For this time period, I am working through Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan’s book Money Drunk, Money Sober before I work through the Prosperous Heart. The following blog entries are in response to prompts and experiences from the book. I see this as an extension of my Artist’s Way work. Some of my entries are jarring and highly personal – any program of sobriety and self-improvement demands admitting dysfunction both personally and in family, and it also calls to admit some painful truths. While not everything I work on appears here, a number of realities do. I have a genuine body of work thanks to my work on the Artist’s Way program, and I can’t ignore the changes the continual commitment has brought about. Because of that, I also can’t ignore what going further into the harder aspects of the program – like facing money issues – has the potential to improve.
- Promises made with no intention of keeping them – promises to look grand and generous in front of the house guests (usually my partner) that outright lied about the way things really were between us. Broken promises. Such as “we’ll help you finish college,” when they meant “we want to force you to drop out, move back in with us and be our maid again, and eventually we’ll marry you off as though we’re old school Muslim and you have no say in the matter. Maybe we’ll get a dowry, but at least we can force you to be Baptist. Happiness is for other people, you should be happy to do what we say, and get started making babies so your niece has someone to play with. Of COURSE it’s your responsibility – we own your ovaries, not you. Oh, you won’t do that? I guess we’ll completely ignore your college graduation and behave like complete shits at your wedding, and then make ridiculous demands about visits to us you can’t afford to make while making no effort to recipricate, but constantly ask about furniture we dumped on you in hopes that our crap would infect you and turn you into a Stepford drone with the lifestyle we prefer.” If you think I’m bitter, fuck you, Stepford. Anger at abuse is a normal and sane reaction. Calling someone bitter for their anger at it? Abusive, and batshit.
- Pre-emptive guilt trips from family followed by requests/demands for money, visits, or some form of psychological submission. Why they could never figure out that treating me like shit only pushed me further away is on them – I guess they really are that stupid.
- Bad prioritization – spending too much on a frivolous collection, or on other people, and then not having money to cover needs. Like the girl that was behind on rent who, instead of using a portion of her cash to pay back her roommate, spent her entire check on acid. I’ve done it to myself spending on gifts/obligations, usually for my family. Then I hated myself when I struggled with basics in the months after I did it.
- I try too hard not to be a burden, and I end up overburdening myself. I have been taught not to accept generosity when it’s actually what I needed to accept the most. My family’s overwhelming stinginess with me sent the message that I didn’t deserve kindness. But that’s wrong. I very much do deserve the kindness that’s offered me, and it has had a way of finding me when I needed it the most.