Trauma and money

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voicelessagony2

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Trauma and money
« on: January 26, 2015, 02:22:03 AM »
I feel like I'm the only person in the world that hates money.

Maybe it's not hate, exactly, but there definitely is some fear.

I know the mechanics, the basic ABCs and 123s of balancing, budgeting, etc., but somehow here I am again with big fat ZERO net worth. I have no bank account, no savings, no retirement, no possessions to speak of - nothing I could sell, at least - and no income.

And it's not the first time. Three years ago, when I met my boyfriend, I was in the exact same situation. I had a different sports car which ended up being repossessed. I have one now that I cannot make payments on, and I'm seriously thinking I should sell it if I can break even, but then I will have no car. And I live in a huge city with no reliable public transit system.

So, between then and now, I landed a couple of six-figure consulting jobs, for about 9 months each. The amount of money that has passed through my hands is astounding, given the fact that I have managed to hang onto NONE of it.

I remember clearly how my thinking changed immediately upon landing that first contract. I began thinking and acting like any other person in that salary income demographic, disregarding and ignoring the fact that I had nothing else in common, i.e., well-established retirement accounts, investments, maybe even trust funds, etc. I shopped and ate at restaurants, and eventually bought what seemed like a reasonably priced car given my income at the time. Looking back now, I half wonder "what was I thinking???" but half of me knows I would probably do it again. There is a repeating pattern that is easy to see.

It's not a competition thing. There is nobody I care to compare with. My best friend at the time, (whom I rarely speak with any more... that's another topic) drives a brand new BMW every two years, so my little 2010 model, used, $20k sports car does not impress her. And, as much as I enjoy driving my car, it's often closely accompanied by intense loneliness, wishing I had someone to share the experience with.

So, right now, I feel somewhat apathetic about earning money. I could care less. I feel like I have nothing to lose, so why bother? I don't have kids, so nobody suffers any consequences but me. The only other debt I have is my student loan, which has ballooned over the years to nearly $100k, and I despair that I will never pay it off in my lifetime. I almost wish they did like the old days, and let you stay in jail for a while to pay your debt. Although, I guess that would be a life sentence for me!

Now I have to ask my mother to pay my phone bill, and I keep putting it off. If I don't ask, it will stop working soon.

So, obviously, I must work. I'm not one to overuse the idea of "must," as I understand that the only things that must be done are breathing and eating, but this situation is pressing me beyond what I want to do, and into this area of blind panic, which is all too familiar. This is pre-awareness territory for me. Between every single job on my resume (and there are plenty of them, with long stretches between) I have lived in this state of full-blown survival panic. Ever since the day I "left home" which was more an angry "F- you" to my mother than anything, sleeping in my car... yeah. So, that year of unemployment 3 years ago was the first time I tried to do anything differently, and it was the very beginning of awareness and recovery. 25 years of panic before that. Panic, job, panic, job, etc... ad nauseum.

And every time I got a job, the panic immediately transformed into euphoria and spending. Of course I would pay bills first, to make sure I had a roof over my head and something to drive. But everything after that was spent on clothes or whatever.

So, my current level of anxiety about work has many, many layers and facets. I'm afraid that my panic may have driven me to reach too far for jobs I was not truly qualified for. I'm afraid that my euphoria is to blame for my failure to, or inability to make authentic connections with colleagues and managers, leaving me with no glowing testimonials or professional network. The panic fueled my drive to push myself to be the very very very BEST at whatever it was I was supposed to do, and it blinded me to the cost of that over-extension, which was the cost of doing good enough, and being respected, and liked at the end of the day.

And between the jobs, was the bottomless pit of despair and depression waiting to swallow me whole. Self-loathing made it (and still does) impossible to see value in my past work. I'm torn in two, between the super-achiever ideal of being the best, and the IC opinion that I am just a big fat LOSER.

Looking for a job means hopelessly searching job sites, reading description after description of some HR rep's idea of the ideal perfect candidate, which simultaneously pisses me off (because I know deep down, that the person writing the description has NO IDEA what the hiring manager actually wants, and the automatic screening software will remove any trace of human consideration anyway) and scares me away from even trying to apply. 

And then there's the interview, where, if I'm "lucky," I will face these absurd behavioral questions like, "Tell me about a time when you pulled a team together and motivated them to meet an impossibly short deadline." I swear, the next time I hear a question like that, I'm going to say "Is that a requirement for this job? Because I sure did not see that in the description." Again, I know there are ways to prepare for these, I already have the Inc and Forbes articles bookmarked. It's just that none of the advice seems to work for me... Or, I just don't have the energy or faith in myself right now to try.

I know I will get there. I'm just NOT READY YET. :(

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marycontrary

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 11:29:41 AM »
Well, I have been there in many aspects. It is agony, isn't it? I am opposite, I don't spend money, as I lived in terrible, deprived conditions in the past. I know what it like to have to work way below my capabilities because I was so exhausted and depleted, or not be capable of working at all. I had no family to pay for things, so I really went without---phone, hot water, home, food, etc...

It looks like you have self awareness, so next time, just remain grounded and learn from your mistakes. Again, the more you self loathe, the longer it will take your brain to heal. I know listening to Dharma talks (I am not religious), really would interrupt self loathing streams of thought, I would listen to one right after another just to stop the internal noise.

But you gotta stop self hatin' to get to the next step....



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LilyITV

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 03:56:28 PM »
Boy this post is resonating with me big time.  I am in a financial crunch of my own making and I am nearly paralyzed with shame and fear. 

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I know the mechanics, the basic ABCs and 123s of balancing, budgeting, etc., but somehow here I am again with big fat ZERO net worth. I have no bank account, no savings, no retirement, no possessions to speak of - nothing I could sell, at least - and no income.

The above quote is my life story.  I think about all the money I've wasted and it makes me sick.  I know the mechanics of finance, but actually doing them--I procrastinate big time. There are times when I know I have plenty of money and can't bring myself to check my bank account.  Then that leads to me not having enough money and so the times I do check are incredibly painful.

I am afraid to ask for help from my husband because I'm afraid of being being controlled.  There are certain things that are important to me, and I'm afraid if I ask for help I will lose all say over my account and life.  Of course now, lack of funds is controlling me, so in my mind I know I would have more freedom and financial security if I got help.  My husband is not controlling and helped me out with budgeting in the past, but I am so embarrassed to show him the state of my affairs.

I have been working on being more emotionally available and vulnerable with him in other areas but I'm afraid if I share this with him it will wreck everything.     

I'm also struggling because I'm not sure if my money management issues are even C-PTSD related or just me being irresponsible. 

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Again, the more you self loathe, the longer it will take your brain to heal. I know listening to Dharma talks (I am not religious), really would interrupt self loathing streams of thought, I would listen to one right after another just to stop the internal noise.

But you gotta stop self hatin' to get to the next step....

This advice is exactly what I need to hear right now.  I just feel like a big ball or fear and shame right now. 

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Kizzie

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 05:00:42 PM »
Just answered you on another thread Lily but so glad VA's thread was of help to you.   :thumbup:  It sounds like exploring your feelings of being controlled and of shame are two important CPTSD related issues to explore. :hug:

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Eyessoblue

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Re: Trauma and money. Trigger warning of S.A.
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 07:39:16 PM »
Interesting one.... Iíve been looking at my limiting beliefs through eft and Cbt. When I was growing up I came from a really well off family but their choices on spending money wasnít good, alcohol before food, gambling the last penny. So I grew up in a world where I knew money was available but spent on the wrong things. When I was 9 my dad paid me regularly to do sexual activity with his friend, therefore I grew up with the belief that money is evil and I donít want it. Iíve gone through life working hard giving a hundred percent in my jobs but when it comes to the pay check, I donít want it, if people buy me expensive gifts I give them back as getting money to me is wrong. Through being diagnosed with cptsd I have so many poor beliefs on money and I too donít like it or want it. When my dad died I was next of kin and he left me a lot of money which I wanted to give to a charity or burn , I ended up giving it to my children and refused to take any of it, still now I hate money, my husband is the main earner and he can do what he likes with it as I donít care and I donít want it...... obviously this isnít healthy and itís one of the things I want to change hopefully through therapy if I ever get any again through the nhs, but I hate feeling like this but know exactly why I do.

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LearnToLoveTheRide

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2018, 11:53:39 AM »
What an interesting thread - thank you!

I made a good deal of money through sheer hard work, but it only ever meant clothes and food for my kids and a roof over our heads. I disliked money. In fact, I disliked it so much that when I was teach Chinese Kung Fu, it was my policy to let students set their own fees: each according to the own means. When I worked as a Paramedic I did it voluntarily, for free. I felt that taking money for either tainted the whole process.

I worked for a financial institution for awhile. It was 325 years old. They practically invented modern Banking. It was very disturbing to learn the psychology behind how these large institutions control the world's macroeconomics.

Now that I have C-PTSD, I cannot work. I have to rely on the generosity of family and friends. I do feel ashamed.

Wishing you all the best. LTLTR


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LilyITV

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 12:25:02 AM »
Thanks so much for sharing your stories Eyessoblue and LearntoLoveThe Ride.  LearntoLovetheRide,I just want to give you a big  :grouphug:.  You sound like such a beautiful person and it's heartbreaking you would feel ashamed.  I have always shared your feelings about bankers and the super-rich in general and my opinions are totally separate from my CPTSD.  It is very rare to find a very wealthy person who has made that kind of money without exploiting people in very cruel ways. 

It's really interesting to me that when it comes to money, everyone seems to be very aware of the reasons behind their negative feelings behind money.  It seems with other triggers, the reasons are buried deep in the subconscious. 

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Eyessoblue

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 10:19:46 AM »
Lilytv. Yes youíre so right, eft is really good though for changing these beliefs and helping you to realise that these neednít hold you back and other peopleís wrong doings arenít Ďyoursí and you can learn to move away from that feeling that holds you back. Emdr has been good too in moving that memory but it doesnít move the emotion whereas eft does.

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Rainagain

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Re: Trauma and money
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2018, 01:54:15 PM »
I hadn't thought about money in relation to cptsd before, interesting.

I don't value money I guess, my dogs eat better than I do and I gave what I could to my kids. They are working and I am not through cptsd but it feels right regardless.

The court case I am bringing against the employer that ruined my health is part revenge, part money to give to my kids.

For myself I don't want anything really, I have no goals left and no interest in finding any.

My trauma and approach to finances are closely linked I think, hadn't considered it before.