Friday, February 4, 2011

Structure and bill paying

I have a delightful friend who writes memoirs and they are really very funny. He was over at my house this afternoon and saw some letters that were sitting on my desk. None of them were opened. He started to laugh at me. He said he did that all of the time. He had plenty of money to pay his bills, but he rarely opened the bills. He gets his utilities cut off. If he can't put his payments on a regular bill payment schedule on his banking on line service they don't get paid, and he tries to do otherwise all of the time. He lived in a very unstructured life growing up and he is convinced for some reason it gave him a pattern that he could never shake himself out of.

I used to be much worse than I am now. I am better in that I have paid off some bills and do not create new ones. Still, I tend to delay opening bills. I, too, had a life where there was no structure. My father had bipolar disease and I never knew what kind of a mood he would be when I came home and he was there too. He affected how my mother was to a large degree. She could be quiet and unassuming in manner or a raging lunatic full of anger but only if my father was not there. She never said a word of anger to him as he was apt to attack her and he could be very dangerous when he did. He also was an alcoholic which did not help matters at all.

I asked my friend Ted, why that would make a difference. He answered: "Beats me, but it did. My father could turn on me on a dime. My mother never did anything because she was always drunk. Then I had a whole range of funny uncles I was always running from."

"Do you think the only structure that ever made sense was the one we created in ourselves?" I asked him. It was always those in authority who was making trouble for us. I never trusted anyone in authority."

"I agree. Neither did I. "

"But what did that had to do with not paying the bills. I had trouble doing homework too. Anything that had a deadline I just could not do it. Luckily, I cured myself on the homework problem. Otherwise, I would not have gotten through college." I said. "Something inside of me tells me that the homework problem and not doing the bills are related although I don't know why."

"That's because you hate them. You hate all of the sons of a guns. You hate all of the adults that knew what you were going through but never lifted a finger to help. They just stood there and let it happen to you. No one cared that your own family were beating the crap out of you. They were too busy with their own lives not to do the job they were paid to do. Men were in charge and could do anything they wanted to children and wives. If I didn't develop a sense of humor I would have died. My own father tried to kill me so many times I lost count. "

"Ted, I still don't know why I can't open a bill and pay the damn thing and why they are connected. "

"Everyone wants what they want, when they want and they hell with what we want. " He said.

"That was years and years ago. I know I am older than you but you are not that far behind me. Your parents are as dead as mine are. I still don't know the tie-in."

"Neither do I. I guess if I paid all of my bills, no one would want me. At least someone out there wants something from me even if it is the electric company. I often don't think I am real. I lived my life telling myself that my life was not real. I was split into pieces and I did not know what was real and I had a suspicion that if I ignore it it would go away. For the most part it did. I wanted the beautiful part and I lived in the ugly part. That is why I love the country when there are no human beings in it. I had no one in my system that paid the bills. I was split into parts and none of them was a CPA. Everyone was scared of saying no because to say no meant to be beaten. So when someone wanted money, I said yes even if it was a five year old kid. To escape being asked, I just did not open the mail. "

"It looks like both of us have work to do."

"Yeh, it does. I wish I could find a therapist who would work with writers who have DID or different personalities but most are afraid of us. They think we are serial killers. "

"I don't have the money reserves as you do, but no one in the Veteran Administration will help me with this problem. They are stretched fairly thin right now. " I said. "I still can't understand why having a life without much structure and bill paying is related, but I do understand it more now. "

Ted said: "It's like everything else. We have to fix it ourselves or be rich or not sick in the first place. "

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