My expertise in this is that I lived it. I did it to myself. Yet not consciously
Who does this to themselves?
I don't know why I did something like this to myself, but I didn't do it consciously
It was about 10 years ago. I had a good job in IT. Despite the fact that I dropped out of college. But I was by no means technically minded. I never understood what I was doing, therefore I really felt like a fraud.
I used up so much focus and energy in hating it, that I became exhausted emotionally. I could not take an other day. (So, I thought in my cocky little brain) that I just quit. Without having any direction, or much of a savings.
Upon quitting, I immediately registered for school full time to become a licenced Massage Therapist. And I decided to use my entire 401k to survive on while I attended.
Exactly half way through, when I was running out of money fast, I fortunately, had a stroke. I say fortunately because, my symptoms afterward are not earth shattering. I never finished because I was too busy being a victim of a non earth shattering stroke. Although, I'll never be able to speak like I once could, I can be understood. I also have slight balance problems. And slightly compromised fine motor skills. Because of the stroke, I was fortunate enough to get approved for disability. So at least I get some automatic income. Right now, especially, I am very thankful for it.
In addition, because I'm on disability, I don't have to pay back my 401k
I am extremely fortunate
But I wasn't always this thankful. I was always a huge victim. Thinking that life just happened to me, I had zero control. I allowed life to control me, as opposed to me control it. Anytime my brother said anything to me (he always said I was a victim), I'd just get defensive with a million "but's", and "you don't understand" . Poor me, woe is me, type attitude.
For several years thereafter, I told people that I was living in poverty.
I was never living in poverty
The amount I get is definitely survivable. It's not a lot but one can certainly survive on it if very careful
I was not always this appreciative. I felt a big sense of entitlement. Yet for no reason
And admittedly I had horrendous teachers; My parents were huge victims. That mind set was all I knew. I still often have to watch how I am thinking, and acting.
I then used my stroke to become even more of a victim. I had been comfortably living on Long Island, but since I never really looked for work, after my stroke, I could no longer afford to live there. I then moved to Pittsfield, Ma. where prices are drastically lower than Long Island. (Long Island is expensive)
I lived in low cost housing. Big deal, right? Well it was to me. For some weird reason I hated people knowing that. But why? Now I'd do almost anything to have it back.
As I write this I am technically homeless. Yes I have a roof over my head, but since February of this year, I've been staying at a friends. ( I am staying here so that I can save a bit of money) Prior to that, I'd been living in an "illegal rental". for a few years. My landlord was not able to get it legalized because it did not have closets It also did not have a full kitchen. I could not use it as my address. So the address on my drivers license was not legal. And I was being way overcharged, but I needed privacy. It was my choice.
You see, I'd made the catastrophic mistake of leaving low cost housing because for some idiotic reason I thought I was above it. I'm above nothing.
I left it, moved to California, had my car repossessed, gave up all of my furniture, moved in with a roommate just to be in a "better" living situation. It was not better. It was hell. I gave up everything because I couldn't afford to take anything with me. I gave up everything so that I could move to a "better" place....hell
Then my roommate in California got pregnant, so that was my excuse to move elsewhere.....
Writing this feels very surreal. Like I can't believe I'm writing about myself. I swear I am not making this up
A friend of my parents (who are deceased now) was living in Florida. She told my brother that I could come live with her. So feeling that I had no other choice, (because, remember; I was a victim) I went there. And that was when I began to feel that I did not have a home. But I was too frightened to admit that to myself at that time. And that was about 5 years ago. I am 56 years old now.
After that I had a few more subsequent roommates. I had a serious problem with each other one. But the problem was not with the roommates that I had, it was with myself for living that way. But; again; I refused to admit it to myself at that time. Throughout my insane journey I totally lost sight of everything that I enjoyed. I had zero purpose. What was my point in being here? I wasn't even volunteering. I never had kids, and have no pets.
As I am writing this I am still at my friends. I finally got a place of my own which I will be moving in to in a few weeks. Who does this to themselves?
Somehow everyone just knew not to ask me too much. Not to even ask me basic questions. But a relatively new friend, on 2 occasions asked me a very obvious, every day question of what I had going on.
Little did he know how loaded of a question that was. That's when I realized that I truly had nothing. It wasn't so much the embarrassment that I had to say out loud; "nothing", it was the deep sadness that I felt of all the time I wasted doing nothing. And how do you make nothing sound interesting?
I could have gotten through my initial panic over feeling like I didn't know my job. I must've known something. I did it for 22 years
And this is who I was.
I have been in a place of my own again since August 2020. Thank goodness
Is this what it took to finally get me to appreciate the little bit that I DO have?
Everyone tells me to stop being so hard on myself.
And putting this on paper. Actually saying it all out loud. Has helped me to stop.
But wouldn't you be a little hard on yourself having done what I did?
I am human; Of course I was hard on myself