Tonight, I was forced to set my pride aside and do something that I have refused to do since I was in high school. Ask my parents for monetary help. Well, I did not directly ask them. My younger sister, out of her love for me, told my mother that all I had been eating was cereal because all of my means of getting food had run out. She resorted to my mother because I begged her not to ask my father. This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but for me it is.
After my parents divorced, I was put in a sticky situation when it came to asking my parents for things. When I would ask my father for money, he would always have an excuse (not to say that they were not sometimes valid). Overtime, I took those excuses as just plain ‘no’ and stopped asking. In the case of my mother, I realized her responsibility was for my brother and sister and so I wanted her money to focus on them, not me. So I always chose to work harder and do more so that I could have what I wanted without their help.
My underlying reason, and probably the most prominent is that I always wished that not only my parents, but that my family would ask if I needed anything. For example, if we were having a phone conversation, I always waited for a “do you have soap?” or “do you need money for food?” or “how is your bank account?” Recently, they have started to ask, but a year ago this was not a thing. It always frustrated me because my whole family is aware of the fact that I am paying my way through school. Not because my parents don’t want to help, but because they simply can’t and I do not expect them to.
I guess what I am trying to say is, I had many valid reasons to feel as though I could not tell my parents that I was practically starving. I like being able to tell people that I am independent, to pay for things that I purchase with my (little to nothing) paycheck. What I failed to realize is that being independent doesn’t mean that I can never ask for help when I need it.
When my mom offered to put money in my account, I actually broke into tears and I am still crying. My love language is gifts, and I think that is why this is so important to me. Receiving gifts lets me know that I am loved or at least thought of. And it may sound materialistic, but hearing my mom say that she wanted to know these things, that she wanted to take care of me really broke my heart because I have never felt that before. I have never felt like someone actually cared for me on that level before. Even though my mother and I have our many differences and we butt heads often, she does care for me and I really needed to know that today.
I ripped my only pair of good jeans last week and my father offered to buy me new Levi’s. I was hesitant in accepting his offer, but I realized that there was no way I would be able to purchase jeans for myself.
I have a problem of waiting until things get so bad that when I do get help, it costs a lot of money or a lot of time. If I would have just put my pride aside earlier and asked them for help, I think this semester would have been a lot less stressful.
Today, I learned that my parents do care for me and it brings me to tears. Not tears of sadness, but of joy.