I’m 18 years old and I rely on my dad to pay for school and all of my expenses, but…

I’m 18 years old and I rely on my dad to pay for school and all of my expenses, but he is so negative, abusive and toxic. I always try to heal my anxiety and work through it while having to deal with him at the same time.

But, in all honesty, he is the reason that I have anxiety and it seems that I will never rid myself of it as long as I’m around him. I need to break away from him and forge my own path but I have no idea how.

I don’t have a lot of money or people I can rely on and my anxiety makes it much harder to require either. How can I get away from him and live on my own?

Okay, I’ve been in your shoes and I know you can do it. I believe you can become financially independent from your dad, but it will take a lot of effort on your part. First thing, look for 2 part-time jobs, preferably on campus, because those will be the most flexible and will be able to work around your school schedule. But, you can also look for jobs in walking distance of your University’s campus.

And I say walking distance and on campus because your dad probably paid for your car, right? So he probably won’t let you take it with you when you decide to leave. Also, reach out to your University’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. See what loans and scholarships you are eligible for. But also reach out to them in regards to you applying for Financial Aid as an independent, without your dad’s information.

Usually to file for Financial Aid as an independent you have to be 25 or older, but because you have extenuating circumstances, and are looking to get out from your under your father’s thumb, you might be able to file as an independent. And I speak from experience, if you go this route you do have to have proof of what you’re experiencing. My proof was from my school’s therapist I was seeing in regards to the abuse, trauma and toxicity I experienced at home.

And regarding therapy, you should reach out to your University’s Counseling Center, they can help you heal as well as cope with your anxiety. It will also allow you to meet new people that have similar, if not the same, experience as yours. And once you’re away, and out from under your father’s thumb, work on getting a car, and in the meantime use Uber and Lyft if you have to go somewhere and have your groceries delivered, some places even have free delivery.

Now, I know this is a lot of information, but I just want you to have all of your bases covered. And you have to remember that Rome was not built in a day and that it might take a lot of effort and some time to be financially independent from your dad. But keep trying and keep believing in yourself. I believe in you and I know you can leave your toxic situation.