The lessons I learned growing up were all about making sure you pay your bills and be a good citizen. These are great values to have and teach children. As a child, we need to learn right and wrong and it is all very black and white. Life, however, is all shades of grey.
When I married Paul he was very wealthy, and we decided to purchase a home that was a little larger in a different town. At the time we thought we could afford this home. It was larger than any home I had ever lived in and I was very proud of it. On the contrary, all I ever heard from my parents was that this house was too much for kids our age. My parents felt we were living beyond our means, it didn’t start that way but it ended that way.
When our income fell, I couldn’t tell them that. I would call my mother and talk about the struggles of being home with the children and the question of what our financial plans and means would always come up. My parents were trying to help but the focus was always on what I didn’t have and what I couldn’t get. I wanted to talk to them but they pushed me away by constantly judging what decisions we were making.
I wasn’t practicing at that time to be home for the boys. My parents strongly disagreed with this. They were pushing me to work. At the time, I felt they were looking for the doctor in the family and not what would make me happy. I wanted to be there for the boys, and didn’t want anyone else raising them. Raising my own children was and still is very important to me. The phone would ring constantly with people wanting to be paid. Creditors would call 5, 6 and 7 times a day, every day including Sundays. I was inundated with trying to buffer this stress from the boys and dealing with the creditors harassing us. This would go on for years to come.
All I wanted was a safe place to go, to talk about how I was feeling. I couldn’t talk to Paul, he was unreachable. I couldn’t talk to my friends because I was afraid of how we would be judged. I couldn’t talk to my family because they were so concerned with telling me what I was doing wrong that they did not leave a door open for me to safely vent my feelings. Those were very lonely years for me.
It was at this point that I began to feel the effects of negative thoughts so intensely. It would be a few years more before I learned to separate myself from the negativity in order to move beyond.
I can only control myself and my own reactions I can’t control anything or anyone else. That is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned from my life.