Date: early 2000s
Heallen looked at the bank account statement again. What’s he doing spending money we don’t have on laser treatment for broken capillaries?! You could barely notice them.
Another sharp pain arced from the root of her bottom canine to the tip. She tried not to inhale in reaction, gently rubbing her jaw instead. Her bottom teeth were hurting more and more each day now.
He walked in. Damn! He always seemed to know when she’d had enough of his shiz. She tried not to sigh out loud.
After the usual, oh-so-polite pleasantries, Heallen picked up the damning piece of paper. “Can we talk about this, please?”
He glanced at the statement. “What have you been spending now?” He demanded.
She blinked. Don’t get side-tracked–you’ve kept to the budget; He hasn’t.
“I haven’t been spending anything I don’t show you receipts for or tell you about.” She really tried to keep her tone neutral. “I need to get an x-ray from the dentist to see how bad the infection in my teeth is, but I can’t see how to afford the $86 when these laser treatments are $1000 a visit. Are they really necessary? Can you stop them for a few weeks so I can figure out how to pay for it all?”
He flushed. Stopped looking at her. Clenched His fists.
“I work hard to pay for everything for us all, so if I want to spend a little money on myself, I will. You work—you pay for your teeth. Stop expecting me to pay for everything.”
He stalked out of the room.
Heallen clenched her fists to stop her scream. She followed Him. “You know I earn a fraction of your wage, and yet I pay for everything except the mortgage and your commute costs. I need you to be fair and to stick to the budget we agreed to. If my teeth are infected, I need to get help now, not wait for it to get worse.”
Waves of anger reverberated around the room, yet His mask of control was still in place. “Are you calling me irresponsible? How dare you? It’s okay for you to break our budget to get your teeth x-rayed, but I have to do without any luxuries? I have to sacrifice myself even more for this family?”
No, just your frivolous spending! “My teeth are a medical issue; your laser treatments are cosmetic. Can’t you see the difference? And I haven’t had them x-rayed yet because there isn’t any money to pay for it.”
Why couldn’t He understand? Why did every talk deteriorate into an illogical debate? Why could He not get it?!
“So, you’re saying I spent all our money?” He sneered. “You’re always spending my money on uniforms for the kids and food and bills.”
She felt His accusation and outright lie to her core, like a physical slap.
“So you think I’m that bad of a person because I want to keep a little bit of my money for myself?” He continued without pause.
“No. That’s not what I’m saying.” Her mind started clouding. Shaking her head didn’t clear her thinking.
“And you’re such a saint of a parent, aren’t you?”
She shook her head again, quickly losing track of what was going on.
“Well, if you’re that great, you pay for your teeth with your own money. You and the kids cost me everything I have, and you’re not worth it. My money is mine; I’m no longer sticking to your budget. If you can’t manage our money better, then what good are you? I suppose I’ll have to pay now for someone else to manage our money. God, being married is so bloody expensive.”
She watched Him leave the room, shocked that once again He won an argument, leaving her feeling worthless, to blame for their messes, and confused.
What happens? Why did she always end up feeling so broken every time she tried to talk to Him about even simple things?
Was she really responsible for their financial mess? Even though a tiny part of her mind knew it wasn’t her fault, she always ended up feeling blamed and shamed, and then having to fix the mess. Why?
She heard Him go out to His boat. Her silent scream echoed in her dazed brain: You. Make. Me. CCRRAAAZZYY!