Stop Using Your Parents' Money

Stop Using Your Parents As A Bank

Nobody likes a Mona-Lisa.

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A few years ago, I had an argument with my dad about privilege. I off-handedly mentioned how I was privileged to have what I have, and he got defensive about how he had worked for most of his life to get to where he is. Read that sentence again and tell me where the miscommunication happened.

I said I had privilege; he said he did not.

He thought I was meaning he didn't work for where he was and didn't deserve it. While he may have some privilege by being a white guy, he had to work hard to get where he is now. He started from the bottom, from three jobs to make ends meet, to well-off and not having to worry about counting pennies for peanut butter.

I, however, never worked for that. I was born into a middle-class family and never had to worry about where my next meal would come from or whether I would have clothing that properly fit me. Most of my life, my money has not been my own.

When I came to college at 18, I paid for nothing. My dorm, my tuition, my groceries, my gas—my parents paid for all of it.

I'm 21 now, and I still don't pay for my tuition. My parents still pay most of my rent. My utilities, my groceries, my gas, my entertainment, and my cats are all me, but the vast majority of the money I spend isn't. My parents can easily pay for everything, and I could ask them to do that forever, but I don't want them to.

I don't think anybody should.

I don't care if your parents' salaries combine to be seven digits a year—you should have your own source of income. You should work for what you get, even if they're still helping out. Because guess what? Your parents aren't always going to be around to take care of you.

People around you don't always have that privilege, either, so hearing about how all you did during the summer was travel, how it felt "so good" for your "soul" or whatever, is rubbing salt in the wounds for everyone else. Most people have to work for at least part of their summer, if not all of it, and everyone should have to experience that at some point.

I'm not saying everyone should have to start from the bottom. I don't think anyone should ever have to worry about if they'll get more than one meal today or if they can pay their next bill, but I do think people should have to work for something, even if it's not a necessity.

Nobody likes to hear this:

So just don't do it. Instead, get a job. If you can't (because we all know how hard it can be), ask your parents if there is any extra work you can do for them so that you earn what you use.

Don't be Mona-Lisa.

Use the privilege you were born with, but don't abuse it.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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30 Things That Happen To The Kids Without Parents

Last-minute realizations, avoidable experiences, and questions you just shouldn't ask people

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I could summarize this entire post in one simple sentence and call it a day. I could choose to deal with my own problems and ignore others' because they don't affect me. I could gloss over the subject and pretend none of it is real. But that wouldn't be fair, mature, or loving of myself or others.

So with that, I don't think there's anything truer I can say besides I know what it's like.

I had little to no interaction with my parents. I lived with my maternal aunt and grandmother and hadn't a clue why. The confusion probably hurt me more than knowing ever would've. Obviously, there are things you just don't tell children. You'll spoil their innocence. Or, they'll understand when they're older. But for kids without parents, it's almost impossible to get it through their heads not to mature so quickly (before it's socially "time"). It's like telling the sun not to rise tomorrow. You just can't.

But I digress. I give a snapshot of my hidden experiences here with the hopes that I help...comfort...give love to someone else. Just letting y'all out there know you're not alone.

1. My entire second grade class asked me where my dad was after I said he "was" something.

I was also the new kid in town at that time. Nice.

2. My third grade teacher excluded me from Mother's Day arts and crafts because she knew I didn't have a mom.

3. A boy in my class asked if I was a robot because I had no parents. Also Batman (how would that work???).

4. Another boy (same class) asked, "Is your dad dead?" in front of the whole class on Father's Day. 

5. When my mom wasn't my chaperone for the Mommy Daughter Dance, a girl noticed and told me I shouldn't have bothered coming.

6. I never saw their faces in the audience at any of my choral concerts growing up.

7. My junior high advisor mentioned it was abnormal that I wasn't living with my parents.

8. An ex-boyfriend told me it was no wonder I was so problematic.

(What with being an "orphan" and all. You know, the usual).

9. I graduated high school with no one in the bleachers cheering for me. 

10. I got looks for bringing my only picture of my parents and I to my graduation ceremony.

11. They didn't get to congratulate me on my first job.

Or the next. Or the next...

12. I never got to tell them I got accepted to my dream college.

13. My mom and I were supposed to get matching tattoos.

14. My parents will never know I left that toxic boyfriend they worried about.

15. I look at drugs, alcohol, and addictions from a completely different angle than other kids my age.

16. I grew up never knowing what true love was.

17. I never got to have "mother-daughter gossip."

18. I never had a male role model in my life.

19. My mom never got to meet my best friends. Just some good-for-nothing boy that broke my heart.

20. I grew up cold toward tragedy. Grieving is hard now. Things just seem to happen.

21. I see parents with their college students now and it never fails to break my heart.

22. I won't have my dad to walk me down the aisle.

23. I won't have my mom to do any girl bonding with.

24. The last image I have of them is the most haunting.

25. I rethink our last conversations all the time and speculate.

26. I see their auras in the world around me. Sometimes it's freaky.

27. I have dreams about them all the time.

Sometimes good. Sometimes bad.

28. I never get to tell them I love them, or hear their voices, or see their faces.

29. My parents will never be grandparents or in-laws.

30. I still have not completed my grieving process. Even after all these years.

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