My Domestic Violence Story- Financial Abuse

I have had people scrounge money from me in the past, but absolutely nothing compared to the sheer financial exploitation my ex put me through. Right from the start he would make me pay for pretty much everything. I remember the first time he asked me to pay for an expensive bottle of champagne at an event, with the promise of paying me back “on Monday”. Like an idiot I believed him- Well that was only the start.

To be fair he was quite clever about slowly extracting my earnings and savings from me. He would tell me sob stories about how he had no money and how he lost everything when his ex partner threw him out. He would also claim to not want to go to certain bars/restaurants as they were “too expensive” when I am now guessing he knew that he didn’t have to pay for anything so was in a win/win situation, as he was going to get food and drink anyway, regardless of where we went, so wanted to sound as though he was thinking of me and my finances. Of course I could be wrong with this theory, but I suspect I am right.
Not long into the relationship he got found guilty of vandalism and guess who ended up paying the fine? Yes, me. He would say that he wasn’t making me pay it and that I should want to do it for him- I was worried he may get into more trouble so I just paid it all off for him. (A few times if I did something he didn’t like, he would just order me to pay parts of it off and wouldn’t speak to me until I did or tell me not to contact him until I had paid the amount he told me to.)
Things took a more sinister twist when we had a big rift when he found out I had been talking openly to various people about the abuse. I had recently helped him to set up a “wishlist” on Amazon like a lot of models/performers do and he used this against me. We were in a hotel where I had been working that day and he was interrogating me about someone he believed was “slagging him off”. Out of nowhere he suddenly demanded I go on his wishlist and buy some items! I was so confused and upset and scared he would leave (I had grown to become very attached to him, but from his unpredictable behaviour throughout the months and his cold, emotionless demeanor, I was always worried he would just drop me at any time, and at that point I couldn’t see a life without him) that I just did as he said, all the while fighting back tears and asking “why?” The word “why” turned out to play a big part in our relationship as sometimes it was the only word I could muster in the heat of the confusion, hurt and abuse.
I really was expected to pay for everything- Over the course of our time together he had (to name but a few items) a phone, a laptop, parts for his car, clothes, protein shakes and most infamously- takeaway food paid for online by me and ordered to his house, which was really no other than a way for him to financially control me even when I was not in his immediate presence. Towards the end of the relationship, he would only really text me to ask me for money and food. Woe betide me for setting up online banking as he took full advantage of this- I know I was stupid to give him everything he asked for, but I was always tired plus pretty much brainwashed and at the lowest point I had been in a long time. I was worn down to the point where my whole existence revolved around him and his moods. I would call him and we wouldn’t even have a conversation. He would answer the phone with “what” and would just mutter “yeah” until I gave up and hung up.
By the end of our time together, he wouldn’t even speak to me when were out and about- just sit there in silence, occasionally insulting me and telling me off for talking loudly or looking miserable or something else minor, but mainly just looking at his phone and only acknowledging me to tell me to go and buy more drinks from the bar. It broke my heart and I just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just be “normal”. He would claim I did it all to myself the day I decided to “slag him off. I do admit that maybe I went too far with some things, for example contacting the mother of his child who I know he hates, but I was felt really lost, confused and angry at him and the things he would do to me- I wanted answers and to know if it was just me, or if he had treated other women in the same mean way (Turns out there were several other victims before me and sadly, likely to also be many after).
By the time I gave up all hope on him and started to claim my life back, I was practically in financial ruin. He had taken me for thousands, plus all the money I spent on “presents” and drinks for him. I also have a sneaky suspicion that he was using a fair bit of my money to buy drugs, or to take out other women (Although I have no solid evidence of this). I had over £10,000 of savings that myself and my family had built up for me over the years, and by the time he was done with me, I had not even a quarter of that. I am now on my way back up again, but it will take me a long time to get back to where I was financially before I met him.