March making money

I thought I had hit the Jackpot when we started having conversations with him

b blog
This photo was taken during the epilepsy Afrofashion event where funds were being raised to support medication for Children living with epilepsy

I am told he drives a Wrangler. May be we could go swimming sometime! he said . Deep within I was afraid that this is the moment when my faults were going to all come out and I lose the opportunity. To be fair I have been swimming for the last ten years now. But I have never gone beyond the shallow end. I cannot bring my head out of the water unless I am standing. But that is not the only fear I have. I fear that I might be better than you or get some limelight.
This I recognize is rooted somewhere in the ASKA, my Primary school. I should say that it is responsible for all my senses of perfection and imperfection. Did I tell you about this time we were caned so badly for not getting to the full mark. That even if you had a 98% you were going to get two strokes for missing the perfect 100% mark. However, there was this one time that I was congratulated. The only time I did well I suppose. I had beaten the boys in a test. Mr Kurgat had just finished reading out the results. I am happy but in fear. Then one of the teachers goes, ” Josiah and Hillary, you are beaten by a girl? How do you let her beat you.” Goes ahead to show the rest how they are not men. with subtle congratulatory messages to me. They earned enough beatings for it. Sadly I watched them as they were beaten. After that, there was some enmity. Boys looked at me and other girls so badly as though we were the cause of their suffering while I started to get a few favours from teachers. A message was imprinted in my mind as I have now come to discover that I am undeserving of the position that would place me on a higher level than a man. And so I tried to fail so that I could suffer for all the suffering they had gone through. The rest is history.
It is not just school that enhanced this notion. My dad was the son of an alcoholic man who was a figure of authority in the whole village. In our extended home the biggest virtue is fear. And so my dad found solace in his suffering and he tried to pass it down to us. It was so toxic that everytime he paid for our school fee, he showed how he had suffered his way through. He actually would bring the suffering to himself by not eating which would give him ulcer pains just to show us his suffering. I have heard people promote this even in my interaction on how they suffered and so others should suffer. The imprint that stuck with me was that I am indebted. That I need to pay for all the things that I have received. I need to suffer for all the sufferings that others have gone through for me.
This suffering mentality is not just my own. It is a general perception in our country. During the campaigns the divide was generally based on suffering. And so we are stuck in the situation of victim-hood even when patterns of our experiences have changed. That we still beat our children and say how we were beaten too as children. It is the perception that drives most of the #Feminism movement
In this month of March, I share with you this story because it is my story of money. As a result of these imprints formed from my experiences, my relationship with money has been maladaptive. I have missed many opportunities because of the believe that opportunities are not for me. I have poor patterns of impassivity because the underlying principle from the imprints is the concept of lack, scarcity, incapability, helplessness. Young people today battle a lot as a result of the imprints that were created from their experiences. They are either hoarding money, carelessly spending or inabilities to take or evaluate risks. There is more reaction to fears while missing out on the opportunities that this moment in time brings.
Maybe you are listening to my rants and relating with your own experiences. You probably wondering what then, how can I overcome these patterns. Mindfulness is a powerful tool. Mindfulness is awareness. Carl Jung said that awareness is half healing. The toxic patterns of our upbringing can only be addressed when we become aware and mindful. Mindfulness is a mastery, it is a skill we learn through practice. And so I ask you to take a moment now, be aware of your breath. Your breathing in and out. Be aware of your sensations. Be aware of your thoughts. Every of our feelings are results of body sensations. The money problems we face are magnified by the beliefs we formed from our experiences.
The patterns of psychological effects presented in money affects people’s spending, saving and investing. Brad Klontz identifies three symptoms of money disorders. The first he identifies as Money Avoidance. This is usually manifested in under-spending and overspending. People with this disorder will get into financial denial which involves minimizing problems or avoiding looking at bank statements. It may also manifest in financial rejection where such people battle with a lot of guilt when money is accrued. The second he calls it money worshiping disorder. People with this disorder will have behaviors of hoarding or impulsive buying. The third is relational money disorder. This comes with financial infidelity, someone will build up lies to partner and significant others over spending, what they own or money they have. Financial enabling is the other form of relational money disorder where people with it will want to give others money even when they do not afford or do not have the money.
To overcome these patterns, it is important to understand the beliefs we hold of money and unlearn the patterns we have acquired while replacing them with skills in money management and investing.

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  1. soniekithinji April 20, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    Beautiful piece. Made me wonder, what kind of imprints I’m I stamping on my daughters… if only girls are raised differently. if only they knew they are not undeserving.

  2. Gloria April 20, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Great work. Gets me thinking of money matters!

  3. meganjamer April 23, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Hey Brenda! Loved this post. In my own way I still see the world through a scarcity complex. And you wove in how your experiences as a woman also affect this. My favourite line: I fear that I might be better than you or get some limelight.
    Keep going.


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