Learning to forgive yourself

English: An email envelope with a US dollar icon.

English: An email envelope with a US dollar icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My wife and I decided prior to her last paycheck that we needed to go back to a cash in an envelope system for our food and spending money.  It’s a way to control spending.  So, we went out last night and then when I went to find our envelope with all of our food money in it today, it’s gone.  I have no earthly idea where I may have left it.  We called the restaurant we were at, nothing.  I looked in our cars and anywhere else I might have left it, nothing.  So, I turn to beating myself to a pulp, figuratively of course.  How could I have done something so stupid?  Why don’t I pay more attention?  Maybe I can’t be trusted with it?  Etc, etc.


Somewhere in the midst of my self abuse, I remember a time many, many years ago when my step dad came home later than normal from work on a friday night.  He had cashed his pay check, went to a bar, and lost all the money somewhere.  I remember my mom being upset about it and that made him explode.  He began lashing out physically and verbally at both of us.  At one point he had my mom pinned to the wall by her neck and her turned and screamed at me to get up and find the money, of course he used much more vulgar language.  Being about 8 years old, I had no clue what I was looking for.  I just knew that I had to keep looking until I found something.  I searched frantically, hoping that if I could find the right thing that he would let her go and stop.


I couldn’t find it.  I tried as hard as I could to no avail.  Eventually he stopped the violent outburst and things calmed down.  But the frantic desperation I felt that night really has never left.  In an instant, the task of disarming the situation and saving my mom was on my shoulders.  And I had no earthly idea what I was even looking for.


I sometimes find it interesting, maybe curious is a better word, when these past events show up again in my adult actions.  Loosing our money made me a child again.  Fearful, driven, hating myself, for making the same mistake twice.  At least that’s how it plays out in my head.  By the way, no.  I would never take out my frustration over loosing something on someone else.  I go after myself with a vengeance, but I always only blame me.




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