When my mother passed away, we found some unexpected stuff in her house. One of the things I found was a file in her file drawer called “Stan Correspondence”. What was in the file was letters my father had written me in college my freshman year. At that time my parents were still married and I was definitely under my dad’s thumb……. both emotionally and financially.
Let me share some data to put this all in perspective. My Dad was an attorney. All letters from him were dictated to and typed by his secretary, Mary. All letters I wrote were expected to be typed also. I signed a 20 page legal document (agreement) when I went off to college outlining my responsibilities and duties in college and the punishment if they were not fulfilled. I was expected monthly to type an in depth, categorized expense report on exactly where all my money was spent each month.
When I started to read these letters, I could not believe what I was reading…….not only what he wrote, but what I wrote back. I got a startling look at why I have had money issues all of my life. Fast forward to yesterday when I was gathering my information for my taxes and was setting up a revised financial system MP helped me with the night before when we had our “financial transparency” meeting. We disclosed all and it was scary and wonderful.
I had stuck this file on top of my file box, so when I sat down I opened it. It only took seconds before I was deep in my anger and grief realizing then where I had gotten all these messages I took on over the years around my finances. These letters were cold, harsh, shaming letters about what a screw up I was financially and I even found one his secretary had put together telling Dad that I was going to be in real trouble when I got out of school. These letters were written my freshman year!!!! What the hell did they expect from me? This was one of those moments of real clarity. That was then and now is now.
Since yesterday I have gotten a lot of additional clarity……first of all, I am not willing to keep those messages or that file…..second, I have done great work on my financial healing and am currently more transparent around money with myself and in my relationship with MP than I have ever been…… third, I realize now how much of what Dad wrote was his projections because he had tons of untreated money shadows…….and most of all, just like last week with the Buddy Holly story, I realize here was a man who was doing all he could to love his son and keep him from making the same mistakes he made….he just couldn’t express that to me.
So today I burned the file and released that energy and prayed for the guidance, love and compassion that was in my Dad’s heart when he was a young father loving me for being the extraordinary son he always wanted.