to be ashamed of being poor? BEWARE self pitying thread!

(118 Posts)
PoorLittleNotRichGirl Tue 09-Jul-13 18:37:35

Just that really. So many people have so much more than me and their lives are so much better and mostly, so much less stressful.

I worry the DCs friends will look down on them if they knew where we lived and what little we have and yes, tbh that their parents will look down on me. Most of them live in the affluent area we used to live in and it is a completely different world.

We now live in a council flat (with the obligatory smelly stairwell and anti social neighbours), drive a 12 year old car (with the obligatory put, put, put exhaust and noisy suspension), have no decent clothes (me) that don't have bleach stains and that overwashed look, falling apart furniture nothing of any value, no jewellery, no money for even a weekend break, value food etc.

I have worked hard all my life. It took just a simple series of shitty events to lose every penny we ever had (and my mind) and end up in council accommodation. When people find out where we live, I feel like I have to explain how we ended up here to stop them thinking we are just feckless scroungers and beneath them. Should I have to do this?

We will probably never get back to living a comfortable life (and having had it, then losing it is harder than never having it at all, really). I constantly feel a deep sense of inferiority and shame and guilt (for the DCs).

It is just shit and I am dreading the school holidays. AIBU to feel full of self pity and constantly worry about what people think of me? Would you look down on me?

facedontfit Tue 09-Jul-13 19:14:35

I wouldn't look down on you, but there are people arseholes who will. Look on it as a bonus, when you make friends it will be with real people who don't care where you live but like you for you. You will hopefully avoid the people who only want to know you for your big house/important job/holiday home/lottery win/wine cellar/boat/private plane etc etc no, I don't have any of these either! smile

Don't think you will be there forever self fulfilling prophecy, you won't.

Never be ashamed.

Onwards and upwards RichGirl flowers

PearlyWhites Tue 09-Jul-13 19:17:24

Op I have a playmat and other baby toys my ds has grown out of, he is 11 months you are welcome to them if you are local to Merseyside? How old are your dc?
I am so sorry you feel judged, anyone who judges people on their income is just plain nasty.

BlackMini Tue 09-Jul-13 19:17:46

Anyone who judges you for where you liveis not worth your friendship. You sound lovely smile

RedHelenB Tue 09-Jul-13 19:21:03

Are you working at the moment? You don't say how old you are but hopefully when the baby is a bit bigger you can get back to work & with tax credits should be better off.

I think I am abnormal - I have never ever wanted to be rich or have the latest gadgets, clothes etc BUT I like to have "money to spare"else I do worry. I don't know where you live but if there is a surestart near you they may be able to help with toys for baby, or jumble sales at church halls perhaps?

As to stress, that is something that can't be measured by money - honestly the people I thought were in a good place but were really just playing charades.

LadyofSituations Tue 09-Jul-13 19:22:03

Is there anything you can do to improve your financial situation? Do you have a job? Qualifications? Work experience?

There's short-term and long-term. In the short-term, you can focus on trying to adjust to the sudden shift in circumstances. In the long-term, though, you might be able to work towards changing them for the better. (And of course, the more resilient you're able to be, the easier that's likely to be too - it's hard to do much if you're feeling hopeless.)

Mogz Tue 09-Jul-13 19:22:19

I know how you feel, and. Also know it's important to not let it take over your life: have yourself a little wallow then start setting some goals. Make sure they're small steps and realistic, and once you start ticking them off you'll feel so much better.
Like most other people have said anyone who judges you is not worth your time, there are plenty of great people around from all walks of life who will be more than happy to know you for who you are not what designer brands or fancy lifestyle you are/not the owner off.
Your children will look back on their childhoods and remember the love you gave them not the toys they didn't have, they'll remember the time they got to spend doing fun things with you and they'll be ever so grateful.

There really are loads of people out there who don't care about the stuff you have. Like you they just want to meet other friendly people to keep them company in life.
But yes, I have rather mixed feelings about the upcoming summer hols too. Am thinking of getting the DCs into a summer adventure play club - it's not that expensive, and probably cheaper than we'd spend out and about all the time.
Good luck - things will look up !

Plomino Tue 09-Jul-13 19:23:20

It's ok to feel down in such circumstances . Who wouldn't ? At one point not that long ago we were seriously skint , and the day to day endlessly scraping pennies together, working out how much we had every single day , the constant calculating , selling my jewellery , and going without , was beyond depressing . But. We got through it . DCs were ok . And so will you . Yes it is shit . But people who judge you on how comfortable you are , were never your friends anyway .

Is there anything we can do to help ?

PoorLittleNotRichGirl Tue 09-Jul-13 19:26:00

StinkyElfCheese Sorry to hear you are experiencing similar. I do tell myself that how I care and treat my DCs has not changed and they are well looked after so I am doing OK albeit a nervous wreck.

Clara The housing situ is the biggest problem and seems to be the hardest to solve. DCs have no outside space. Getting sworn at neighbours. Police regularly outside. Yobs shouting and swearing in the street at all hours. Depressing does not do it justice. No hope of moving as moving back into private renting will mean claiming housing benefit and all the shit that goes with that and being moved on at the landlord's whim. No hope of ever getting another mortgage unless a miracle happens.

LEMisdisappointed Tue 09-Jul-13 19:26:01

or you could look at it like this - you have a roof over your head, you have a car (our car is 14 years old), your children are getting an education, if they get sick they will be looked after. You will be possibly in receipt of benefits which will tide you over until you brush yourself off and start again. You said you had a good lifestyle until you had a series of bad luck, i assume you worked hard for it, so you'll work hard again and things will improve.

Would i look down on you? absolutely not - i may well ask myself how you found yourself in that situation but i most certainly would not judge.

I know how easy it would be for us to find ourselves where you are now and its a real fear of mine and if i were in your situation i would be feeling exactly as you do now. I often worry that people look down on us - and i know that some people do, i have come to realise that those people really aren't very nice and i don't give them more than an arbitary token of my time and i certainly don't loose any sleep over them.

Have some flowerswine wallow for a bit and then start to find ways to enjoy now and improve things too - things will get better, i promise xx

LEMisdisappointed Tue 09-Jul-13 19:32:56

Get yourself onto an exchange list if you can, you'll be surprised, it doesn't hve to be a reciprocal exchange it may involve three or more people moving and if someone wants into the general area in which you live , you may find tht you can move into a new place. You may have to stay where you are for a period of time depending on your council.

<<hugs>>

ARealDame Tue 09-Jul-13 19:34:11

Housing, yes, one of the trickiest ones - perhaps something worth putting your energy into, public, private, whatever? There are always options if you are a healthy adult, and even better if you have a partner, I would say. I can afford new clothes etc, but terrible housing, and I know what I would choose.

marzipanned Tue 09-Jul-13 19:42:09

Lottie yeah, that came out really badly. But there are some people I've come across in my work that I do look down on. I can't help it. It's nothing to do with having money or not, it's to do with the way you treat people who love you and people who try to help you.

marzipanned Tue 09-Jul-13 19:47:15

Second getting onto an exchange list. I know a woman who swapped out a flat in a terrible estate for a detached house in a village because a family wanted to be in the city - you never know what others might be looking for.

Badvoc Tue 09-Jul-13 19:53:07

I am pretty sure you wouldn't want anything to do with the type of person that looks down in council housing tennants?
I am sorry that you have had such a hard time.

fanjobiscuits Tue 09-Jul-13 19:54:23

Thiis might help put it in perspective: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

Agree anyonevwho judges doesn't have judgement worth trusting.

wellcoveredsparerib Tue 09-Jul-13 20:03:36

op, I do sympathize. I have been in a similar situation and although I'm not now, (through luck mainly) it would only take bad luck/illness/redundancy for it all to come crashing down. can you do anything to improve your job/income prospects - retrain maybe? if you can see a way out you can cope with how tough things are now so much better.

BridgetBidet Tue 09-Jul-13 20:46:21

This is where you find out where your real friends are. The ones who stick by you are the genuine, good friends. The rest of them are just so much flotsam and jetsam that you happened to pick up along the way and they were never really your friends.

oreocookiez Tue 09-Jul-13 21:00:43

Sorry to hear your feeling down on yourself, life is hard sometimes. I was brought up in a wealthy household and my mother was one of those snobs who didnt let me mix with council house familes as she called them. The friends I ended up with where I lived were mostly stuck up spoilt brats with pushy parents. My best friend patricia lived a bus ride away in a council estate and I was much happier playing out there, kids were friendly, mums would offer a drink or biccy and were so friendly. Compared to the snooty 6 bed detached houses mums who didnt speak as far too busy or had an au pair.
I would much rather live in a happy house.being rich or poor doesnt matter, real friends wont care.my dd is friends with all sorts of kids and the thought of if they live in a Council house or
not never crosses my mind.

Chin up chicky x

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 09-Jul-13 21:02:02

YANBU for finding the situation difficult. Sorry to hear you've had a tough time sad

But, no nice people would look down on you.

aldiwhore Tue 09-Jul-13 21:10:13

I think you'll charm more good people with a smile and hard graft than you ever would with money and 'stuff'.

shewhowines Tue 09-Jul-13 21:13:26

I know you have reasons to be fed up and miserable, but is there any chance it may be more than this and you are depressed?

monkeynuts123 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:17:06

I got chatting to someone the other day and he was from a poor part of London, was a teacher, and he and his wife (also a teacher) were barely covering their costs and had a crap life. His actual words were 'I decided to beat the recession and now I live like a king.' He moved his family of 2 small kids and wife to India where they both now teach. He has a huge house, pool, staff, nannies, weekends at apartment in Goa on the beach. This guy was an inspiration. I have been poor and more than comfortable but I know for certain I would do something dramatic to change my lot if I found myself feeling as you do. Be an inspiration to your children. Your post made me want to ask you for your bank details and send you £100, but you don't want people to feel sorry for you do you? I think you are judging you and that is what hurts. Get up and change it all!

raisah Tue 09-Jul-13 21:35:10

I am sorry that you are going through this, I went through similar when I was growing up & my dad lost everything in the 80's financial crisis. I am not rich by any means & I think a lot more people are struggling than they would admit to in RL. My parents were dropped by lots of people when they lost everything, unfortunately that's what some people are like. The most important thing is for you to bring up your kids as decent human beings.

I hope you don't think I am being patronising but have you spoken to CAB to find out if you are receiving everything that you are entitled to? The Citizens Advice
Bureau run very good free money management courses. You maybe entitled to enroll at your local FE college for free so take this opportunity to retrain if possible.

The openuniversity has a free website called openlearn, you can study lots of modules there for free. There is a very good skills course there called 'Key Skills: Making a Difference' which I suggest that you look at as it deals with transferable skills.

I think when you are in a desperate sitaution, you just see the situation as one long endless bleak tunnel that you cant see the light at the end of. Do implement some of ideas that people have suggested if you think it might work for you. Getting yourself on a transfer list & mini target setting etc.

I have lots of old baby clothes & equipment in good conditiOn if anybody wants it. I am in the S.E . London area, some of you mentioned needing toys for a baby.

Goodluck.

marriedinwhiteagain Tue 09-Jul-13 22:15:10

Nope - I wouldn't judge what you have or where you live. There are lots of free things in the holidays:

Library - always run reading challenges with stickers and reviews to write in the hols.

Local authority play schemes.

Park and picnic.

Garden centre with ornamental fish sheds - free aquarium.

Fish and chips under the stars.

Childen's cinema sessions for a pound.

Double decker bus ride and Maccy D's treat at the destination.

Join a church for activities, fun and support and children's activities.

Volunteer at school and plug into what's available - opens up job ops later.

How old are you OP and how old are your DC.

With love and hugs.

I used to give mine baths with a drop of food colourinmg in and dash of baby oil or diprobath. It was fun; it was cheap and because they had eczema it saved buying hyper expensive sensitive bubbles.

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