Thought: I hate that I borrowed money throughout my life and that I still owe people/institutions money. I wish I could turn back the clock and act responsibly. I would not do it again
Note: If you are new to this blog, I have been sober now for 9 years! Lol, I have received some comments from very upset readers concerned/angered about me as a mom. Also, to note, when I say I was drinking alcoholically, it is a slow progression of a disease, you are not a full blown drunk right away, so the years when my children were young it was very easy to ‘hide’/I would appear completely normal to people/could handle it very well. Not an excuse or to say it had no effect/influence on my life or children’s lives. They did not see me drunk until near the end of the drinking years, which was horrible enough.
A new point opened up for me recently (now I understand why some Destonians say this, as a deep emotion of sadness and regret was upon one morning last week, with a flood of memories). I did not grow up with this situation as my Dad did not have debt and was quite financially successful, so I did not get this borrowing mentality from my childhood. However, I married a man who was not responsible with handling money and was in and out of work often, during our 13 years together. I was quite surprised when he would put off paying bills/credit cards, purchase clothes/stuff when we had expenses to pay and we would still go up north (to family cottages/ski chalets) for the weekends, which had a costs. Basically, we ignored/were not ‘on top of’ balancing the household books/what we owe. The finances were not to be discussed, he would become very angry with me if I tried to talk to him about it so I gave up eventually to ‘save my marriage’ and let him ‘control’ it for the most part. Unfortunately, I was not ‘strong enough’ during this time in my life to ‘hold my ground’ ‘take the reigns’ kind of thing. I was much too insecure and feared him leaving me if I appeared ‘too strong’. I thought it would be unattractive and I should let the man ‘be the man’.
Obviously, from what I learned in my last post, I was already living/embodying (when we started living together in my early 20’s) the personalities of ‘not good enough’ /always losing/failure and believing it is best to not speak up as it makes things worse/stay silent/the shy one/the victim, from my childhood. My first husband was quite a bit like my Dad in that he became moody and angered quickly and unpredictably, so I reacted like I did as a child, I retreated in fear and handled it the way my mom did, unspoken: ‘it is not safe to challenge this man, he is the boss and can hurt you, just keep the peace as best you can and carry on.’
This resulted in the start of years of phone calls from bill collectors, being sued for non-payment, borrowing to pay the mortgage/rent, and stress about owing money. It became a vicious circle-one of many of the alcoholic-as more collection calls came, the more I drank to handle the stress/fear & the more I drank to handle the stress/fear the more the collection calls would come in. There came I time I would literally jump in fear when the phone rang, seriously!
After my marriage ended, when I was 32 years old, is when I began drinking alcoholically and experienced trouble with my mind , I was not stable/living in reality and the pattern continued. I had 2 small children and there was zero money by the end of the marriage, not a good situation to say the least. I was renting and I did try work at an office full time for a year but was often late (postponement, using sleep as an excuse/escape to not try/stand up which is my fear of failure) and eventually I was fired. Note: I am simplifying the situation here.
For the most part, as I wanted to spend time with my children, I earned money at home, either renting out rooms and/or using the home as a daycare facility (as I do now). However, because I was in a fog mentally, I did not plan for the future and could not see the whole financial picture clearly and would continually have to borrow; either re-finance with the bank and take money out of my home (I was very fortunate, my parents and my ex-in-laws helped me with a down payment to buy a town home about 3-4 years after the end of my marriage) or borrow from family/friends or use credit cards to make ends meet. I did this over and over again for about 13 years.
Obviously, this is a recipe for disaster.
I was a master manipulator, manipulating myself mostly but others as well! Shrewd, ‘dumb like fox’ and I used my ‘poor single mother’ role masterfully, if not consciously/on purpose.
I definitely lived with/within some sense of entitlement, like I grew up in a world where there was very little stress with money, my mother did not stress about bills, they took trips, we had 2 cars, a boat, a cottage, etc (not rich but well off). My mom’s life was 100% dedicated to her kids, she never had to work or worry about paying even 1 bill, even to this day. Then as we got older she went to the tennis club more, investment and bridge club, curling club, we had extravagant Christmases, and always lots of food and treats in the house. My sister’s life, basically turned out this way as well. I can see now how this fed into my sense of entitlement, laziness, and self-interest and self-pity as I could see my life was not working out the same way.
I acted in self-interest, purely selfish survival mode. I would get-borrow- some money and pay all the back bills, wash away my shame with a bottle and become euphoric at the relief of having a little left over but of course, it never lasted. I would savor the feeling of relief-pretend like I was rich, not as in a fantasy but like money would always be easy to come by-as if I would make money from music (I wrote songs) or marry rich (lol but I never dated, as my lover was my bottle), like how it was for my mom and sister (they both married men who were committed to the marriage and made very good and stable income).
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