Money and financial stability is a hugenormous source of stress for me. I think it is because I grew up very, very poor. No really. I was born a poor, black child. Even though we were on welfare and got food stamps *and* my dad worked 6 days a week, paying bills and having food were never sure things each month.
When I was 12ish, my mom who had been ill for quite a while abdicated household chores. So, of course, the only girl (and the youngest) had to step in. I do not know why my 4 brothers chose to let me shoulder the burden. I know why my dad did, he had a 6th grade education and was sure his brilliant, genius IQ daughter could handle it better than he. That’s when I found out up close just how on the edge we were. Each and every month.
I spent a lot of time in the school guidance counselor’s office.
I ran like crazy to boarding school when I was offered the chance for the last two years of high school. Not that living away from home absolved me of my responsibilities but at least I didn’t have to do the day-to-day of cooking, cleaning, laundry. Or stare my inadequacy in the face (well, that particular one, I had/have others).
I had very low wage jobs until I lucked into a real career after crashing and burning out of college (why, yes, please let me attempt not one but *two* of the most demanding engineering majors!). I lived in crappy houses with scummy landlords.
So I fret about money quite a lot. I probably always will. I’m not kidding when I talk about being afraid of not being able to get the health care I need or paying off debt or any of that stuff. It’s the thing that gives me nightmares.
Childhood baggage is heavy, y’all!