Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hating Life

It's been well over a month since I last wrote.  Mostly it's because of shame, denial, and self-hatred.  I hate the holidays -- for financial reasons mostly.  As much as I try to keep smiling and put on the happy face, that financial hatred still seeps over.  I'm stressed, I'm worried, and it puts a damper on the joy of the holidays.

Since mid-November, my personal checking account has been overdrawn.  We're not talking small amounts here -- we're talking large numbers.  It's embarrassing, it's frustrating - and I have no one to blame but myself.  And my stress level has gone through the roof.  I'm short-tempered, I'm exhausted from not sleeping, I'm high on caffeine.

It's a simple concept -- why can't I control this?  Why can't I just say no?  Why don't I know where my money goes?  Why do I have this insane need to please - and with that need comes the need to buy approval with gifts.  The need to show that I have it all together - to host the perfect gathering, to give the perfect gift.

I just can't do this any more.  I'm so sick of seeing negative numbers in my balance.  I'm so sick of phone calls and past due notices in the mail.  I'm so sick of playing the "rob Peter to pay Paul" game.  As Dr. Phil would say - "How's that working out for you?"

It's not.

I've got to make some serious changes in my life.  Not just for me, but for my girls.  I don't want them to look up to me as a role model -- not this way.  I don't want them to grow up thinking that they can buy anything they want whenever they want. 

I don't want them to end up like me.


melismama said...

You can do it! Do you attend a church at all? Maybe seeking some counselling would help? I pray that your new year is a new leaf and a great start to a new life, financially fit!


Kerry said...

I want to say "I'm sorry" but I have a feeling that's about the last thing you want to hear.
Have you heard or read about Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover? I am here to tell you that it changed the way I think about money. We are FAR from in a good place financially, and I regularly have to "rob" one account to cover another by overspending on a certain area within our budget...and I won't even talk about the state (ZERO) of our Christmas budget right now. Had we been following our budgeting closer I would not be stressing as much about gifts.
Just know that I am here, reading and nodding my head in agreement with your struggles. You are NOT alone my friend!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you are struggling with this Jennifer. I do somewhat still, but it's gotten better. I decided a few years ago that I really couldn't continue to go into debt over the Prince of Peace's birthday. He doesn't want the gift of stress for His Birthday. We decided that year that the kids would each get 3 gifts from us (and 1 from Santa) per year. Afterall, if 3 was good enough for Jesus then it's good enough for my kids. And you know what? The grandparents make up for it since they get so much we could just get nothing and the kids would do just fine. The grandparents get some type of gift from us with the kids photos on it and that's all we do. I see your beautiful crafts and I bet everyone in your family would be more than pleased with something simple and homemade. If they knew the gifts you got them stressed you out to this point they probably wouldn't enjoy them much.

I hope this doesn't come as a "this is how you need to think" but rather that I see the beautiful person you are and how great your heart is and I'd just like to encourage you past the "spending spree" part of Christmas and onto the focus of "less is more". It's been so much more for my family and I know when you are able to fully embrace it you will be able to enjoy the entire holiday season!

lynn said...

I am so glad you posted. This is such an important topic. My husband and I decided we are not giving gifts this year. Many people are supportive but I have one family member that is actually mad at me! Does she really want me to go deeper in debt? I explained why I have to do this and that it is not personal. I sent Christmas cards to family and friends and included photos I took of the children. I am only buying gifts for the children. You can do this!

Beckman Family said...

(((((hugs))))) I have so been in your shoes b4 girl.. It took us moving over sea's to get life in order and on track with our money... I know it is hard.. and I always feel the same way about the holidays and not wanting my kids to think they can do this all too.. try to keep your chin up girl..