Help! I'm Allergic to Money!
On the Psychiatrist's Couch
I'm not sure when it all started, Doctor.
Even when I was a little girl, as early as kindergarten and first grade, I remember finding pennies on the sidewalk with a good feeling. Whenever I found one, I'd give it to my best friend to let her know that I liked her. I enjoyed that. It made me feel warm inside.
Somehow, my older brother found out, though. I don't know how he did it--he was in high school, and I was a good half-hour walk down the road at the elementary school. I only remember finding a penny every so often at the elementary school. Was he psychic? Was a buddy's brother squealing on me?
I have no idea.
Anyway, he made fun of me for doing it. "When she finds a penny, she gives it to Kristy," he said with a guffaw, as if I was really stupid or crazy for doing it. The message: I was supposed to keep the pennies for myself. I didn't like his teasing, and I didn't like my feelings for my friend inhibited. I didn't know how to react--I was only six!
I remember that I broke out in a rash in kindergarten. My parents thought it was all the chocolate milk I was drinking at school, so they stopped buying it for me. I had to drink white milk, which was cheaper.
Oh, yeah, the rash went away, but I wonder. Did I feel deprived from no longer being allowed to drink that luxuriously rich, brown chocolate milk? I think fewer kids drank it than those on white. Did I feel I was being reduced to a lower class status?
Back in those days, my brother and I used to scourge the roadside for empty beer bottles--they were worth a whole 2¢ a bottle! We made it a bit like a competition, you know, to see who could find the most bottles, but we always split the money evenly. It was fun.
Now, though, such upbringing would be considered disgusting--little kids picking up dirty beer bottles for money. The act helped keep the roadsides clean, but didn't we have anything better to do? How about a roadside stand for people to pay for pick-your-own vegetables? My parents never encouraged us to do anything like that--they probably hadn't even thought of it, or maybe they felt we only had enough vegetables for ourselves. Who cared if the canned tomatoes in the pantry were over a year old and had to be tossed? We just did what we were told--children were to be seen and not heard.
~~~ OVERWORKED AND UNDERPAID ~~~
Unh, uh--never had one. Payment for working in the hot, summer field was ice cream, a watermelon, or a trip to the lake for a swim.
Consequently, I never heard of a budget, either, until it was too late. I did hear, from time to time, "we can't afford it" or "that's too much money."
The real clincher to my dilemma, Doctor, I think is when I heard my parents arguing about "where the money was going to come from." Those confrontations were never pleasant. Such times always gave me a bad feeling, like my mom and dad couldn't afford to keep me, and there was nothing I could do about it.
These heated "discussions" occurred moderately--not daily, but once or twice a week, it seemed. Both my mom and dad had loud voices, too. My dad never said very much, but when he did, you heard and didn't question.
The Catholic Church has a paradox. Life is supposed to be modeled after Jesus the Christ, who was born in poverty and never charged for his healing services. Yet, parishioners are supposed to support the organization and missions with money. The law of tithe was never discussed in my catechism classes, so I was in limbo about monetary obligations.
Furthermore, poverty was pictured as a virtue. None of the saints, to the best of my knowledge, except Good King Wenceslas--and even he wouldn't be a saint if it weren't for the poor--were in good financial standing.
Jesus' tale about how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven and his direction to his disciples to leave their careers and follow him also left impressions on me. I began to interpret high, or even just adequate, financial standing as "sin."
Even the Planets Are Against Me
The second house called The House of Finance in my case is governed by Aquarius, an air sign, which is not the best for attracting material wealth. I have a node, but no planets in this house. So, the pull or drive to have or attract money is minimized.
When I look back at my life, the case against having money seems overwhelming.
- guilt/shame when handling a large purchase on my behalf
- dislike of automobiles, a necessity for most workers
- expenses always equal or slightly higher than income, when I do have it
- observation of people worrying or angry about money
- often moving in my youth and giving away possessions to move
- a broken marriage due to money
So, what do you think, Doctor? Is there hope for me?
He looked at me through his spectacles, draped on his ears framing his graying hair and said nothing. ***
I wish to thank the Capuchin Francisans for the holy card of Saint Anthony. I used my Samsung cell phone camera and Windows Live Photo Gallery to produce the used image.
The piggy bank, couch, and no-chocolate-milk photos are my own work.
The link for Astrolab that I used for my chart is http://alabe.com/freechart/
The remaining generic images were obtained through Google search and edited by me with Windows Live Photo Gallery. I wish to thank beheaded1 (pennies) and shaker-1 (ice cream and watermelon) for their blog images. If I have used any image improperly, please contact me for removal.
© 2014 Marie Flint