My Father Was Bragging about Paying for My College When He Did Not Give a Cent, So I Gave Him a Reality Check

I spent years being bullied by my father when it came to my academic career, but as soon as I was old enough, I decided to take financial control. Despite that, my father still tried claiming he was paying for my tuition until I exposed him most unexpectedly! My father’s temper had loomed large over my childhood, dictating the terms of success and failure with a rigidity that left little room for error. “Random checks today, kiddo,” he’d announce, rifling through my belongings with a zeal that suggested he was defusing a bomb rather than searching a teenager’s backpack.

His standards for my academic performance in high school were just as invasive: “Nothing below a B, Jenny, understood?” The stress of living under his microscope had been unbearable. It was such a relentless pressure that it pushed me toward a decision that would define my college years: I would pay for my education myself, preferring to carry the debt over the tyranny of his expectations. On the other hand, my cousin had it much easier with supportive parents who pushed him but also gave him enough space for his own growth.

My aunt and uncle also gladly paid for his university tuition without expecting too much from him, but only the best. Paying my way through college didn’t seem to faze my father at all. Funny enough, not once did he mention it or offer to take over. However, he didn’t bother telling the rest of the family that he was leaving me to fend for myself and took credit for my prowess at college.

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