This post was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We all pretend that our lives are perfect on social media, but that’s not often the whole picture. No one’s family is really Pinterest perfect. Life doesn’t happen in ideal Instagram snaps. I’ve gotten a little personal in the past, and I’m going to go there again. I didn’t have it easy growing up. My father was always very difficult and things were very rough at home. But there was another aspect I haven’t really talked about – the financial aspect of that. While I’ll go into it further in the post, there was verbal, emotional, and even some physical abuse. And something that I didn’t even realize until I was grown up – there was also financial abuse. My mother wasn’t able to support us on her own, even if she had actually gone through with divorcing him. I’m partnering up with Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to share my story and let you know that The Allstate Foundation Purple Purse drives fundraising for local, state and national nonprofits that provide crucial financial empowerment tools and resources to survivors of domestic violence. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Financially Empowers Domestic Violence Survivors
While I am not going to talk about my parents’ relationship and what went down between them (because it’s not my story to tell), I will tell you about the financial aspect. One of the main reasons my mother couldn’t leave was because she couldn’t support us. There wasn’t a lot of money and he would have never given her money to live on with us.
My mother was a teacher and she worked full time before I was born and she started subbing when I was 6 weeks old. My father was a salesman (though not a very good one) and his jobs were never stable. I imagine he made money, but he wasn’t much of a saver. Both of my grandmothers took turns watching me while she subbed (she needed to help our family). I remember her getting calls in the morning and me getting shipped off to one of their houses. But it was the best she could do while she was around to be there for my brother and me.
While I can’t remember all the details, my mother went back to work full time when I was around 9 (my brother must have been around 5 1/2). I remember picking him up from kindergarten and walking him back to the babysitter, Estelle. Back in the early 80’s, teachers were making a lot less than they are currently. When things became worse with my father and they almost divorced (which I think was the next year or so), she couldn’t afford to support us on her own. She was worried that she couldn’t put a roof over our heads. There were other reasons why she didn’t leave that I don’t want to go into to, but later she told me that money was one of the reasons why she stayed. My grandfather had passed away in the mid-seventies and my grandmother (who had moved to a 1 bedroom in Florida by then) couldn’t have helped out financially. There was no place to go. I don’t think my father’s mother would have helped her, her own husband had passed away at that point. My mother didn’t have many choices. So we stayed.
My father didn’t help out at home or cook dinner for us, it was all my mom. She would take classes on the weekends so she could go up on the pay scale and she worked hard. Eventually (probably when I was in high school) she started making a lot more money. But by that time, my father had become a carpenter and often had long periods of time when he wasn’t working. He’s turning 80 this summer and while he doesn’t get very many jobs anymore, he will never be allowed to retire.
When I went to college, she urged me to get a teaching degree so I would have something to fall back on. There weren’t many options for my mother back then, but there are options now. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through financial empowerment. Financial abuse isn’t something that’s really on the news, but it occurs in 99 percent of all domestic violence cases and is the No. 1 reason victims stay in or return to abusive relationships.
Allstate Foundation Purple Purse drives fundraising for local, state and national nonprofits that provide crucial financial empowerment tools and resources to survivors of domestic violence. I wish my mother could have turned to this when I was young. You can support these efforts by visiting PurplePurse.com and donating today.
Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has just released this video to educate the public on the issue of financial abuse. This video will be short, compelling and focused on raising awareness of this too-often silent issue. The film depicts a social experiment and challenges viewers to question their position as bystanders: “If you knew, what would you do?”
Check out this powerful video:
For more info, go to http://purplepurse.com/