5-27-10                 3:41am

I feel so very tired tonight, and sad. I’m here with my book light again. Tomorrow marks one year from my last admission. It’s been a long year.

Tonight I think about money. How it affects and limits me. M- asked awhile back on FB if you’d rather grow up rich or poor. I’ve thought about that a lot. I’m glad I grew up poor, that I can truly appreciate. But I could use some money now.

It’s like being trapped. My mom drives me nuts. She is my x-factor. I can’t stand her and I can’t change her, but I can’t move out. Why? No money. I’m not going to get more money. It’s not going to change. I have to figure out how to deal with it.

I don’t want lots of money, so much I don’t know what to do with. N- was talking Sunday about the average starting salary for his dream job. It was in the hundreds of thousands. I asked what he would do with that kind of money. He said, “I know. Really.” But I mean it. What does a person do with that? I don’t even know what that looks like.

I just want to not have to worry about money, to be able to be free and not tied to so many things. I don’t enjoy scouring a menu for the cheapest thing or not going out ‘cuz I can’t afford it. Money may seem trivial to some but it changes things.

I don’t claim it would solve all my problems, but even my life at USC was better. If I didn’t have to worry about the cost, how would my life be different? What would I do or change?

  • I would be less dependent on others, less limited
  • I would move out
  • I would get new glasses for me & Mom
  • I could get the dental work I need
  • I could dance (body pending)
  • I could order food I want instead of food my wallet wants
  • I might be able to get an answer to my medical problems. Doctors are NOT motivated by Medi-Medi
  • I could buy things like M’s bag just because I want to.

That bag has caused me much grief today. It’s beautiful. I want to be able to just buy it, but I can’t. He said it’s a bag “you” can afford. I’m not a part of that you. An affordable designer bag is still almost 20% of my income for the month. I could buy the bag with the last of my credit, but instead of feeling pretty while carrying it I would be plagued with guilt. That’s no way to carry a purse. My current purse cost $9 at WalMart and has taken my abuse for the past 5 months. I’m impressed. But it doesn’t decrease my desire for this purse or my anger and sadness that I cannot indeed have it. It also doesn’t make me any less aware that I do not NEED that bag.

When I look at something I want there is this fight in my head. The question is not just can I afford that? It’s do I deserve it? Because if I can’t afford it, then surely I don’t deserve it. But there’s a part of me that believes I do deserve it and gets pissed that I can’t have it. Why can’t I have x? I’m a good person. Why is this happening to me?! It becomes more existential crisis than shopping trip.

What I can afford affects how I present myself and how I’m perceived, defines a part of who I am. So I never know just who I am. There are these many different parts in different clothes with different roles, that eat different foods & wear different shoes. And I’m treated differently for every one of them. They’re all me but in different tax brackets.

I just want to be me and free. But that requires money.


5-29-10                 1:41am

I thought more about money yesterday and what it can’t buy me, what it can’t change.

Money can’t change my health. It can’t take away the days I can’t move or talk. It can’t bring me closer to the people I love. And all the money in the world couldn’t buy me someone who cares about me like my mom does. She may drive me nuts but she’s always there.

I’m grateful not to have many days like yesterday. I’m so exhausted. So sick. I had some good hours today & a long nap. But money can’t change that. It can’t bring me back.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

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