A Collective of memoirs by J.S. about Trauma + Mental Health + Abuse + Healing.
#christmas #joy #purpose #rockbottom #depression #trauma #stars
Last New Years + Christmas was the absolute worst. My husband and I both felt so burnt out by life. We both said in unison "this does not feel like Christmas" and did not have a good holiday week at all.
We had just completely lost so much we had built during the 4 years of working together and were home for a few weeks scrambling before Xmas to get our kids a few things. We had no income that month coming in. We were super tight food shopping and in debt from our business. We had nothing to do but sit in our two tiny, side by side bedrooms we live in with our kids and DWELL on all we felt we had "fucked up".
Throughout our entire relationship, from the first few months until then, we had spent working together long hours in his family-owned business. He had chosen a partner with a child so we felt like a family instantly and then doubled in size by our first holiday. I was pregnant 4 months into dating him and gave birth just 2 weeks before Christmas in 2015.
The next two years after that we spent working constantly, as a family of 4 and then 5 when our second son joined the gang.
We got married quickly while pregnant with the second (while feeling in love but very overwhelmed by the lackluster celebration and fast milestones). Everything with us, though we wanted a family and to settle down so badly, felt rushed.
But we made everything work. Year after year we made big plans and did whatever we could to work them out. Both pregnancies, I went to work full time until I was due and then returned with an infant two or three weeks tops back to our office and factory.
By the end of year four, it felt like the roller coaster had finally made its' last, tallest DROP which drove us straight into the tracks.
Last New Years Eve I made a wish.
I wished, through tear-soaked eyes, to never have another holiday feeling the way I did.
I felt so broken and weak. So tired.
I felt like a failure.
6 years I had gone to college and then my plans did not pan out. 4 years I spent with a man I loved dearly, the only person to ever make me feel safe and loved ---> only to feel like I failed him and our vision of happiness.
I had pictured getting married and having babies to be these amazingly planned out events in my life. Void of parents to plan, support, or be there in love through those milestones ---> I OBSESSED over being able to do things "the right way" in order to have SOME control in my life.
In order to not feel like I am just meant for TRAUMA.
One year ago, I felt like such an utter disappointment.
Even though I had 3 healthy and beautiful children to be thankful for ---
Even though I had a loving and supportive husband by my side ---
Even though we had a roof over our heads thanks to his family---
I felt like nothing was enough or the way I had planned it.
The business was supposed to BOOM. We were supposed to BUILD a life. GET an apartment. or rent a HOUSE.
We were supposed to get a dog before babies. I was supposed to make a CAREER happen before multiplying my definition of MOTHERHOOD.
I never held out on the idea of a MAN swooping in to provide all. My girl had been raised to be happy in a one-parent home. To be happy and whole regardless of the size of our family.
But I did end up meeting a man while I was an independent and hard-working College Student.
So when I left school as my term was up, I did not FEEL like I was saved by a KNIGHT.
I actually carried around GUILT and SHAME for hanging up my single mom cape.
For getting pregnant fast. Even falling in love after previous people had just disappointed me.
Last year I cried because I had held onto years of guilt, shame, frustration, fears, and sadness.
I felt like I had let myself down.
But I was wrong.
All I was doing was releasing year's worth of Trauma, disassociation, and anxiety. Because sitting home with my husband last Christmas, though we had just lost everything, it was the calmest my life had ever been.
We had nowhere to "be"' anymore.
We had no clients to meet, no store to open, no people to call.
We had no appointments to drag our babies along to. No networking or events.
We could sleep in if we wanted to.
We could just relax if we wanted to. Not forever. But just for the holidays, before regrouping and figuring out our game plan for the New Year.
We could have used Christmas to just stay silently in the void, the quiet of snowfall and holiday vacation ---when the streets were deserted and the emails were scarce.
Instead, we cursed the days.
We said "I hate everything."
We said "This is the worst thing ever."
And so when the New Year came, I felt like I had to do something to FEEL relevant.
I started a mom blog to write about my experience as a stay at home mom.
Recipes. Toy recommendations. Cleaning without toxins.
And I EFFEN HATED IT.
That was the actual lowest point in our relationship, my parenting journey, and my time as a stay at home 28-year-old --- hiding away in our tiny little bedroom not even wanting to see the family we stay with.
I felt so worthless.
I could barely get myself to write content, and just obsessed with the graphic design + theme of my self hosted website for 4 months.
Self-loathing was gold and monochrome, with brush script font.
Because it was popular.
Because "likes" and "SEO". Because Aesthetic.
I can laugh now, but back then my days of designing were a sign.
I was spiraling.
As a child, I had used art + design for coping when my mom was super drunk and abusive. I hid in my room to draw and escape from the screaming + fighting that took place nightly in my home.
When I dove into art, it was a distraction from pain.
I wish now I had the power to visit my past selves, like the ghost of Christmas past.
To see the old me's and tell them the ways to get off their knees and wipe their tears.
I wish I could trauma train myself as a child to KNOW exactly why I did the things that I did. And rescue myself from all the pain.
It was not until I hit true Rock Bottom that I was able to SEE what I was doing.
What I was really feeling.
I hit a deep depression in May that made getting out of bed difficult. I was crying daily in the bathroom and my kids making any noise went through my head and right down my spine.
I finally decided to talk to my husband and explode all my thoughts + emotions.
All the pent up worries and pain.
My feelings of defeat and my struggle to feel OKAY each day.
I told him I felt guilty about having my blog because it was not what I really wanted.
I did not cook very well, I had no wisdom to impart on my readers about parenthood when my own kids made me cry, and I felt like a horrible wife.
I was having nightmares and insomnia back and forth which caused me to struggle during the day between exhaustion and body aches.
Christmas had sucked but my wish not coming true broke my heart.
I was getting worse, not better.
That month felt really hard. But being honest with him relieved me.
After releasing those emotions, 2 more events happened back to back that I was not prepared for. I cut out my birth parents from any form of contact after being randomly approached by each sending messages. And then a long-time friend did something that made me decide to cut off contact. I realized my boundaries with both situations and I HONORED THEM.
I sat with my feelings and realized that the release was exactly what I needed.
Release of expectations and guilt.
Release of shame and depreciation for the way my life went.
I also decided to stop viewing my struggles as an anchor that was sinking me.
I had the ability to be home with my kids for the first time ever. A supportive husband who was working on something new to help us get back up on our feet.
I was already blogging and had gained so many skills. I had already taken courses and learned how to build websites from our business plus had already invested in a site.
I made a conscious and split-second decision to get up off my @SS and change my life.
It took 2 days after that to build the entire site and write my first few published posts. I released something NEW on my social media feed. Jaded Savior <3
And it was all purple. All me. All "purposeful". Yet...
Unplanned. Unstrategized. Unexpectedly.
My life changed.
Within one month, I had visions of writing a book.
within 3 months I was planning a Podcast.
At the end of 6 months, I planned out a subscription plan for my site.
Just days away, Christmas 2019 is going to be a holiday for the books.
We did not know what the year would bring and were so focused on all that we lost ---- I am most excited to celebrate what we have now gained.
We have each found a career path that we really enjoy and are now following it -- all in.
Though we have to work apart, the distance is allowing us to each work on ourselves and our own health.
I am getting a grip on my mental health and showing gratitude for the amazing opportunities I have had in the last few months.
I would have never had them if I did not take a chance on myself.
It was not until I hit rock bottom that I had the opportunity to Rise.
My wish is different this year.
I now wish to keep focused on my personal growth.
I plan on taking on 365 days of sharing truths + tackling my healing by diving deep into who I am and what I am about.
I no longer want to feel paralyzed and heavy by what I have lost.
This year will be all about dropping the need to play connect the dots.
Having Trauma feels a lot like being in bed with chickenpox.
You FEEL IT all over (I mean everywhere) and you have this urge to take a sharpie and connect the dots.
You draw a line from one dot to another, to another...and soon your body looks like a sky of constellations, lighting up all the pain spots.
I am done with marking myself and feeling nothing but disappointment instead of being in awe of the art.
Of the number of times I have survived and then turned something ugly into something worth looking at.
Not just looking at ---> being absolutely crazy about.
That is how I feel now.
12 months later and I have found my "thing".
I also filled a jar this entire year with little notes marking the highlights that happened. <3 And the moments I felt grateful for.
I cannot wait to sit with my kids and husband in front of our tree on Christmas Day and read the notes out loud.
I am reclaiming my emotions and feelings about myself. "I love everything". I love the abundance that is coming into my life.
The amount of love and support I have now that I exist in my truths and my struggles.
The amount of help I am getting now that I have revealed my needs.
I did not realize this "too late" but right when I needed to.
But I want that to be different for you.
I hope you will hear this sooner, from me.
That you need to sit with yourself --- here in your rock bottom.
And you need to PAUSE to stop your doubts and guilt. I want you to listen not to your head or your emotions, but your heart.
Where does your heart gravitate towards?
What is that THING you do want in your life? That passion or idea that you can faintly hear beneath the cluster of F*cks you feel life has tossed on top of you.
Make today that "pick yourself up and try again" day but this time with something you find yourself in awe of.
Like a constellation of magic and light that calls on us to be MORE.
<3 J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #boundaries #holidays #trauma
This holiday season, you might be thinking:
"God. This year I need to set boundaries" as you catch your breathe and grip for another panic attack.
Maybe you just got off the phone with a parent or someone in the family. You have confirmed plans that make you feel uneasy.
That punch the wind out of you.
Maybe you will have to see an Aunt or Uncle who growing up always made you feel pathetic or like a problem.
Maybe there will be too many people drinking and being unfiltered or just one drunk relative who pushes everyones buttons but especially pushes yours.
Maybe you feel unwelcome and like a stranger even though it's a place you have known most of your life.
Or maybe it will all just be hard.
-----> The holiday season.
It brings anxiety and depression in my stocking.
Worried I wont be able to play santa because I dont have enough to give.
Worried I will disappoint people or my own kids.
Worried when I leave the house because god so much can go wrong.
My anxiety goes through the roof when we get in the car and travel through icy roads. As I clutch the passenger seat and close my eyes, I feel sick from the motions and the noises.
I feel anxious about being in other peoples houses.
I have panicky thoughts like:
■ Did I dress ok?
■ Will my kids behave?
■ Will anyone get drunk?
■ Do I pass as happy?
■ Will anyone notice we couldn't bring much?
■ Will we be able to sneak out early?
Of course I hide during the holiday season. I want nothing more than to be in my little room back home.
Because so many things trigger me.
The loud screams and laughter.
Loud bangs or noises from the busy road outside.
People swinging their hands around and animated as they speak.
Sharp carving knives at the table for the big turkey or brisket.
The big, heavy tree filled with glass keepsakes that the kids keep running right up against.
The cat that bites and is not afraid to beat someone up on christmas ;)
Should I wear shoes or take them off?
Will my kids break anything or make too much noise?
Will the families clash?
Will anyone ask me what I do for a living?
Worse...will no one ask me a gosh darn thing?
So many things will inevitably trigger me and I will need to visit the bathroom at least 4 times to calm down.
FACT: I wear outfits that are super easy/practical to maneuver and I bring an extra outfit in my purse.
I'm too afraid il spill something or need to use the bathroom or have a kid RIP my stockings.
I'm too afraid the outfit on my body will let me down in some way.
Anxiety wraps my body round like a warm, itchy sweater.
And I keep saying to myself, "gosh darn, M F boundaries. Make em. Keep em."
But then I don't.
I let my imploding party of 1 hang tight in my head.
I make sure I don't inconvenience anyone else.
I make sure I barely eat or touch anything of someone else's.
And I've wondered where all of this has come from.
Why I'm so "crazy" during this season especially.
To be honest, it took until recently to "remember", even though as a woman with PTSD from abuse ---> I'm a walking shutterfly album of my worst times in history.
I realized that every year as a CHILD since I could remember, I was made to be seen and not heard.
I was made to feel grateful someone even wanted to be around me. Welcome me.
My mother made sure I never felt welcome, but instead a burden.
If I took a full plate, she would say that could have fed someone else.
If I dressed any way, she would tell me things like "you gained a little weight, I see" or "I wish I was as full as you and not so skinny." [I was less than 100 lbs until age 16].
My father did not have much money or anything to give. He made sure to give me experience gifts.
Like hanging out late nights at Starbucks or 711 with HIS friends. Til one or two am.
Like going to get toys at the hobby store. "You don't mind picking things out now right?" And then pushing me to pick out what he desired to play with or show people he got for me "on Christmas".
When I became emancipated from my parents and was staying with family, I felt so out of place and not because of anything ANYONE else did.
Everyone was loving and happy to have myself and my daughter around.
As a single mom of 17, I felt awkward wherever I went.
I didnt want anyone to ask me anything.
Not where the dad was....
Not what my plans were...
Not what I "do now"...
Not any small talk about the weather because they don't actually care what I am up to or how I am getting by.
And then there was the year that no one invited me anywhere. At last, I was just on my own. So I took my 6 year old to NYC on Christmas Day but train and we spent the entire day walking in matching red peacoats and fuzzy hats.
Being alone for Christmas was the most simple and beautiful experience I ever had.
Even though I was in a giant city, in the cold, with little money and no one familiar around me ----> I had zero anxiety that day.
I felt in charge and in control. I felt safe while abandoned.
All this time, through rediscovering my insecurities and pain points..
I thought I needed to just set boundaries.
The real conversation that had to be had was with myself and all about self worth.
I never felt worthy enough to make demands.
I HAVE ALWAYS VIEWED ME HAVING PREFERENCES AS ME BEING DEMANDING.
What a sad thing, to blow out your own desires because you think needing something sets fire to the lessons you learned as a child.
That quiet means humble.
That subtle means poised.
That starving means manners.
That uncomfortable means polite.
I've had to REPARENT myself as the solution.
Boundaries are now looking like LOVING MYSELF.
Finding out what makes me feel GOOD and what makes me feel BAD.
Then copy and paste.
Copy and paste.
Copy and paste.
This holiday season, we ironically are not going anywhere.
Due to unexpected events [and nothing bad happened] our usual annual plans are canceled.
So this time I am going to be sitting with myself, doing some intentional journaling and processing.
Im going to flip through my memories and rewrite them.
I'm going to redefine myself, honoring my needs.
But I'm also going to do the harder thing.
I'm going to take anxiety off.
And examine what needs to be done by me in order to not wear it so willingly.
I'm going to set boundaries with myself and also have open conversations with my partner.
For the first time ever actually.
Because anxiety is anything but silent.
And I've sat quiet for far too long. ♡
J.S. Jaded Savior
#poverty #christmas #gratitude #joy
I've been writing a lot about my experience with poverty as well as my fear of joy.
I want people to understand the emotions that come with being "chronically needing".
Notice how I said NEEDING and not just POOR.
The first 5 years of my twenties, I spent as a very low income single mother in college. I raised a little baby for 7 years total alone while juggling full time college courses, living on campus in a small apartment [$1400/mo] and paying my own groceries/books + our needs.
We needed things. Not just the regular items a college kid needs but actual home items. All year round items. All year round groceries. Toiletries. Diapers + baby wipes + baby products. Shoes. Coats. All weather wear [here in NY].
I was out on my own very young, sans parents. Lived with family by the grace of goddess and then out on my own completely. I was always in need.
And that brought a ton of shame.
So much, I still wear it even in the last almost 5 years of my twenties.
I have bargain and clearance shopped at all times. Because I feared full price.
I have saved all my coins in jars. Because as people wrinkle their noses to pennies and dimes, I know those cover expenses when you add them up.
I have sold items, sometimes that I really loved. So I learned not to get attached.
Buying things for myself was hard but over time I made more money at my job, got nice tax credits back and finally decided to treat myself sometimes.
When I graduated school, I sold it all.
Every favorite dress. My favorite framed pinup photo. My pots and plans. My christmas tree. My little tv. Most of bellas toys.
And I felt really bad doing that.
I was about to enter a relationship with someone. To have a family with them. I'd met my soulmate and wanted to be married + have babies.
But my gut instinct was to burn bridges. Get rid of everything. Start fresh.
An epic rise out of the ashes, again.
Now I feel shame for those choices.
I didnt have to strip myself of the joy I'd mustered up the courage to give myself over the years.
I just did instinctively.
Then i spent 4 years working my butt off along side my hard working husband. And entrepreneurship handed our asses to us.
We also realized many things that were not a good fit for us.
We realized we needed to shed, strip, start fresh.
Again, burn bridges and then rise from the ash.
So this year we did just that. After 4 years of working hard instead of efficiently, we got rid of everything to try and pay off debts. Start from scratch. We are still paying it all off.
Only now, with very very tight income. Very very little wiggle room. Very very tight quarters to live in. And with other people, not on our own.
It brings a lot of shame.
If we did not have this roof over our heads because of someone else, we would not have a place right now.
We had 2 babies along this journey. We welcomed our first baby boy our first Christmas together and our second 18 mos later. Those babies came out of love.
But do you know what people say when you have kids and are poor?
"Why did you do that?"
Why did we do this?.....
We fell in love.
We had a plan.
And now, we are forming new plans.
Because shit does not always work out how you plan it to.
What gratitude and joy I have though when I look at my babies faces. All 3 of my kids are beautiful, smart, kind, creative, and best of all they SWEAR I am the best mom. Little ole me.
My husband is my best friend and my partner in everything. We have trusted eachother and held eachother through all the obstacles.
We feel in need.
But it is embarrassing to tell people we need anything.
Surely, we work.
Surely, we are capable adults.
The world is not built for people in need.
We are called "needy" if we ask. Or mocked. Or shamed. Or guilted. Or indebted.
So when someone gives to us out of the kindness of their hearts, I am a hot mess of tears and gratitude.
I have racing thoughts of how will I ever pay them back?
And it's funny, but when you are in need for so long you actually need things people do not even think of.
I am in desperate need of a little alone time.
The luxury of little breaks here and there. Friends to go out with or an errand to run.
Because I'm home in a little space with 2 toddlers all day + every day while I work on my blog. Then my 12 yr old with ASD comes home from school and needs me. I am needed.
But sometimes, I am needed by me.
It's a luxury to serve myself.
Next, even though I need clothing and a coat and socks and underwear like any other person ----> I want to feel fashionable. Sensual. Stylish.
A person is still a person.
When you are homeless or poor or low income, YOU STILL FEEL IN NEED OF BEAUTY AND FASHION.
And even if the most elegant top and trendy shoes cost a dollar, if you are seen looking good while being poor it is shamed.
Without even knowing where the items come from.
Without knowing my jewelry is from dollar stores or my coat was a hand me down.
You might shame me for looking or feeling good.
Money is a piece of paper and yet our worth is dyed right into the print of the serial numbers and letters across the bill.
Our very worth is mass printed and distributed ----> with people caring very little about what a prized possession money can be.
For someone who is poor, money feels like its everything.
THE END ALL.
You might not realize how hard the people around you work for money.
How they trade hours with their loved ones for it.
How they climb through mobs of people to spend it on gadgets and toys.
How a name brand or a label or a print or a color of an item can make someone seem rich for owning it.
And no one wants to look like they are in need.
They want to look like they have it all.
When you are in need, it is not just material but psychological.
You want comfort. You want happiness. You want fun. You want experiences. You want emotional connection. You want to feel like you are not stuck. Or lacking. Even if just for an hour.
When you gift someone something because they are in need, consider THEIR needs. Depending on the situation, a grocery gift card would be amazing. But also, things that bring joy. A fancy chocolate. A candle. An essential oil or a first aid kit. A gift card for coffee. A nail kit.
There are a lot of things people NEED but also want. Just to feel human. And loved.
I am teaching my kids something I find very important about giving and receiving.
Give with joy.
Give for joy.
Receive with joy.
Receive for joy.
For not the price tag but the transference of emotions and worth.
We feel worth it and we give worth to others when we show an act of compassion.
Compassion is giving a woman $100 for groceries and an extra $5 coffee card JUST FOR HER.
Because you know she feels like absolute poop while struggling. And a little trip for a coffee might be the ounce of human experience she is craving.
When you think about doing a secret santa or a white Christmas game with your family, also consider this.
PEOPLE WITHIN YOUR OWN FAMILY ARE IN NEED.
And if you could give someone close to you a CHIP IN towards their car battery, towards groceries, towards tree trimmings, towards home items, towards a human experience ....
Imagine with any amount or THING or EXPERIENCE you give, and with joy, that person feeling such a DEEP gratitude for it.
For exactly what they were in need of.
I get a bit frustrated every year at Thanksgiving because I hear mindless small talk and see posts even about Thanksgiving being the "family time holiday" --------> but many people do not truly engage with one another.
It's just "you'll never believe what suzie did last week " or "I hate my job. But you know, its work" or "Hows the family by you? ---> ehh you know same old".
NO TODD. WE DON'T KNOW.
I wish families and friends would gather around this time of year to be vulnerable and honest.
To say what they NEED. To say what they DREAM of doing next. To speak about their goals. To go around saying what they are thankful for and then ask what eachother could possibly use for the following year. Or the present time.
What could you use to end off this year well, Uncle Todd?
"To be honest with you hunny, my coat is so worn and it's so cold outside when I shovel."
What I would do is get uncle Todd a warm robe and slippers. And pay for shovel service for his house that year.
Because I want to give joy.
And I can only imagine the joy he will feel warm and wrapped up on the couch to relax while something he always does gets taken care of.
A little taste of being cared for.
This holiday season, I URGE YOU to care for someone else. Give joy. With joy.
And gain a new emotion you never felt before. While witnessing it first hand on someone else's face. Caused by you.
That is love.
That is compassion.
That, my friend, is the poor mans' Christmas.
J.S. Jaded Savior
And I want everyone to know it.
Because I know my truths will set me free.
I write about it on social media because this might resonate with some of you and validate your life experiences.
Since I was born, I was in the poverty line. It did not help that my parents were 20-something undiagnosed mental drug addicts who dropped out in high school [both in 10th]. So we lived in section 8 housing and could barely afford to survive in it.
My mom remarried not too long after the divorce, marrying "up" as she put it which meant sort of middle class? Because he had enough with his parents help to buy us a house to live in. But we lived with very little and have to behave like we were poor. That is because my mother did not function well since she was always on something and spiraling.
I left my house at 16, after becoming pregnant with a h.s. boyfriend. No one wanted to be in the picture, as a baby could ruin their lives. I retreated to a relatives house to live with them senior year of h.s. in a new place and for the first time learned what it meant to be cared for, both in shelter/needs and emotionally.
I moved 3 years later when I finished community college, to move to a University campus. There I was able to get a job and go to classes full time. I qualified for some scholarships and student loans. I spent 4 years total which ended up being $75,000 ish not including those scholarships and such.
A debt I still owe but need to defer every year.
I met my husband senior year of college and began a relationship that turned into my now little family of 5.
Together we ran a business for 4 years that needed tons of upfront investment and left us BROKE. Even after leaping in 100% together, spending my pregnancies working + no maternity breaks. Even after no holidays off besides Thanksgiving and Christmas day [though we still replied to emails]. In the end, for all sorts of reasons, we failed. It failed.
This year, we each got into new ventures. We have been living with his family all this time, pleading with the universe for a miracle in our success. Begging for a life purpose + our goals to be achieved.
We have adopted all the successful habits, the ones we learned off YouTube. We have become obsessed with our new passions, at the expense of not spending a lot of time together. We talk daily still about our dreams and goals. And we keep ourselves accountable.
But still we struggle with debts. No time or money to date. To shop. We can barely cover food but are thankful for that. In the moment, meaning real time, we have NO money to move. But we want to and need to desperately. To have our own space as a family, with our 3 kids. To not have to rely on or live with someone else.
Because that is HEALTHY. NORMAL. TRADITION.
To meet, fall in love, move in /get engaged, get a pet, get married, get a home, get pregnant, get amazing careers ---> somewhere in that mix to discover what we love to do.
I have never made it to the tradition line.
My life was chaos from the moment I entered it and I am just lucky to even be alive now. I am lucky my kids were ever born and that I met the great husband I have now.
But if we did not have the family we stay with, we would have nothing right now but a few outfits and ...well that is it. No wifi or service so our computers would mean nothing. Our phones would be gone. We would have to apply for social services programs and hope something helps while we find the most available jobs. Most likely just him, so I can be with our kids.
You get the picture right?
We have money trauma, poverty trauma, are both first generation to attend a college or start a business from scratch.
And it is hard each day we know we have to live this way even though our dreams are so big.
I do not want to ask my husband to spend any money we do not absolutely need to spend. Any time I can sell old clothes or any belongings, I jar the money.
When we go grocery shopping I have tunnel vision to stick to the very cheap and healthiest basics possible to make sure my kids are fed nutritiously. We do not do snacks or juices or water bottles. We literally cannot afford it.
We tried to give ourselves each a tiny little allowance just to buy something we like once in a while. A coffee. Or an item we have wanted. Our date time is holding hands on the couch at midnight to watch Netflix.
But my kids, they are so happy. In the tiny bedroom they all share, in the small area we have ----> they have no clue what it means to be poor. We do say NO alot. But more in like an "ok, put it on your holiday list" as we both look at eachother with a knod.
Right now I'm home with our toddlers while my girl attends public school. We are AGAIN starting up business opportunities after some research, but now in our passions. We know that means our dreams will take a little longer to be achieved. But that is ok...for now.
I tell you this because we do not have the Instagram lifestyle so many people see. We do not attend events or go away. No vacations. No fancy parties. No splurges.
But life still goes on.
We still make do. And teach our kids other values besides owning objects. Like making friends, playing outside, reading free books we get from the library etc.
We find ourselves craving things because we feel like everyone has things.
We rate our worth often based on traditions. Based on what the neighbors have.
My husband doesnt really use social media but I dwell in it.
I window shop here, for a lifestyle I hope to someday have.
I'm caught between a rock and a hard place here.
If I want to have things, it is a bit materialistic, no?
If I WANT a modern country home with a rustic appeal. To decorate it head to toe... to be the entertainment home EVERYONE wants to come to. The game night house. The house all 3 kids have slumber parties in. The dream.
Its frivolous? Ridiculous?
I don't know all the things people say about it.
I just know that when a poor person gets told it is GOOD to live like a minimalist anyways, they are ignorantly missing the trauma that comes with NOT BEING ABLE TO have anything.
Because it is not a simple choice to become successful.
If you are poor, then you know it. The many pieces that move. Daycare. Bill's. Schedules. Hours.
I am so supportive of my friends having businesses.
But I literally cannot buy any mascara, candles, earrings, or sweaters.
I cannot spend that if it means I have to ask my husband to buy less chicken this week.
And I cannot join your team if it's a start up cost of 2 weeks groceries.
Some MLM reps come on facebook and say joining is the miracle a poor or struggling person needs.
And I am not about to question everyones speeches on success.
Maybe for some people, it is the answer.
But from my POV ----> it is triggering as all fuck to be messaged and provoked about joining teams or making money.
To be told it's the answer, when it might not be... its manipulative for me. I am not saying they are trying to be. I am letting you all know that my trauma and my triggers make me feel that way.
We are private about the new ventures we are in because of trauma too. Because we have thought somehow bragging or mentioning it will JINX us right back into poverty.
I feel it more than my spouse does.
That black cloud. That doomed to fail feeling.
As I adopt spiritual + manifesting ideas from my Facebook feed ---> I use them with caution. I want to study and predict outcomes.
Again, I am triggered and fear nothing will work.
"You have to believe it or it will not work."
----> k. Thanks.
Brb. I'm going to go let my trauma and anxiety know they need to sit tight and STFU so they do not become the debbie downers at my fullmoon circle.
The point is, being low income ---> being below the bracket ----> being unable to afford NY living [ $2000+ apartments, $300+ insurances, $400+ groceries per month....
It is all hard.
We have to fight our own fears daily and keep trying. We cannot afford in any way to give up.
But we have also had to release the idea of tradition. We have had to let go of the idea of success we held so tight onto that it nearly suffocated our relationship.
We have had to adopt survival skills + keep our low levels of optimism appeased by having dream boards and enlightening conversations.
I realized lately, as I have gone deeper into my healing from trauma, that my biggest problem is I think Poverty is an antonym of Success.
I think that having nothing means being unsuccessful.
I also think I currently have nothing.
I have also realized how much I have.
An actual little family that I made with someone I love.
A lot of talent, skills, and ideas.
A partner who has the same dreams and goals.
A society that now makes it possible [with technology and modern tools] to become self employed, which then means self sufficient.
And we do already have freedom. Even though we feel stuck at the moment. What are we stuck in?
I have had stability in a partner and got to raise my babies from home in general. Now full time. Something I never had as a teen mom who's baby went into daycare at 5 months old.
I have the ability to have success in the "money" sector of this complicated talk.
But I already HAVE success in many personal aspects.
I have been so blinded and overwhelmed by what was around me ----> by what I was lacking <----- that I did not realize I have a pretty effen amazing list of great things.
So I leave you with this.
So many people are low class. Struggling. Fronting online. Acting like they have a lot. Showing images that are not even their own. Making websites and insta feeds full of backgrounds of perfection. Using backdrops in their messy home.
And shit ---> do what you gotta do.
I love aesthetic. I LOVE all the pretty lifestyle things I see every day.
BUT I no longer want to count my worth on dreamboards.
I want to look in this tiny room, at my babies who are happier than ever.
I want to remember, after a childhood of abuse and teen years from hell ---> all of that led me to this abundance I have now.
And no mantra taught me more than "Love what you have, not what you want".
A lesson I hope to hold onto no matter what comes next in our lives.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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