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Submitted by: ANWMedia
Chapter Seven: Darkness
By the end of the summer, my relationship with Shawn became very toxic. I couldn’t keep up the façade anymore. Being miserable influenced my decision to chop my hair off, going shorter than before. I lost weight. I didn’t sleep through the night. I did, however, vent in my blog. Every week or two, Monique and I were at odds. An altercation crept around every post. It didn’t matter who started it, Shawn always protected Monique by defending her.
I literally lost my mind.
I experienced panic attacks. My eyes played tricks on me. My blood pressure raised expeditiously; in particularly when Monique came around. The woes of living there began to affect me.
In the beginning, I thought I had control.
I didn’t have not one inch of control over my situation.
Being able to manipulate a situation doesn’t mean you have any control over it; it means you can influence it to your favor. In the beginning, that was an option. Now? Not so much.
I performed one of the greatest compromises of my life. Either I survived in Atlanta or I returned back to Gary, as a failure. It was that simple. Succeed as a transplant, or I move back home as a boomerang kid.
One or the two.
Chapter Eight: Hopeless
A hurricane broke a major pipeline in the Gulf coast, preventing gasoline from transporting into main land. Gas prices surged over five dollars a gallon as desperate motorist lined up all-throughout Atlanta trying to gas up their vehicles. Traveling all over the Atlanta metropolitan area for interviews prohibited me from keeping gas in my car.
The shortage didn’t help either. I could only pump $10.00 at a time. I had to think strategically. Being creative allowed me to keep money in my pocket; even if it were only temporary. Shawn became my gas money. I entertained him to “get” enough cash so I could out the house. Building a networking system became vital to my success. I met new people every day. I needed help.
Survival of the fittest.
Going back home was not an option; neither was quitting.
It didn’t take long for Karma to find Shawn. While I began to gain steam, he lost his. Within two months, his financial status changed drastically. Money didn’t flow. Suddenly, all of the lunches at Benihana’s stopped. Our carryout meals reduced. We went from eating two to three meals a day to barely eating at all.
Monique continued to complicate things. Whereas I finally started to get that Shawn wasn’t going to treat me the way I wanted to be treated, I mastered playing him at his own game. I couldn’t be moved by it anymore. Being bothered by something that wasn’t changing seemed to be a waste of my energy. He had something I wanted; spending money. Collectively, there was no shame between Monique and Shawn. They possessed a new boldness for things to do, never running out of ways to humiliate me. Biting my tongue created resentment for the two in my heart.
One day, I received a check for $150.00 from my father. Instead of keeping that money for myself, I thought as a team player. I purchased groceries and prepared dinner. Delicious, nutritious meals became a distant thing of the past. Another night of Roman Noodles and hot sauce just wasn’t going to work.
Marveling in confusion, wondering what happened to his millions of dollars and prosperous businesses, I finally received confirmation. I had been clearly bamboozled. I never saw the millions of dollars. I never received the $1,500 he promised me. I never obtained anything he assured me he could do. He created an online persona, making up his life as he went. Clearly, not thinking he would have to deliver to any of the women he met online.
He took advantage of my gullible ass, giving me a run for the two pennies I had. I unraveled his schemes. He befriended an underwriter at the bank. Collectively, they wrote bogus loans. He had money because he met women who had 720 credit scores. He convinced them to take the loans out on his behalf, giving them a fraction of the money back. He was involved in a bank loan scam. Fortunately for me, I was unusable. Being a victim of identity theft prevented me from being robbed. Again. When Shawn ran out of resources, he tried to recruit more women.
Some of the women lived in other states. He promised them the
same thing; to give them $1,500 to move to Atlanta. Monique and Shawn sat on MySpace, recruiting them together.
Had I been picked by them, too? Is that why we are at odds? She wanted me too, and couldn’t have me. Is that what this is all about?
Being naïve, I didn’t think it were possible. I didn’t suspect for anyone to be so malicious and cruel. His motives were really calculated down to the number of days. All he needed was about two months, and he was onto the next victim.
Feeling grateful for the opportunity, Shawn received all of the benefits of being my husband when he wasn’t even my boyfriend. Cooking and cleaning; making love to – all of which were privileges for my husband. Not my friend! Learning what Shawn was capable of doing, prayer and journaling became my way of escape.
Nothing happened fast enough. I wanted out.
He sold me a dream and I bought it.
* * * * *
ALEXIS NICOLE WHITE is an author and inspirational speaker. As a graduate of Purdue University, Alexis dreamed of climbing the corporate ladder. However, life's experiences have birthed another passion in Alexis. Today, this writer and speaker is passionate about raising awareness about emotional abuse in relationships. Her memoir, The Covered, highlights her journey with experiencing emotional abuse and how she survived and thrived. Her goal is to help other women, young and old, do the same – survive and thrive.
Alexis' Official Website