Belief System Formation about Money and Worthiness


Belief system about moneyIt was bad enough that my parents divorced, but then they started fighting about child support. My mother had custody and my father paid child support. My mother said she didn’t have enough money from my father; my father said that he couldn’t afford what he was paying.  No one seemed to care about the difficult emotions that I was going through as a child whose parents had split up.  They only seemed to care about what it was costing them. 

Imagine the message I got as that child. I was 13 years old when the child support argument started. The message that they communicated to me was that my father thought I was a financial burden. My mother thought I was a financial burden too.  No one thought I was “worth it”.  I felt as though suddenly everyone wished I was never born because now that they divorced, no one wanted to be financially responsible for me.

My needing to be supported seemed to be causing a lot of fighting and anxiety and fighting and anxiety went against everything that I had EVER learned about survival.  As a survivor I lived by the rule “don’t cause fighting or anxiety”. Now I was caught in the crossfire of this divorce and it seemed that I was causing a very big problem. 

I started stealing my clothes within a year of their separation.  I would do almost anything not to be a burden to my parents. Stealing was like “my contribution” to helping out with the financial burden that I was. But stealing also made me feel really bad about myself and added to the growing body of evidence that I was unworthy, just like they communicated to me.

I still remember all the things my mother would say about not having enough money.  I remember the way she said “your father” as though it was my fault that he was the way he was. “Your father” was an accusation but I wasn’t sure what I was being accused of and I concluded that I was just not worth the burden that she had to endure over this whole thing. 

I got my period for the first time at school.  I was in grade 8 and I was 13 years old and it just happened that I was going to stay at my father’s for the weekend right after school that day.  I asked him if I could have some money so I could go to the drug store. I was so embarrassed; I didn’t want to have to tell him that I had to buy pads.  But he would not give me any money unless I told him what it was for.  The whole thing was just so humiliating because to me it was a reminder that he already paid enough child support and he didn’t want to give me a few dollars for anything else.  I felt like a beggar. I felt like an orphan. I felt like a NOTHING and I was reminded of how alone I really was.  I was 13 and other girls shared that “event” with their mothers but I had to tell my father who was really only concerned with what it was going to cost him.  I was reminded of all the feelings of abandonment that I ever felt. It was painful. It was one more time that I was discounted.

When I got home from that weekend, I told my mother that I had gotten my period and she was angry! SHE felt ripped off that she didn’t’ get to share that “special moment” with me. She continued to remind me of how hurt she was over it many times throughout my life.  I couldn’t win. No matter what I did it was always wrong. I was always in the way and always a burden. I couldn’t even start my period at the right time. 

People wonder why kids run away from home when their parents split up and get divorced but the truth is that rarely are the kids supported emotionally through any of it. Most kids feel like the divorce had something to with them and their failures.  I remember telling people when I was an adult that divorce is hardest on the parents! That was the belief I had struggled and succeeded in accepting. I don’t believe or accept THAT anymore.

It was communicated to me that the divorce was devastating my mother, but that it was not really my pain because I would still have a father but my mother would not have a husband and so as with everything else my feelings didn’t matter and I tried to convince myself that I was wrong to feel anything but sympathy for my mother.  I reprimanded myself for feeling that I had been rejected by my father too, telling myself that I was “being selfish” I told myself that this was “Not my pain” and think of what your poor mother is going through. I told myself “don’t be so self centered Darlene; I don’t think that this is about you ~ stop making this about you!”…

But the truth is that it wasn’t me that was making it about me. THEY kept making it about me with that fight about child support. And neither one of my parents ever tried to talk to me or help me with all that I was going through as a child of parents who were getting a divorce. They discounted me and my need for emotional support and reassurance so I discounted my needs too.  They discounted my need for financial support so I discounted those needs as well. It was communicated to me that I didn’t deserve to be taken care of properly, emotionally OR financially. Those beliefs didn’t resolve just because I “grew up”.  Even when it became my own responsibility to take care of myself, I had never been taught or shown how to do that.  My “self value” was not known to me.

This ordeal with the ongoing child support argument between my parents contributed to the already formed belief that I was not equally valuable to everyone else in the world and also thing led to the foundation of my belief system about my self worth when it came to money. (Spending it, making it; all of it.)

Another snapshot of truth;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

76 response to "Belief System Formation about Money and Worthiness"

  1. By: GDW Posted: 19th February 2013


    Your family does sound a lot like mine. A lot. I also get the shaking- I am curious- has it ever gone away? It is really a terrible, embarassing symptom of PTSD for me. Like the body saying “you are not safe- hide”. I also remember always being accussed of stealing grocery money. I think once I did pocket about 5 dollars for health supplements, because I had so many health problems and he wouldn’t take me to the doctors I wanted to see – thought could help me. But even when I didn’t all those other times, I mean wow. I lied like once when I was 17 and now at 23, I am forever a liar. When he lies, I am the liar. When others tell me honesty is my biggest quality, I am a liar. He also insinuates so many crazy things: wanting clothing and food: greed. Flirting even when you’re a virgin: slut. And so on.
    Really, the man is just nuts. Its too bad people don’t see it very easily. He’s so arrogant he’d kill us all before he’d look bad in public.

    I remember the whole “Get a job!” screaming lecture from a young age. In a small town, with no car, we didn’t live in town or near public transpo, no job experience or connections, my sister was 14. How could she pay for clothes, lunch money? I don’t blame her for stealing. And my father had the nerve to flaunt his wealth.

    But yeah, when it comes to tough times, I would NEVER betray my family. I would never let my daughter go hungry. I would never yell at my teenage daughters about how much money I made and get angry at them for not making the same amount- THOSE ARE KIDS, NOT YOUR MED SCHOOL CLASSMATES YOU #%@%#$!!!! (trying so hard not to swear) I just don’t understand how a father can see his teenage daughters as competition, especially in the financial arena? Sheesh, no wonder he didn’t want me to go to college.

    When you can’t go to family, that’s when you know, they are related to you by blood and blood only. Those people are not family.

  2. By: GDW Posted: 17th February 2013

    Hey! I’m just posting so I can subscribe to follow up comments! I fully intend on reading what everyone has to say once subscribed!

  3. By: Kathryn Posted: 13th February 2013

    HI GDW,
    You are not like your father at all. Everyone goes through the healing thinking this. Its a normal stage. I did. There is a post on this site about it. I still try to catch if I have any abusive behaviours from copying my parents but deep down I know I am a good person. Abusers/Narcissists are not able to question themselves and analyze like you are.
    Your father is a positively evil man. Similar to mine. When I was recently in financial stress after divorce, he would not give me any money until I threatened to kill myself. I wouldnt have but apparently I had to go this far to get a measly bit of help. I have not asked them for money since birth! And my father certainly can afford it. It hurts so much to know my father would not support me. Maybe this is why I end up with men that will not support me financially. It is incomprehansively sad my father and monther refuse to help in tough times. Its so painful to know that no one has your back, when sh..t hits the fan I am going with it. There is not going to be mom or dad there.. or anyone the world which is a looking at it from my childhood eyes and them being the world. This is why I feel so alone and financially unsupported and shakey. Among many reasons..

    At around 11 years old I used to go food shopping for my mom. Cross roads etc my peers were not allowed, and get to the supermarket on foot. Then I would carry bags and bags of groceries back. And then I would hand my mother the change. And then I thought I dam earned some change just to buy myself gum!! a fricken peace of littel gum! So I ask her if I can have the change, not the bills. And she snaps.. hell no who do you think you are. When you are competent enough to have a job, which is never , obviously you are not competent enough to have a job now, then you can have your own money, which is never because you are not compatent enough for a job or handling money. You certainly dont deserve any change. You just going to waste it. You waste everything, you have no idea about money and you are going to waste it, like everything else. Why would I give you any change to waste on apeace of gum. What a stupid idea, and a waste of money, it only proves you have stupid ideas and dont know how to manage my hard earned money. my father and I work so hard for this money and you want to just waste it on gum, what is wrong with you, seriously who do you think you are. You have no clue…
    ..From then on I bought gum without permission, while shaking ofcourse. All of this has certainly impacted me. It seems I have not been able to save a dime until I started healing. I am finding out just now that I am good with money. It also impacted me treating myself with my money. I would spend too much on clothes, but my room is bare of furniture. I still barely have furniture and things I can treat myself with. My belief system of appropriate reward with my money is so screwed.
    Then the feeling of competence, being worth more money at work.. doeant end. I am finally finding out that I am very smart and deserve so much better. I deserve lots of money for comfortable life with all the perks normal people have.. like furniture!!

  4. By: GDW Posted: 12th February 2013

    Hi Emerging from Broken Friends!

    If anyone else has any feedback on how to deal with the “What if I am just like my abusive father in denial?” question in my previous post- I would love to hear it. This is a huge challenge of mine right now- it seems to be stopping my progress and I feel so bad, like I’m lying to myself, despite all the facts I point to re: abuse.

    Thanks guys.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 13th February 2013

      Hi GDW
      This is a huge topic! I have written about it in this site lots, but can’t remember where exactly. Something that helped me with this problem was being told that abusers NEVER question themselves. (I wrote a post with that title if you google it) and the other thing that helped me was looking at motives. Is your motive for any of your actions for ‘control’ or is it for good, for trying to resolve relationship or for resolving problems. Looking at things through the motive grid helped me a ton. One time my husband declared that he didn’t see the difference between me and his controlling father. (one of the most hurtful things he ever said to me) and it was the motive examination that helped him to see the anwer. He had confused the fact that I was insisting on having our relationship a different way, and to him he saw it the same as when his father always communicated that he wasn’t good enough, didn’t do anything good enough etc. When Jim understood the motive difference, things got a little easier. Now, having said that, abusers will tell you that they are ‘doing this for your own good’, but that is a lie and the truth leaks about that are very easy to see. (as in my current post where I use some of your comments)
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: GDW Posted: 12th February 2013

    Oh, I have question Darlene.

    What I am struggling with right now is genuinely wondering if it IS my fault.
    My logic goes like this: “If my father is a bad person and he has convinced himself that he is good, then how do I know I’m not BAD too and convincing myself I’m good?”. How do I know that I’m not exactly like him?

    This is always the thing that rears its ugly head whenever I tell myself it’s not my fault. The whole apple doesn’t fall far from the tree thing. I am making progress with the blame- but this thought is stopping me in my tracks.


  6. By: GDW Posted: 12th February 2013

    Hi Darlene! I saw your article with my posts 🙂 that was cool, and pretty validating.

    Oh my god this hits home. I actually asked my father once why he had children if we were such an expensive burden and he answers, “I don’t know….” That just says it all. Comments like those are intended to make a child feel guilty.

    I too remember stealing and feeling like I was helping out my already high-income family.
    My sister has had to pay the price too, but I do think it’s hard for her to go there. She knows that being hungry and cold and getting molested are the consequences for standing up for yourself in our family and I don’t blame her for being afraid. She could literally die if she voices an opinion. The fact that she had to work 3 jobs while doing well in school full time and care for my brother at age 19-20 sucks.
    Especially when I think about what my mother contributed- nothing, emotionally, or financially. She got to stay home and sleep in, and go shopping. Gross.

    I made less Dr. appointments than I should have and NEVER asked for new clothes. I remember that our school bus driver’s daughter had nicer clothes than I did, which I thought was odd, since I always thought doctors made good money (later, I found out they do! haha). My sister had nice clothes, as she was a talented shoplifter.

    My father alternates between “You took all my money” in reference to times when I didn’t, and “You never took our money” in reference to times when he offered me a pittance after he got embarassed after other’s in the community found out after the consequences of him not supporting me in any way– (that a doctor’s daughter was hungry, molested, essentially homeless, not going to be able to afford college). Its crazy. I remember after a year of eating one meal a day, he put $200 into my account and left this angry message on my phone about how grateful I should have been. I just threw the phone against the sidewalk and it smashed. I hadn’t seen a doctor in a long time, and I was cold almost all the time, owned one pair of pants. I was over 18, but the economy was awful, I had no emotional, educational, or job skills, and he had connections but when I asked for help with that for a job, he said, “Get a phonebook, my dad lived in the depression and HE got a job”. Wow.
    Needless to say, even when I was working, I didn’t have enough to pay rent. But it was my fault for these living conditions. In tough times I saw families work together and grow closer. However, in my family that was not the case.

  7. By: Steph Posted: 16th January 2013

    Money was just another tool my parents used to control me. From an early age I was exposed to my parents’ worries over their finances, a constant reminder of how much of a BURDEN it was for them to provide for me and my younger brother. We lived in a house on 50 acres (rural farm and woodland, some leased to the farmer up the road for growing crops), with two cars, an aboveground pool, and a small motor boat for trips to the lake. My dad was the sole income earner while my mom was a stay-at-home housewife. It seems to me we lived a solid middle class life, but my dad would frequently rant about us being “one step away from living in the poor house!!”

    When we were growing teenagers my mom would get angry about how fast we went through groceries. We were never denied access to as much food (i.e. snacks) as we wanted, but I felt GUILTY for my teenage appetite every time my mother bitterly complained about the grocery bills.

    Money was also used as an excuse to not let us do things. For example I wasn’t allowed to participate in summer soccer because all the trips back and forth to the school would cost too much in terms of gas and “wear and tear” on the car. Instead I spent the entire summer bored half to death at home – it’s not like I had anywhere else to go since we lived miles from town and there’s no bus system out in the country. My parents had a carton-a-week smoking habit and my dad drank beer (lots and lots of beer), so I guess they knew what their priorities were with respect to discretionary spending.

    I spent most of my twenties paranoid about money, and it didn’t help that I started out with $20k in student debt and entering a very low-wage career path (environmental/wildife work). I was so scared I would be a slave to debt like my parents were, I anxiously deliberated the costs associated doing anything “fun.” It took YEARS for me to realize that having life experiences (enjoying music, going on a road trip, eating out with friends) was something I deserved, not to mention it enhanced my opportunity for social interaction, and that moderate spending to enjoy life was not going to put me “in the poor house.” What a waste of my early youth when I should have felt free to have fun with my peers!

    I wonder how much my parents’ thinking has affected my choices regarding my own career. Sometimes I sabotage my success with the negative thinking I learned from them. They trained me to handle setbacks as emergencies, accept unfair treatment, and fail to recognize or pursue good opportunities because I think I’m “not qualified” (not worthy). My salary at my last job was at least $5k below the industry average for my type of position in this geographic area (I didn’t negotiate when I started, and since then I’ve done a TON of salary research). The department I worked in was an absolute disaster and the company got rid of my entire group. I saw it coming but didn’t get out in time, in part because I believed I shouldn’t “give up” and I thought I had more time to find something else. I have been unemployed for 6 months. When the time comes, will I accept whatever I can get because my CORE BELIEF dictates that’s what I deserve? Or will I be able to overcome my tendency to UNDERVALUE myself and my skills to insist on a fair wage/salary, reasonable managers, and opportunities for professional growth? (Unlike my last job situation, and a few others before…hmm, a pattern emerges). Is it even a good idea to practice asserting myself in this way during a weak economy in which so many employers are looking for overqualified people willing to accept low pay?

    My mom’s only job ever was as a home health aid when I was in high school. She became inspired to help seniors after caring for my grandfather when he was dying of Parkinson’s disease. She completed training courses, got a job right away, and then quit a few months later because the money she made wasn’t “worth” anything when combined with my dad’s income. Never mind the fact it got her out of the house. Never mind I thought the whole point was to help people, not to make money that would supplement my dad’s income. And so much for the opportunity to role model goal setting, perseverance, and following your passion/motivation. “What’s the point?” she would say. Just what your teenage daughter needs to hear.

    Then there’s my dad who spent his entire career paranoid and absolutely convinced he would lose his job, get screwed by the union, lose his retirement/pension to mis-management, etc. He started as a mechanic in the glass container industry (imagine an alcoholic making beer bottles all day). With no college education, he worked his way to a corporate level senior engineering position – this might be the only thing I’m actually proud of my dad for. Last I knew he was making $90k/year (and in a relatively low cost of living area) yet somehow continued to insist he was on the brink of financial ruin and would never be able to afford retirement, plus any day the company was going to replace him with “some college kid.” When the company finally did eliminate his position (most likely due to changes in business needs), they valued him enough as a long term employee to create an assistant plant manager position for him so he didn’t have to choose being layed off or forced into early retirement. They did not cut his pay, even though the new position was below his salary grade, plus they covered relocation expenses! My dad took the new position while at the same time making a huge fuss over “losing” his job, and evidently felt this was a good excuse to drink more than ever before. A year later he was caught DRUNK on the job, and even then he couldn’t get fired because his state considers alcohol abuse as a medical condition. Thus he went on long-term disability and kept his company health insurance, which covered the cost of a detox program. In order to return to work he had to successfully complete follow-up rehab, but he quit going to AA after just a couple of meetings. A year after that he ended up hospitalized for serious medical problems related to his drinking and was diagnosed with alcoholic dementia.

    My mom recently did their estate plan. She decided she wants me to assume power of attorney for her and my dad if she ever becomes incapacitated (she already has POA over my dad and wants me to fill in as his secondary). Of course she didn’t discuss this with me ahead of time – one day out of the blue I received a packet of forms from the attorney in my mailbox. My mom wouldn’t or couldn’t explain what I was expected to do as POA and said I should call the attorney’s office. I spoke to a legal assistant who was very dismissive, telling me “oh, this isn’t something you’ll need to worry about for a long time” and “I’ve never had someone ask me these questions before.” I finally asked her to specifically walk me through the first steps. The way she put it, I would need to drop everything and fly out to their house (they live about 1600 miles away) so I could sort through their mail and files, make calls to banks and insurance companies, and basically try to make heads or tails out of their financial records so I could pay their bills and manage their money while under legal obligation to act in their “best interests.”

    My parents never taught me anything about money, not even how to balance a checkbook. Money was always something to fear, obsess and feel helpless over. Yet also not something to discuss in an intelligent, practical way with your children. On the other hand my mother thinks it’s okay to ask me detailed questions about my finances, like how much money I make, or how much my house is worth, or how I’m going to manage getting my bills paid while I’m unemployed (not that it’s any of her business, but I’ll be just fine because I taught myself how to make a budget, spend wisely, and prepare for emergencies). Not only that but I have been in very limited contact with my parents for years, and now they expect me to take responsibility for their affairs with no explanation. What a twisted situation! I have decided to NOT sign the paperwork.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 17th January 2013

      Hi Steph
      Yes, all of this stuff (parents choices and messages from parents about money or whatever) goes into the grid of the way we view the world. It was important to me to look at the truth about all those messages because some of them were very false and in my way.
      p.s. Good for you deciding not to sign the papers.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Doren Beard Posted: 22nd October 2012

    Oh. This is a doozy. Basically my parents communicated to us that money was more important than we were. A lot of my most stinging memories involve money.

    Both parents shoplifted and at about 10 I remember items being hidden in my coat in a grocery store. I also remember the check-out and feeling scared to be caught. I started swiping candy bars from convenience stores and was lectured by a policeman one night as I lay in bed. That’s a “bad kid” memory, there’s still residual guilt. That tells me they got on my case about it. My parents had no understanding or desire to understand modelling behaviour. They would have felt no responsibility for what I did. A few years later me and Mom were in K-Mart looking at Barbie accessories. I wanted something and she told me to just take it, so I did, I ripped open the package and we left. I didn’t really want to, I had sense that it was wrong. It took me years and years to realize the message was I wasn’t worth spending the money.

    Keeping a record of the pop he bought me, with tax, Dad showed me the paper when I was a teenager. I don’t think I could believe my eyeballs. With TAX ffs? I felt like I meant nothing, it was disheartening. Talked about me paying for my own meals when we ate out started at 14. He made good union money, but that didn’t matter, he wanted me to feel as devalued as he did as a kid. That I was a financial burden, and me getting to working age meant he could start to recoup. Unfortunately by 16 I had no self esteem and failed at getting a job. I’ve rationalized that with Dad’s own poor and abusive childhood, he knew no better. He knew better. He made a choice. Couldn’t be bothered making the right one.

    I can reframe memories now…one is of having to take envelopes to Avco Finance by myself, never really understanding what this was about. One day I asked for some money so I could buy some comics, magazines, candy. Dad gave me money but I always had to make other pit stops, errands. Now I can see, the message was I had to be useful somehow, you don’t just give your kid money for nothing in return. I remember this day, having to drop off the envelope at Avco first before going to the store for my treats. And how the receptionist looked at me weird, and I thought it said something bad about me. Course now I understand she was wondering why a kid was being sent to do this.

    I never have worked much in my life and have a hard time with money. It slips through my fingers and usually has gone to addictions. But I have hope and belief that this will change as I heal. I never lose sight of getting better. I am special and worth it. It will take a lot of work, but I am so glad I’ve lived to see the fog lift, and I owe it to myself now.

  9. By: dave Posted: 26th December 2011

    Darlene – thank you so much for your feedback. As an adult no one really give us “permission” to spoil ourselves or spend $$ on ourselves. I have been afraid that at times i would just go on a crazy shopping binge and spend $ i dont have. I am going out today to look for a remote controlled model airplane that i have wanted for a long time ! Thanks Darlene !

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th December 2011

      That is awesome Dave!
      Enjoy your gift to yourself! You deserve it!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: J Posted: 16th December 2011

    Hi Amira,

    Back again! See how far I get this time. Actually I was looking for the comment that mentioned getting my own s**t sorted before looking for love (didn’t remember it was from you).

    It’s been playing on my mind quite a bit actually. I think because it’s not what I want to hear, but in some ways what I’d suspected all along myself. The sticking point is that I can’t EVER imagine being at a place where things are “sorted” enough to try. (And seeing as I’ve already checked out of life so much, even if I somehow did arrive at that place in the future, I feel like I’d be such a recluse that it’d be a complete lost cause anyway).

    Ok. The move positive way of looking at it that has occasionally presented itself to me would be to have my own LIFE first. (As in, away from parents, own space, free to make my own decisions for first time ever [apart from my own mental s**t, which I’m sure isn’t going to just magically disappear], build my own routine etc). And up until about a month ago, that seemed like a total pipe dream (own place) that was never going to happen, so maybe I can just try and adjust to that first and see what happens.

    It f**king sucks though. Another sticking point that’s popped out is loneliness.

    Ok, brain’s stuck now — what’s the balance between trying to take action (eg meet people) to combat loneliness, and not seeking relationships? (I know you said “serious” relationships, which is probably the key, but again I get stuck. I mentioned somewhere that I went on my first date in over 2+1/2 yrs recently, and think I talked about having to basically convince myself that I wasn’t as f**ked up as I felt, otherwise I wouldn’t have ever been able to pursue anything. Not sure if I mentioned that, having done that, pretty much instant obsession reared its ugly head. The 2-3 weeks that I was seeing that as an option felt like f**king years. Always waiting for a reply etc. So, that was less than positive in terms of having to realize where I’m actually at.

    But it’s SUCH a f**king tightrope between that and utter hopelessness at ever finding love (or even friendship) again. I guess when I say friendship, I mean the kind that’s actually there for you, and is positive etc. I get so stuck on the few people that actually return my calls, feeling like I don’t really want to be friends with them in a lot of ways. (Maybe if I become able to speak my truth it’d be better. Cos then at least I’d know one way or the other; depending on how they react to my truth)

    Ok. Deep breath time (yet again. This seems a very common theme in my posts). Suppose I could see that as a positive (actually being aware enough to realize I need to slow down).

    Kinda feel like writing about my extremely confused views of women. But kinda not too (gonna be pretty hard to do. Also at least somewhat aware of not wanting to upset anyone). Oh well, give it a shot.

    talking about porn use next few paragraphs

    So, I know I’ve mentioned my hardore porn use (arguably addiction) here before. Not sure if I’ve really talked about the effect I feel it’s had on my view of women (or perhaps my view of myself). My f**ked-up, repressive, guilt-ridden christian upbringing is tightly interweaved here too.

    Ok this line of thought is bringing my brain to a screeching halt. (The time being near dawn again probably isn’t helping. Also having bought a case of beers for first time in ages won’t be doing any favors). On that note, I’ve always been scared of becoming an alcoholic. Feels like it’d be so easy to do (become one, not be one). Jumping over to eating disorders, I’ve discovered that if I have food in the house, I eat it (usually at night when I can’t sleep). Same tends to go with alcohol. But I suppose I can at least slightly console myself that I bought 24 beers, and if that was true I’d have none left.

    So, women. Having “discovered” internet porn around age 13-14 (thanks for nothing, father dearest), I’ve had more than half my life to become numbed to it. Have definitely noticed the whole “escalation” thing (things that used to disgust me now turning me on etc). Haven’t wanted to admit it, but have also noticed erectile troubles without porn. (I found “psychology today” [I think] articles talking about this as becoming common among my generation. It said that stopping internet porn use will fix the problem. Unfortunately (for me) it didn’t mention anything about repression/religious guilt over sex. It mentioned guys stopping use then finding their sex lives greatly improved after a while. But I think for me, it’s the very strange double standard in my mind that finds “real life” sex (at least thinking about people I know doing it) utterly disgusting, yet has spent over half my life watching people I don’t know doing it. There’s also the whole “comfort factor” thing involved. (I can go for quite a while without it, but recently I’ve been trying to simultaneously cut out sugar, porn, and come off meds, all while confronting one of the biggest fears of my life [living alone]. Been ending up pretty much thinking it’s probably better in some ways to spread the dissociating out between various behaviors. Not sure I even really mean that; I guess more that I hadn’t really been paying attention to how much I was just zoning out of life (or how many methods I had of doing so). And I put so much f**king pressure on myself when I try to do something. Even if it’s a “good” thing I’m trying to do, I don’t think crushing myself mentally is a healthy way to accomplish good things.

    I think what I was trying to get to before was the fact that I think I’ve had to “train” myself to switch off normal emotions etc when it comes to porn. (By which I mean, even if you’re not actively looking for the really f**ked up stuff, if you’re trawling the internet you’re going to come across stuff that makes you feel sick one way or another). So I guess it seems like I’ve had to completely objectify women in that area. But in real life, I’m mostly scared shitless of women. Or, f**king hate them when I think they’re trying to control/manipulate me. (My mother, ex’s in some ways). But in terms of friendship type relationships, I guess I’ve always kinda tried to be the “gentleman” type. I no longer really know if that’s how I actually am, or if it’s just been my means of hoping to distract from all the porn-related s**t inside.

    F**king hell this is hard to write. Can’t imagine it’s much fun to read either, so apologies for anyone who is. I guess I figure it’s probably good for me to try and get this shit out rather than just holding it in all the time, so I’m gonna keep trying.

    Actually, to kinda tie in to earlier paragraph, I think because I was mostly too scared to even kiss a girl growing up, it kinda feels like a very thin line between attraction of any sort, and sex (at least in my mind, if not actually). And I don’t know what to do about that. I guess I figure, adult relationships will eventually lead to sex (unless choosing not to for religious reasons etc), so kinda don’t want to repress myself even further. There’s part of me that would love to feel able to just aim for one-nighters, but I can’t see how that would actually make anyone happy. And in my case, it’s a moot point anyway. (There’s an automatic belief for you. Unf**able.)

    Ok. Apologies. Feeling pretty dark and pessimistic. I don’t know how “normal” people think about sex, or deal with the fact that they think about it. (As in, if they’re going on a first date or something). I don’t want the fact that I’ve been hooked on hardcore porn to mean that I can’t ever have any form of intimacy again. But feels like that (not to mention all my various other mental dysfunctions, current life circumstances etc) DOES mean I can’t. F**king depressing.

    Ok. Can’t seem to get out of this low patch so I’m going to stop.

    Hope everyone’s going well. Hopefully I’ll feel at least a bit better after some sleep.

  11. By: Jen Posted: 15th December 2011

    The thought occurs to me that if the operating costs of this site are $300 per month, you might receive more donations if you put a “chip in” donation style button on your side bar. Then people can see what the monthly goal is and how close you are to meeting it. I believe that most internet travelers just have no clue what it costs to host a site nor the time it takes to moderate and keep it operating properly. Most especially when you are so personally involved in it.

  12. By: Mimi Posted: 15th December 2011

    Can I just give a big WOOOOOHOOOOO for your ranking among websites!! You are amazingly giving and have made a difference for so many people. That’s reflected in your ranking. You’re an Icon!!

    I didn’t necessarily expect you to lay your operating costs out publicly, but, I did somehow rationalize this ~ if I give you $20 and your costs are $40, then yahoooo; you’re halfway there, and my contribution really made an impact. If I give you $20 and your costs are $4,000, then my contribution didn’t make a dent. I guess maybe that discouraged me on some level too. Can I afford to make a really big dent in your costs, and if not, should I even bother? I have to admit, I’m a very “all-or-nothing” thinker. That likely applies here too.

    Thank you for addressing the whole facebook thing. That scare I had really did freak me out. My sister’s name isn’t that common, so I just about threw up when I saw it right after my post once. And, the comment was so short, I could interpret it many ways. UGH, whew, I’m so glad it wasn’t her!!!

    So, I feel so much better about it now. Thanks for hearing my concerns and responding.

    A little money coming right up!!
    love and blessings,

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 15th December 2011

      Hi Mimi
      (your comments made me smile! Esp. the Icon thing.. LOL)
      I understand that all or nothing thinking! I am so glad you feel better now. Thank you for your gift! I appreciate your feedback so much too.
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Jen
      I don’t want to put any kind of pressure on anyone in anyway as far as donations go. Even if I put my operating costs out in public, (using a button like that) that won’t help me with the income part of my problem, because I still work at least 8 hours a day on EFB. So I am just going to go ahead with my other plan. I really appreciate your suggestions and all your ideas and insights. Thank you so much. This whole thread has been very very helpfuf for me!
      Hugs, Darlene

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