I'm currently struggling with severe depression and I can hardly go to work everyday, so my posting abilities are lacking. But at least I'm in therapy.
I still don't understand how can I fall for it every.fcking.time. But really this was the last one, EF is like a Trojan Horse when it comes to gift giving.
He knows that I have a cellphone that is nearly 10 years old and it is almost unusable, and that my job would require using a "modern" cellphone, because I'm starting to have difficulties due to not having one. So he started talking about how useful it would be for me to have a new cellphone. Since the one that has all the functions my work requires would cost around $800, I told him that I was planning saving up for it for several months, and then buying it when I could afford it without tossing myself into financial problems.
Then he started constantly talking about how he would like to help me in any way he could and how he realized that they were not paying attention to my genuine interests and needs when giving me "presents" (the usual narc presents - either something THEY would want, or something that I completely hate or it is visibly some cheap junk that they have been using for years and now have bought something better for themselves, or something that shows how little they know about me). After a few weeks of being all nicey-nice to me and describing how sincerely he wants to help me, he started talking really seriously about him buying me the cellphone as a present for a personal event.
I was honestly surprised and told him that it was a really expensive one that I intended to buy for myself and that I know that they don't have the money right now for that kind of thing (they are like some weird poor version of Ebenezer Scrooge anyway). So we sort of agreed on that I will "help" in with a few dollars, and he and DB will team up and will pay for the rest. I still didn't believe him, but in the end, he took me to the cellphone store and even helped me talking to the cashier (I'm having panic attacks when having to talk to strangers nowadays and it is really debilitating). When it came to paying he asked me, whether I could just pay for it and then he would give me the money together with DB during the celebration party. I said sure, it would be easier anyway if we did not have to juggle several credit cards.
The event celebration came, I thought it would be appropriate to take the cellphone with me to "show it to NM" since I figured she would demand to look at it anyway. She was completely surprised, asked me how I decided to suddenly buy a cellphone, and how much I paid for it (this is SO her) and then she was genuinely shocked when she heard how much I spent on it. Then EF arrived as well, and they gave me my present: two plain white $1 coffee mugs "because you said 8 years ago that you don't have any", some herbs from NM's garden, a 3-inch mini toy(!) frying pan and some booze. I was so dumbfounded that I didn't know what to say.
When I got home, I asked DB about whether EF ever contacted him about the cellphone and he said no. (I didn't talk to him about before because I didn't want to ruin his happiness by letting him know that I know about the "surprise"). It has been more than a week now and EF still haven't contacted me. I guess he realized that he doesn't have the guts to tell NM about the plan, so he threw me into the gutter instead to escape her wrath. What hurts me the most is not that now I don't have money to pay my bills for the month (which I have explicitly told EF and to which he reacted that he was really sad that I even brought up this subject since he was so sincere in his intent about paying for the cellphone). What hurts me the most is that I fell for his trap for the fourth time now. And that up until now, he tricked me into paying for things that were far beyond my paygrade with promises of him "helping" and then suddenly withdrawing at the last moment and NEVER talking about it again, or derailing the conversation with "you know we are very poor right now" (this is how I also "accidentally" bought my current apartment) and me struggling with starvation and begging to people for money for years as a result.
I feel so disappointed and tricked and stupid and gullible. How could have I been so stupid again? I wanted to believe so badly that now that he knows how deeply I am in depression he somehow felt sorry for me for the first time, and that he really wanted to help me. I wanted to believe so badly that he cared after all. He even said that "I know that you would not ever buy something so expensive for yourself, but I also know that it would help you greatly with your work, so let me help you please, I want to give you something you wouldn't think you deserve".
So now, I have a brand new phone that at least I can work with, and no money to pay for electricity or water. Thanks EF. Again.
DB is there, I will not starve (again), but still. My stupidity hurts like hell.
p.s.: I bet he will turn up after a month or two with a $10 bill in his hand to "contribute". Just watch.