I remember thinking to myself money would solve so many of my issues growing up.
It’s funny, being told recently by a psychic (I know, I know) that I am a worrier and will always be a worrier. It got me thinking of every negative experience I associated with money, from being raised in poverty. My father who suffered with polio and bi-polar was receiving a disability pension that was barely enough to support our family of four.
This started a domino effect on my perception of how money truly controlled my happiness. I look back now and think to myself I had an amazing childhood but at the time it was simply not the case. I always worried about how I looked going to school in rags and hand me downs, was bullied and even had others kids laugh at my physical appearance. This started a love/hate relationship with how I perceived others who had money, I thought to myself if only I had money I wouldn’t need to worry about what I didn’t have and start being happy and enjoying life. (Which is not the case, I now know this.)
One particular situation changed everything, I still remember it clearly. I was in highschool and I was working at the local grocery store to save towards university. My father came to me and said “Tracy, my disability pension is going to be cutting my monthly benefit because they know you are working and will deduct dollar for dollar what you are making off my cheque.” My reaction was, how can we fix this. He then spoke to his worker and they wanted me to go to the office and go through an interview process to try and exempt my income from my father’s pension. I remember walking into an office with my father, and two workers. They were firing question after question and I did not skip a beat and answered them simply “there is a misconception that people receiving disability or social support will never amount to anything and take advantage of the benefits, well I am a strong person who is working hard to allow myself to get an education because I have no other option and a fifteen year old has to come in this office and prove to you that my income is not meant to defraud the system, shame on you.”
Being a mother and thinking back, I would never want any of my kids going through this, it took away my childhood and forced me to grow up and deal with adult matters. But, it prepared me for the coming events that accured in the following years and allowed me to fight through each hardship. I had been accepted in the program of my dream at the University of Ottawa, but never ended up going… That’s another story…
It has taken years and I still struggle on grasping how money controls people’s emotions, actions and reactions. The better understanding we have on our emotions, the better we are at handling any situation presented, whether positive or negative.