Finances, Fear, Family, Frustration

I’ve been in financial trouble lately, culminating in a letter threatening to turn off my gas and electricity if I didn’t pay within the next few days. It came as a really unpleasant surprise, because I was under the impression that I had already paid all I owed last month, but apparently had been mistaken. My boyfriend was able to cover for that and so we’ll continue having warm water and heating, but it still weighs down on me. My mother barks at me that I have to quit university and get a job, my therapist tells me it’s of utmost importance that I finish university, as does my boyfriend… I’m tired of being stuck in the hamster wheel, tired of the perpetual financial strains.

And I feel guilty because I do not have the stamina for handling both a job and uni. I can’t even hold up university alone…

Last week I saw my therapist for a few minutes because he had to give me a doctor’s note so I’d get out of the second attempt of the chemistry exam. He puts a lot of emphasis on the fact that I learn to put up boundaries towards other people and learn to defend myself so I can actually do what I need to make myself feel good. Which is a lot easier said than done, especially since my brain just “empties” under stress and I become completely speechless, in the very sense of the word. It is a reaction to the cortisol surge one experiences under stress: long-term exposure to this stress hormone damages the brain cells in the hippocampus, which results in memory problems, and it also impairs retrieval of already stored information.
This morning, I was crying after receiving the letter from the energy supplier, and despite my boyfriend asking me to talk to him and say something, I just was not able to. I could not form a coherent sentence, neither in English nor in German. Even now, it is difficult to describe what is going on in me in these situations – one should assume that once the problem is taken care of, everything is alright. And my boyfriend echoed what my therapist tells me as well, that I have to stay in the present and not make this about everything that went wrong in my life, but I am not always able to do that immediately. The fear and despair can be faster than any rational thought.

Money is not the only source of stress – there also are the uni exams, of course, family situations, and the fact that the bureaucratic process for our marriage is very frustrating. I had to hand in a statement from my parents that they supported me financially, which got “lost” – even though I handed it in, it never arrived at its destination. Then I brought a second copy of the statement, only to be told that I had to re-write it. It is almost ridiculous that my boyfriend’s American documents are all fine, but my German documents create all kinds of problems…

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One thought on “Finances, Fear, Family, Frustration

  1. I think you should do whatever feels right for you. Easier said than done, I know, but you are the one living your life, so you should have the most say in it.

    I also experience the brain emptying phenomenon sometimes. I didn’t know the stuff about cortisol, so thanks for sharing!

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