During our childhood, Mummy never indulged herself. She didn't buy herself clothes, shoes, handbags, books or anything else, regularly. She couldn't indulge herself because she was the sole on site parent of 3 children, her two and her sister's one. There was no way, with three children in private elementary school, that she could spend money on frivolities. Her adult life therefore, was spent spending on growing children and their many needs. What I'm realizing now is that although we deny ourselves intellectually, we can't really continue to deny our spirits the little lifts doing for ourselves give us, and not pay a heavy price later on. So it is with her now, whenever new clothing appears.
Every time Mummy thinks there's a new piece of clothing in her room one of two things happens. Either she returns it to my sister's room thinking it must not be hers or, as just occurred tonight, she trots it out with the excitement of a child finding a Christmas present. In today's instance, the 'new piece' was a something that's about 10 years old. Likely it's older than that but let's say 10. It doesn't look new, it certainly doesn't have that new clothes smell, but the sheer, unbridled joy at finding it. Never mind this is a garment she wore just yesterday.
The only epiphany I come away from this with is that self-denial is really only a temporary thing, at some point, someone, either you or your caregiver, is going to have to fill that hole. I'm thinking that perhaps it might just be best to find a way to squeeze the fulfillment of your own needs into your life. No point waiting until just before the curtain call to put yourself first in your life. Perhaps what is wonderful about this disease is that it strips away our ability to lie to ourselves about what we need. All those years when my mother was buying little or nothing for herself, she never complained, but clearly, somewhere deep down, she was feeling deprived and now, sheer, unbridled joy at finding a 10 year old pair of 'new' shorts. Interesting.