Finding My Way

Webinars have become my new form of downtime. I have watched them on almost any topic you can imagine. Personally, I think I’ve gained a lot from them. Yes, they are all trying to sell something at the end but most of the time you can gain little nuggets of information that can be applied. That is actually why I broached the taboo subject of “sex” in my last post. You have no idea how hard it was for me to write that post. It was even harder keeping myself from going back to delete it. I didn’t though. It’s still there.

In a couple of different webinars and books that I’ve read, it talked about how we have a tendency to attach the most shame to two areas in our lives. Money and sex. They even went as far as saying that you have to heal your feelings and shame about the one to help heal the other since they are somehow connected. I hit the point where I thought it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try. So I tried writing that last post. I realize I have a way to go to truly be that open.

I don’t know if you have ever seen the movie “Something’s Gotta Give”. Diane Keaton’s character, Erica, is a strong and independent woman who wears turtlenecks to the beach. She is so far out of touch with her sexual side that it is basically dead to her. She’s turned it off and doesn’t even care that it has gone away. In a sense, that is what I did. I grew up in a house that did not talk about sex, money, feelings, or provide many hugs. To this day, I don’t really like being touched and run from the huggers. Except when it comes to my husband. With him, all my rules are out the window. I can touch and be touched. We can talk about anything without embarrassment. Though I still feel some shame when it comes to sex even with him. Why?

I wish that I could say my shame comes from the fact that I’ve gained 80 pounds since my twenties. It used to be 100 pounds so I’m grateful for the loss of those 20 but still! I said I lost my mojo and ability to feel sexy when I gained the weight. That’s a load of it! I felt this way when I was too skinny as well. I was raised to be conservative and be a good girl. Good girls aren’t sexy. The stigma that I’m trying to break free from is the one in my head. I don’t need anyone to plant ideas in my head. I’ve already got full grown oak trees of shame throughout my brain. I am a woman and I need to learn how to allow myself to embrace being a woman in every sense.

When it comes to money, I have realized something rather strange. I felt more shame about having money than not having money. My husband used to earn almost $200,000 a year. I didn’t want anyone to know that he made that much. When we filled out forms saying how much our annual income was, I always put a much lower amount. We bought a big house and I didn’t like having anyone over because I didn’t want them to see it. I didn’t want them to see all the toys (like my husband’s 1980 Corvette) and the fact that we were doing well for ourselves. I think that is why I allowed the house to get a bit cluttered and messy. It’s too messy for visitors. Good excuse to keep people away.

Now that we are at the other end of the spectrum, I tell everyone. We went broke taking care of the parents. Going broke is almost like a badge of honor. It’s not a badge of honor. It is a nightmare. We get over 20 calls a day from credit card companies wanting to know when we are finally going to make another payment. Our big house comes with a big mortgage and we find ourselves in a position where my husband’s monthly pay is enough for the mortgage payment and the car payment. That’s it. No groceries, no gas money to get to work. We find ourselves missing the old days when we could go to the grocery store and just shop. We didn’t have to think about the cost of anything going into the basket.  That is just messed up. Why should we feel shame to have money and proud to be broke and struggling?

I ended up quitting my job many years ago when my health got in the way. It went downhill so fast when I went to work in investments. It could have been the stress or the fact that I seriously think I was allergic to something in that building. It could have been those reasons. Or it could have been the dents in the refrigerator that we had while I was growing up. My mom hit a point where she was making more than my father and they had a big fight about it. He wanted her to quit her job and take another one for much less money since her job was taking her away from her responsibilities as a wife and mother. She put her foot down and said she wouldn’t hurt the family just to save his pride. Then his fist hit the fridge multiple times.

When I worked in investments, I was on my way to out earning my husband. Thinking back to it all now, I think it was my mind that made me sick so that I didn’t have to worry about falling into the same trap. Witnessing that fight between my parents left a very lasting impression on me. My husband does not think the same way as my father but that didn’t matter to my brain. I think that is why I am struggling so much now to figure out how to contribute to our finances. I still need to keep my days open for doctor appointments for my parents but I have a responsibility to our household as well. I have found different items that could create passive income but I’m having trouble making myself get started with them. What if they do make more than what my husband is now making? I’ve got to get over this hangup really fast!

Another place that I have felt shame is with my brain. I used to get so upset when people would call me smart. People used to say it so much and in a way that it began to feel like a bad thing. So I found ways to shut down the workings of my brain. Do you know what I miss most about my youth? The way my brain worked. I miss that more than anyone can possibly imagine. I know it’s still up there. I just need to find a way to attach the jumper cables and get that battery charged back up.

I think that I have spent the majority of my life running from who I could be. I’ve put everyone else’s needs first so that I did not have to even think about what it is that I wanted out of life or who I wanted to be in this life. I’ve squandered the first 46 years. It is time for me. I’m not quite certain who that is yet but I’m excited to finally meet her.

I hereby give myself permission to use my brain in the best possible manner. I give myself permission to be financially free and wealthier than I could ever think possible. I give myself permission to allow myself to fully be a woman and embrace every aspect of it. My intention for 2018 is to find out exactly who I am and let myself shine. I’m not going to hide from my true self anymore. Want to take the leap with me?

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