Dressed in a fur coat pouring my heart out about my debt to 12 strangers sitting in a dingy church hall, I began to accept that something was seriously wrong. From that first credit card, purchase of two tickets to see Tina Turner there followed a 30-year-old rollercoaster ride to my current debt load of £350,000. I realised that my financial tsunami was a result of my wrong thinking and my big-shotism fuelled by my underlying fear I would never be good enough and the accompanying feelings of low self-esteem.
In order to try to uncover the reason behind why I abused myself using money I read over 200 scientific papers on subjects from mental health, childhood trauma and disease. I also read dozens of books on self-development, as well as human psychology and biology. I learnt (and hope you will learn, too) how this unconscious self-loathing can be reversed not only for myself, but also for others around me, such as my nieces and nephews and my Godchildren. I did not want to pass my bundle of self-doubt, guilt and shame on to them. In my book, Your Invisible Enemy Your Invisible Power I lay out my surprising discoveries which I know will bring you revelations into the reasons behind your own financial tsunami and lead you to a deeper understanding of and connection with yourself.
The best place to start is at the end – 2008/2009. I had decided three years previously to become a property mogul. I took out two mortgages. The aim was to rent out one property and rent rooms in the other property. At first, my problem lay in my inability to handle this endeavour as a business. If the tenants did not pay the rent, I would not tackle them for months. Then, in the other house, it was difficult to rent rooms because I had hired Bodge the Builder. He had all my money yet no room in the house had the work completed. I held two jobs to survive but with the crash of 2008, I lost one job and did not earn enough to service my £350,000 debt.
Finding that dingy church hall and my fellow debtors was the start of my journey to the beginning. I began to face my compulsive need to indulge in such fantastic behaviour around money. Why did I get a buzz starting towards a big goal only for it to fade? Furthermore, the financial and emotional turmoil that this behaviour caused had a sense of the familiar. To be honest, I felt more comfortable with the stress rather than peace. What was that about?
With the encouragement of my no-nonsense support team, I re-arranged my financial obligations, which included selling one property, clearing out the drug dealers who had sub-let the other property, attending court to fend off bailiffs, and handling the new tenant in a healthy, mature manner, I reduced my debt load to under £100,000. As the pressure eased, I had the headspace to look at myself, and the subconscious reasons fuelling my destructive behaviour. The answers came.
It was on platform no. 14 at Victoria Station in London late one evening in May when a new level of understanding came into my awareness. I did not know what it was but mentally something felt off. Through the confusion, a thought came to me that throughout my childhood there was no hugging, kissing or affection. Although I had lived in the same house as my mother as a child, over and above a roof over my head and food to eat I was not cared for. My mother was with her husband because of his financial support. He insisted my two sisters and I were out of the way. He did not want us. We had to raise ourselves. There was physical violence towards us, and constant arguments about money between them.
I lost the love of my mother because of money. Here I was 30 years after leaving the house of horrors losing love, relationships, and the joy in life as I lurched from one financial crisis after another with this crazy compulsion which presented as a need to spend money yet, I now was learning, was a need to fill that gap: to feel love.
My research led me out of my denial about why I behaved as I did. The dysfunctional environment in my childhood home had left me physically and emotionally damaged. Physically, I had experienced stress on a level that has left me with a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. It has affected my brain development, and my nervous system. (Dr Bessel van der Kolk) – I had trouble retaining information and I do display symptoms of ADHD and autism including a sensitivity to noise. I had suppressed memories of a door slamming or a shout in my childhood home. This would be a prelude to something kicking off. Research by the Kaiser Institute in America found that children who suffered significant adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) were susceptible to autoimmune illnesses – I was anaemic and had an over-active thyroid. Dr Gabor Mate found that all his patients in his addiction clinic in Vancouver – all of them – experienced childhood trauma. The way I spent money was my addiction. What is yours?
The constant arguments about money in my childhood caused me extensive trauma. Now an adult, the effects of this trauma drove my behaviour around money. Once I came out of denial that I was still living as a fearful little child, as painful as it was, my life opened up.
In that dingy hall, I obtained clear-cut directions for dealing with the practicalities of debt. By doing that work, I got the gift of realisation and started my healing. Now I have progressed from chaos, pain and suffering to a life that is peaceful, solvent, and free. If you want this change and are prepared to do the work, join me.
Loreen Mckellar’s passion for supporting and guiding adults to recover from the effects of their childhood trauma and so thrive and prosper flows through her regular London workshops. Addressing real life issues such as money, relationships and food, Loreen has shared clear-cut directions to recovery with over 1000 adults who grew up in a dysfunctional household. Loreen has studied with Dr Gabor Mate and Dr Bessel van der Kolk and she is a Member of the European Society of Trauma and Dissociation. Her research included poring over 250 scientific journals on trauma, attachment and mental health and over 100 books on the human mind and body and on self-development. Loreen is a property owner, trader, keen walker and an emerging nature photographer.
Follow Loreen Mckellar on Instagram @loreenmckellar
Resources Adverse Childhood Experiences - https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html Debtors Anonymous – www.debtorsanoymous.org
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Dr Gabor Mate
The Body Keeps the Score – Dr Bessel van der Kolk
If you dream about being invisible- you might feel like people don’t recognise or notice you or something that is important to you. You may feel like you are being overlooked by those closest to you and other people are taking priority over you. This could be in a family setting, in a relationship or at work. Another thought is that you are trying to withdraw from the realities and responsibilities of your life because you are struggling to cope with them... to read more click HERE