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Dealing with Financial Trauma



by John Savage, Author, CFHC


Trauma


Realize it or not, past trauma can have a lasting effect on future outcomes in our lives and if we do not recognize them for what they are or avoid dealing with them, they can cause us to be in a continuous state stagnation and financial challenges. Add that on top of antiquated and degraded economic system, you can find yourself in a continues cycle of financial challenges and hardship.


In fact, a lot of our decisions are based directly or indirectly based on either our trauma we experienced around money or our view of money and our relationship with how we saw money handled when we were younger. Specifically, there are many people who experienced some real challenges associated with personal trauma when it came to finances, or we use money and how we handle it as a coping mechanism to sooth the pain and mask the feelings of unresolved trauma.


In fact, there are people in positions of power today who never got over where they were rejected, abused, or ostracized when they were in grade school, high, school, and or college an now that they are in a position to directly affect and influence the decisions of the masses, they causing a financial train reck on our society on both a macro and micro level. With that said, here are some ways people have been traumatized and cope with money.


Money was a control mechanism – some people saw where money was used to control them or a loved one and as a resolute, they become a controlling figure or dominate money manager in their family because they are afraid of going that experience again.


Neglect - some experienced watching their mom being neglected while their dad bought the thing he wanted and went on a shopping spree because it “it is his money.” This neglect often time comes from the father or mother watching their parents not have much and fighting or struggling over finances and not having enough to ever buy things, going out to eat, or to the movies or just getting away as a family.  These are all root causes that can and often do manifest themselves in various ways.


Shopping Sprees – a number of people I have worked with have gone on shopping sprees due wanting to avoid the stress at home, so they go out on the weekends to the mall, eating out, to the movies, or go online and purchase items to make themselves feel better and gain they pleasurable dopamine affect. Many people live this way nowadays because the demands of life, work, family, taxes, etc. have become so great that they are just trying to escape for a moment into where things can feel peaceful, fun, and restorative.


These sprees then cause even more anxiety because often times there is not plan, it’s what we would talk about in Philosophy class, “if it feels good, do it.” “The ends justify the means.” With credit card debt around $1.12 trillion dollars as of 2023 (https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/features/maxed-out-inside-americas-credit-card-debt-crisis-and-what-we-do-next/), the end does not always nor often do, justify the means, because shopping sprees, no matter how many times you do them, must come to an end as with all things in life.


You want peace and stability to be that end, not stress and turmoil over where your money is going. Unwind Financial Consulting Services can help you identify and root out the core issue so you can create a solid plan to instill new habits for yourself over time.


Domestic Violence – this is another area of trauma that someone may have experienced neglect and intense volatility associate with lack in the home where they could not do anything, could not really own or have anything, and were constantly tracked, so you can imagine, when a person is making a lot of money and free to do what they want, finances can follow with outcomes that can be messy and unpredictable because that’s where a person was going through on the inside, every day of their life.


Before things can get better, this person will need to embrace where they are, how that traumatic experience affected them, and will need to create a new outlook on life by first believing that they are more than what they experienced and they can have the love and support they deserve without looing for things to fill thar gapping scare that may be festering and  still needs to time heal. This is where only time, support, and creating a long-term strategy can help heal, strengthen, and deliver from the past effects of the psychological trauma they faced.


Feelings of Insignificant – this is a big area for a lot of people, especially a lot of men with families. I have spoken with men felt bad because they fell on hard times and have dealt with a lot of challenges in life, and it was a struggled to provide for their family to the point where the felt really bad. This can cause a lot of men to give up and walk a way as was the case from my conversation with several wives I talked to who told me either their husband gave up or just walked away one day because he was struggling and having a hard time finding reliable work to care of his family.


I have also spoken with a lot of mothers who have felt the same way and often they stuck in them for their babies but then they are feeling the affects of stress in their bodies, being overworked, and feelings of being not being a good mother which is far from the truth.


Life can be hard a times and can even come upon those who had everything and then one day, they wake up and everything was gone in a matter of days or weeks. Even though these times are not easy and there may not be immediate answer of quick fix, with some support and ongoing coaching, and a solid plan, you can overcome anything life tries to throw at you. Sometimes it can take a few months to turn around and around times it may take 2, 3, or 4 years to get through but with God and a solid support system, all things really are possible to him who believes (Matthew 9:23).

 

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