By: Revanche

Birthday Money

September 25, 2009

For the first time in years, I got birthday money! Yay! My cousin claims it’s from my aunt, but I suspect they colluded because cousin is younger than I and there’s an unspoken rule that money only flows down the age stream. Also my unemployment status probably has something to do with it.

This happy circumstance was marred by the discovery that my dad has been hiding over $500 in traffic fines from me.

Injured pride is one thing. Making foolish short term decisions that have negative long term consequences to protect that pride is another entirely and I can’t tolerate it anymore. I’m not one to talk back to my parents, I believe in maintaining a respectful, adult relationship, but darned if I let him get away with this lightly. I resent the fact that I have to lecture him for lying to me. If he’d just been honest with me in the first place, we’d be a team, not this unnatural reversal of parent-child roles.

It’s less that I’m now out another unbudgeted $500, and more that I was raised never to lie and yet here I am, 27 years old and unable to trust my own father. I have to weigh the likelihood that he’s just covering up another wrong. Is this what having bad kids is like??? What would you do if you could no longer trust your parent(s)? Or your entire family? Never in my life have I wanted to run away more.


But you know. Birthday money. It’d cover the careless forgetting to pack funeral clothes thing, if I’d remembered to bring the gift card with me. As it is, I’m going to have to make an emergency trip to H&M for some suitable pants or a skirt because I was in a hurry to return with the family to the hospital. Also, I had no idea we’d be having the service within two days of his passing. So if I spend about $20, it’ll be cheaper than driving 4 hours round trip to pick up what I have at home. To make up for it, I’ll use the GC to pay the electric bill.

Forgot my pants, forgot my gift card, next thing you know, I’ll be forgetting my own head!

3 Responses to “Birthday Money”

  1. Sense says:

    this is a highly emotionally charged time for you! it sounds like your plan to buy funeral clothes is the easiest on you, finances be darned. sometimes it’s just not worth it.

    I am sorry that your dad deems it necessary to hide things like that from you. 🙁 That is very disappointing and damaging to your relationship to boot. ugh. what a horrible way to lose $500.

  2. Ginger says:

    Revanche, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such a rough time with everything right now, it’s hard to be the rock all the time.

    One thing puzzles me… why are you supporting your parents? At least it seems that way to me, but maybe I haven’t read far back enough in your blog.

    Do you live with them and take care of them? Pay all their bills? Why is this? Why can’t they take care of themselves?

    It just seems silly to me that YOU are the one taking care of THEM. You should have your own life & family by now.

    It’s great that you’re so caring, but I just don’t understand why?

  3. Revanche says:

    Sense: I’m happy to report that the funeral is now scheduled for the end of the week, so I have time to come home, do laundry, sleep, and pack correctly.

    And yes. Ugh. Just big fat UGH. It’s driving me to want to anxiety-shop.

    Ginger: I swear, if I don’t have a synopsis of the family situation already, I should really write one. 🙂

    Long story summed up: Yes, I live with and support my parents, pay 99% of the bills and have no life.

    This is because ten years ago, their businesses failed – sold one, lost the other, during the big supermarket wars. I was already working to put myself through college, figured it was a temporary rough patch so amped up my working hours while going to school full time to fill in the gaps at home. Mom and grandma got sick. Mom = diabetes, grandma = alzheimers. Things hadn’t gotten better once I graduated college so I got a job locally instead of going far away as I wanted, and stayed around to support them a little while longer.

    Brother was worse than useless during this time, caused much debt and grief. Mom rarely took care of herself because she was trying to work, take care of grandma, etc., which laid the groundwork for a massive health failure when Dad made bad job/financial choices and wasn’t contributing to the family.

    Stress, anxiety, depression, uncontrolled diabetes + other unknown health issues sent Mom into a tailspin and she became unable to be left alone. Dad could no longer take any full time jobs because we couldn’t afford a caretaker for mom so that’s what he does (and odd jobs) while I am responsible for bringing home the bacon. Obviously, this arrangement doesn’t sit well with him but it’s what worked, sort of, so far.

    Brother continues to be useless. My health hasn’t been good either. So until I get a job with a good enough salary I can afford to half support them from afar, I’m sort of stuck.

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