he could use, and have an accomplice to be miserable with when the dope was gone.  And of course someone to blame.

Lastly, the actions he resorted to when we were out of money reached beyond what I could have ever imagined.  More than bullying me out of hidden money, even worse than selling our cars for a handful of dope.

I will get into the grittier stuff in future posts. As for today, I went to the ATM to activate my new debit card.  It was declined.  The card arrived in the mail 2 days ago.  I have been trying to establish a bank account for the last 2 years.  I hoped enough time had passed since the divorce that I might be approved this time. Wrong.  Over 2 years ago, I tried closing our accounts while he was scanning checks and withdrawing not yet cleared funds.  He had this shit down to a science.  He should work for the fraud department at a bank, something like Leonardo DiCaprio in “Catch Me if You Can.”  As soon as I found out about the last relapse and ran out of the house (another story I need to share)  with everything I could grab of value that he couldn’t sell, I went to the ATM and withdrew all the money we had.  Transaction after transaction in the middle of the night.  You know the bank won’t let you withdraw more than $200.00 at a time. Just enough to pay rent is what was left.  I don’t know how long he had been using, but the money I had been putting in my savings was gone. Being that he opened the account and then added me after, the bank wouldn’t let me close the account.  Even after the bank manager himself printed out 2 pages of fraudulent activity.  I pleaded with him.  His hands were tied because there were still outstanding transactions.  In other words, we kept missing each other at the bank.  He would go in and withdraw money from one of his bullshit scanned check deposits, and I would go in to close the account, but was told no because his fraud needed to simmer down before they could close the account. Unbelievable.   One would think the bank would want to stop giving out free money.  I guess it wasn’t free, because I am still paying for it.  Is he? Nope! He doesn’t need to think about about any of this now, living his new life, getting a do-over.  A treatment center with a big screen TV, air conditioning while I sweat my ass off in my apartment all summer,  three meals a day while I struggle to feed his kids.  Now he has a place to live and a job. Under the table, of course. God forbid he should pay child support.  That would be too classy.  I don’t want his money anyway.  I am more stable now unemployed than I ever was living with him.

That was quite the rant, yes I am pissed.  I have every right to be.  And yes, I absolutely take responsibility for my part in our past.  But the fact that I still have his last name and am tied to him by some computer system infuriates me.  I can’t get a bank account because of him.  His crack addiction is going to follow me around forever in one way or another.  After I walked away from the ATM leaving what little hope I had at that machine,  I came home to 3 letters from that institution which all informed me of the same disappointment.  What a waste of paper.   Why can’t they figure this out while I am sitting there for an hour giving them money to open the account?

I walked to my car (the one thing I still have because his name wasn’t attached to it)  and with each passing minute became more and more angry.  Every memory and emotion screamed in my head.  I hate what he did to me.  Not only did he destroy any chance of me ever having a bank account again, he took dozens of credit cards out in my name.  Then he was gone.  In a good way.  But I am left here to clean up his wreckage.  Moral of the story? When someone knows your social security number by heart, your mother’s maiden name, your date of birth, and calls up credit card companies, applies and receives cards in your name with ease and no remorse… run like hell!

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2 thoughts on “Aside: Bad Day at The ATM

  1. I feel your pain and frustration. My ex left me in much the same financial position. In his case, I don’t know where the money went, but he was sure skilled at bleeding accounts dry. I’m less than a year away from paying all of his stuff off (the credit stains and foreclosure will take longer to fade) and I can feel the excitement start to build at the thought of freedom. Hand in there!

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