Money as My Control pt. 1

in #money5 months ago

overcome-power-struggle.jpg
I feel so powerless and I fucking hate it. I’m mad (with powerlessness), and I’m not going to take it anymore.. That’s why I’m writing about it, to sort through this experience, cause it really sucks. I’m in a position the likes of which I haven’t found myself in since I suppose I was a teen living ‘under my parent’s roof’. When I was a ‘dependent’. When I didn’t have enough of an income to support myself. Where I had to live according to another’s rules apparently, cause I didn’t have the ability to support myself alone. I mean, this is how the dynamic often is with kids and parents. ‘As long a you’re under my roof, you’ll do as I say’. I wanted to run away in my childhood, but I knew I’d be far worse off, because how would I be able to provide myself with food and shelter and all that? I wasn’t being physically abused, and I was being fed and clothed with a roof over my head. So then the association is made that I have to make money, if I want to do things how I want, live how I want, and to HAVE CONTROL not BE CONTROLLED, and it became even a point of rebellion, like, well, fine then, I’ll just find a way to make it on my own and then I can just be on my way and not have to ‘listen to you anymore’, don’t have to ‘do what you tell me anymore’. And so eventually I did.

My parents also never had a lot of money, and probably there were times that my needs or wants just couldn’t practically be met, but this was often conveyed with stress and frustration and conflict, so I learned that expressing my needs or asking for things causes conflict, and then when you get into the working world it was more of the same, disregard for your health and well-being, you have to keep going to survive, can’t be sick, can’t miss work, can’t have issues or maybe they’ll fire you and hire someone with less issues. So I’ve generally developed patterns of suppressing my own needs, and I could only really start to consider my well-being in the last few years, as I was forced to by my chronic pain issues, and as I was finally doing relatively better financially so could afford to treat myself better, and having a job that for the first time was respectful of allowing time off for sickness/injury.

So at age 16 or so, I started getting ‘legit’ jobs and money, not just the odd baby-sitting or lawn-mowing side jobs, and then I felt like I had some right, I had a some say, some power, I had the ability and permission to decide some things for myself. This was a point that came into play in relationships too, where I’d seen and experienced that dynamic of the male paying for things, and then there’s an expectation of the female to ‘put out’, and that feeling of ‘obligation’ or ‘indebtedness’ grossed me out, I wanted none of that, so I would always pay for myself or pay half the bill or whatever. I didn’t want anyone to pay for me and I would never borrow money from someone, because I associated it with that feeling of obligation, which made me feel ‘trapped’ or ‘forced’ to have to do what someone else wants. I always did what I had to to survive, I did the math in terms of what I needed to get by and sought out and took whatever opportunities that would do that the best. It was never enough to thrive, and there were some really hard times, but I survived.

Throughout my relationships I tended to be the ‘breadwinner’, I had several partners who at times didn’t have jobs or income. Or if I wasn’t earning more than my partner, still being able to pay for myself, so still having a ‘say’ in my life, having enough money that I had 'some power’ to ‘make decisions’. And this was the case up until a year ago, when I made a radical decision to uproot my life and leave everything behind, a stable job, my own car, roughly seven years of accumulated personal belongings, and move to a foreign country, to eventually establish some businesses, but having to get through the transition period of moving, resettling, learning the language, establishing residency, having a house and facility built from which to eventually generate an income, while having no personal income in the meantime, living under the support of my partner who has the means to make this all possible.

When this opportunity opened up to, my mind did the math and said 'No fucking way. This doesn't add up. How will I make sure I get what I need? How can I trust another person to support me when no one ever has before, when my overall experience has been that when someone pays for you they want to control you in return? What guarantee do I have that I'll be alright? But on a beingness level, I knew I had to take this chance or die trying, even though my mind was full of fears and doubts. Cause I could look ahead at the predictable path I was on, and could see I could only go so far, that I have all this potential, and that I'd probably never get to live it, if I stuck to that supposedly 'safe' and predictable path. I could see that I would forever regret it if I didn't give myself this chance, even if it meant I might die trying, or worse. I mean, I was in a way dying already, giving my life away to the system, experiencing more and more chronic symptoms from living a life of limitation that was hard to stomach and injuries I couldn’t properly address and manage without enough time or money, which I’ll talk about more in my chronic pain blogs. This was a chance to die on my own terms. Or to live, to truly live. So I took a leap of faith. I already knew I can survive, I've been doing it all my life, I've proven that, and if it comes down to that, I'll do whatever I have to do. I always have myself, and I trust myself. So what was there to lose?

So for the first time since I’ve been ‘independent’ all my adult life, I’m now totally dependent. It's not a position I wanted to be in, nor would have ever walked into normally. As you can see, it goes against how I've always approached my survival, doing everything I could to keep it in my own hands, to have some ‘sovereignty’ in my life.

What I’ve been experiencing is probably what many in that sort of ‘dependent housewife’ position might generally go through, that point of financial dependence and no direct control over anything, and I can understand why so many women were more than eager to get ‘out of the kitchen and into the work force’, tired of experiencing the negative side of the polarity, ready to have some of the independence, control, and dominance that they experienced the backend of. But within that, not realizing that it’s just a swing to the opposite side of the polarity, and still not an actual solution. Cause no one wants to be on a negative side of a polarity, so even if you are on the positive side, and it seems to be working for you, it’s definitely not on the other side, which means you’re not going to have balanced relationships where both sides are having a cool time and enjoying each other and life. So your positive experience is going to be affected by the negative experience of those around you, just like financial inequality on the greater scale, where you can be wealthy and that can seem to be pretty great, except that you’ve got to try and manage it in a world where many are in poverty and would rather not be, so you’ve got to do all kinds of things to protect your money and your wealth, live in gated communities, have locks and security systems, financial advisors, and all that.

What I’ve found in going through this experience and being in this position is how ‘dependent’ I really have been on my programming of financial ‘independence’, because, since I associated having my own income/money as giving me the right to have a say or make decisions in my life, I have basically perceived myself as having no right or say in my life. I’ve never had to develop ways to communicate my needs, cause I used a personal income as the solution, as a result of my needs creating conflict as a child, so I learned/experienced that communication wasn’t an option.

So how I end up living these patterns now in this position of dependence, is for example, when we first moved in together, almost exactly a year ago, I came to live with him in a place he was renting, and since I wasn’t contributing financially to the rent, I didn’t see myself as having a right to like, freely move about in the house, like, wherever my partner is, he has the ‘right of way’ because he’s ‘paying for it’ and all the stuff is his, (which was further compounded by me not really having anything of my own anymore as I’d had to leave it all behind for the most part), and would have fears/worries that I might be using some space or something like the TV or whatever that he would maybe want to be using, and that he might get angry at me or resent me for being ‘in the way’ of what he wants to do, cause after all, he’s ‘paid for it’ so he has ‘the right of way’. So this meant I was literally, like, ‘stuck’ a lot of the time, and didn’t know how/where to move myself in my own home environment. It might sound pretty ridiculous, but I’d never lived like this before, without the money point, to give me ‘permission’.

Another example is not contributing monetarily to the groceries, so that meant that I had no right to choose what to get or what to make for meals or when to eat, ignoring my own bodily needs that might differ. When I had physical issues, that’s too bad, I just have to live with it, if I want the right to decide on any of these things or do something about it, then I’ll just have to find an income somehow, as that’s been my experience in my whole adult life, with it’s roots in my childhood. There was never really any financial help available, I was always on my own, and if I didn’t have the money for something, I had to go without, like proper medical care, dental care, nutrition, clothes, that’s just how it was. I’d internalized that experience, because the system/world has basically forced me all my life to deny my needs because I didn’t have money to get them, and so now I automatically assume I can’t have access to these things, because that’s how it’s always worked, or that to ask something for anything is going to cause conflict.

Another dimension to this experience is feeling like a ‘financial burden’ since I’m not bringing in any monetary income or have any investments to live on, and within that, trying to be as little of a ‘burden’ as possible, and because money can be stressful and I perceived my partner as being stressed by money issues, this further fed the point, to where I was neglecting my bodily needs as much as I could to avoid having to ask for anything out of fear of survival, fear of being seen as a burden and possibly being thrown out, with no immediate way to provide for myself.

So I’ve really walked myself into the perfect position to sort through this point of ‘having money’ as being the solution, where I’m now forced to learn a different way to access my needs through communication instead of through making money and having control. Which is scary because then having my needs met depends on my ability to communicate. But at the end of the day, this is the situation I’m in, so there’s not much choice. And the fact is, there isn’t much choice in life really anyway. Unless you’re insanely wealthy, but otherwise most of us are not ‘well off’ enough to meet all our needs all of the time. Even when I was working in the states a year ago, making $18/hr working full time in Seattle, I still couldn’t meet all my needs. I had a (shitty) roof over my head and more or less adequate nutrition but still couldn’t get the medical and dental care I needed when I needed it, or handle an emergency, or afford to eat out. And that was the highest paying job I had in the states, and only for the last year or so that I lived there, paying off debts accumulated for medical and dental expenses I incurred from the years before of not having enough. Most of the time I was a lot worse off and couldn’t even afford decent clothing, like proper winter gear living in the northeast and experiencing temps of -6 F, or having infected teeth pulled because I couldn’t afford a crown to keep the tooth.

It’s hard to live alongside another and see them have the access and control I wish I had. This is a major reason why in the past I tended to have partners who were in weaker financial positions than me, not that I really saw it consciously at the time, but on some level I knew that then I wouldn’t have to be faced so directly with my own limitation and lack, and I justified it by thinking that those who were better off wouldn’t be able to ‘relate’ to my experience and where I was coming from. I was also raised to think that money isn’t what’s important in relationships. You marry for ‘love’ not for money.

There’s a cool point within that in a way, but that’s not how the world currently exists. Money does matter, more than anything in a way because without it, you have nothing. It’s nice to think that it shouldn’t be this way, but it is this way it is until we change it. So my situation is now giving me motivation and inspiration to find a way through this cause I don’t want to accept this for myself, I couldn't accept limitation before and I can't now. I want to find out what is possible when I no longer live these patterns within myself, so this is my opportunity to redefine that determination I've lived in terms of making money and surviving, to now discovering what is possible beyond money as control and money as survival, as I find a way to truly support myself, whatever form that may take.

Cause in a way, it's a point we need to all get to eventually, how do we live without being driven for/by money? Though hopefully it doesn't mean we all have to get into a position of not having an income to do so.. But such a reality may be closer than we think as it gets harder and harder to make a living, more and more jobs are getting automated away, and the dollar is being pumped to try and keep the economy afloat, and what I'm seeing is the way through is going to be through connection and communication, and realigning our values to not require money as a defining point in how we make decisions. And it starts with self.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to get frustrated at times where I can’t do/access what I want and think that if I had my own money, then I could do/access what I want.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to see ‘having money’ as a solution to my experience.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to associate ‘having money’ and ‘financial independence’ to having control in my world/reality.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that ‘having control’ is the only solution/only way to direct/influence my reality.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to define being ‘dependent’ financially as being ‘less than’/’inferior’, within this having no right or say within a relationship or living situation with others.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that having money gives me the ‘right’ to make decisions, and that without money I have ‘no right’ to make decisions.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to use money as a justification for having some form of control over my world/reality.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to rely on money and having an income to give me permission to have some ‘say’ in my relationships.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to not realize that the dependence on ‘money as control’ is equal to the dependence on the ‘mind as control’ which also exists as a system/tool that we are using to manipulate ourselves and our reality through a point of separation, instead of working directly with our reality and developing direct relationships of communication and understanding, so that it’s no longer ‘necessary’ to depend on the mind or money to navigate relationships.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to define someone ‘paying for me’ as being ‘obligated’ to them in the sense of being a ‘slave’ and being under their control.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to resist accepting financial support out of the fear that I will be obligated and lose my ‘independence’ and ‘control’ over my own life.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to judge those who have more money and use it for control when I am living that same relationship on money as control within myself.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that I am obligated or indebted to another if they use money on my behalf, within this taking for granted the entire system that is based on inequality and creating inequality and that at the end of the day, no one should really be ‘indebted’ to another, that it makes no sense to create relationships of enslavement and control that we would want to manipulate others through.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that another is obligated to me if I use money on their behalf.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to believe that I must/have to make money in order to be satisfied with my life and be able to live the life I would truly like, within this I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to to be open to the possibility that it may not be relevant for me to ‘make money’ or ‘make enough’ as a certain idea in my mind of how much I need to make in order to live how I would like.

I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to consider that for some relationships it didn’t matter who had the money when both partners are contributing themselves in what ways are relevant and necessary, and there is effective communication and mutual commitment to do what’s best for all within what’s possible to be done, where neither partner is making it personal and they simply address needs as they arise within what is possible to be done.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to assume that the only way forward is to ‘make my own money’ from a starting point of believing that that is the only way to direct my life and have an impact in this reality.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear not ever having my own money again, within this believing that this will mean I will be miserable and limited and trapped and like just the worst thing that could happen to me as then I will be a slave with no rights, with no say in my life, no ability to expand or meet my needs and have to live in servitude to another, and might end up living on the street or worse.

I forgive myself that I haven’t accepted and allowed myself to realize that I am really only wanting money and to make/have my own money from the starting point of my fears that I will be controlled, and that my desire to have money is the desire to have that point of control myself, within the belief that that is the only way to ensure that I can effectively support myself in this reality, within this not considering that we all have a right to the money that exists here according to what we need to live and support ourselves and that if I am not receiving that money, it’s not my ‘fault’ and that that means that I am ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ or ‘not doing my part’ or ‘not contributing’ and therefore not ‘deserving’ of having my basic needs met, and that however I would receive money in this world it is from the money that is all ours that no one really has a right to ‘own’ and ‘control’.

I commit myself to developing ways to work with and communicate with my reality and my relationships to find solutions that work for everyone including myself, instead of relying on an idea of ‘money as my savior’, within the realization that that approach is what supports ‘money as control’ in this world on the large scale and supports us all to remain slaves to money, through depending on it to navigate our relationships, and that we therefore have to develop ways to work with each other that are not dependent on money as control.

I commit myself to living the understanding that we all have a right to life and to have our needs met and to have a system that supports rather than indebts us, that no one should really be ‘indebted’ to another, and that any system or aspect of the system that would aim to indebt us to one another is not really valid or serving the interest of all.

I commit myself to take responsibility for my needs and meeting my needs, no matter whether that is through making money or communication or both.

I commit myself to support myself in moments where I feel frustrated, trapped, helpless, out of control/wanting control, and where I see having money as being the solution, to consider what the actual solution would be in the moment and work toward that.

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