So I’m 19F and had only been living with my mother for a good 3.5 years (was put into foster care at a young age and don’t remember living with my mother at all). Before moving in with her, she would tell me how great it would be for me to live there and how I would be treated with respect and yadda yadda yadda.
Well since I started college, things went to shit.
My whole life, I wanted to go to college for art, but my mother convinced me that it was stupid and so I chose to go for a business degree. I got into my state’s Business and Marketing Honor Society during my last year of high school for having a 98 average in all 5 of my business classes.
My first semester of college, everything started out fine. Then the end of September hit, and I got a reimbursement from financial aid.
Let me add- my mother is on SSI for minor “disabilities” and hasn’t worked in the past 18 years. She has arthritis and fibromyalgia so apparently she can’t work. I got public assistance that I never knew about since i was never allowed to do paperwork for anything. I thought we only got food stamps, but apparently she lied and said I was paying a couple hundred dollars for rent so she could get more money. So she was getting nearly $500 a month for my needs (I never got anything unless it was Christmas) and $350 a month for food stamps (my boyfriend had to buy me food because i was never allowed to eat at home and didn’t want to get a $3,000 meal plan on campus).
Anyways, I got a healthy $2,000 back from financial aid which I originally planned on spending on clothes (I hadn’t had a pair of fitting jeans since I lived with my mother), a laptop for school, and food. Well, apparently every time I get money, it belongs to my mother.
She demanded I give her most of the money, so I spent $1,500 on some jeans for me and a brand new ps4 system, ps vita, ps+, and a bunch of ps4 games for my boyfriend. (I know that sounds wreckless of me, but he’s paid me back for it). She was pissed and belittled me till I gave her the rest of the money for “rent” and “bills” and “food”. She went off and bought her boyfriend drugs.
I was mad because obviously that’s just not okay. I just pushed through the semester and kinda sucked it up like I usually do.
February came along and pretty much the same thing happened. She demanded my $3,000 (I got more this past semester because I only had to pay for 1 textbook) to pay for rent, electricity, the wifi, food, and everything under the sun. She got mad when I refused to give her more than $350. I went off and spent the money on my anniversary (including outfit, gas, 2 meals, and some gifts), a new phone (my phone barely worked and was 7 years old), and prepaid my phone plan for the next few months. I also bought myself some food for when I was home.
She was irate. How DARE I spend money on my boyfriend and not the woman who birthed me! I tried staying away from home as much as possible (driving around with my boyfriend for the most part) but every time I came home I would get yelled at.
Well, March was when shit hit the fan.
I needed my medicaid card (they put cash assistance on that card for convenience) and birth certificate for a program that helps people get jobs in the area, and she wasn’t having it. Apparently saying I needed them was being rude and disrespectful. I ignored her for the most part and kept insisting that I needed them right away because I had to leave. She gave them to me after half an hour of me telling her I needed to leave and just started yelling at me. So I left for a few hours and I got a call from my case worker asking when I would turn in timesheets (I had to get a signature from each teacher stating I was in class to keep my insurance benefits and the food stamps- I didn’t know about the cash assistance) and she told me I could lose the cash assistance if I didn’t. I asked her what she was talking about and she told me i got approximately $500 a month to pay for rent and other things I needed. I informed her that I never knew about that, and she was very upset that my mother was using the money on god knows what. She told me to change the pin on the card and to not let my mother touch it.
So I changed the pin on my card, went home, and my room was torn up. My clothes were everywhere. My old laptop was missing. My Christmas gifts from my boyfriend were gone. I was very upset.
I told my mother that I wanted my stuff back and she just threw everything at my door. I started packing my bags cause I was done with her garbage. She demanded I give her my medicaid card back since she “keeps everyone else’s”. She got in my face, threw my glasses onto the floor, tried throwing my new phone, and was just screaming at me till I gave it to her (I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder so I panic whenever someone is even slightly loud).
After she went to the store and tried buying something with it, she came home and started shoving me around, demanding I give her the pin. I was just like my father, I was a piece of garbage for buying jeans that actually fit me for once in my life, I was trash for liking the presents I got from my boyfriend and not from her (I got pants that were 2 sizes too big and very low rise for Christmas.. Yeah, no), etc. etc.
She actually hit me because of it, and hit me till i gave her my pin. So, of course, I was dumb and gave it to her. Someone for some reason called the cops and they showed up shortly after and her and her boyfriend started telling them I was abusive and manipulative and a pathological liar. I showed them where she hit me and tried explaining that she took my medicaid card, but they didn’t care. The cops never care because supposedly my mom’s boyfriend has put half of our local police force into the hospital.
After the cops left, my mother said that my boyfriend (who has done nothing and has only been supportive of me throughout this) was a pedophile (I’m a year older than him) and that he was not allowed to enter the house again. Then she said I had a new curfew of 6pm (I had a class that ended at 5 and it took me 2 hours to walk home, so that was stupid) and if I left the house i was to never return.
So I left. My boyfriend took me to a homeless shelter specifically for teens and young adults that were in abusive situations and had nowhere else to go. I got my own apartment (with the potential of getting a roommate at some point) and I honestly have never felt better in my life. The following day, I go to get a new card and my mother had taken out $260 at 5am with the help of my oldest sister. I had $4 to buy food for 2 weeks before I could apply for my own food stamps and cash assistance case. Most of the time I only had water, and I would eat every 3 days at my boyfriend’s house. When the virus hit, his dad refused to let me over even though he knew what was going on (to a certain extent). I didn’t eat anything for a week before being able to get food stamps. I wish I had gotten a job, but having 8 classes (one of which was 6 hours a week for a measly 1 credit) took up the majority of my time. The college suggested I withdraw to focus on my mental health (I was afraid of leaving my new place because I didn’t want to be attacked by my family or my mom’s bf’s drug addict friends). I went from seeing my therapist for half an hour every other week to seeing her for an hour every week. She suggested that I cut contact with my mother permanently even though it meant losing a good $3,000 worth of stuff I bought myself over the past 12 years (I got paid to babysit and take care of the farm while in foster care). I was so so upset about losing all 40 of my stuffed animals. They really meant a lot to me and they kinda were the only things there that helped me calm down from a panic attack. (I know it sounds immature but I’ve had most of them since I was about 8 years old).
Then something popped in my head while I was applying for my own food stamps and cash assistance case.
I realized that I could easily report my mother for welfare fraud. Not only had she been taking my $500 a month, but she had lied and said her bf and her didn’t share food and were “roommates”, she paid to use other people’s food stamps, and she has sold her food stamps for cash to buy fast food or drugs.
So I did just that. I went to our state’s website and reported her fraud, adding when she took the money from my card at 5am that one day. I went into detail, gave the exact location of where she did it and everything. I said she used other peoples cards all the time (which was very true) and how she demanded my card whenever I had it.
A couple weeks later, I get a letter from the Department of Social Services (DSS). They accidentally sent it to my address instead of my moms, thinking she moved along with me. I open it and I read that she was denied public assistance, denied medical insurance, and denied food stamps. She met the requirements for getting them, but because of my report, she lost everything but SSI (as far as I know).
What probably helped was that I told DSS she stole my card and requested a new one, and the lady at the front desk was mortified. (I found out she took the money out later when I set up the card online and saw all previous transactions for the past year)
She’s out $850 a month (more than her SSI) and out of health insurance (which was paid for by the state) all because of me, and I boasted about it to my therapist. My therapist actually congratulated me because I’m very shy with people so to report something like that was very unlikely of my unless you got me very angry.
Not sure if this was appropriate here, but it took a lot out of me to be able to even do it. Thanks, anxiety!