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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?

usualsuspect Tue 09-Jul-13 18:39:34

No decent person would look down on you.

Anyone who does is a twat.

Souredstones Tue 09-Jul-13 18:40:09

You have two choices

Carry on with the self pity


Look over into the distance and say 'I'll have that' and work towards it and set mini targets towards it.

Sorry you're having such a shit time

StickEmUp Tue 09-Jul-13 18:41:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nkf Tue 09-Jul-13 18:42:02

No, I wouldn't look down on you for being poor. Allow yourself some time (short) to feel sorry for yourself and then start making plans.

Chottie Tue 09-Jul-13 18:42:18

No, I would not look down on you at all. No-one knows what the future holds and what life will bring them.

I don't really think people are as judgmental as you think. Why are you dreading the school holidays? if you feel you can tell us, please do MN often come up with lots of idea.

marzipanned Tue 09-Jul-13 18:42:55

Well, no, of course I wouldn't look down on you just for being poor.

Everyone has a story and everyone has had battles. I try really hard to find out those stories before looking on down on people.

I think constantly feeling self-pitying and worrying about what people think of you is a bad mindset to be in, though. Are you and the DCs healthy? You have a home - even if it's not one you like. A lot of families are without even that.

Are there any places nearby you can go these holidays for free? The park? Is there anything at all that you can cut down on/give up to start saving up for a treat for you and the DCs?

By the way - don't feel guilty for them. I work with families in your/similar situations and see plenty of kids absolutely thriving, as long as they're getting love and stability at home.

PeachActiviaMinge Tue 09-Jul-13 18:43:33

YABU as am I for feeling the same I won't let DDs friends in the house because I don't want them bullying her for what she doesn't have even more as they already call her out for not having the gadgets they do. I can't afford to buy the baby a play mat so he has to make do with us instead for now that's okay but when he gets older I'll have the same issues with him as I do DD.

I don't have friends I can't afford to go out and socialise so friendships die out. It's a fucking miserable life but I have my kids to make me smile and we try to do what we can with what little we have. I just hurt for DD all the kids local play with one little girl in particular as she has lots and lots of toys thanks to generous family members but DD isn't allowed to play with her because we're poor basically. I hope one day I can do better for her but for now I just hope she finds friends who don't care about stuff.

I wouldn't look down on you for being poor.
I might be a bit hmm if you continuously wallow in self pity.

(a small wallow is allowed wink)

Bowlersarm Tue 09-Jul-13 18:44:32

Life hasn't stopped now. Have an aim to work towards.

And don't let your negative thoughts filter through to your DC. They need you to instil confidence in them. Make them proud of any achievements. Try and be positive and look to the future.

Good luck. It must be tough for you.

PoppyWearer Tue 09-Jul-13 18:44:55

I know people from all walks of life and all income levels. I neither look down on anyone nor up to anyone.

Madlizzy Tue 09-Jul-13 18:46:46

Right you! There is NO shame in being poor, and anyone who turns their nose up at you isn't worth knowing. We veer between being just okay and being on the bones of our arses and I live as cheaply as possible. Clotheswise, I scour the charity shops on a regular basis and I am able to look just as tidy and smart as people who buy new stuff, and you can too. Picked up a gorgeous skirt for me today for £3. Furniture wise, get yourself signed up to Freegle or Freecycle. You might find yourself with a bloody good 3 piece suite for the grand total of nothing. The only person who can keep you down now is yourself. I'm poor and proud, so chin up and see what you can do to improve your situation. xxx

LynetteScavo Tue 09-Jul-13 18:48:17

I might be a bit surprised when you went into the details of your life and explaining why you lived where you did. I'd be thinking "A bit TBI". If you are nice and friendly I wouldn't care where you lived really, because like most people I'm too bothered worrying about my own life.

lottieandmia Tue 09-Jul-13 18:49:15

If anyone looks down on you because you don't have much money then they really aren't worth being friends with and their opinion doesn't matter! People who are like this about money are as shallow as people who only select beautiful people to hang around with.

My dd goes to school with children, quite a few of whom come from well off families who live in big houses etc. I really couldn't care less if their parents were to look down on me (and I don't get that impression tbh).

runningonwillpower Tue 09-Jul-13 18:51:11

Lots of people with loads of money are far from admirable and they don't necessarily make good parents.

Being an admirable person is not about disposable income. It's about attitude and values; you can teach your children well without a lot of cash.

So please stop judging yourself on material worth. Start thinking about real worth and the real values you want to teach your children.

Give yourself a break and take care.

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 09-Jul-13 18:51:19

I think people feel ashamed of their circumstances far more often than others judge them.

It depends what you consider important - I'm not bothered about wearing charity shop clothes and not jetting off on holiday, but I get defensive about not being in paid employment (am SAHM) and never send value brand labels in school lunchboxes (decanted is fine, I just don't want the label showing)

lottieandmia Tue 09-Jul-13 18:52:38

'I try really hard to find out those stories before looking on down on people.'

So if their 'story' doesn't justify how someone is to you, you think it's ok to look down on them? hmm

PoorLittleNotRichGirl Tue 09-Jul-13 18:57:25

Yes I am wallowing, not everyday but it is inescapable sometimes. I hope for some kind of miracle, like even a small lottery win to put us back on track, but I know that's not realistic.

Bowlersarm Thank you. I do instill positivity in the DC but it's hard with the example they have is that shit happens and they often state that they don't want to live here and why can't we move etc. They don't want to play out as they have been sworn at and threatened so stay inside (no garden) unless I take them out away from here which only serves to make me feel more guilty, especially on lovely days like we are having now .

Peach Sorry you are in the same boat. I don't have friends either, the few I did have gravitated away. For the best in some ways.

ClaraOswald Tue 09-Jul-13 18:57:32

Please stop trying to justify your current conditions to anyone.

Those that mid don't matter, those that matter don't mind.

It sounds like you are struggling a little to cope with the change of circumstances.

MoodyDidIt Tue 09-Jul-13 19:00:00

yanbu i was having a similar crisis a few months ago

no real advice though tbh, i just sort of pulled myself out of it somehow <not v helpful> but wanted to let you know you aren't alone

am sure there will be lots of good advice on here x

PoorLittleNotRichGirl Tue 09-Jul-13 19:02:27


'It sounds like you are struggling a little to cope with the change of circumstances.'

Just a little understatement of the century grin

EspressoMonkey Tue 09-Jul-13 19:09:20

NEVER say you will not be comfortable again. My DH is living proof you can be born with little, achieve a lot, loose most of it, claw it all back again and then make even more. His bank balance has changed dramatically but one thing that has always remained stable is his positive outlook.

Chin up OP. Never give up trying, never give up dreaming.

SillyTilly123 Tue 09-Jul-13 19:12:44

I only like to invite the dcs friends round who I know have similar housing to us, ie, housing association, bit messy, not a lot of accessories (decoration wise-theres more important things to buy than a vase or some candles) In fact I feel more comfortable in a -what I would call- 'normal' house than a show home type house.

The only time I judge people is when they do not look after their kids properly, swear at their kids, let them roam 'til God knows what time. (theres 2 of those in my street- I let my dds have their tea outside as it was so nice, and I swear the girl up the road couldn't have got any closer to dd2s plate! I dont think she has proper tea, just sweets/crisps etc. but I didnt have enough to offer her) Maybe that makes me a snob (which is laughable as im the most unjudgemental person I know) but I do feel sorry for these kids sad

StinkyElfCheese Tue 09-Jul-13 19:12:50

We could have written your post sad

I know DD has been dropped by one of her friends mums since we moved - I think it I s pathetic really we are still the same people.

I worry the kids are not eating as healthy as they should - they often get excluded as we cant afford all the little extras other kids have - swimming/brownies/gym club etc..

This year DD wont be going to summer club either which she really loves we simply don't have the money.

How on earth we are going to find the money for 3 x school uniforms is totally beyond me at the moment not to mention shoes....

The last new thing I bought for me was a dress for my mums funeral 18 mths ago -and even that was a cheapy sale one from Tesco.

Me and DH often just look at each other and tell each other it will all be ok ... sometimes we even believe it.

I have been scouting around for free things to do in the holidays 8 weeks for us .. there are some really great things out there and you never really know whats around the corner.

As for justifying yourself - stop .. its your home as my mum use to say

people who matter don't mind and people that mind don't matter smile

ClaraOswald Tue 09-Jul-13 19:13:39

What are you struggling with most? The area? Prospects? The everyday grind?

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