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Here’s a story of a teenage daughter who grew up with a father who micromanaged her during most of her years in school. It brought her stress and unnecessary pressure. After she took the matter into her own hands by paying for her college education, she sadly faced more drama.
The original poster (OP), who we’ll refer to as Iris, is a recent high school graduate. Most would have felt relieved to have their parents pay for their college education, but not Iris.
Accepting her father’s money would have meant that she needed to maintain a “B” or better in all her classes, have weekly check-ins with him, and much more—all the stress of working in an office environment with none of the pay.
Daughter’s Decision to Pay for College Herself
Iris decided to avoid these stressful requirements and pay for college herself. Also, in the past, Iris’s father had screamed at her or punished her, sometimes for things outside her control.
Iris recalls her father once “randomly” checking her locker at school to ensure she wasn’t “hiding anything.”
Iris’s best bet at freedom was paying for college, and she gladly did so. By then, she was almost done completing her first year at college.
A Bid for Freedom From a Controlling Father
On the Fourth of July, Iris and her family got together for a family dinner. Iris described her family as “nosy” because they constantly asked personal questions, mostly to judge.
The Price of Autonomy
Here’s where things started going downhill.
During dinner, Iris’s aunt and uncle began talking about her cousin’s school. As the conversation progressed, Iris’s aunt turned to Iris’s dad and asked “how much” he was paying for Iris’s tuition.
The Financial Burden of Self-Funded Education
Immediately after hearing this, Iris responded, “…I’m the one paying for it?”
Dinner continued, but moments later, Iris’s dad lashed out at her, demanding to know why she had “embarrassed” him.
Iris explained that she didn’t mention she was paying for college to embarrass her father. She was only stating the truth.
“He doesn’t even know how much tuition is so he was the wrong person to ask.”
Manage Your Emotions
“…‘yeah, there were too many micro managing strings attached to accepting money that I didn’t want to relive my anxiety ridden high school years.’
“Also, your dad sound [sic] ridiculous and kinda scary. Maybe LC is the way to go.”
Paying for College
“…OP, it’s really admirable how you’re pursuing a college degree in spite of so many obstacles. I wish you [the] best of luck!”
Playing Things Out
“That said, if I were you I would have totally waited to see what my dad said. If he made up some BS to try to impress my uncle I would have played the ‘How would you know? I’m the one paying for it.’… At least given him the option of saying something like “Your Name decided to pay their own way.” and if he didn’t, throw him under the bus.”
Balancing Personal Growth and Family Connections
Sometimes the people we love the most end up doing the most damage.
Some would argue that Iris has endured a toxic relationship with her father and that she made the right decision to pay for her college tuition in an attempt to avoid further emotional damage. Despite paying for her own education, Iris’s choice still led to an argument with her father.
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