A person who either can't or won't live up to his/her financial obligations.

Deadbeats are like assholes and excuses: everyone has (or knows) them and they all stink! Not surprisingly, the vast majority of deadbeats are jerks with infinite reasons to explain why they can't simply make good on their debts.
Can a person be a deadbeat towards him or herself? I think so.

The deadbeat ethic, in my opinion, is not necessarily confined to finances, the welfare of minors, or alimony. Without a doubt people who disregard the needs of others in their care should be reprimanded, and are of a much more serious category than those who consistently make poor life decisions. Perhaps there are "minor" deadbeats, people who want to destroy themselves out of pain or disorientation while destroying others emotionally at the same time. These people might need a different title, but for the moment I consider them "self-deadbeats".

Agoraphobia has effectively ended my college studies. At one time I had a vibrant academic career, now I sit at home and watch the walls, waiting for the electrical fire that may come due to overloading the electrical wiring. At the end of this term I will owe a large chunk of money to my university, though I rarely got up the courage to go to class. My Greek professor regards me as lazy just because I aced her course last time; I can't approach her for fear of having to use lorazepam and stare at her, with no words to say.

There are still bills to pay for nothing, still class withdrawal slips to fill out, and unrealized goals. I have only disappointed myself. I may have a panic attack on the parade grounds on campus; I may torture my only friend with hypochondriac fears. It's not just letting myself down. Am I a deadbeat?

No one cares if I finish school, or walk around unkempt; neither will I, until I realized that I have imprisoned myself by rejecting what I can do. Just as the criminal deadbeat neglects his responsibilies to others, the "self-deadbeat" may need to run from responsibilites because he or she, in a way, is handing his or her own sentence down. Instead of alimony, he or she is not paying him or herself the due necessary to live, and stop throwing the credit at others who can't keep a person propped up.

I'm still waiting for something that I can't control to fall on me. Until then, the walls will serve as a nice substitute.

Dead"beat` (?), a. Physics

Making a beat without recoil; giving indications by a single beat or excursion; -- said of galvanometers and other instruments in which the needle or index moves to the extent of its deflection and stops with little or no further oscillation.

Deadbeat escapement. See under Escapement.


© Webster 1913.

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