I look forward to the day that I’ve climbed right out of this pit I fell into by virtue of my ignorance. It seems like a money pit sometimes but at others I believe money’s just the symptom of a crisis provoked by a belief of being worthless and a terror of being abandoned with no food and no place to live. The terror was alive within me all my life. Beyond that it was about fear of becoming vulnerable and having to ask for help – which in itself was about fear of being punished beyond an endurable threshold of emotional pain, and re-experiencing the emotional punishment I was subjected to as a child.
So that’s what it’s all really about. Money’s got nothing to do with it. Hard to accept sometimes. Like today.
Today I equate getting out of the pit with trying to swim against a powerful rip tide when all you know how to do is doggy paddle and you’re scared of water.
The thing is, you’re swimming towards a giant prize, and there’s nothing in the world that can make you give up on that. Freedom from persecution and abuse. Freedom of speech, freedom to have a home, warm clothes, nourishing food, education and decent-paying work, back-up and support. Freedom to have a meaningful life, career, relationships.
It’s a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs all in one, a Personal Constitution, a Bill of Rights. The truth, I think, is that if all those rights were taken from you as a child, then as an adult you give them away because you don’t know any better. When you hit a crisis, no matter what, whether it’s money, relationship or career, you’re faced with the reality of how much you give away, how much you still believe the Rights aren’t yours. That’s when you start claiming them. For the first time in your life.
I wrote an article on a young American who had $27.65 in his account, and was worrying how he was going to pay his utility bills; have his missing front teeth replaced; and repay the $1,000 he owed a friend. The next day he had $285 million.
Won the lottery of course. Seems like a fairy tale, and he certainly thought it was. You can be sure some part of me felt a bit wistful. I don’t long for that amount, it’s kind of meaningless to me. But I long for enough to survive decently until I start earning. I long for support to enable a grace period so that I can learn whatever I need to learn.
Who knows what the money will do for that man. I’ve known a lot of people who thought money was their problem who then inherited and it didn’t solve a thing. Not a thing. Weird – the money had no power at all. So it probably wouldn’t solve anything for me. Understatement of the century. Better by far to be able to earn my own, that’s what I really want. That’s what the grace period longing is about, to make sure that I can get there.
So until it happens, I’ll keep on swimming against that rip tide, holding my head up above the water. One day either the tide will turn or I’ll be such a darn good swimmer that I’ll cut right through it.