After a bit of a break to be a soccer mom and focus on creating my newest coaching program…I’m back. Before I begin my latest post, I would like to formally announce my new signature program…“Financial First Aid for Divorce, for Women”. I am happy to report that thus far, my program has received an overwhelming positive response. Please click on the link for more information…and feel free to share of course!
Me, Money, Divorce–Victim Center Stage…
I have been journaling quite a bit for the past few months about my former marriages, subsequent divorces, and money. Which contributed greatly to the richness of my new coaching program. I am aware that in my last post I stated that I would begin the Survival Archetype series with the Child archetype however, as a result of my journaling, another archetype beckoned to go first. Victim stepped forth and demanded she take center stage. And so we begin with Victim…
I journaled about my prior 3 marriages and divorces as a way to reflect upon those experiences–to finally grab hold of their true significance. An intention with this process was to remove the memories from my mind and put them on paper, a “brain dump” if you will. Then, to look at these experiences objectively, noting any leftover emotional triggers and to see what patterns, if any, could be identified.
For so long I had believed that the Prostitute archetype was the most prevalent companion in my marriages and divorces…not so. Don’t get me wrong, there were instances when I sold myself out–such as choosing to stay in an unhealthy marriage too long because of money and security. The Prostitute however, was not cast as the Supporting Actress to this Leading Lady’s (me) movie. Victim took that role…and she deserves an Oscar for her magnificent performances!
As you can imagine, there is a lot I could share about 4 marriages and 3 divorces–I will do my best to be concise and on point. As I recall, each time I entered into a relationship that led to marriage I was happy, content, confident, and financially independent. When I was on my own, without a husband, putting myself first was easy. And I never had to rely on financial or emotional support from someone else…I was empowered.
Each time I entered a marriage, my confidence, my joy, my wealth would come undone. I had this pattern of first giving my money away–without any thought to potential consequences. I paid college tuition for a step-son I had never met…I co-signed a car lease when I knew that would cause me to be financially overextended should he not meet his financial obligations…I put thousands into a house that wasn’t in my name. What followed shortly after was a steady decline of my income. And then the emotional unraveling would begin.
Whether your point of view is external or internal, I had set myself up to fail. All of this I did for fear that my spouse would see me as “not enough” and would want to leave me. So I kept giving, all the while not realizing that I was no longer taking care of myself. That it was actually ME seeing myself as “not good enough”. I had no boundaries–I had given away my power, my self-respect. Enter shadow Victim.
I had originally pictured the Victim as a “whiny” girl, blatantly seeking sympathy from others as a means for her to feel good about herself. Well, I have come to find out that’s one perspective but, not the only way that Victim shows up. For me, shadow Victim would feel like I was being set up to fail or experience self-doubt–by myself or someone else. For instance, I remember on the day of my first wedding there was a snow storm with blizzard-like conditions…it was January. I was standing in my parents parlor looking out the back window. I turned around to see my mother coming down the stairs and as she descended she said “You know Christine, your Nannie (my grandmother) would say this snow storm is a bad omen for your marriage.” I was stunned. I have since forgiven my mother for setting the stage for the struggle and ultimate demise of my first marriage.
All of my financial setbacks occurred while I was married or was a consequence of the divorce. I have endured verbal, mental, physical, and financial abuse. I filed for bankruptcy. I have been a single parent twice. I gave birth to my second child without his father. Did I receive sympathy and support? Yes–and I am forever appreciative. The true value however, in experiencing shadow Victim lies in the richness of its lessons and the path it creates to personal empowerment.
I believe that each time I asked for the divorce, I was attempting to take back my power. I was doing what needed to be done at that time to reconnect with my sense of dignity. Did that mean all of my lessons had been learned? No. Not at the time. Today however, Victim is my partner. I know what she looks like, I speak her language, and I now recognized her strengths as my own.
Victim has taught me to set and honor my boundaries. To know what I’m capable of and what I am not. She taught me self-protection. Empowerment is taking action after you choose to protect yourself. Victim will remind me to put myself first…to be responsible for my own happiness, to fill myself up. When I am “full”, then I can give to others joyfully. When I give from a place of feeling “less than”, I become drained and robbed…and that in turn makes the other person a thief.
If you let her, Victim will be your greatest ally. She will guide you to personal power and unwavering self-esteem. She will command you to closely examine your relationship with power and its symbols–most especially with those that you have control issues and need to establish boundaries. And yes, that would include money as money is a symbol of power for may people.
A Course in Miracles states…“I am not a victim of the world I see.” Victim has become my Sister–always by my side as I walk through acts of courage and integrity. Reminding me to ask myself what I can do in that moment to support my empowerment. Reminding me that I, and I alone, have the power to change my world.
For more information on Financial First Aid for Divorce and more, please visit MathieuCenter