Adventures in Ruminating: Why I’m Scared of Spending Money
I am still obsessing about the money and food stamp situation, but I understand why. For years while I was working, it seemed that I was faced with one emergency situation after another, and it was always an emergency I couldn’t afford. I lost my keys once and didn’t have money for a cab ride home or even a locksmith to let me in if I ever got there. I had to rely on a stranger’s help. I’ve been stranded in bad neighborhoods and been harassed on the street because I missed a bus. I was unable to pay bills after being forced into taking time off for surgery, and I was forced to return to work prematurely because I had no other means of support.
One day I received a parking ticket because I didn’t have enough money to park at school but I was very sick and could see the campus doctor for free. My car broke down on the way home and I had to sit around for five hours, crying and coughing up blood in a parking lot, and I didn’t have a phone because it had been cut off for nonpayment. When someone let me use their phone, I realized I couldn’t even afford a tow truck. I was unable to pay my electricity bill for months when I had pneumonia, and I was unable to get to work a few times because I didn’t have $2.50 for the bus (which was the fare for a ride from my old apartment to my last job, not counting the return trip), and my car was still broken down (I couldn’t afford to have it fixed). The only vacation days I have ever taken at any job were spent in a hospital or at home resting after being in the hospital.
I was employed during all of these incidents. I never enjoyed the money I did have because I was always in a panic over the money I didn’t have. This is the first time since my life effectively ended in 2003 that I’ve ever had a savings account, and I’m clinging to it for dear life. The only reason I have that money is because a judge determined I was disabled during a time I wasn’t receiving benefits. I’m terrified of not having it because I know what it’s like not to have it. I’m still preparing for disaster. I just want to hide it away forever because I can’t visualize any situation that involves me in any job besides perhaps being a barista at Starbucks, where I would eventually run off in tears. But whatever, Starbucks rejected me when I applied, anyway.