Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
Oh, my friends. A few things, in this intro, before we dive into the heart of the matter (my financial rage, if you will). Firstly: I’m so sorry blogging has become sporadic of late. I do truly miss it, but keeping up with it right now is just too much. I’m not sure when that will change, if I’m being honest. I do have a ton of posts I want to write! I’m just not sure when that’ll happen. Thanks for your patience and understanding. 🖤
Secondly, this is post that is just…filled with a lot of rage. It’s very personal, about an unexpected financial blow that led to an intense panic attack and panicked calls for help on social media. But also a lot of kindness that made me cry just as hard as my overwhelming anxiety did.
Thirdly, and more importantly: Free Palestine. While I am ranting about my financial rage in this post, it is a very personal problem. It pales in comparison to the active genocide against Palestinian people. And while I do need to write about the personal–as it’s part of my processing–I cannot without also calling attention to what’s going on globally right now.
So, as you may of saw on my socials, one of our cats had to go to the vet, due to some stomach issues. He gets these semi-regularly and we thought it was because he likes to chew on leaves my dog brings in when we’re not looking. Apparently, the vet thinks it might be a more serious condition we were unaware of. So they’re keeping him overnight and hopefully we’ll get him home with a diagnosis soon. Good vibes appreciated.
It also came with a $1300 estimated bill, which will most likely only increase whenever we get a diagnosis.
Pet and medical emergencies go on my credit card. I’ve tried, for years now, to pay off multiple vet visits and ER trips that went on that card. Yet its balance has only climbed, despite my best efforts. I didn’t have wealth growing up (in fact, we struggled for most of it). So I’ve always had very complex feelings around finances. It causes me a lot of anxiety. A lot.
Apparently, I am becoming more and more accustomed to succumbing to bouts of financial rage.
Sources of My Rage
There are a few main sources, when I sit down and think about why I’m so angry. Which usually causes me to spiral in a whole different way. Here’s just a few of them.
Unfairness and Lies
Growing up, it’s not surprising that my parents wanted a better life–particularly financially–for me and my siblings than what we had growing up. Especially compared to what they had growing up. I do not come from a line of wealth, but one that climbed slowly out of poverty. My parents’ generation was in the era of a college education was your ticket out, your guaranteed success.
All millennials know our parents were lied to. Us? Undeniably so.
I graduated with my Masters just two months ago. I worked my ass off to get into college, pay for it “myself” through student loans and then continue my education when suddenly, a Bachelors wasn’t enough anymore. I’ve worked multiple jobs at once my entire life. I did, what everyone would consider to be, everything right.
Yet I’ve been in the full-time workforce for almost a decade and I make only $4,000 more than when I started. I’ve earned no promotions, despite being overqualified every time I applied. My university does not give regular raises. After taxes, healthcare and insurance, I bring home less than $30,000 a year.
I would have to work almost half an entire year to pay off my credit card debt, if I had no other expenses. It would take over a year to pay off both my credit card and my student loans. Debt I acquired due to owning pets who needed help and becoming disabled myself.
Seeing that bill when my partner sent it to me was a gut punch. Recently, I’d mentally given up on believing I could ever live debt free, after one trip with my partner cost the same amount as almost two years of paying my credit card down. After my student loans were cancelled (all $16,000), only for me to make a payment once again half a year later. A payment that, after getting on an IDR plan, since I could no longer afford the $300 a month payments I used to pay, doesn’t even cover the interest. So I am literally making no progress on the principle of my loans.
I discover that yesterday and it felt hopeless. And today, we’re hit with that bill from the vet. One I can’t deny. I can’t risk our cat’s health like that. But it will take me years to pay that off. Years.
I spent 7 months searching for a better job to escape my toxic one and the only one to take me, I had to take a pay cut. So I could try and salvage my mental health. My Masters didn’t matter. My experience didn’t matter. I continue to work hours that are too long, for a job that is complex, for pennies. To stress about ordering takeout on a low spoons day. To ask my manager if I can come to a meeting with my camera off because I’m having a panic attack trying to figure out how to pay my bills.
Solidarity in Suffering
Worse, I’m not alone in this. Every time I log onto social media, I see another GoFundMe. Another ask for financial help, another person struggling to make ends meet, despite working five hustles, three full-time jobs and obtaining twelve degrees and a million years of experience. Because that’s survival. That’s what they’re forced to do. All I can do is boost, because I’m so close to financial ruin myself. Much closer now, with my credit card practically maxed, after this vet payment goes through.
Every time I meet up with friends, we’re talking about how no budget we can make is feasible to still allow us to pay our bills on time and afford groceries. We’re all in debt. We’re all struggling.
We all did want we were supposed to. We were responsible, doing it right. Yet our rewards we were promised? That financial stability, home ownership, independence? A joke. An impossibility.
Guilt, Oh the Guilt
Then, you have my anxiety. And how much guilt I constantly have. How I question if I actually deserve to spend any money on things that make me happy or make life easier? Can I ask for help or am I being too dramatic and I’m actually fine financially? If I do something other than pay my bills, how can I claim I’m struggling? I’m promoting my Patreon or Editorial business too much. I don’t deserve anything good, I deserve to be financially stressed all the time.
And on and on the guilt grows. Even though I can see how everything above are lies. Yet it’s so easy for my brain to pile on and bully me. And this is no different. I have a tattoo appointment in two weeks. One I’m paying for from money raised by selling multiple items I used to own over half a year. My first thought was to cancel that appointment and lose what I’ve already paid to instead use that money for my debt. Yet I felt my mental health immediately plummet at the thought. This tattoo is one of the only things I’ve done for me all year. And that money would barely make a dent in the never-ending debt. But if I keep the appointment, will others judge me as actually being well off? Will they condemn me as irresponsible and thus, deserving of any financial hardship that comes my way?
And on and on she spirals. I hate it, friends. I hate it.
Y’all, I am so, so tired. I’m tired of spending all of my life working and then struggling to make basic ends meet. Tired of feeling like I must promote constantly if I want to make enough money to take off any stress. Exhausting weighing every purchase and often denying myself things that would help me–physically, emotionally, mentally–because of the financial and mental toll. I am filled with financial rage, yes. Of being lied to, of living in an unfair world, of being in debt because I have no other option.
But as the rage cools and the emotions settle, I’m just left with exhaustion. Exhaustion, but also immense gratitude. So many of you have shared my editorial services and my Patreon. Some of you have just straight out made donations to my Ko-Fi to make things easier. Others have offered kind words and support.
Every single thing means so fucking much to me.
I dream, one day, where I can be financially stable enough that, every time I see someone else post for help, that I can donate without pause, support with question. For now, though, I’m one of the many in the throngs of capitalism who just need a fucking break.