I made a mistake.
It’s my biggest money mistake. It is also my most painful one.
I’ve let this mistake have too much control over me, my emotions and relationships.
I try not to think about it, but it’s really hard to let it go completely. Especially as I’ve been in the throes of paying off my debt mountain, I’m constantly reminded of the money wound I’m trying so desperately to put behind me.
What’s my mistake?
My dad owes me a lot of money.
I stopped counting when it passed $30,000.
The money is a combination of a lot of things: money I advanced on his behalf, a loan I was too naive to understand, work I was never paid for, and things I was told were covered or paid for only to realize that I was stuck with the bill.
I try not to think about how different my life would be if I had that money.
Sometimes I’m amazed with myself that I’ve been able to keep myself afloat. Nearly all of this occurred when I was unemployed (read: working for free because I was never paid), couldn’t work due to law school or couldn’t find work in a tight market.
I’m angry with myself that I kept extending credit.
I’m angry at him for taking advantage of me.
Life has been difficult for him over the last 4 years, but I’m angry at him for making no effort to pay me back.
Everyone around me tells me that I need to let it go, but I can’t.
It makes me feel like my whole relationship with my Dad is a lie.
From conversations with him, I think he believes I only deserve to be paid back if I’m financially struggling. He told me I should stop paying back my student loans so aggressively to free up extra money if I need the money.
Right now, my dad and I aren’t speaking.
I don’t really know what else to do.
Do you have any advice? Have you ever let money wreck a relationship?