My Frugal Life: ThriftyFun Family

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In 2007, I lost my entire family. We grew up in San Diego. As the kids became adults, we found that even with decent jobs (I am a school teacher) we could not afford to live in SD. My Frugal LifeMy mom helped my siblings buy houses, but not me. I had been the result of an unwanted teen pregnancy, and she never has let me forget how I "ruined her life."

I read the thrifty tips and feel like the loving mom, grandma, aunts and cousins I never have had are there, posting tips to save money and enjoy what we have. My family always hated and resented me out of loyalty to our mom, and as a result, I had to learn to cook, clean, shop, live - on my own.

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Even now, at 53, I feel like a first grader at life, and reading ThriftyFun is like having a kindly old granny looking out for my pocket book.

By Grace from Aztec, New Mexico

Do you have a frugal story to share with the ThriftyFun community? Submit your essay here: http://www.thriftyfun.com/post_myfrugallife.ldml

July 29, 20100 found this helpful

Grace, I grew up surrounded by nothing but love, and my heart breaks for you. Hopefully your profession and friendships have allowed you to create your own surrogate family; but if not, maybe it is time to volunteer at a nursing home and "pick" a loving mom. I can assure you that there are many older women who would love to have a foster daughter to share her wisdom with. If you don't know how to begin, call a nearby nursing home and ask to speak to the social worker. Tell the social worker you would like to visit with a resident who is lonely, because you have no extended family of your own, you might change two lives for the better.

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

Jilson has a good suggestion! I'm glad that you find comfort in ThriftyFun, Grace. I'm sorry for what you've gone through, but hope and wish the best for your future!

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

I know sort of how you feel, I never had a mom or dad, I knew who they were, but, they were never around, I was raised by someone else. My wonderful mother and father in law took the place of a mom and dad, my mother in law became the mother I never had, I can always rely on Thriftyfun to give me answers for the questions I have, they are a wonderful bunch of people, Thanks Thriftyfun. So always when you have a question, Thriftyfun always will have an answer, you can rely on them.

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

You are a wonderful person for sharing this and you can count on me as that extended family as can you the rest of us we are a family!

Blessings to you!

My husbands family treated him the same way...it is a shame that people are so unloving as to be like that.

Robyn

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July 30, 20100 found this helpful

It's wonderful that you have walked above your circumstances. You have done so much.

I think you should submit your inspirational story to Woman's World magazine.

I think it would be great for you to bond with a few elderly women and enrich your life further and theirs as well. They would love to teach you things you still don't know.

God Bless You, Grace!

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July 30, 20100 found this helpful

I'm sorry your life has not been in the heart of a family the way you deserved. I had a few of those problems too but I feel I grew stronger and learned how to look after myself in a way I would never have at home. I learned to be frugal at an early age. I learned to cook, sew and make things with my hands. The man I married was not and never will be, rich. But because I know how to make do, and so does he, we have never felt like we were poor. I hope life is better for you and I will definitely keep you in my prayers. You have a lovely name Grace, so it will be easy to remember...Take care.

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July 31, 20100 found this helpful

Hello grace, not only am i stunned at your mothers attitude about you, when it was her choice to do what it took to become pregnant, not yours, but for all your siblings to automatically stand up with her is too transparent for words. You have many people who would reach out a caring hand, and give you the friendship of a surrogate mom, and I would get in line myself. I am a 71, nearly 72 yr old mom, grandmother, great grandmother, and a breast cancer survivor, 5 years at this point. I have survived a husband who died in 1997 with a terminal cancer, and am now, again, married. I would love to correspond with you, and all you have to do is say the word. I was raised in western washington state, but now live on the coast of alabama. Yep, where the oil is messing up lives of workers here. The idea of visiting in a nursing home is great, and there are lots of things one can do to have a full life. Just do not let what a family without any common sense make it a memory that sours the rest of your life. Loretta from Theodore Alabama.

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July 31, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you.

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July 31, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Grace, I too was raised by a mother that never lets me forget "she was a young mom." My mom was married young (her choice) and had me three years into her marriage. She decided she didn't want to be a mother and a wife and moved home with my grandparents so I could be her "little sister." For the past 39 years I was and have been "her mother" without choice. I have learned "not" to let her get to me and she is just now getting the point that "she is not the center of everyone's world!" I say point out to yourself that you are #1 and that you deserve better in your life. Sounds like you have a support group right here. I can be your family in San Diego (I'm slightly North of it) and it seems you have friends all over the US to cover the rest. Reach out and make your own family. I have. I feel this is my "second time around" and I am choosing the positive/loving people to join my team. ;)

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with Jilson go to a nearby nursing home and visit with a lonely resident. I worked as a nurse in nursing homes for several years and I know that there are many lonely residents there who would love to have your company. God Bless you!

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

I am so sorry Grace but your mom is at fault that she got pregnant. I bet she was not forced to have sex! (I would tell her that if it was me). But I want you to remember you are not alone God is with you all the time. We are here for you also. There is also other sites that can keep you company. I spend alot of time on the computer at different sites instead of watching tv. Also like someone else mentioned volunteer work is good.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Grace You mother is nuts and she is not thrifty. She let go of the most valuable thing she had which was you. Well let her go. May your new life be fabulous!

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

We don't know why we were born, Grace, but I do know God doesn't make "mistakes"! Our job is to find out what our mission is here on earth, do it to the best of our ability, with the help of those who love us and believe in us (may or may not be family members), and rejoice with Him when we're called home. I heard a Joel Osteen message this morning (8-1-10) about this very point, how to lovingly, but tactfully, push the naysayers out of our lives so we can fulfill the destiny God has planned for us. You've gotten many, many wonderful messages of affirmation and suggestions from ThrfityFun "family" members, now take those that feel most comfortable and go on to build the wonderful life God intended for you! Be blessed and be a blessing!

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Grace, as bad as your upbringing was. It has made you a more caring and loving person, some people in similar circumstances turn out to be horrible human beings who in turn spread that to other people around them,but not you.You used that pain for good not evil.I cant be a substitute mom for you (I'm 45) but I'll be your sister. I've always wanted one. You are loved, god says "even when you were in the womb. I knew you. And you are fearfully and wonderfully made" (paraphrasing mine as the book isn't directly in front of me-but you get the idea) keep us posted. We want to know how you are!

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Dear Grace,

I am so very sorry for what you have gone through. No one deserves to be treated like that. If sounds like you are holding your head up high & realizing that you don't need those kind of people in your life. Treat yourself well & God bless you. You don't know me but I care & will keep you in my prayers.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

All I can say is "Bless You" from the bottom of my heart. You sound like a loving person; one I'd love to meet and be friends with. I bet you're doing much better than your siblings.

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August 2, 20100 found this helpful

I am sorry that your upbringing was not as happy as it should have been; however, you have done the right and prudent thing in reaching out and making other people your family. It isn't what happens to us in life, it's what we do about it, that counts the most. People with character forge ahead and make a good life, while others crumble and get in trouble, etc. I think it is "homey" here myself, a good group of people helping each other, this site is!

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August 2, 20100 found this helpful

I know how those memories can gnaw at you. You could not choose your family but you can choose quality friends. My psyche still suffers from past mistreatment but I have a wonderful husband of 6yrs who advocates living and loving the now moment. I am 59 yrs. so I am living for now. I hope that you can shake it off. Easier said than done, being it's your mom. I will bet a million that she will repent one day and want you in her life. Everybody, pray for her and the other knuckleheads in her family.

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August 2, 20100 found this helpful

My family was toxic also, so I had to move past them. Now I don't know why I let them hurt me for so long. I am 55, and just now starting to really admit how much they hurt me. And I am determined to let it all go. I like to have good people in my life. So add me to the list of new friends you have here on Thrifty Fun, Grace. My name is Barb.

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August 3, 20100 found this helpful

Wow Grace seems like you have risen above all the negativity and hate. How sad for youto have been on the receiving end and for them to hate and have no known reason to do so. Yes there are lots of wonderful people on this site. I have been on here for a number of years and am always learning something new everytime I open the email. I don't know you but I will keep you in my prayers and God Bless and if you want to communicate with me just let me know. Lynn from South Texas

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August 3, 20100 found this helpful

My own venerable Mother has just one thing to say in these situations 'You have to love your relatives but you don't have to like them' It is really horrible to feel you don't get your fair share of love from your Mum, but I really hope all the love in the feedbacks helps you come to terms with your newly invented self.

I came across a great saying the other day by Emerson

'Make the most of yourself for that is all there is of you;

Grace you are on your way we are all behind you.

Ayesha

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August 4, 20100 found this helpful

Grace, you sounded so much like me, it made me feel better to hear someone else express those feelings! I am the same age as you, 53, and my life changed in 2007 also, drastically, and in the end, for the better! I grew up in a toxic family, like you, and for most of my life I let it slide when they'd hurt me, and it would seem as if even my husband didn't understand that I needed to stay away from them. Finally, after having cancer and surviving, I started thinking about life differently. Being a Christian didn't mean being a doormat. I gave myself permission to be happy for a change and not put up with hurtful people anymore, trying to get an unloving mother to love me. Obviously, after five decades, if she still couldn't show any love for me, it had been enough of a try. Stay strong, do what you must, and have a good life. Just because others seem to have great families, don't let it make you feel guilty because you don't, it's not your fault. There are difficult people in the world and sometimes you do finally need to walk away from it, just make sure you walk toward people who love and care about you. This is a great place to be, and there can be a happy life ahead with nice people in it!

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

Grace, your story is very touching. I only had one grandma growing up,she did teach me to crochet but not to cook. My mom is a good cook. I love learning new recipes and making new things for my famly. Thrifty Fun is awesome, you always know someone is there.

Edie

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August 7, 20100 found this helpful

Dear Grace, You have my deepest sympathy. My life is similar to yours and I would imagine we are in good company with many others. It's good you freed yourself but the loss can be stressful as it has been with me. It's easy to say "let the past go" but it's not easy doing it. Be strong, try to stay positive and try to enjoy what you have left of this life. I wish I could give you a hug and share some tears with you.

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August 9, 20100 found this helpful

OMG, what a terrible life you've had! An innocent child being blamed for the mistake of her mother, there are just no words. It may sometimes be hard to believe, after hearing so much negativity pounded into your head, but you're a valuable person who deserves love and healthy relationships. I hope you have friends and a significant other to help you find the acceptance and affection you were denied by your own family.

I'm so glad you've found ThriftyFun to be a welcoming place. (((Virtual hugs)))

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