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He Stole my Soul

I was nothing more to him than a slave

By Rosy GeePublished 2 years ago 7 min read
Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

I was never attracted to bad guys when I was dating and not in the least bit inclined to go for ‘a bit of rough’. My preference was the suave, sophisticated type, which I found in my second relationship, following my divorce.

It all started swimmingly. We met on a dating site, hooked up for a drink one evening and the rest slowly turned into a living nightmare.

We met in an upmarket bar, had a couple of drinks, chatted, exchanged numbers, and agreed that we would like to meet again. Although we were attracted to each other, something felt ‘off’ and foolishly, I ignored my gut instinct. He could be a bit weird and my family took an instant dislike to him.

Initially, we had some nice holidays together but we never had any friends. Mine or his. He wanted me exclusively for himself. At first, it was flattering but by the time I realized that it was unhealthy, it was too late. He was controlling me like a puppet on a string and I was putty in his manipulative hands.

My downfall was believing everything he said, which was all lies and deceit. Since learning that I had been living with a passive-aggressive narcissist, I realize now that I was nothing more to him than a slave and under his complete control and domination. The way he treated me was disgusting.

A few years into the relationship, we started to discuss our future as a couple. He convinced me to agree to convert the house that he owned into three apartments and we both gave up full-time employment to work on the renovation. The decision to proceed was based on the fact that we would both share in the proceeds once the flats were completed and sold. We were set to make a huge profit; it was a sound investment. We had an agreement that it was a joint project from the outset — foolishly, I didn’t get anything in writing. Despite constantly asking for something to formalize the agreement, my request was always brushed aside and ignored.

We talked constantly about our future life (I have since learned that this is another manipulative trait of narcissists: future faking). He never had any intention of sharing the joint project that I had worked so hard on. He treated me like a slave, instructing me to dig trenches, carry tons of building materials from builders’ wagons into the property, paint high-ceiling rooms until my neck was too stiff to move, along with dozens of other chores. I was nothing more than a workhorse. My body ached all over but still, he kept making me work harder, fooling me into believing that I was going to benefit financially from the project once it was finished. I was excited at the prospect of achieving something and still believed every word he said.

This is where he kept me dangling on a string; the project was never going to be finished. I worked so hard, day after day, year after year, and still, the end was never in sight. Why? Because he didn’t want it to end and it was his way of controlling me, forcing me to stay in the toxic world that he dominated. I was working for free under the misguided assumption that I would get a lump sum payment once the apartments were sold. Obviously, if we didn’t finish them, they couldn’t be put on the market. So, I kept working. Day after day, month after month, year after year.

Slowly, realization dawned — I was never going to have a life if I stayed with him. Unable to make it alone because I had no money and no access to funds because he had cleaned me out of my considerable savings and, even at that point, he convinced me to take out a personal loan to pay for a fancy new front door, assuring me that we would both reap the rewards. Lies, lies, and more lies which I sucked up like a sponge. I had been targeted, exploited and betrayed.

A plan was starting to formulate in my head. First, I needed to get a job. Secondly, I was going to move out of the apartment we had purchased jointly elsewhere (another stupid move, buying a property when he already owned one), and free myself from this evil person. Every decision that ‘we’ ever made was, according to him, based on something that ‘I had always wanted to do’. He had mastered manipulation into an art form and although my family and friends were supportive, none of them could help.

My newly acquired part-time job wasn’t enough to pay the deposit on a house rental and my generous divorce settlement had been frittered away on the basis that we were building ‘an amazing future’ together. That was when I realized that I was trapped. There was nowhere to go, I had no money, and I was exhausted, physically and mentally. I would walk aimlessly for hours most evenings looking out to sea and thinking: if I walk down the beach and keep walking, all my troubles will be washed away, forever.

My life was in a complete mess and I stayed with family and friends at weekends and did anything to get away from him. I was severely depressed.

Debilitated and laid up with a chest infection — illness, once a stranger to me — was becoming an unwelcome bedfellow, I was browsing the internet looking for divine intervention and when I searched on Google for ‘room share’ in my area, I was astounded to find three possible options near my workplace.

After careful planning, one by one, the stages of my escape plan were taking shape — I not only got an agreement to work full-time but I was offered a salary increase.

I contacted one of the room-share advertisers and stumbled upon an amazing divorcee who lived just around the corner from my office job and I moved into her spare room. I was starting to breathe again after the suffocation of living with an abuser. But my nightmare was far from over.

I tried to move on with my life and could barely make ends meet; my family and friends were supportive and soon commented on how different I looked. The gaunt, strained look around my eyes was starting to dissipate.

Comfortable and safe in my new home, penniless and with few possessions, I was naive to think that I had broken free from the clutches of an abuser who used me as free labor to fulfill his dream of making a ton of money.

Consumed with anger at not being able to control me any longer, he festered. I set the wheels of a bitter court battle in motion which ground on for more than four years, determined to recoup my finances. Already battered and raw, I had to find the strength to keep fighting this monster. He crushed me in the court battle and I wish I had never taken him on; I was only feeding his already over-inflated ego. How one human being can treat another like that is beyond me. The other property that we jointly owned was eventually sold at a loss — he did everything in his power to thwart the sale, but true to character, he denied it. I had paid a hefty deposit when we purchased it, which I also lost.

He crushed my faith in humanity

Stole my dignity, gutted me like a fish

Degraded me and dehumanized me

Exploited and betrayed me

Belittled me, stigmatized me

He stole my soul

Working twelve-hour days, I am rewarded handsomely and I have just one goal — to recoup those lost years of earnings and make up the financial hit from the property sale. It drives me forward every day and because I work for myself, I can take pleasure in the fact that I keep every penny that I earn (after paying my taxes.) Unless, of course, I choose to share it with loved ones - people who genuinely care for me and I for them.

Nobody is going to sleaze their way into my bank account ever again.

* * *

This article was first published on Medium, where you can find more of my work. Why not get a weekly update from my village in England by signing up to Rosy's Ramblings? I publish every Saturday and it's free!


About the Creator

Rosy Gee

I write short stories and poetry. FeedMyReads gave my book a sparkling review here. I have a weekly blog: Rosy's Ramblings where I serialized my first novel, The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden. Come join me!

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