My Dad Stole All The Money I Earned During The Summer

Hi. I’m Tessa and I’m in a total panic. I’ve never been in such a complicated situation
in my life! I have literally no idea how to process this. I need somebody to help me out, but first
I guess you’ll have to hear the whole story. Three months ago I realized that I badly needed
a laptop. I live with my parents (I’m an only child)
and we have an old desktop computer. It’s like… ancient. It takes me hours to do simple homework, and
that’s just one of the problems. So I really needed my own computer. And I was determined to get it. I chose a relatively inexpensive model, and
I didn’t have any other expectations from the very start. I knew my family was going through hard times,
my father was currently between jobs, and what my mom made was enough to just buy food
and the necessities. My only option was getting a summer job and
buying it myself. It turned out that it’s not that easy for
a fifteen-year-old to find a job in my hometown. From the very beginning I had a backup option. I have a friend named Laura. Her Mom works as a cleaning lady. She is self-employed: people hire her for
a day or two and then come back to find that their place looks better than when it was
brand new. During the summer she works together with
Laura. And they told me I was welcome to join them. Until the beginning of June, I didn’t give
them my answer because I was hoping to find something easier and… cleaner. And after I was unsuccessful… I finally said yes. And then the summer that every high school
girl dreams of started. There were four of us working: Laura, her
mom, her mom’s assistant, and me. We walked into a house or an office in the
morning and when we left late in the evening, everything was shining. I guess this was not the best choice for my
first job ever: first of all, it was exhausting. All I could do afterward was go home and fall
asleep, sometimes even before I reached the bed. But I was determined to achieve my goal. And after all, I learned A LOT. If someone at school asks me where I spent
my summer, I might say that I spent it outside of my comfort zone. Laura’s mom would pay everyone at the end
of the month, so the plan was to get the money (which was about half of the amount I needed)
and estimate how much I had to work the next month to get what I wanted. And when I got the cash, which was even a
little more than I expected, I was so happy and proud of myself. It turns out that it feels so good when your
hard work pays off. So it was the end of June, and by that time
my dad still had not found a job. He had spent these weeks at home, sometimes
drinking, sometimes just watching TV and browsing through vacancies online, saying there were
no decent jobs in our whole town. My mom was not happy with this, of course,
so they would fight every other day. And that’s what was happening the day I
got my first paycheck. I got home, so eager to share this feeling
with someone. I saw my parents in the living room and, not
even thinking about what was going on, I told them about the money I had earned. My dad was a little drunk and furious about
their fight, which was obviously about him not making any money, so he argued with me
in a pretty aggressive way, saying that for all these years they fed me and payed for
me, and that it was probably time to get some of it back. I could not believe that he was saying that,
neither could my mom, but… he was always able to be so convincing. He started talking to my mom about the things
our family could buy with this money that we could not afford over the last few months,
and he was not aggressive with me anymore, he just asked me to “help out the family”
with tears in his eyes, and of course… I could not say no. Did I regret it? Yes, every single day of July. In June I only volunteered to work on the
big gigs, but now I had to earn almost twice as much. So I started to work with Laura and her mom
every time they went on a shift. And it was twice as exhausting. At night I would cry because I felt like I
was betrayed. Dad tried to be nice to me, but he never said
he was sorry. Just like everything else in life, that July
was over too. My hard earned money still brought me satisfaction,
but this time I tried to contain my emotions and… I did not tell my parents, well, just in case. The amount was just enough to buy the laptop
I wanted, and I would even have some left over! I put the money into a drawer in my room and
was finally ready to go buy my laptop the following day. Lying in bed, I was imagining how awesome
my last month of summer would be. But the next morning I woke up and found out
that the money was gone… and I didn’t even have to investigate, since, the moment
I asked him, my father told me that he took it. This time he seemed sorry, and he started
telling me something about the debt we were in, and that he needed the money badly since
his life was at stake (which, I guess was far from the truth), and that the money was
already gone, and so on and so on. He said that someday he’d buy me the best
laptop out there, but first we needed to get it all together. I don’t think I even heard half of what he
was saying, since I was just shocked. For two days I could do nothing but stay in
my room and cry every couple of hours. All that work I had done was in vain. But then I thought… it didn’t have to be
in vain… and that I could just try again. Laura’s mom liked my work and said I was
welcome to work with them any time I needed. So I got on the phone and gave her a call. August was kinda hazy. I don’t think I felt much and I don’t
remember a lot. It was all the same routine almost every day. I don’t think I even felt as much stress
– just nothing. Then I got paid. I went home, only because the store was already
closed, and I saw my dad in the living room waiting for me. He was still jobless and he had started drinking
even more. He was drunk and, I don’t know how he remembered
when I was supposed to get paid, probably because he’d lost his grip on his own life,
but he did. And he started again with his manipulative
monologue. He would go all the way from super nice to
aggressive and back. He wanted me to feel bad, to feel guilty for
“taking the money when the family needs it most,” that’s what he said. Mom would have probably protected me, but
she was working late hours. I was very close to giving him the money,
but I didn’t. I stood up and ran to Laura’s house. I spent the night there, and I had an extremely
tough choice to make. But after I remembered everything I had done
to earn this, while my father was home drinking… The next day I went to the store and bought
the laptop. Dad tried to act like nothing happened, and
he still does, especially when he’s sober. But I still have to lock the door at night,
since I don’t know what he might do to my stuff! I don’t think this is normal, and it exhausts
me emotionally. But what can I do here? If you have any advice for me, please leave
it in the comments!

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