I’m sure there’s some startled blinking going on at that question. I mean, who the hell wouldn’t want somebody else to pay their debts off, really?
You probably wouldn’t be the first; I haven’t found any articles about this very concern. Most of Google is focused on debt consolidation or asking parents if they think they really want to pay their kids’ debts.
My own quandary is I want to be independent, and I’ve written about it so damned often. I don’t want my dad paying for my mistakes–I need to dig myself out of my own messes and learn how to deal with them the right way.
I have pretty substantial credit card debt. I came in last night and my dad told me that the next time I got my credit card bill to let him see it so he could see what he could do with it, because I must’ve just been throwing money away trying to pay down the principal.
I told him I was fine and taking care of it. He’s been asking about my debt a lot the past couple of months and I’ve been able to sidestep it.
I have to pay my income taxes soon and need a few more paychecks, but I’ve dropped a lot of things I have to pay for and can focus exclusively on that debt AFTER my income taxes. So this mess can be resolved.
It’ll take some time, maybe a couple of years, but I will do my damnedest to take care of it.
But dad wants to see my credit card bill. I haven’t let him look at one in a decade. Last time he paid it down and bitched the whole time. For him, $50 on a credit card is too much, let alone thousands.
So, it’s times like this when I have to remember that I’m an adult. My sister and a lady I work with (two adult children in the house) told me the same thing: You’re an adult and it’s not his business. He can’t just make it his business.
The trouble is, it’s also times like this that I have to remember I’m an adult, living with my dad, rent-free.
There’s the rub. How much control can he have in my life when it’s like this?
The biggest problem is we’re talking over $10K here. And I’m looking for every job opportunity I can think of to bring some more in and not kill myself in the process. But it takes time to develop skills and send in applications.
My paychecks were too few and far between to help me when I needed them most for a couple of years. Then I also let my depression and impulsiveness get the best of me for too long, and was too optimistic about my ability to repay.
Dad won’t understand that; he thinks depression’s a copout for pussies. He probably also thinks that because I have a roof over my head and don’t have to pay rent, that I have nothing to be depressed about.
(sigh) Not going down that road right now, and I’m not diagnosed.
And now he wants my credit card bill.
I need control over my own life, or to take control over it. The easiest way I can think of is to fix my financial situation myself–that would be such a jump to my self-esteem. I would be so happy to know I could take care of this problem myself and develop better habits (and think of some other way to get over depression than through impulsive shopping).
The real trouble, too, is that we’re not getting along. We live in the same house, and he’s paying my car insurance (why, still, I don’t know). Maybe I’ll just take that bill back and pay it myself, too.
And last week after a disagreement over something that didn’t even relate to us personally (though it really got heated for some reason), he punched a hole in the freaking door.
If that’s what he’s going to do when it’s not a major issue and he loses his temper, I don’t even want to know what his reaction would be to that dollar amount.
Either there’s going to be a heart attack, breathing attack, or some other crazy-ass problem, and a lot more time not-talking (or worse) as I try to pay this off.
I’m an adult, but living at home, so does that mean I can’t keep my finances private? Is there a way to make it so he doesn’t interfere and he lets me pay on my own, and stops asking about it?
I get that he may feel like he could die and I need to be able to take care of myself, but I’m always far more careful with other people’s money than my own. There’s too much at stake. And I would still consider that his money, so that’s that.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to get that through his head, for him not to worry about me and let me deal with this myself. More than that, how am I supposed to keep my stuff to myself when we live in the same house? Can I?
I mean, is there a limit as far as privacy goes regarding adults living at home with parents?
I feel like with us barely talking, we’re already in a weird place. I know he’ll probably worry regardless, but I want to take care of things myself. It’s like when I had projects to work on for school; eventually he’d take over and build them and I’d be telling him to please go do something else.
I feel like that, like a child not able to do it myself.
Any advice is totally welcome. I just can’t find anything useful. How do I tell him that it’s my concern, that I’m taking care of it, and have him respect that?
Floor’s open–I’m already pulling security-watch all night tonight and don’t want to lose more sleep over it.
4 thoughts on “#061–How do you keep parents from trying to pay off your debts for you?”
That last part, How do I tell him that it’s my concern, that I’m taking care of it, and have him respect that? Thing is, you can’t force anyone to think or feel a certain way. What goes on in their mind is none of our business. So with that said, there probably is no way that he will respect you until you respect yourself. Even then, who knows. What is your main goal here? To earn respect or to keep him from flipping out or for him to just butt out completly? Find what it is you are really wanting-the facts of it all and go with that. If it is you want respect, then tell him that- I’d appreciate you respecting my privacy, and on that note, I will be keeping my bills, my bills. If you want him to not flip out- you can’t control that either-sounds like he might be a loose canon and could become a danger to you if you show him or if you don’t show him. Scary thoughts there. I would try to find a way to get out of there (i.e. a roommate perhaps).
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ADDENDUM: About a month after I wrote this, I was working overnight for a couple nights in a row and wasn’t able to check the mail. Dad got it instead, and my credit card statements were right there. He opened them up and decided he’d pay for one of them. I was operating on 30 hours without sleep, which was the only reason I didn’t start yelling in frustration when I came home and he told me (sigh). I slept off my guilt and anger for a little bit. At least he didn’t take over both. The double dose of shame would’ve made me go do something really freaking stupid, probably.