My last writeup brought up a bunch of mixed emotions, so I figured it best to vent before I went to sleep, in order to actually get to sleep--

When I was younger, my father was a great person. He took me to plays, we went on fun weekend outings, and we were always playing practical jokes on eachother. Then when I was 13, my mother died. Everything changed. What was once a nice man turned very bitter and cynical. Now, I know it's probably immensely hard to raise a teenage daughter from the onset of puberty into an adult... and I KNOW he tried, for which I will at least give him some credit. But this man has given me the worst self-esteem out of anyone I know.

First of all, my father is 62, so he is just a BIT past his prime in raising a child. Not only that, his beliefs on child-rearing are stuck in the 1950s, and he is entirely inflexible to change. This was only made worse when my mother died, since it seemed to chip a piece or two out of his heart, and left him cold and almost inhuman. Maybe I am rooted too much in emotion, as my mother was, but I can't think that most of the things he says to me are actually the TRUTH. Granted, he and I are exact emotional opposites, but we are both as stubborn as mules. I will fight to the death before I EVER admit that he is right about ANYTHING. I would come close with my rejection from Loyola, but I've come to the point where, despite the fact that they didn't accept me for the Fall 2000 semester, I am GOING to work my ass off and prove him wrong in the spring. Throughout the past six years, I have let it affect me too much, and have seriously believed everything he has said, which has ranged from me being overweight (which I have finally realized that I am NOT) to having a "fucked up, out-of-control life". That's it. I'm done. I've had enough.

Our latest fight is this: I've been gone from the house a lot lately, due to the fact that I have two jobs and a steady boyfriend. Coming home one afternoon, after a long day at work, he greeted me with "It sickens me to see you fucking up your life like this." Well, wait a second. For the first time in a VERY LONG TIME, I feel that I have finally got my life IN control, and am very proud of myself. I was, in fact, downright HAPPY, another thing that I haven't felt in a very long time. So, after biting my lip, and pushing down the urge to tell him to go fuck himself, I say "I... am... NOT... fucking up my life". "You're dropping out of school," he says next. Background info: I attended the University of Tampa for a year previously, and I honestly decided that I couldn't go back there-- everyone drives their Porsches and BMWs, has money coming out of their ears, and has the snobby attitude to match. I had my heart set on transferring, but to him, this meant failure. He believes that if I transfer, I am essentially giving up and taking the easy way out. How can this be? How can he seriously rather that I be miserable and unhappy, than in an environment that is right for me? I tell him that I haven't dropped out of school, and I don't know where he's getting this idea from-- I'm merely waiting on the letter from Loyola, and if they don't accept me, I have two other backup plans, just in case. That's when the "Why on earth would they accept YOU??" comes out of his mouth. All hell insues.

So now, a week later, after many discussions with friends who also agree that he is out of line, I have decided that I have had enough. No more will I let him say things that bother me. No more will I take any of his bullshit to heart, and no more will I EVER believe that I am not a strong, independent young woman who has the power to get whatever she wants out of life. It took me SIX WHOLE YEARS, and it was a long, hard journey-- but to quote Oprah Winfrey, "When someone is belittling you, there is nothing you can do but realize that they are wrong and that you know the truth about yourself. Real inner strength comes not from convincing people that don't agree with you that they are wrong, but from maintaining a calm attitude in the face of such people, and letting their words fall like water off your back. As long as you know the truth, the truth will set you free."

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