Deprived

March 27, 2017

ARIZ3892

So I am trying to refrain from using credit cards – the flip side is – I am teaching myself to live debt free.  I am also learning I have an emotional connection to my credit cards.  The freedom to use them (an not having the cash to pay them off at the end of month) was a prime example of how I would not allow myself to feel deprived.  I would not consider the consequences of using them or know exactly how much I was spending a month.

For the past year I have been living with a man who pays cash for everything and if he does not have the cash, he does not buy it…regardless of emotion or need.  He has not starved himself, does not dress in raggedly looking clothing, and we can go out to dinner or have a good time.  He/We have a wonderful life together.

He has opened my eyes and helped me see a life that is good on budget.  And I have grown ashamed of my inability to limit my spending and see how it has negatively impacted our future.

This is not easy.  I have been in a mild form simultaneous depression and contemplation,  trying not to beat myself up for being blind and neglectful of my finances.  Like quitting smoking, this for me is a moment by moment process.   And currently I am at an extreme mode of not leaving the house because I do not want to be somewhere where I may have to spend money.  Today at the grocery store (which use to be my favorite place to spend most of my money) I bought bare essentials, only spending $18.00 (I use to spend $200 – $300).

So with my man’s help, this April, one credit card is paid off  and 2 more by the end of July. Being completely honest with him has humbled me. And learning to not spend money is process.

Deprived

August 5, 2016

Patch of Blue SkyI am in debt.  And being in this debt has been a source of many sleepless nights examining how I got into debt, why I am in debt and how do I stay out of debt.  I find myself in a spin cycle.

I grew up just under the middle class, almost poor.  My mother worked and we had a one bedroom apartment where she and I had to share a bed until I was about 16 (or when I was not living at my father’s home).  I remember not having any lunch or lunch money and that was either because of my mother’s neglect or we were in fact poor.  And our main food groups at home where rice and beans.

I recently ended a long term love relationship with a man who was very wealthy.  He gave me a lovely monthly salary, we lived together and I was able to retire and do work that was rewarding to my soul.  Work, volunteer work, with charities who focused their attention to the needs of women and children in Los Angeles.  I loved that aspect of my life.

I had a wonderful opportunity to advance my own financial security while I was in this relationship but utterly failed to do so.  So part of my spin cycle is looking at what my triggers are in needing to spend so much money, and why I failed to take care of my own future and security.  In part when I was in that relationship, as I have been in most of my past relationships, I didn’t think or want that relationship to end.  I was thoroughly committed.  I thought he and I would be together forever and I would not have to worry about my financial future.

I was wrong.  I was unhappy in the relationship for the last few years, and although I was examining my financial habit while in the relationship I still didn’t understand why I was spending so much money.

Part of me wants to blame him because he was not very interested in life, and my attempts to help him get interested failed.  So I spent money, and when I did, I got his attention.  As negative as it was, for the moment, he was paying attention to me.  A cry for help I guess.  But neither he nor I had the tools to navigate me away from this call and I sank again and again.  We both did.

Another part of me blames myself because I had this open wound of feeling deprived as a child and my inner child had hold of my checkbook and spent, spent, spent.  The crazy part (and I think my ex would agree) is I loved spending money on food.  I would love going to the grocery store and buying stuff for dinner almost daily.  Even now (on my limited budget) my greatest expenditure is at the  grocery store, only weekly now.  Sure when I was “retired” I loved buying clothes and shoes but that was never as satisfying as buying groceries.

So my sleepless nights have also been about how foolish I was, what a monumental opportunity I had and I blew it away, how am I going to rectifying it now.  And change?

I understand now, taking a few steps away from the issue, that in both my relationships, with my mother and my ex, I was neglected.  As a child I really had no recourse but in my adult relationship, my recourse was to extend his neglect of me and further it by myself and deprive my need for a secure future.