My father is a pathological liar. He lies to everyone around him and to himself as well. I barely speak to him because every time he lies to me about some trivial thing it kills my love for him a little more. Since he is incapable of not lying, I try not to speak to him. When I do, I talk about unimportant things or impersonal things. My theory is: no questions asked, no lies told.
Throughout my childhood my father held a number of jobs that he lost because of various reasons. My biggest issue with my father rests in the fact that he never told us what was going on. Even when he was unemployed for 6 months one year he kept pretending that he was just working from home. To this day I can’t help but feel that each lie he tells means that he still thinks we are too dumb to see through the facade. In his mind he was the ideal father and the ideal breadwinner, he told the lies necessary to support this ideal.
The upshot of all of this was that, in order to keep up with his lies, we lived WAY above our means for all my childhood. My mother never answered the door unless she was expecting someone because she was terrified it would be a collections agency comming to seize our belongings. (Rightfully so, I might add. I can distinctly remember at least three incidents where it was them.) She routinely sold old family heirlooms to pay the bills. I remember once comparing bank balances and realizing that mine was bigger. (not by much, but I was only 15 and it was only babysitting money.) She was horrified.
Today they are divorced. Now he steals from my sisters and me. He pretends that this is not so. The money is just ‘borrowed’, the check is in the mail. When the amount is a little much to swallow, my mother steps in. 6 years after leaving she still covers for him and has nightmares about it.
Today, I live in fear of money.
We have enough. M is a saver. Even though I am a spender, I never spend over my means. Yet any money discussions or issues renders me to tears. Jus the thought of creating a budget and being accountable for it makes me want to throw up. I can’t even think about Quicken without wanting to eat lots and lots of chocolate. I look at the bottom line and try to stay a heathy level above it.
This year is a little tight. Daycare is expensive and I’m earning about $300 less a month. M still has a semester of law school to go and is working less because he needs more credits to graduate than he thought. Don’t get me wrong, we make ends meet. We even manage to save a tiny bit. But it’s still hard. Every month I spend my whole paycheck I cringe at the thought that M will be upset or disapointed. And yet he never is.
We talk about what is going on. We take some money out of his account to cover the bills and we move on. (His account is the savings acount, mine is the daily expenses account.) To him money is not taboo. We are never not going to have enough. We are never going to have to sell paintings to pay for food. And there will never be lies surounding money issues, because we can talk about it honestly.
He truly is the man of my dreams. And he will be a better father to C that I ever had.