a_bit_of_wit_2: (Blow me.)
...consider making failure your goal. At least, that's how my stepfather thinks. I've always rejected that notion, because it sounds utterly defeatist. Rather than attempt something again in a hope for a better outcome, just give up, and by giving up, you will have succeeded. This, among many things, is a reason why I don't visit my family that often.

One thing you've heard me say pretty regularly on here is that family sucks. I still hold that to be true (certainly, at least, with regard to mine), and that I really don't want keep contact with them. My dad more or less washed his hands of me when he divorced my mom, my stepdad washed his hands of me as soon as I hit puberty, it seems, and my mom still treats me like I'm a child. I feel like washing my hands of them. Especially my stepdad.

Today the Universe decided it necessary to give me a few punches to the face. It began with my mother demanding my earthly presence on Skype, something she's been doing a lot more since I told her she could start text messaging me without driving up my cell phone expenses. In hindsight, that might've been a mistake. It's been 8 years since I moved out of my parents' house, but my mother misses me incredibly. Yet, in those 8 years, she's only come to see me twice: once because my family was passing through the area, and the other was for my wedding. She frequently demands my attention. But that wasn't the issue today. It was what she brought up that during that Skype chat that made me upset, although I didn't actively show it.

She's planning on throwing a surprise housewarming party for my younger sister when she finds a place of her own, complete with friends, family, and gifts to furnish that future home with. Now, my sister is the last of the 4 kids (I'm including myself and my 2 stepsiblings in this, since we all grew up in the same house) still left. And I've wanted my sister to get the hell out of that house for years, and finally away from the constantly depressed, angry, and bitter man known as my stepdad. But the whole thing reeks of complete unfairness. What did my stepbrother get when he moved out? My stepsister? Me? The same thing--withering scorn from my stepdad. Hell, in the 3 weeks leading up to the day I left, he didn't utter a single word to me. The three of us got nothing. No party. No housewarming gifts. Not even used kitchen stuff. And now my mom's talking about how my grandmother might get my sister a couch, and how my mom might buy my sister a new bed, and I'm just thinking, "what the fuck? Where was all this joy and party planning when the three previous kids moved out?"

At any rate, chances are that I'll be in school for that party, and won't be able to go. And really, I don't want to go. I'll get something for my sis, certainly, but I don't want to be present. It'll hurt. I'm not mad at my mom, per se, but just the idea of this. And how do I tell her that what I think she's doing is unfair? Because my mom's deaf, she's blissfully unaware of quite a few things. I never could come to her with my problems growing up because she can't relate. She wouldn't understand. She's never been able to give me any sort of advice or wisdom because she doesn't have the capacity for it.

In any event, I'll be very glad when Heather leaves that house and away from the toxic influence of my stepdad.

Shortly after, I found out, finally, that Sage denied my appeal for financial aid. Despite my great academic record, and the fact that I had to withdraw for 2 years to recover from Crohn's disease complications and surgery, they wouldn't cut me any slack. At all. They base their entire financial aid packages on FAFSA data, and because FAFSA says I can pay more out of pocket (because I had a job LAST YEAR), Sage said the same thing. In layman's terms, they told me tough shit. Their reply, in full:

"Brian, thank you for submitting an appeal for additional financial aid. The appeals committee has met and discussed your request for additional funding. Your financial aid package was created and meets our packaging methodology in accordance with federal and state regulations. Unfortunately we are unable to offer further institutional assistance. The reduction of your sage grant was due to the increase in your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from 2012-13 to 2013-14. It sounds like from your email you are no longer earning the same amount this year as you may have earned last year, because you chose to leave your job to attend college full time. We do not make adjustments to FAFSA income information if someone loses income due to a choice they made. You should note, if you are no longer earning the same amount in 2013 as you did in 2012, your 2014-15 EFC will reflect that next year, which could again lower your EFC and possibly give you a larger sage grant. We can't say for certain that will happen until next year when you file your FAFSA and tax returns. If you need further assistance with funding options for your balance, you can contact the student services office at 518-292-1925."

So, despite the fact that I LEFT MY JOB solely to finish getting my degree, there's nothing they can do. Tough shit. I partially expected this, which is why April and I made contingency plans for a rejection, but I feel hurt. When I started there, I could work out payment arrangements and get things settled with financial aid staff who actually had human feeling. The longer I'm there, and the closer I get toward that degree, the more bureaucratic and stuffy they're becoming. In addition, Sage is becoming more recognized and is growing up in the world. Now those kind staff have been replaced by Vogons, who do everything by the fucking book and won't cut you a single fucking ounce of slack. The same thing happened at SUNY New Paltz and MCLA. If you're not made of money, or you're not below the poverty line, college isn't for you because you're not going to get financial aid, or if you do, you're still going to end up covering 60-75% of the bill out of your own pocket. If I didn't REALLY like the professors at Sage, I'd leave. But I'm almost a senior. To end now would be foolish.

When I graduate, I just want to leave and go far away. I used to want to be close enough to my family to visit, but I'm tired of making the effort. My stepdad's come right out and told me that he won't come visit. He's tired of driving and now it's my turn. Fuck that. If my family doesn't even have the motivation to make a 4 hour drive to spend some time with me, then there's no point. Might as well go far away. Really, the only people I miss are my friends. But hey, if my family essentially washed their hands of me when I moved out, might as well return the favor. I've my own life to live, and I'm done living in their shadow.

The moral of this story? Fuck my family and fuck Sage.
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