MY FIRST MOMENTS OF POVERTY MINDSET IN MY LIFE
I first felt poverty in my life when my father yelled at me at the grocery story when I was 8 years old.
I was there with my brother and I wanted to get a candy bar and I threw it up on the conveyor belt at the HEB Grocery store in Downtown Austin Area.
My Father yelled at me.
Not a grumble.
Not a scornful murmur.
A yell filled with anger and fury and until I revisited the moment in deep meditation and reflection…embarrassment.
My father had been divorced from my mother for about a year by then and was just fresh off of being homeless sleeping in his truck and had a job and a one room apartment to live in the southern downtown area of Austin near the University of Texas.
He was getting by on food stamps and he did not have enough money or food stamps to buy the candy.
Instead of being able to explain or tell me he was unable to know.
He felt weak.
He felt useless.
He was feeling powerless and stuck in his own world of poverty.
He smacked me on the hand. It might had not been that hard of a smack by some standards but I was about 3.5 feet tall and afraid of my angry snarling father.
Being smacked by someone that was twice my height and 3 times body weight, a giant had just smacked me.
It caused me to cry and then I was scorned again and told to not cry and to toughen up.
Once in my father’s pick-up truck, an old black chevrolet that he had named “The Road-Toad” my father continued to scorn me and my brother for our behavior and as he screamed and yelled….his voice began to break….his voice turned to a howl…a painful howl where a man might sound in the old west when they remove an arrow from his stomach after some kind of Indian attack.
“Jesus Christ!!! What the Fuck! I am so poor that I can’t buy you boys that stuff because I have to use food stamps and I am fucking loser that is so beyond poor! Don’t you get it! Your Bitch of a Mother took everything from me! THat is what Divorce does to you! THEY TAKE EVERYTHING! EVEN YOUR BALLS! THEN YOU CAN”T MAKE ANY MONEY AND IF YOU DO THEY JUST ASK FOR MORE OR THEY TAKE AS MUCH AS THEY CAN!”
This was the scary.
“This is what being “poor” means?” I thought to myself as an 8 year old boy.
Having some money only to know that you cannot keep it and that you are powerless to keep it? Women are evil and suck you dry? Being Poor is being powerless and having no say and it is shameful and embarrassing?
I have been carrying that bullshit around with me for a long time….28 years at the point of writing this all out.
I am wrapping it all up and throwing it in an old suitcase and leaving it on the curb for the garbage man to take. Perhaps the suitcase will travel in the garbage truck on the way to the dump and fall off the back of the truck and land next to someone else who could use some poverty in their life….
Me? I am through with that shit.
I have been spending 28 years of my life focusing in on what I cannot afford and feeling defeated…
Vilifying my own mother as well.
What a shitty and painful decision I made so long ago.
I was just a kid who had a bad day and got shocked by my father due to my wanting a candy bar. I was and am innocent but I learned a lesson that day that does me absolutely no good in my life.
I have a few dollars in my wallet as I write this and i have a few more dollars in my bank account and I have paid all of my bills for the month of April. I am still in financial debt to the credit card banks and some of my friends and family that have helped me out in the past several years.
Clawing my way out and paying what I can for education and mentorship and scrapping and finding what is needed and people to pay me and to overcome this bullshit belief on poverty. It felt like a boulder on my shoulders that I carried everywhere!
I had no idea that is what it felt like until today when I decided to let it fall off of me and to be placed in a shitty little suitcase.
My new mindset is to start looking at what I can afford and to give more value and to specialize more so in my trade and to study sales and to double down on my bet and know that I am fluent in the language of poverty and how to be broke.
Now I am focusing on how to be wealthy and to be well paid and to believe in an abundance of money and resources in my life.
It isn’t that the focus I am in search of is to being filthy rich, yet, I did the filthy poor game and it has no winners in that game….
I have not spoken to my father since 2005 after an argument.