21. Being financially responsible for myself so I don’t have to still be dependent on abusers and then hating myself for it.
Couple of years ago my World crash when I realized I do not have the physical stamina to hold down a full time high responsibility job. I can do a full time low responsibility job but along with the low responsibility is low pay. I kind of noticed how those two go together. Weirdly, before counseling I could handle I high stress job better than after counseling. I did it by disassociating but I did it. Really discouraging for me to choose between mental health and income. I decided what I could do was take responsibility of the money I do earn. I can be accountable to myself and know how I am spending it. I will say up front I am terrible at budgeting, understanding money, or knowing how to plan ahead. I am working on it. Fortunately, DH is financially responsible and does plan ahead. I cut up my credit cards because I do not have the ‘will power’ not to abuse them. It was devastating accepting my own limitations. At the time I didn’t understand how my mind worked in pieces and couldn’t keep track of where anything went, money was more noticeable because a bill comes every month. I can’t give many suggestions on this one because I am still struggling so much with this issue.
I also tried my own business. I sewed for others. I ended up buying people’s hard luck stories of why they couldn’t pay me and didn’t earn enough to even rate paying taxes. I couldn’t afford the expenses when I didn’t expect people to pay me for services. My low self esteem and diminished self worth did not let me see that I was worth paying for the job I did.
What I can share is how abusers will use money and finances to distort the value of a person. A way to demean a person is to let them know they are not worth caring for financially or feeding or clothes they need or medical care. Belittling how they spend money, rationing, or withholding money all create a hostile environment. Another aspect is my father denies that I told him how mother treated me. But both my sister and I remember being given $5, $10, and sometimes $20 when mother was particularly cruel. It was indeed hush money. We were paid to put up with abuse as teenagers. I still resent when someone tries to give me money. A pay check is alright because it is agreed upon in advance. Most other money, I stare at it like a poisonous snake and wonder what they will actually expect from money. Mother also used mother to control me. She would find out something I wanted then purchase it. She would expect me to earn it, yet she wouldn’t let me get a job other than occasional babysitting. The mount of work I did to “earn” the desire item could change half way through or not counted or forgotten or on and on it went. Mother knew how to manipulate and control a person using money. I associate money with abuse. No small wonder I am terrible with the use. However, I am not giving up. I continue to strengthen my health, work at being responsible for what I earn, and raising my own self worth.