I am triggered. Tomorrow is my father’s birthday. It never really bothered me before. But now, my alters are remembering past experiences in dreams. And the critical voices – mean, rude, negative, manipulative, insulting, and scary – intrude on my waking hours and try to stop me from moving forward with this month’s tasks: get scholarship information and simplify my budgeting system.
Worrying about money always triggers flashbacks and anxiety from the times when my father controlled me by managing my money, taxes, bills, and car for me. And when he would manipulate me into giving away expensive stuff to my brother or other family members instead of selling or repurposing the items for myself.
How? By making comments about how I wasted time “playing” on these machines or “money” on software or electronics that “didn’t work” right because I was stupid and paid too much. And by telling me I was in debt and should not waste money I didn’t have. It would make my credit score worse. And if I had extra money, why not use it to help my mom instead? Because I didn’t deserve new or nice things that made me happy.
Back then, I didn’t know he used my credit to buy stuff and then lapse on paying it. Or that he stole money from me through identity theft. I know my mom did that through our shared bank account until I moved my money out an had my name taken off of it. But I didn’t know my dad was until I checked my credit cards and saw a much higher balance than what I put on the cards each month. But that was after I went to a bank and had the loan officer check my credit to see if I was eligible to buy a house back when I thought I was stuck in my old home forever.
I struggled with the decision to buy a home or go back to graduate school. My father discouraged both simply by telling me that the only way to accomplish either goal was to follow his explicit plans. And he had everything mapped out including my budget, transportation routes for both scenarios, and monthly expenses. He made it clear that I couldn’t do either one on my own because I wasn’t smart enough to get scholarships or have the credit score to get a decent loan. But worse, he spread his “worry” about me to mom and the rest of the family. Mom didn’t want me to do either one; buy a house or go back to school because that meant I was doing better than her. She told dad everything I told her, but in such a way that I was being evil for wanting something different than the life they planned for me. So between te two of them, I sufdsnly had tons of family discouraging me from pursuing either financial and educational goal. And you know what, it worked. I bowed to the pressure and did not pursue either one.
Instead, I used the money to disappear and start over.
Now, every time I spend money on something that helps me or makes me smile, I get flashbacks and anxiety. The voices start whispering or yelling at me. I start switching. My body hurts. And I wonder if I really am managing my money properly or not. I start thinking I can’t afford what I bought or invested in. And I get mad at myself.
Reading, music, distractions, grounding, the usual stuff is not helping. Mantras, affitmations, maintaining connections with people are somewhat helping, but not really. And so I find myself struggling to cope with these unexpected triggers.
Thanks for reading.