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I’ve come here because I’ve realized that I have a probl

I’ve come here because I’ve realized that I have a problem. I don’t know if I feel alone or insecure or both but I always shop to make myself feel better. I can talk myself into buying tons of clothes I don’t need for any reason— dressing the part at work, having something to wear to a particular event, etc. It sounds very cliche but I think it’s because I don’t feel like I am enough. I don’t feel like I am as successful as I wish I were at work, I don’t feel as connected with my partner as I wish, and I’ve always had feelings of not having enough. I have always been surrounded by people who have more, and most are genuine friends but I feel like after my parents divorce (more cliche) I was slapped with the realization that I did not or no longer had as much. My dad always liked to say “we are not rich” although he lived insanely well, while my moms living conditions worsened because of a political situation that cost her her job and savings as she was about ready to retire. My brother and I help my mom—gladly because she has given everything to us— but we both struggle to flourish. I make decent money but In between mortgage, helping my mother and other fixed expenses I should be more careful. I have a wonderful bf who although comfortable, has issues with money. He has bailed me out of credit card debt but holds against me that he is the one investing in home improvements. I have little or no saving capacity and when I have extra, I find something to buy... when I don’t, I rack up my credit cards...by the way I am sorry this is so long.. I feel like I need to get it all out and come clean. Whenever my boyfriend asks me if I have debt on my credit card I lie, hoping to resolve it before he notices, but I keep shopping. I shop online and I shop when he travels for work, which is very often. This weekend I did something insanely stupid. While he was away I turned in my lease and took out a new one, that alright I can pay, puts me in a position in which I cannot save. My lease was up in two months, but I was lured by the “good deal” and took it. I think it was Also a small rebellion Because a part of me resents him for having more money and for being angry that he has to spend more on the house. I chip in what I can but some of it is not visible to him. He pays for the handymen, I buy pillows and rugs and things to make the house look nice. I don’t know. I feel like I struggle to be perfect. I surround myself with nice things to feel better—all the stereotypes. Now I am in a real pickle because I need to return that car and be more reasonable. I wanted to feel in control and not like I was weaker financially and I made a horrible decision. I gave up my car with two payments pending—which I will pay with no car, and took a new one that I can and cannot afford. Tomorrow I will try to return it (I have had it for less than 48 hours) and hope I don’t lose more money on it. I was irrational. I did it all on my own while he was away. He was furious when he found out and said something that really struck a chord. How will we ever affo d children if to you have nonsavngs? Those things all crossed my mind last night while I experienced buyers remorse but I had decided to hope for the best (lotto) and push them down. When he said it though, everything really hit home. I am extremely immature about my finances. I think I have trouble accepting my situation and taking financial responsibility. It’s as if I don’t want to face reality. I feel terrible. This has been useful in unveiling a lot of hidden feelings in me but I realize I need help. My problem is deeper than self control. There has to be more that is driving me to spend so irrationally. I feel alone in a corner and I need help. Any thoughts are welcome.

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 3
[10]
Mar 27

OMG it's like I wrote your post 20-30 years ago! I so relate, my dear, and unfortunately many years later I am still an overshopper - just obsessing about different things now. I know it's not about "financial books" for you. It's deeper than that, it's visceral. A deep, urgent need - like hunger. My parents also divorced when I was young. I went through so much of what you did. I don't know what the answers are, or why we behave the way we do. What I do know is I don't think you're irresponsible, it's not as easy as that, you're being tremendously responsible where it counts in your life with your mom. Kudos to you. I think you sound like a strong, brave, and good person who is trying her best with her mom, with her BF and with herself. Hang in there. Let's try to get through this together and find better answers for ourselves than shopping. Or self loathing. You may not like yourself at all right now. But I think you sound pretty great. Maybe the first step is to stop all our self blaming, and start forgiving ourselves. Today we made a mistake. Tomorrow let's try to do better. We can only begin with tomorrow.

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sallytht's picture
[8010]
Mar 29

@wellred Very wise words! It's no good to regret what we have already done, but each new day gives us an opportunity to start turning things around.

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