What happens when the rose-colored glasses break

Financial Abuse

Today I'm remembering what Tori told me about her dad stealing from her.

I don't remember the story verbatim. She's gone now so I can't ask her to remind me of details.

She was young – 17 or 18. Garrett was still on her bank account because she was a minor when it was set up.

If I recall correctly, he was moving and wanted her to help. She was no longer living in his home. She had plans, so she couldn't. Or maybe it was something with expecting her to help with the household bills even though she was no longer living there. Either way, he expected something of her that she was not obligated to give.

He punished her by cleaning out her bank account.

Took everything.

Somewhere around $2,000. She had to jump through hoops at the bank to get his name off her account. Went in person and met with a manager. Eventually managed to get him removed.

I was horrified when I heard this. What “parent” does this?

He doesn't know I know this.
Of course he would deny it.

I believe her.
I know she's not a liar.

Tori was a sweet, kind, beautiful soul. I know for a fact she did not make these stories up. The things she told me – without even knowing my own experience – is proof enough.

I will be the voice he fought so hard to silence.
I will forever defend that beautiful girl.

My daughter from another mother.

He has stolen from others too.
He stole from me in many ways – the most blatant was when he held my snowmobile hostage, sold it to pay his mortgage (because he was unemployed), and never gave me a dime. Not even when he could afford to. (I bought it for $3,500 the year before.)

He stole from his friend Keith – “borrowed” money and then refused to pay it back. Cut off ties and blocked him instead. I believe around $3,000.

In a way, he stole from his own son.

When Tori died, Garrett got the bulk of her life insurance policies. (I have no doubt she was manipulated into naming him as beneficiary.) At first they agreed that all life insurance money would go to Zach. I was there, as was Jason. Both parents agreed without hesitation Zach should get it. But when the money came, that all changed. He instead told his son that when his mom turned over her ENTIRE portion of her life insurance settlement, he would match it and write off the child support she “owed” him. Of course that never happened. He oh so easily justified it. I don't care what she did or didn't do with her portion – she only got a fraction of what he did ($17,000 to his $100,000). Rather than doing the right thing, he broke a promise to his son and shamelessly blamed their mom. Meanwhile, he made a show of buying himself a new truck and plenty of other nice things.

What I don't understand is why and how he was ever awarded “child support” from her. She was the homemaker in their marriage. She took care of the kids and the home while he worked. They were married for over 10 years. Why did he not owe her alimony?

Tori's car is still sitting in his driveway. I know he didn't pay it off. That car loan is most likely in default by now.

I am 99% certain he is stealing from the energy company. When I lived there, that bill was in my name. $400 a month because of the lighting, heater, and always-running compressor in his garage. (To this day he still blames my daughter for running small loads of laundry and long cycles on the dishwasher. He still uses the 4 ½ hour cycles on his dishwasher.) After I moved out and switched my service he never called to set up service to his house in his own name. That was a year and a half ago. For whatever reason they never shut off his power. He admitted to me close to a year later that he hadn't yet set it up. A few weeks ago during an argument he started up again about Madeline and her laundry. He once again started claiming she's the reason the bill was so high. I asked him what his bill is now – he claimed $200. I know for a fact he was lying. We had a very cold winter, gas prices have skyrocketed, and the energy company recently raised their rates. Also, in December when there was an energy crisis and something going on with the pipeline, the energy company sent an email to all customers asking them to conserve energy. He didn't get that email – because he's not a paying customer.

That man is a lying, cheating, manipulative thief.