Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Black Tuesday

Ok, I hate to admit this about myself, but confession is good for the soul. I’ve been rather foolish during the last few months. I have been reckless with my finances. How did it come to this? I don’t know exactly, but my vanity has increased as my credit card debt has. The shameful thing about this is that it is exactly what my parents have done with their finances. I swore that I would never do what my parents have done, and I find myself paying debts with more debt. My parents have never been good with money. My father openly admits his weakness and is too paralyzed to do anything about it. Meanwhile my mother spends and then buries her head in the sand, and then when things start to put a pinch on her lifestyle, she blames my dad for not being balanced. Fortunately for me, I only have myself to worry about. I have a few debts looming in the background of my life that I really don’t want to deal with (I am burying my head in the sand like mom). Last year I got into a bit of an accident while running. I split my knee open and had to go to the hospital for numerous stitches. The scar is pretty cool, but the bill isn’t. Insurance was never billed and I have basically just eaten the $990.00 on my own. I could try to get my insurance to pay, but I’m too stressed about everything else to confront the “politics of getting things my way.”
I also have several bills left over from this summer –Comcast internet for one. It’s a damn screw job is what it is. When I called to get my service disconnected, they told me all I had to do was to come into the store, return my cable modem, and my service would be discontinued. I left the modem with my roommate and he had it returned (and I trust the guy). However, Comcast is still charging me for services I never received and they are saying that the modem was never returned. It adds up to a whopping $250 that they are charging me for service I never had. I have called them so many times too… Finally I called up yesterday and literally yelled over the phone at the lady there. I was so angry I was sweating. She really got it bad. It wasn’t just because of the $250, but because of everything. It was a real emotional workout for me. I emptied my frustrations out for nearly 40 minutes. Nothing was solved.

And, then the last major thing, I owe my parents $2700 that I borrowed from them this summer to buy a car. Borrowing money from parents is also something my father does to his dad. He was never much of a father to him and he has a lot of money –A lot. I think it’s my grandfather’s way of saying “Well, I know I wasn’t much of a father, so here is some money.” I planned on having a bigger paycheck at the end of the summer than I actually ended up receiving, and well, they are expecting some money and I don’t have it. I already paid off my $3500 credit card debt with my student loan. I could take out more student loan, but how will I finance next semester? This is so stupid. The main reason why I am so short of cash is because I waste it on crap –also a habit of my parents. I always criticized them for being so foolish with money, restaurants here and there, movie night now and again, new furniture for the house, and a variety of other comforts. They entitle themselves to the very best. So do I. I tell myself that I deserve more than the standard of living my budget requires. In a fit of depression I go and buy crap; whether clothing or a night on the town, or some activity with someone. I hate it. It’s as if I were trying to prove to others that I have money to spend, and I am reckless. I still owe $1000 on my American Express card and my habits haven’t changed completely. I keep telling myself that everything will be ok and not to worry. But I am banking on the future, and assuming that I can make ends meet. I could tell my parents but that would be so humiliating for me. I am independent. I like to think I am anyway. My parents wouldn’t trust me like they do anymore if I was to default on their trust. Maybe in some perfectionist way, I tell myself that I am beyond the problems of my parents. I am the golden child that can make things really workout while everyone else mires in their problems. In so many ways I am the embodiment of my parents –the good, as well as the bad. I thought I had left a lot of my perfectionist ways in the dust a long time ago, but maybe I have held on to a few of them. I feel stupid. And I, like my father, am too paralyzed to really find a solution… I just sit and wait for some sort of Black Tuesday to arrive. My credit is good right now, but for how long can I escape reality by fudging debt from here to there?

1 comment:

Samantha said...

It's good that you're recognizing the problem now. Sounds from your post, as if many of the problems you're encountering are learned behaviors. Debt counseling agencies are actually pretty amazing sometimes, and usually free of charge--I think there's a similar thing on campus. The biggest drawback you'll encounter is your distaste for allowing strangers to know personal details of your life.

Best of luck to you.