Money can’t buy Happiness

Money can’t buy Happiness

At some point I’m sure everyone experiences financial difficulty and it’s a stressful place to be.  That gut wrenching feeling every time you have to spend money, knowing that it’s less in your bank account.  At the minute I’m dealing with money stress and it’s really been lowering my mood and letting my depression take over.  Which is why I wanted to write a post to remind myself and anyone else reading that money doesn’t buy happiness and there are more important things in life than money.

I’ve been with my Fiancé for over two years and in that time, we’ve never been well off.  I can’t work because of my health and he found it really hard after being in the Army to find a normal job.  We’ve struggled but always found the money to get, we had a good period where I got accepted for benefits and my fiancé was working full time, we could treat ourselves to little things.  Unfortunately I was turned down a few months ago for benefits and my Fiancé lost his job so now we’re back to stressing and trying to live on as little as possible.  It’s made me think though, some of my happiest memories with my Fiancé are when we had no money and we were struggling to provide.

My Fiancé lived in a bedsit after being homeless and I used to go over and he lived in this small room which was freezing, but I never had a bad time there.  In fact, the memories I have of that time are fond ones of having to put two duvets on the bed to keep warm and going to the shops with £5 and buying the cheapest thing we could find for dinner.  My Fiancé would make me beans on toast and we’d eat it on his bed because there was no where else to sit, and it was good.  He worried that he couldn’t afford a nice meal or little presents but I just loved spending time with him, we could have eaten beans on toast everyday in that freezing room, but I’d still laugh and smile because it wasn’t about the money, it was about being with the person who made me laugh and brought me happiness.

We couldn’t date like some people, neither of us had money to go out for meals or go to the cinema so we had to make do with other activities.  He’d come to mine and teach me how to play games on his Xbox, I would go to his and watch films and it never got boring. Neither of us could drive and when there was no money for a bus or taxi, he’d walk 6 miles to see me for a couple of hours and it was the most amazing thing anyone had ever done for me.  I’ve had money spend on me in other relationships but it never made me feel as good as knowing, someone would walk 6 miles to see me.

Moving in together finally, we got as much as we could second hand.  We couldn’t afford fancy furniture or expensive technology but we made a home for ourselves with what we could find and even though, the furniture didn’t match and colours clashed, it was the best feeling to wake up to the person I loved every morning.

Stress over money has been a big source of most of our arguments and at times, it frustrates us to the point we fall out and don’t talk to each other for hours.  It’s been hard and sad at times, seeing other people living so easily and spending money like it doesn’t matter. Having little or no money is a horrible place to be but it also makes you realise what’s important, it makes you appreciate the small things, it makes you thankful for everything you do have and stops you taking things for granted.  Money would make life easier and I’m sure buying myself things would make me happy but I’d rather be poor and have love than be rich and lonely.  It doesn’t matter that I can’t afford luxuries or treats because everyday, I have someone here who will make me laugh and make me forget about my worries.  I have love and acceptance, which to me is way more important than money.

A Familiar Stranger

A Familiar Stranger

It’s the strangest feeling to look at someone who gave you life, who shares your genes and resemblance but is a stranger to you. My Dad is a stranger to me.  In five years, I’ve seen him once, tomorrow will be the second time.  After my Mum and Dad separated, my Dad became distant, I tried and tried to keep the relationship strong but eventually it became to hard.  My Dad moved as far away from me as he could, to get away from my Mum and it seemed like the easiest decision for him to leave me.

For the first sixteen years of my life, I had the perfect Dad.  He was my best friend, my role model.  I was a complete Daddy’s girl!  I was a tom boy and I liked working on cars with him and working at his garage during the summer.  He was everything I could have asked for in a father and I look back at that man fondly and also sadly because that man doesn’t exist anymore.

Separation is hard and I understand that he needed time after the divorce but his children should have been his focus, instead he decided to run away from everything and move hundreds of miles away.  It was shortly after this I was diagnosed with depression, maybe his actions triggered it, or maybe it was a long time coming.  It was difficult losing my best friend and feeling like I had done something wrong.  I took his side in everything, I was terrible to my Mum in the hopes that he would see I loved him and if he had asked me to move away with him, I would have done.  Instead, he just left and did nothing to stay in contact, like he wanted to forget I existed.  It’s a horrible feeling to be rejected by your own father, and I live with that rejection every day.

My first suicide attempt was traumatic and shameful and I wanted my Dad, but despite the hospital and family contacting him, I heard nothing from him.  How can a parent learn that their child has tried to take their own life and do nothing?  How can a parent not care that their child wants to die?  My second and third suicide attempts brought no more than a text and the knowledge that my Dad didn’t care that I was suffering and dying inside breaks my heart.  I went four years without seeing my Dad, and having no contact apart from the occasional birthday text to him coming to visit for three days.  I remember being so nervous about seeing him, and wondering if I was better of just not seeing him but I still have this urge to please him, and to make him proud so I met him.  It was awkward and surreal seeing the man who for sixteen years was my world, he looked like me and he sounded like he always did but he was a complete stranger.  He knew nothing about my life, nothing about the person I had become.  He made apologies and promises to be better, to talk to me every week and visit more often and I believed him because I wanted him to be that person.  A year has passed and for the first two weeks, he kept it up and then it was like before, he lost interest and the disappointments kept coming.

Now he’s here again, wanting to see me for just a few hours and again, I’m too weak and hopeful to say no, even though it would save me the hurt and pain that is bound to come when he lets me down again.  Tomorrow I see him once more and the anxiety I feel is the same I feel when confronted with a stranger on the street.  My depression is looming in the background waiting for him to let me down so it can take advantage.  But somewhere inside me is that five year old girl who thought her Daddy was a hero, who would have done anything to make him proud and that little girl makes me risk my own heart to give him another chance.

Parents are supposed to be everything for their children.  I will never understand parents who abandon their children, a person that they brought into this world and had a responsibility to care for.  I’m lucky to have one amazing parent in my Mum and I know that she’ll always be there for me, but it’s not quite the same as having two parents who love and support me through life.  When my Dad was amazing for the first 16 years of my life, it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that he is no longer that man, no longer that great Dad who I loved.  He’s just a stranger now, a stranger that gave me life and looks just like me.