Bitcoin taught me to protect myself from abusive financial relationships.
One of the main reasons I became homeless was in a bad, abusive relationship. Through Bitcoin, I learned to honestly look at myself and my mistakes which will hopefully help me to become financially stable.
I was passive. When my boyfriend said he would take care of me, I believed him without thinking about it. My boyfriend determined my whole life. He was very jealous and always wanted to know where I was at all times. He deliberately said hurtful things to make me feel bad and blamed me for things that were not my fault, and I let it happen.
Every cent I earned, everything belonged to him. He applied for a credit card in my name, managed my bank accounts, and did my taxes. In a way, I was relieved by him taking care of these things. Before him, I had already had a wrong attitude towards money. I worked, spent, paid the rent and my health insurance, and I stuck into a cupboard all the blue letters from the taxman. If they did not exist, it was easier for me.
So I let my boyfriend control me. After some time, there was nothing that belonged to me, and it all belonged to him. If I needed to buy something small, I needed his permission first before getting the money. It was a toxic relationship.
He left me, leaving me with thousands of euros in debt. He maxed out credit cards in my name. He gambled and whored with my money, and I let it happen because I was afraid. I had to give up my home as a result and then found myself homeless. I blamed myself for it, spiraled out of control, and ended up in a dark place.
I never thought about money, never. Money was something I earned, something on an abstract bank account or a plastic card I got from my boyfriend when I asked. Sometimes I dreamt about being rich and buying stuff non-stop.
I did not know what money was. In learning about Bitcoin, I now know some more. It took me a long time to comprehend the basic principles, and I still do not know enough about Bitcoin. But I do know now that the Bitcoin I own is the hardest money ever created. I do not have to worry about the value of my Bitcoin. My Bitcoin will be there at the end of my life and still have value. Understanding this, for me, is like coming up for air, seeing a brighter future for myself.
Being my own bank
My boyfriend always limited my access to my bank account, and I always thought I was too stupid to do my financial affairs. I got nervous when somebody from the bank called, and even emails from the bank or the government were enough for me to have a panic attack.
They were all big organizations that talked a certain way about my money, mostly about me being overdrawn or a new solution to my debt with extra punishment: more money to pay in the future. I realize with Bitcoin; I am my own bank. Nobody but me can spend my satoshis, and I do not have to worry about interest on my debt or even paying for the financial services or wallet because nobody else owns my Bitcoin.
There are no offices, and I cannot overspend; there is no change in interest rates and no hidden costs. There are no middlemen that take their cut in fees just because they exist. Being my bank empowers me and gives me a sense of security that I never had before. The banks were/are unhealthy for me; Bitcoin, on the other hand, is healing me. Slowly but surely.
Not trusting anybody but myself.
My boyfriend always acted like he was the only one who could fix what was wrong with my bank problems. He talked abstractly about numbers, rules, and things I did not (want to) understand.
I know from bitter experience that you cannot trust social workers, civil servants, financial institutions, or banks. When there is/was money involved, it means problems. Bitcoin makes me my own woman; I (can not be blackmailed?) am unblackmailable, I do not need any other man to access my funds, and I do not need to beg for my rights. I do not have to be scared because somebody lied to me or changed the rules.
Bitcoin taught me to only trust myself. My Bitcoin wallet is my own, there is no other wallet like it, and the Bitcoin in it is my own. Only I can access the private keys. Only I know the words to spend them. No bank clerk, no taxman, or boyfriend can ever access my Bitcoin. Thanks to Bitcoin, I learned that I don’t have to trust, only to verify. This is very important for me, to stand in my own power, to be myself without having to be afraid of money truly.
Taking care of my own finance
Doing your own finances makes you healthy.
It empowers me to know that only I have access to my Lightning/Bitcoin wallet. What I own in Bitcoin is not much (yet), but I earn some satoshis every day, and I know that my future is looking better than ever. I’m still homeless but because of Bitcoin, I know, “What I have is what I own.” My finances are genuinely my own, they are my responsibility, and nobody in the world can take that away from me.
Saving for the future
Before Bitcoin, I did not know what I had, except for debt piles. I still have the debt for the foreseeable future. I’m not alone; millions of women like me are cut off from financial services or suffer under massive debt piles. If they listened to me, I would say, “Ladies, don’t ever entrust your money to any man, bank, or government.” Learn about Bitcoin, and put some money in a wallet for the day that you will have to stand up for yourself. The need for financial freedom is not in the future but is now.
Bitcoin is my saving machine.
For the first time in my life, I can dream about myself in the future. Maybe in 10 years, I can rent a lovely apartment without worries, have a normal relationship, and only because of Bitcoin. Before that, I only had nightmares about money, and I could only see problems, never any solutions. I know deep inside that my dreams are a real possibility because of Bitcoin.
I am homeless in Amsterdam. I am rebuilding my life with Lightning and Bitcoin. If you want, please donate some sats: HomelessMokum@zbd.gg