Rebels In Conversation On Spending Money

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Pip: You seem to find it easier to spend money on your self than I do, do you think this is because you are the main breadwinner in your family?

Liza: Well I don’t drink (much) and I don’t smoke so it doesn’t feel too extravagant to have my hair done regularly and see a beautician from time to time.

Pip: So you still feel the need to justify spending money on yourself? Since I got married we have always had a shared bank account so I’ve never had my ‘own’ money to spend. Have you’ve always kept your money separate?

Liza: No, we have a shared bank account which is used mainly for the household running costs which we both pay into and then I try to have some money spare to spend as I wish, but this has only been the case since my children have become independent. When they were younger and I wasn’t working as I am now, there wasn’t any spare money and even now I feel guilty about spending on myself and if the children needed help with something I would sacrifice my personal money to help them out. But I would feel so out of control if I didn’t have my own account too and relying on someone else would make me insecure I think.

Pip: At the moment I am not earning so I don’t even feel like I can have my haircut when I need to, but even when I was earning everything went on the family and I still struggled with spending money on myself – is this because they were leaner years when the children were young that it has become a habit? Or is it because deep down we do not feel worthy of spending money on ourselves.

Liza: What if we were childless, would that be different? I am very envious of my childless friends who go on a shopping spree every payday without question.

Pip: When my husband needs a haircut he goes and gets one but would this be the case if his haircuts cost £50 instead of £15? There seem to be certain things that he feels guilty about buying, for example when he buys clothing he likes to point out that it was in the sale. But then again I have a single mother friend who has been chronically short of money for years and yet when she does buy things, she only buys the best.

As women we have certainly come a long way from the days when women were given an allowance by their husbands, but I know someone who despite being comfortably off and with her own income, still feels the need to hide her purchases from her other half because he monitors her expenditure.

Liza: As a mother it’s our natural instinct to put our needs at the bottom of the pile. So are we saying that we don’t value ourselves highly enough? Does it depend on the individual – what to some people is a luxury, for others is a necessity?

Pip: Is it as black and white as that or is it a combination of things – your financial set up for example?

Liza: Or the dynamics in your relationship?

So, what do you think?

In The Shadow of The Black Dog

Image that your life is futile. That no-one loves you, that you are repugnant, worthless and have no future. Imagine spending great chunks of each and every day crying. Imagine waking before dawn each day only to lie listlessly in bed for hours, your hopeless existence swirling around your head.

Imagine thinking you would rather be dead than live in the shadow of a huge black dog… this is reality for many people suffering from depression!

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Mental health is a massive subject and likely to be something that Rebel In A Tutu will keep on coming back to, but as the BBC’s In The Mind season draws to a close, now seems as good a time as any to kick off the discussion.

Depression and anxiety are the most common forms of mental illness and it is estimated that 1 in 10 of us will suffer from one or other of these conditions during our lifetime. These statistics rise to more than 20% in the over 65s and yet relatively few sufferers have access to appropriate or timely treatment and are subjected to ignorance, misunderstanding and stigma.

Having suffered from clinical depression more than once myself, I find it vaguely insulting when people use the term lightly.  You know, the person who turns up at work on Monday morning claiming to be depressed simply because they had a crap weekend. As if depression can descend overnight and disappear just as quickly!  Real depression can leave a person incapable of turning up for work much less tell all their colleagues how they are feeling.

To the depressed it seems incredible that most people have never encountered the black dog whilst to non-sufferers, understanding depression is equally baffling.

And there’s the rub, depressives judge themselves harshly and feel inferior because they can’t cope with a world that most people seem to take in their stride.  The media can play a vital role in breaking down these barriers of misunderstanding, reducing stigma and reassuring sufferers that they are not alone…

I Had A Black Dog, His Name Was Depression (WHO video) – this excellent animated video explains depression in straightforward layman’s terms.

BBC’s In The Mind – a two week series of programmes on mental health covering postpartum psychosis and bipolar disorder in depth together with soundbites on changing social attitudes, the NHS and the work of mental health charities.

6 Reasons Why People With Mental Illness Are Strong, Not Weak from huffingtonpost.com

[Pip]