Overeating, smoking, alcohol, drugs, anxiety – these are all the results of oral stage traumas. This is why many people move so easily between them. Recovered drug addicts start drinking. Former smokers overeat. And so on.
An unhealthy relationship with money is a result of a different kind of trauma. It’s called anal-stage trauma. There are two general kinds of these traumas: the accumulating type and the dispersing type.
If you want to see a perfect enactment of the accumulating type, turn on Shark Tank and observe Kevin O’Leary, the billionaire who chants “I just want more MAAAHNAAAAY.” I know nothing about his real-life persona but the character he plays on the show is deeply anally wounded.
The dispersing type is somebody who is constantly haunted by money troubles irrespective of how much they make. Such people are always one bill away from disaster. They will engineer situations where they are always one step away from ruin because it’s their way of exercising control over life, strange as it might sound. They might have enormous incomes and be constantly skint because that state is their normal.
Another manifestation of anal-stage traumas is one’s relationship with things. Hoarders, for instance, are a classic example of these traumas. And so are obsessive neatniks.