My father drove a city bus for a living. I loved riding in the seat right behind him as we would go around and around the same blocks in our town of 40,000 in Southern Indiana. It was an adventure for a 5 year old little girl as I listened to the people who got on and off and my father talking and laughing, exchanging the few formula phrases that contained acknowledgement, comraderie, and support, the traffic of social exchange.
I began driving after retiring from teaching a few months ago. If anyone doubts that America can accommodate diversity, ride along with me for just one day.
My first fare was an African-American 30
Almost anyone who struggles with an eating disorder or really any addiction is familiar with how we can switch obsessions. If we are not drinking, we are eating. If we are not eating, we are smoking. If we are not working, we are drinking. On and on.
Spending is one of the favorite “go to” switches for those with eating disorders. In fact, some studies show that many seeking recovery from eating disorders have either alcoholism or sexual abuse in their childhood experiences. Because of this, poverty can be a stressor from growing up in an alcoholic family or, on the flip side, a family member may use gifts to secure illicit favors from their child victim. Compulsive spenders report feeling in power, getting a “high” as a stress relief, or needing to “escape” – all of which can be effects from feeling powerless as children. One woman said that, unlike gambling, at least she knew what she had spent the money on and had something to show for it.
Even when these are not factors, in our consumer based materialistic culture, money is probably one of the most misunderstood and emotionally charged experiences