Spending Versus Feeling

A good friend of mine suggested that I read or recommend the book “When Spending Takes the Place of Feeling,” by Karen O’Connor, she updated it “A Woman’s Place is in the Mall . . . And Other Lies” from Harvest House Publishers. For various reasons this friend of mine had a lot of emotional issues to deal with, and instead of working through them, she shopped. This book helped her see what she was doing, and gave her the tools she needed so that she could break that cycle.

1 thought on “Spending Versus Feeling

  1. Deb

    This is my story and I hope that it will help our friends on similar journeys. It has always been my hope that my husband and I break the pattern of spending that had been passed from generation to generation on my father’s side. My dad was an only child of a family that was well off living on Fifth Ave in NYC. He would boast about how he always had money for the movies and the Brooklyn Dodgers even during the depression. I could see through the veneer-I saw that his parents used money to entertain their son rather than spend time with him. He thought he had a great childhood (meaning all of his needs were met) but all I could see was a very lonely little boy who grew up to be a very lonely man.Then he married a beauty queen from Ohio-really. She came from a home where both parents needed to work so her memories of her parents was that they were never home even though all of her basic needs were met. Then they meet, marry and have three children. The youngest child, a boy, became severely mentally retarded from a high fever in 1961. There were no resources for such families and we were blessed that my Dad owned his business and was able to provide the funds for therapy,special needs childcare (unheard of then) and that my sister and I lived a very comfortable life with our basic needs always beeing met and more.There wasn’t a church that included my entire family so I got my identity on how my parents treated me. As a sibling of a person with special needs you tend not to get the attention that you want and that you need. My sister and I had that before my brother’s needs became apparent. Accordingly the time we spent with our parents, who were trying to figure out the world of disability, had changed in quantity and in quality. My time spent with my Dad was going to the movies(you can’t talk in the movies) and I have memories of him pushing my brother on the swings at a publice park.
    The only time I got to be with my mom was when we went shopping together alone. I loved that even up to the day she died. Fast forward. My mom and I continued this “bonding time” until she died when I was 34. I spiritually died with her until I came to Christ 9 months later. As God began to heal my heart and show me the lies that I have embraced I got on the path of freedom.
    But spending continued to be an issue for me- even today. When things get rough I want to go shopping. I remember going up for prayer about this and God showed me that my shopping was an expression of my need to be with my mom. I wanted that Mommy fix and rather than run to the Lord -I ran to the stores even thrift stores. It is the feeling that is the addiction. I at least know what the trigger is (stress) and I also know that I need to turn to Jesus and cry out a huge prayer Lord help me to just go home and not go shopping. I am still in process but I encourage your readers to consider their relationship with money and how it was perceived in the generations before you. I chose to stop this generational curse and not pass this onto my girls. They have always had what they needed and learned to wait for the right time and thing. I still struggle but I know Who to go to to intervene! My daughters know of my struggle and understand why we raised them in a way to stop the spending madness. Only the Lord can help them make better choices than their mom. Thanks for reading. D Petermann

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