One of the discerning factors regarding a child’s value in my family of origin was education. The higher the GPA, the better the child. The fancier the school a child was accepted to, the better the child. Unless you were the scapegoat. For the scapegoat there was an entirely different rule book.
As I mentioned in 3.65, I was a fairly typical student in high school and graduated with a 3.0 GPA. I took the ACT during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school and scored a 29. My class rank was top 30%. Once my senior year started, I applied to 4 different schools using my own money for the application fees and was accepted to all of them. Two of the schools were private institutions and I knew my parents would balk at the bill, so even though I really wanted to go to one of them, I knew there was little chance. The other two schools I was accepted to were public institutions, one of them being the premier public institution in the state.
By January I had received all my acceptance letters, and I decided to go to the better public school. The next document I received from the school, once I told them I was hoping to enroll, was the housing contract for the dormitory. The housing contract for the dormitories arrived around March 15th and it was due by May 1st with a deposit of $500. It was critical to get the housing contract sent back to the school, since there were very limited dormitory space and if the contract was not returned on time, there was little chance a space would still be available and I would have to find housing off campus at a significantly higher price.
My parents and I had filled out the financial aid paperwork in January, and it came back around March 1 with a required parental contribution of $2000 / yr for me to attend the school I chose. I asked my parents if they were willing to pay the amount the financial aid paperwork said was their contribution. I didn’t get an answer. I had the $500 for the housing contract, but I didn’t have the $2000 / yr needed for school, so I didn’t want to turn in the housing contract and end up being out the $500 if my parents weren’t going to contribute. I wouldn’t be able to save enough money on my own either, since my parents were having me make car payments for the car I was driving and I also had to pay my car insurance and I only had a minimum wage job. My parents had the money. My mother’s father had recently passed and they had received an inheritance from his estate that was at least 10X more than their total contribution would be for my 4 years of school.
April 1st I ask again…. no answer
April 15th ….no answer
April 27th … no answer
On April 28th I again conveyed to my parents that if I didn’t send in the housing contract to arrive before May 1st, I would have to find off campus housing at a significant higher expense. Still no answer.
May 1st came and went without me sending in the housing contract and I still had no answer regarding whether they would be willing to contribute their parental contribution that was stated in the financial aid paperwork. I was very frustrated. My parents had always stressed how important grades and education were, but when it came to actually putting up the money so I, the scapegoat, could get a college education, they balked.
Eventually it was July and I still had no answer. At this point, I wouldn’t even be able to find off campus housing anymore, so I gave up on going to the premier school in the state and applied at the local community college and was accepted. My financial aid paperwork that I received to go to the premier school in the state said I was to get a government loan that was just enough to cover the tuition for the year at the community college, so I took the loan. I used the $500 I had saved for the housing contract on books and ended up living at home for a year while attending school. Living at home for that year was a nightmare and I moved out in June of the following summer. My parents were so convinced that I wouldn’t make it on my own that they wouldn’t let one of my twin brothers, who were currently sharing a room, move into my room once I moved out. Finally, 6 months after I moved out, they relented and let one of my brothers move into my old room at my parents house.
Unable to afford an apartment and school at the same time without any financial assistance from my parents, I dropped out of school and signed up to join the Navy.
Following my time in the Navy, I returned to get an engineering degree from the premier school in the state that I had been accepted to when I was a senior in high school. My parents contribution to my engineering degree: About $500 for a few semesters worth of books. I found a way to get my degree, in spite of my parent’s best efforts to make sure I didn’t!
The story continues…
This following event occured on Christmas about 18 years after I had graduated high school; after I had served 8 years in the Navy and received my engineering degree.
My mother had remarried to my stepfather after my father passed, and we were all invited to one of my stepfather’s children’s homes for Christmas dinner. My brothers and I had not really had much of a chance to get to know my stepfather’s children, so I thought it would be a great way to spend some time with them.
After we had all finished dinner we broke into a few different groups. I was with my now deceased brother, my stepfather’s daughter, and her husband. My stepfather’s daughter asked me why I had joined the Navy. I told her it was because my parents wouldn’t pay for me to go to school. I had been accepted, but they refused to pay the amount that financial aid said would be their contribution. She looked at me a bit perplexed. She knew my parents had paid for my one brother to attend Yale and had helped my other brother significantly while he attended the same school from which I had graduated. I didn’t really go into any more detail. Eventually the night ended and we all went our own way.
Then 4 weeks later I receive an email. The email is from my narcissistic mother (NM). In it she goes into great detail about how she had overheard what I said at Christmas and how terribly wrong I was; how her and my deceased father had been told by the high school guidance counselor that I would fail if I went away to school and that they shouldn’t waste their money (Seriously, what kind of guidance counselor would say something like that?); how I was prone to making up stories; how I had proven that I wasn’t responsible enough to handle going away to university. The entire email was her refusing to accept responsibility for refusing to help me go to college, even though a college education was touted as the most vital aspect of personal development by NM and my father.
The email really stung…. bad….
The worst part: She not only sent the email to me, she copied every person that was at the Christmas party! So not only do I get reminded of NM’s perception of me as a failure, everyone else that was there also is told I’m a failure, too, including my stepfather’s children who I hardly even knew!
- 3.65 (thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com)