As I have already described here, I put myself through law school and became an attorney fully expecting that if anything “bad” or financially catastrophic ever happened to me that I would be all alone without family or friends to support me. My nuclear family experience was oppressive and sadistic while my extended family and friends shared a collective lack of resources such that I knew that even if they wanted to help, there was little to no chance they would be able.
Furthermore, I had believed my mother when she told me that getting married and having kids had ruined her life. I believed that if I had any hope of taking care of myself long-term, including getting myself through when times were tough, I would need to be a “successful” skilled educated worker in a high-paying field for as long as possible, and that to avoid the awful oppressive conditions my mother faced, including the financial abuse and want she suffered when she was left a divorced, struggling single mother, that I would probably have to remain single and do it all by myself. Marrying rich (or at all), or in my mother’s case where she put my dad through medical school instead of herself, creating a sadistic misogynistic doctor out of a sadistic misogynistic poor guy from rural Michigan, was not the answer. I thought I had it all figured out and was led to believe I had.
After graduating from law school at the top of my class, I worked for about 6 years and got virtually nowhere. I found that, for newly licensed attorneys, the starting salaries were low and the practice-related expenses were high — things like a professional wardrobe and respectable vehicle were more or less required, and occasional vacations and costly relaxations and recreations weren’t exactly “discretionary” when you were losing your health and sanity to the oppressive working conditions of an entry-level employee faced with high responsibility and low control. High responsibility and low control being the objective markers of an objectively dissatisfying career leading to physical, emotional and mental “burnout” and worse.
In fact, my health started declining shortly after I began my career and became progressively worse, and eventually I was diagnosed with a disabling and progressive chronic illness, Crohn’s disease. And while I had managed to accumulate some resources in my time as a practicing attorney and was able to pay out of pocket for out-of-state lodging and alternative treatment for 3 years, I am currently at the end of my personal resources to deal with this problem. I have lost it all, having liquidated my assets, spent my savings, and maxed out and destroyed my credit pursuing the only medical treatment I ever found to deaden the pain and heal the destructive effects of Crohn’s disease: medical cannabis.
How and why is it so hard to “make it” under capitalism and patriarchy and so easy to then “lose it all”? Having experienced this myself, and having a lot of time to think about and analyze my situation, I have come to believe that losing it all — or having nothing in the first place — is more or less our natural human state and is entirely consistent with natural law. Simply put, no one has a natural right to accumulate. If left to the ravages of time and the elements, all accumulations will vanish.
Continue reading “Women, Accumulation & “Losing It All””