It is probably pretty obvious that I have been pretty anxious lately. Since Nick's paycut I have been stressed over our finances, depressed that I can't come back to Michigan over the summer, and scared over what is going to happen to my family when I go back to work (not to mention the fear that maybe I won't remember how to be a dietitian). With that being said I have just been worried sick about things, worried beyond what is reasonable. Waking up in the middle of the night with a panic. In the middle of cooking dinner my stomach starts flipping and I get that cold sweet and just filled with fear. . . . all of this is unreasonable. My husband does have a job. The pay isn't minimum wage. No - there isn't anything extra but hopefully we can stay within budget and then we should be OK for a little while. So I tried to really figure out why the fear. . . and here is what I have come up with.
As a child I was poor. Most of you probably know that. When I was really little and living off and on with Grandma it really didn't bother me much. Things were pretty stable. Grandma was the most amazing Grandma ever. We didn't have anything extra but most of the time I didn't know we didn't have anything extra. Later when I moved to Detroit and then eventually to Manton we were working middle class for a while. It wasn't so bad at that point. . . . then things changed.
It is hard to describe my upbringing. There were parts of it that were very good. . . and there were parts that weren't. I was never beaten or sexually abused - so I know it wasn't that bad. Things became unstable. Happens in a lot of homes - I know - but it was rough. The house we were living in was falling apart around us, literally and figuratively.
We weren't really poor at that time, my father had the businesses started and my mom was working at a factory, but there was no money to spend. I don't want to get into full details about our family's dirty laundry because that is in the past and I have no bad feelings towards anyone. It was what it was and I understand where it came from - but it still effects me. The home we lived in had a water issue so we had no running water. Then, the septic system went. Finally, the furnace went. We lived in a home in Northern Michigan with no water or septic, and a very inadequate heating system (usually just the electric kitchen stove). On top of that we had no warm clothing to wear - there wasn't money to be spent on that. There was little to no food to eat. We were dirty and stinky. We were cold, hungry and thirsty. We lived this way for years. . .
Added to that was the fact that my parents weren't happy together. The way we were living was stressful and you could see that the stress effected their relationship. Yelling fights every night. Once every couple of weeks we would load the car up with our stuff and head to Grandma's for a day or two. There was always car problems that we had to worry about. . . . .that is kind of it - there was always a pile of things to worry about from the cars that were crap, what were we going to eat next, would we be warm, would we have to leave (or go back) today, would there be another screaming fight tonight. . . all that stuff.
Added to that was the fact that I am me. I never really fit in at school. When I was at school I would worry about my brother - was he OK? Did he have enough to eat? I liked to do things that most other kids didn't admit to liking (such as reading a book) and I had no interest in sports and parties. My focus was to get good grades and get out of that. I didn't want my kids to ever know that feeling. None of this earned me a plethora of friends, in fact I only had about three or four friends. I did my best to not be seen because most of the time if someone said anything to me it was to make fun of me.
Then we finally did leave. . . and certain things got a lot better. There were no more fights. There was actually food to eat. Other things were harder. We were homeless for a while. We lived in a tent, with a friend of my mom's in the UP, my Grandma, and a hotel. I changed schools 5 times in 3 months. It was during that time that these feelings I am feeling today began - the inability to sleep, the extreme worry that everything I loved was going to be taken away, that those I loved were going to die somehow . . . . pure panic like now.
I know logically we are not where we were when I was 15/16. I know it isn't that bad at all. We have a home. We have food. I have four wonderful kids and a great husband who I love so much. Even with all of that though the panic that it is all going to be gone just comes out of the blue. Pure panic. Just like I felt when I was 15. The pain in my stomach is always there. The worry is always there. I'll say it - this isn't the mom I want my kids to experience. Panicking anytime I have to spend any money. This is effecting my kids and I don't want that. They don't need that. . . .
I need to find a way to convince my mind that I am no longer the 15/16 year old girl that everyone saw as dirty white trash. We will be OK. . . because we will be . . . but if I keep doing what I am doing right now it will destroy my family and I don't want that. . . .