Money Drunk Money Sober: 5 Financial Incidents I am not proud of

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.

1. My ex, although it’s a very, very blurry line. Especially since he kept the vast majority of my belongings and did kind of pull hostage crap in hopes I’d come back. It didn’t work, just like my mother being a fucking nightmare every time I visited her did not prompt me to visit more often. (Never mind that I had to overspend to go see my family, and often spent a great deal of money I couldn’t afford to on THEM when I did visit.)

Which just perpetuates a theory: the people that hang on to physical objects the hardest are the ones most unwilling to change. When change becomes more necessary, they cling harder. These are also people that reminisce about the Good Old Days, of which the days were pretty much not.

2. People who have been very good to me have been overlooked on wedding gifts, etc. That I’m ashamed of – these are the people that most deserved my recognition, and sometimes I was just so caught in my depression/abandonment from divorce and my family just pretending I wasn’t a person that I couldn’t bring myself to even buy them a congratulatory card.

Everything else I’ve done that’s really bad … I’ve pretty much done to myself.  Spending too much in college because my alcoholic boyfriend could not conceive of having fun outside of a bar was a suckfest, and I feel like an idiot for all the people I’ve given little bits of help to along the way who turned on me like rabid animals when I finally had to say, “No, I need this for myself.” Getting caught by a panhandler-grifter – it was horrific, I knew what was happening while it was happening and I somehow got trapped into giving that asshole money. That one I feel shamed for, especially since I’ve yet to meet someone who has been homeless who has actually resorted to panhandling. Times I’ve been stolen from, especially when my own family did the stealing (usually justifying it by telling themselves a story that I had, or I would steal – when the only time I EVER have was once, after trying to pay a closing down K-Mart for a lipstick 5 times to absolutely no avail. I don’t count food theft; our household created false scarcity around food which led to the behavior – and I was like, 8, and got pretty harshly punished for it.)

Honestly, the theme I’m seeing through most of this work is “For Christ’s sake Diana, STOP HELPING PEOPLE!”