Spend it before someone takes it

I once knew a woman who couldn’t seem to hold on to her money.  Whenever she got any, whether it was her paycheck or a win on a lottery ticket, she spent it.  It wasn’t always frivolous spending, sometimes it was necessary.  Her car would break, her children needed something for school or another problem that happens in life.  She met her bills monthly but never had anything left over to save.  She began talking to a therapist about this matter because she felt it had something to do with how she thought about money.  She was asked to talked about her childhood and the first time she ever had her own money.  Not money that her parents gave her but,  money she had earned.  She recalled her first job.  She was 14 years old and worked in a restaurant on the weekends.  Her father told her she had to start buying her own food and to not take anything out of his refrigerator unless she had bought it.  She began buying her own food and putting it in his refrigerator.  She would work long hours on the weekend and when she would come home, the food she bought was not always there,  her siblings and her mother would eat it.  She stopped putting things in her fathers refrigerator after several times trying to tell her sibling and mother that what she bought was for her to eat because she could no longer eat her fathers food.  The request went on deaf ears.  She had developed the attitude that if she didn’t eat what she had bought quickly she would not eat that day.  She was also expected to allow her siblings to borrow things from her that may never be returned or may be returned soiled or torn.  As she got older she also noticed that her younger siblings were treated differently then she had been.  They were allowed to eat out of her fathers refrigerator even though they were working too.  It was only her that could not.  When she graduated high school she decided to go to college and so she signed up for full-time classes and she worked full time also.  She had been going to school for about a year when her mother decided to leave her father.  Her mother waited to tell her father until she came home from her late night class.  Her father blamed her for this occurrence and told her to get out of his house.  She understood why her father thought it was her.  She was the only one in the family that stood up to him when he was drinking.  Her mother expected her to stop going to school and help to support her and her younger sibling.  She was expected to give up school and other things that she had.  Her other siblings were not expected to give up anything.  She did, she had no choice.  She had no where else to go.

When we examined where the idea of spend it, use it, do it before someone takes it from you come from, it led directly back to her family of origin and the fact that they did not respect her or what she had accomplished.  She was determined not to allow this to continue for the rest of her life.  She worked really hard to stop the thought process that led her to use, spend or give up what she had accomplished.  She needed to slow down her thought enough to realize what she was thinking and then to stop the thought and act in a different manner.  The first step is to relax enough to recognize the patterns in her life and to do something different.  The following link will help you to relax enough to recognize patterns that you want to change.

Here is the link   Enjoy!


Published by


I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s