Language is interesting because of what it reveals and conceals. Some people have an awful struggle with themselves when it comes to saying, “I’m sorry.” Others simply cannot make themselves say “I love you” even to the most significant people in their lives.
It took me more years than I care to admit to be able to say, “I can’t afford it.” Because I’ve never heard anyone else acknowledge that, or read that it was a psychological issue others have dealt with, I’ve often wondered if I am the only person who has had a problem with fessing up to empty pockets.
High school was a particularly tough time for me because I was a relatively poor kid at a very wealthy school. Not dirt poor, but definitely on the edge. While I envied my classmates’ expensive wardrobes, it was the lack of money for little things, special things that made me tongue-tied. I got very good at making excuses because I didn’t want my friends to know I couldn’t afford what they could.
I lived for decades with the shame of not being able to contribute $2 toward a special gift for my best friend, a customary practice for those receiving special recognition in our girls’ club. When I finally told her how I felt some 40 years later, I could tell by the look on her face that I didn’t need to. She understood my silence because she had always known how little I had and cherished my friendship despite it. While it still isn’t easy to admit something isn’t in my budget, having told her about the pain of having “insufficient funds” has somehow taken much of the sting out of those four little words.
Blessings on your journey,