I know you don’t think I understand, but I do. My father was a tyrant. EVERYONE was afraid of him. He only yelled; he never listened. It was an impossible situation. BUT he supported me monetarily, and as such, I couldn’t make my own decisions. He decided where I was going to school because he was paying for it. If I had the means to pay for things myself while growing up, I wouldn’t have had to listen.

One of my daughters wanted a tattoo at nineteen. My husband and I were against it. She said she would get one anyway. We told her as long as she was asking us for support ($50,000 a year for university which included room, board, tuition, etc.), she would not be allowed to get a tattoo. If she wanted to drop out of school and get a job and pay for her own tattoo, so be it. This same daughter left school for 1 1/2 semesters. She planned to come home to live with us and work full time. When I told her the rules that were in place, such as she couldn’t stay out past midnight during the week when my other daughter had to be up early for school, she said she was twenty-one and could do whatever she liked. I said “Sure you can, but not in my house.” So she made the decision to live elsewhere. Her choice.

I completely disagree with the way my father treated our family, but now that I’m a mother, I respect that if I was willing to let him support me, then I had to listen to what he said. I didn’t have to agree with him or even like him, but I had to obey him and follow his rules.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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