Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Act Like a Father (1989)

Let me start by letting you know when I saved up the money for my first car, my Dad said he would "help" me find a car by finding cars to go see and taking me. I really liked a Honda Civic that I found and inspected; however, unbeknown to me, my Dad bought a car with my money without me ever even seeing it! I had set a couple of prerequisites for the car, one of which is that the car couldn't be a stick shift. Well, I went to pick up the car that my Dad presumptuously purchased with my money, and the car was a stick shift-- AND IT WAS BABY BLUE and a LITTLE BOX. I sucked it up and learned to drive a boxy, baby blue stick shift.

So, a couple of years later, I ended up purchasing a different car, and before I purchased it, I had to find out how much the insurance would be. I paid premiums to my Dad who had USAA insurance for me (he added me to his policy when I got my first clunker). Little did I know, he had dropped me off of his car insurance policy and didn't tell me. When USAA informed me that I hadn't had insurance for OVER 6 months, I about flipped! Because I was uninsured for over 6 months, I had to obtain sub-standard insurance, and not to mention, I was a huge risk driving around that whole time uninsured (I could have been in heap-big trouble!).

Also at this point, I had applied for some grants and scholarships with the university. I was earning straight A's so the scholarships were very feasible, and the grant should be easy as I was earning minimum wage and living on my own. Surprisingly I was denied, and after researching the issue, I discovered that my Dad had been claiming me on his income tax for YEARS (even when I lived with my mother in high school) which disqualified me. Apparently when he claimed me on his income tax, he is claiming to be supporting me, which he wasn't. I had been filling out income taxes on myself, always claiming myself, so he could have gotten in trouble if audited. So, due to the financial support he claimed with the IRS, I wasn't eligible for the grants or scholarships as I wasn't needy. I was PISSED. Not having him pay for my housing, books, lab fees, food, transportation, and tuition was one thing, but now not even able to get assistance is another!

My mother was always VERY upset about the fact that she had given up the equity in the house in exchange for my Dad to pay for my college (fully) and my brothers (who didn't even graduate from high school and was living in a halfway house). My Dad was getting away with paying for neither as he had agreed to AND he had the equity in the house!

One note here, is that if my mother loved and supported me like she said she did, and she could obviously see my financial struggles with getting through college paying my own way, why didn't she help me out instead of constantly complaining about how my Dad should be doing this or that in regard to my college education? Don't get me wrong-- I didn't expect EITHER of them to foot the bill for anything of mine. Even in high school I was working paying for my own things. I would have appreciated any help when I was earning my undergraduate, but I am still baffled to this day that my mother never helped me (and she could have financially) ... AND that my Dad didn't WANT to help me with college. The bottom line here is that they were getting back at each other, like they always had, and as a result, the children were hurt in the process. Same story, another chapter.

Anyway, back to the situation with my Dad-- personally, the combination of being treated like a 2nd rate family member, being dropped off of the car insurance without my knowledge, not having my college paid for, and not being able to get financial assistance because he claimed me on his tax return caused me to be infuriated with him.

We also mustn't forget that when my great-grandmother passed away years almost a decade earlier, she left my brother and me money. My Dad had my brother and me sign them over to him under the pretense the money was to be put into our college accounts. First of all, our college was supposed to be paid for from the equity in the house that my mother gave up to him per the divorce agreement. Second, neither my brother nor I received this money-- so we signed the checks over to him for his freewill essentially. Third, the inheritance check became a HUGE bone of contention between my mother and me, with her thinking I purposely deceived her by not telling her about the money when I moved in with her.

Now came the time to have a talk with my Dad. I asked him why he is my father as he doesn't act like he wants to be. I asked if he loved me because doing these things are not what people who love each other do to each other. I asked him why he didn't want to uphold his court ordered obligation of paying for my college, and he said that he didn't have a court ordered obligation. I had the court documents in front of me, and I read them to him, which promptly made him infuriated. We didn't talk again for YEARS.


  1. It's always the old "why can't the other pay it for you?" isn't it? And the children end up empty-handed

  2. Same/same. My "mother" pulled the *exact same thing* with college. It took me a few years to sort through all the financial stuff-and YES, she did NOT care that I was literally starving and freezing to death.
    I hope all her $$$ kept her warm and well fed for the ensuing decades after NC. (I'm still dealing with the health effects of starvation.)
    Of course, she never could "understand WHHHYYY TW did this to MEEEE!" (Thank you, Norma Desmond.)