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Sunday, May 21, 2000

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Money and fear

I started out reading some forums, this morning, and ended up reading about ADD and related disorders. I realize more and more that so much of my life was spent trying to appear normal, and not succeeding very well. I pulled back from people so they wouldn't see how weird I was (or how I felt I was), even from my children at times, and then I felt even more weird and retreated more. Some people lash out, I just withdraw.

I withdraw and then get depressed. I've never, ever become suicidally depressed, though, in part because I never understood the idea of making everyone feel sorry about how they treated you after you're dead. What good is that if you're dead? I always wanted them to feel sorry for me while I'm alive and also to admire the fortitude and grace that I had through life's trials. Yeah! Right! I know this is a pipe dream since everyone has their own problems, besides which most of mine pale to non-existence.

I think that I've also had the honesty to realize that I haven't had that bad of a life and much of my 'suffering' was in my mind. That's bad enough but at least it's nowhere near as bad as people who suffer more tangibly. Then I feel guilty because I'm feeling sorry for myself about nothing, but at least I realize that it's no one's fault and I'm not all that bad off.

I've made progress. I raised two fine kids, though they did much of the raising themselves, I've quit smoking and I'm slowly getting control of my spending. I am eternally grateful that I couldn't get any credit cards for all those years I was raising my children because my spending would have been totally out of control. Just in the last few years when I got credit cards I went crazy and now have to pay them off. It was just such a wonderful feeling to know I didn't have to check my account to see if I could get something. I'd never been able to just buy something before.

This goes back to when I was a kid as my parents were constantly in debt. Besides the fact that they had six children and were dependent on support from other people, they also did not have much money sense. We've come to realize that they were ADD to a large extent, which made them great missionaries, but lousy money managers. I always hated that we had to ask people for money and hated that we never had enough to buy stuff, especially clothes.

I still remember a pool party in grade school, probably 5th or 6th grade, and the only bathing suit I could find in the missionary barrel was an ugly black one with the elastic stretched out. Why do people give crap to missionaries and other similar types and then say they are doing it for god? Do they really think their god appreciates his workers being given crap? I felt so humiliated that I just hung around the edges of the pool area or tried to stay in the water. I have never since then been satisfied with a bathing suit. I have never felt like I looked good in one.

Anyway, suddenly I had credit cards and I could just go in and buy things. I didn't buy expensive things (usually) and I bought practical things (most of the time), but I just bought more than I could afford, and it kept building up without my realizing it. It wasn't till I put my finances on the computer that the total amount really hit me and then it took another year or so before I started to really get it under control. I am a very impulsive buyer and I get these projects going that I need the books and supplies for RIGHT NOW. I'm now back to putting nearly nothing on the credit cards and it's much better.

After all that soul searching I decided to go to the mall and walk since it's much too warm to walk outside. On the bus I kept trying to cross my legs and they kept slipping because of the sunblock, and I use nongreasy sunblock. I hate having to put all that goo on but I don't want skin cancer either. At least I don't need to use insect repellant here as our mosquito population is pretty low. Everyone else must have had the same idea as there were no carts free at Walmart. The summer leisure activity in Tucson.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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