Saturday, July 26, 2008

Being poor

So I have a real problem with not having excess of things. That includes money, food, hair products, health, organization, drinks in the house, etc... This may sound crazy and it probably is crazy but it's something I have had a problem with since I was very young. I tend to hoarde (not in the sense of stacks and stacks of things piled up in my house) everything I buy. For instance, I have more shoes than I really need. Yes, this could be chalked up to the part of me that is rather feminine and loves shoes. I always feel like I am going to run out of things. For example, when I go to the store and buy ziploc bags; I always buy 3-4 boxes of them because I might run out and that causes me anxiety.

I am not sure where this anxiety of "running out" has come from but I grew up in a wealthy family where I got all of the things I needed and most of the things I wanted. It was within reason because my mother certainly did not just give in to every whim of my childhood desires and for that, I am glad. The one thing I always remember is that my mom (as we say in the midwest) "cooked for an army." When she made fried chicken, she would cook 10-12 boneless skinless breasts for a family of 5. When she made cheeseburgers, there would be 10 cheeseburgers for our family which indicated we each got 2, no matter how old we were at the time.

All that to say, it has created in me not only a weight problem but a problem with having the necessary things in my life. I can't just have what I need and live within my means that way. I tend to worry constantly about running out of things that I can easily go to the grocery store or Target and buy more of when I am out. If you saw my hall closet by the bathroom, you would ask yourself "Who needs 15 bottles of shampoo?" to hold them. I am not by any means some kind of style queen either who has to try all of the different shampoos. They are all completely full except for the one in the shower that I am currently using. I feel like a Costco as a person.

In my kitchen, you will notice we have about 20 different snacks because I might run out or get bored of the ones I have. I have cleaning products out the wazoo yet I only have a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. I have more diabetic supplies than CVS and most of the time, I don't even admit I have diabetes. What is wrong with me? There is something drastically wrong.

Now, this is coming up in my life in a way that leads me to think I need to work through it. I am getting ready to get married in 13 days from today. I am also transitioning to quitting my job on August 1st. This means our income will be cut in half. We made more than enough to pay all of our bills when we both worked full time. I am going to be working only part time from here on for the next year. We are going to have to cut back significantly on things such as food, electricity use, entertainment, phone use, etc... because those are the areas that can be cut unlike rent or car insurance.

Anthony is having no trouble at all doing this and says "I will do what needs to be done to make it work." I say the same thing but deep in the inner parts of me, I am anxious. Terribly anxious. I am nervous that I won't have enough to eat, that I won't have enough entertainment, that I will run out of things or things will break and I will be without. Now, there is an obvious correlation that I can think of when I realize that this problem has gotten out of hand. My mom was never much of a financial planner in the sense that she would work, get a paycheck, spend her paycheck and then run to my grandparents to pay the bills. When they died, her life got very unmanageable. Utilities were quickly turned off, our house was forclosed on, and she ended up in a two bedroom section 8 apartment, on food stamps, and public assisted everything.

She bounced more checks than cleared and she would fall back on "borrowing" money from me or my sisters to make ends meet. She would take handouts from anyone who would give them and for that, it was disgusting. I get anxious even thinking about being anything like that and needing others to take care of me. I am worried that with me not working and us not having "excess upon excess" that I am not being responsible enough and will end up in the place she is. Not literally but metaphorically.

All of this comes to a place for me where I need to begin praying about this and working on it in therapy. I am terribly uncomfortable with how it makes me feel and my heart is stunted in my relationship with Anthony as my anxiety turns to anger and frustration and then causes difficulities in what will be our marriage. I want to be Proverbs 31 in whatever way I can but this is not one of her qualities..I am sure!

Anyway, that is what is on my mind today. I am exhausted thinking about this but thanks for reading.


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