Money. The cost of things. budgets. Math. Numbers. Money. Money. Money. Cost. Cost. Cost.
Money has always been my kryptonite. Money causes me more anxiety than anything else in my life. Money has been used as a means of control and ‘forced’ love for as long as I can remember. The cost of things in my life has always been high.
I learned as a young kid that nothing was free. Even gifts came with strings attached. As I grew older, I thought I outgrew it as I became more independent…. I was wrong. The connection between love and money just became more entangled and more complex.
Throughout my marriage, my insecurity with money was exploited until it was no longer an insecurity, it was a disability.
I was told over and over that I was “bad with numbers” “horrible with budgets” “didn’t know basic math” “bad with money” until I believed it to my core. For over 20 years, I turned over my paycheck every month to my family and lived on $100 a week to feed my kids and me. When the utilities were disconnected, time and time again, I was told (and I believed) that it was because I was spending all the money and we were, in fact, broke. This was not the truth.
When I had my first meeting with a divorce attorney, I explained my financial situation. The look he gave me is seared into my memory. Then he said….”You work full time. You have money that is yours. You are not broke. You are in a financially abusive marriage.” I will never forget that moment. It was then I realized that my marriage was costing me more than money. It was costing me my sanity.
The days, months and years that followed that moment have cost me so much more than money. DO NOT get me wrong….Divorce is NOT cheap nor easy. However, it is WORTH IT! The additional, ancillary costs are what people do not count on nor realize until later.
My divorce has cost me dearly over the years. It has cost me my children. My children have been hurt deeply by the divorce and me….because I could not be the mom they needed or deserved for a while. It has cost me friendships and relationships. Friendships and relationships that I realized were not built to withstand something as devastating as divorce. It has cost me jobs. Jobs that I realized were not meant for a lifetime but meant as a stepping stone to something better. It has cost me my sanity and patience at times. My sanity and patience have been tested over and over during this process leading me to be more self aware, self confident and tolerant of myself and others.
While the past few years have cost me a great deal, they have also given me so much. I have gained so many things in this process. I have gained new, and stronger, friendships that I know can withstand any storm. I have gained newfound confidence in myself and my abilities. I have gained new, more adult, relationships with my kids. I have gained the realization that I always knew math, I just needed a deeper understanding of finances and financial literacy…something that no one ever teaches you. I have gained the knowledge that independence is priceless and it is something I will never again give away freely.
My new life cost me so much. It cost me my old life with interest. However, each day I am thankful I made that investment. I made an investment in me because I realized I was worth considerably more and deserved far better than how I was being treated and where I was…in a miserable, abusive marriage. The benefits from that investment far outweigh the costs. Each day that investment pays off in spades!
How much do you value of your life? What investment are you willing to make? What are you waiting for? Invest in yourself….it is an investment that ALWAYS pays off! You are WORTH IT!

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