HodgePodge (10-22-2010)

It’s me again, Margaret. *creepy giggle*

So. It’s been busy here…how about where you are? October has been insane for meetings, phone calls, doctor’s appointments and even a three-day conference. I’ve seethed, cried, panicked, yelled, hugged and hurled some extremely inventive curses at humankind.

N and I are still getting by. This month has been busy with the bankruptcy, so naturally, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with being poor again. Not like we weren’t before, but damn, when everything is pretty much cash only, it’s pretty hard to think otherwise. Growing up poor, I mean, had-the-phone-cut-off and eating-hamburger-helper-without-hamburger poor. Some things, I didn’t realize that most families didn’t have to deal with. A good example is grocery shopping. After moving in with N, He thought it was bizarre that I would become physically sick while adding up our purchases before checking out. Like, run to the bathroom, stomach cramps and all kind of sick. I couldn’t explain it at the time. Just something I had accepted as life as fucked-up-me, and I deal.

After digging through the bullshit that had accumulated in my brain, I realized that the sickness I got every time I got ready to checkout was most likely a psychosomatic reaction to never knowing if my parents’ check was going to go through when I went grocery shopping with them as a teenager. I internalized stress about money (and the lack thereof) that much. So it’s no surprise that when I perceive that we are seriously scraping, I retreat back to my survival mode and start making the foods I grew up with. I start hoarding food.

Or like last night, I start obsessing about Solstice/Christmas presents for the kids. I wanted to start a layaway program. N nixes it immediately. And because of a combination of my neurosis about money and my bull-headedness, I wouldn’t let it drop. Wouldn’t accept no. I couldn’t understand why He was so cavalier about the presents. I wanted to start stashing them away now, wanted to *know* that I was going to have something under the trees for them. I needed that assurance…that my kids would have stuff, from their parents, and wouldn’t know what life without presents is like. Basically, I used this one issue to funnel my entire hope that my children will never eat hobo stew, they’ll never go without medical care, they’ll never be ashamed to have friends over, and they will not be pitied at their school for being poor and without.

Compounding the problem is that I am not in control of the finances. At all. I don’t’ make purchases without clearing it, I don’t manage the checkbook, and I couldn’t recite the balances on anything beyond my purse-wallet. So when N says “Things are tight, don’t spend too much” I hear “We’re broke, no spending” and start my irrational coping methods. It’s a mixture of communication and internal-wiring issues. He has to become better at indicating me that we aren’t one step from the shelter, and I have to work on cutting back on the instant over reaction.

Owning a slave with issues surrounding finances is a struggle for N. It truly is a balancing act between keeping me so far out of the loop that I start panicking from lack of information and dumping on me so much that I start panicking from faulty mental processing of the information and results. It takes a lot of strength, confidence and mental force to pull me into to check when I start to revert…and I admire Him for it.

I’ll probably put up a better-explained discussion of how the financial responsibilities work for our O/p later.