I'm a 23-year-old, recent college graduate living with my mom and her new husband. My mother and I have had issues with our relationship for years. I've always been her scapegoat whenever she needs to vent, which is almost every day. She seems to love belittling me. Her new husband is extremely difficult to live with — he's very condescending and puts other people down to lift up his spirits.
My mother puts her husband over me and my other siblings. She blatantly states that she doesn't care if what she says or does makes us feel bad. She consistently minimizes my contribution to the household, ignoring the fact that I have over $25,000 in student loans to pay off (with no help from her). I can't take much more, but right now I'm not financially able to move out. I have a job, but when grad school starts in two months, I have no choice but to quit. I don't know what to do or how to cope with this. I feel stuck in a really tight place. Any suggestions?
— Trapped Trina
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Dear Trapped Trina,
I'm so sorry that this is the current living situation that you're dealing with. There's no excuse for such treatment especially from your own mother. Both her and your step-father sound incredibly selfish and emotionally abusive, and sadly, I don't think that will ever change. Regardless of your financial constraints and the difficulties facing you, you absolutely must get away from them.
Talk to your college financial-aid department about looking into grants and scholarship programs or seeing if you're eligible for an increase in financial aid. If you absolutely must quit your job, which I'd avoid at all costs even it means dropping to a part-time schedule of classes, look for a new job with extremely flexible hours. On-campus positions are always a good option for full-time students as are babysitting and tutoring jobs. Every hour that you're not in school, doing homework, or sleeping, try to fill with money-making opportunities.
In the meantime, stay with friends if you can and scour the classifieds for cheap room listings. Do what it takes to move out; the stress and exhaustion you may have making ends meet will be far less than the distress, trauma, and emotional heartache you suffer by trying to cope with living at home.