Quantcast

How Much Is Your Childhood Trauma Costing You?

To get to the fruit, we have to address the root.

Finance

Why is it that you know "all the things" which can feel like information overload when it comes to your money; like spend less than you earn, save, and don't forget the "b" word: Budget. The one that makes you feel restricted in your pants after eating all the quarantine snacks with an aftertaste of guilt. What would it feel like to actually earn more, spend more, and save more?

April is Financial Literacy Month and, regardless of what is going on in the world, which may be bubbling up deep and painful insecurities around money, there's no better time to uncover the root of your money worries so you can own your money mindset and gain the clarity to create the life you imagine. As your resident Money Mindset Coach, I am here to guide you on your journey and raise your money consciousness so you can leave the shame, guilt, and avoidance around your dollars at the door.

To get to the fruit, we have to address the root. And that means going back to your foundation where you received your programming and conditioning that drives all of your behaviors. So many of you are running on autopilot, and that is why awareness is key.

After doing many case studies with my clients, whether they grew up in poverty, middle class, or wealthy, I have found similar patterns often accompanied by an excruciating pain around money that bleeds into other areas of their life like their personal and romantic relationships, work, and their own worthiness. Whether this shows up as memories of not having enough money for school lunch, being unable to buy things you wanted as a kid, or having your parents using money as a bandaid, measure of success, or as a way to control, the impact of childhood trauma is real.

Shutterstock

Talking about the limiting beliefs around money and shifting your thoughts is a good place to start, but it skims the surface. What did your parents or caretakers say about money? Rich people are greedy? Money is the root of all evil? Money doesn't grow on trees? There is power in words and these sink into your subconscious mind which develops during the ages 0-7 and then drives all of your behavior.

"The work" lies in reframing these beliefs and regaining your confidence around money.

But then we have to go a step deeper where the trauma lies. Did you have emotionally immature parents? Were your parents distant, inconsistent, or preoccupied with their own unresolved trauma? When we don't have safe and secure attachments, we seek our sense of worthiness externally and that's what comes at a great cost.

So what are the core childhood wounds that lead to unresolved issues with your money that could be costing you big time?

Feeling Unseen:

If your parents were playing out their own unresolved intergenerational trauma and felt unseen, maybe they found themselves in a pattern of "keeping up with the Joneses", focusing more on seeking external validation and sacrificing financial peace because they were taught money is a status symbol. You may find yourself using retail therapy as a way to manage difficult emotions.

Feeling Unlovable:

If your parents were self-absorbed (not in a blame-y way, just unconscious to their own pain), they may have felt like they weren't worthy of love. Instead, they chased money, fame, or social status to feel the void and to prove themselves worthy of love. For you, this may show up as overgiving, people-pleasing, and hustling for your worth in both your careers and relationships. And whew child, can it get expensive. The burden of success is real, and the guilt of feeling like you're the one that made it is heavy. The good news, it can be healed. Start asking yourself, "Am I doing this with love, or for love?", and watch your world change.

Fear of Abandonment: 

Did your parents have a parent that left them? Whether it be physically through divorce, separation, death, or absenteeism? If so, the fear of someone leaving could unconsciously have you proving your worth, overspending, and caretaking. It could also keep you in toxic work environments, afraid to leave and find a more conducive situation. It's time to heal this, sis.

Not Being Enough:

If you grew up with very critical and harsh parents, you may have this deep inner feeling of not being enough. Your parents may have overcompensated in various ways when it came to how they used money, making up for the things they never had. For you, this may show up as buying friends, overgiving, and then feeling resentment when it's never enough. Sound familiar?

Whenever we FEEL we are operating from a place of lack (and I say feel because we are born worthy by our divine birthright), we operate from a place of scarcity despite the economic status of the family we were born into. And when this happens, we are in survival mode. Your pain is not your fault, but your HEALING is your RESPONSIBILITY. Your parents did the best they could with what they knew.

I want you to do an exercise.

Hold your breath. OK, now release. Now hold your breath for 30 minutes. Impossible, right? That's what it means to operate from survival mode and a place of scarcity. All you can think about is taking your NEXT breath stuck in the same negative thoughts, pattern loops, and traumatic experiences. If you are ready to stop just surviving and stop thriving, make the investment into your greatest asset: You. It's easy to be told you're worth it, but do you ACTUALLY believe it?

It's time to stop just surviving and start thriving, are you ready to make the shift?

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

As a Black woman slaying in business, you're more than likely focused on the bottom line: Serving your customers and making sure the bag doesn't stop coming in. Well, there's obviously more to running a business than just making boss moves, but as the CEO or founder, you might not have the time, energy, or resources to fill in the blanks.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Meagan Good is no stranger to scrutiny over the span of her career. She's faced very public image criticism for a multitude of reasons, from eyebrows, all the way to "that" skin-lightening incident. And when she married her husband, producer, best-selling author and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin, many people felt she didn't fit the persona of a woman who is married to a devout Christian, being that her image was based on something like a sex symbol.

Keep reading... Show less

I know some people who absolutely hate to grocery shop. Maybe it's because I'm single with no kids (which means that I have less to get) yet I'm on the opposite side of the coin. Because I like to cook often and grocery shopping is how I get a lot of random thinking accomplished (because I'm away from my computer), I really like it. And over the past couple of years, I've become more intentional about getting what my body, as a woman, needs.

Keep reading... Show less

LeToya Luckett's last two years has been much of that of a roller coaster. She went from publicly being in marital and wedded bliss, to an unapologetic and necessary divorce, all while raising two children in the process. Somehow, she has managed to do all of the above with grace, a quality she has worn well throughout her marriage woes.

Keep reading... Show less

Y'all, if there's one thing I've got in my life, it's successful friends. For one thing, about 90 percent of them are doing exactly what they want to do in life. Secondly, around 65 percent of them are making a living without reporting to anyone but themselves. And three, around 40-50 percent of them are pretty well-known. Because of this winning combo, there are times when people will ask me if I ever have moments when I feel a tinge of jealousy.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'Insecure' Writer Mike Gauyo Talks His Journey From Med School To The Writers' Room

"Meeting Issa Rae was a story of perseverance, following up, being persistent and all of the characteristics and attributes you need to be a successful writer."

Latest Posts