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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Bricked Out Of A Scholarship To University By My Parents

In my senior year of high school I was offered a scholarship to the University of Minnesota, but my parents refused to complete the paperwork. I remember their indignation, storming around our home, shouting that they would not provide their “private” financial information, specifically their tax returns. They did not seem to care that I had no money for university. I was not surprised by their behavior because for many years they had already denied me the opportunity to work after school, which is something most young people do and I had desperately wanted to do so that I would have savings when I graduated. I had not one dollar and I wore my mother’s castoff clothing which I knew were unsuitable.

My parents had purchased half a dozen houses in their lifetime, as they moved up the homeownership ladder, which would have required a much more extensive financial disclosure than merely submitting their tax return in order to qualify me for a university scholarship. They withheld that scholarship from me from cruel habit, their lifelong, unrelenting habit of denying me. It was only when they realized that I would be financially dependent upon them unless I married or obtained a higher level education that they grudgingly provided tuition money to me. (They refused to let me marry several times, and I was not disobedient enough to elope.) I had to take out bank loans to live on while at the university, incurring insurmountable debts for my undergraduate and graduate education which would financially handicap me for a very long time. I remember the bank loan officer quietly explaining to me that, due to the economy, I would probably not be able to pay back my loans, but then she granted the loans anyway when I told her that I needed the education to “structure my mind”. She had such kindness for me. It was a small town bank and she knew my parents.

In my junior year of high school, some of the boys in school pointed out the two large gaps in my teeth on each side of my mouth, “Is that where they (snicker, snicker, snicker), put the bit when they ride you?” I had no idea what they meant but I saw that they were being dirty about it. My parents had not noticed that my teeth had not filled in. I do not know who brought this problem to their attention, but my parents were quite angry at the expense of dental surgery and braces to pull my two incisors into place. To economize, my parents had my braces removed in my senior year of high school, which was too early but the work they allowed did reduce the size of the gaps. Although my parents both had perfect teeth, they felt small gaps in my teeth were good enough for me. They did not want to pay for more. They chose the cheapest dental work they could find, which was at a local dental college. A team of dental students was assigned to cut open the roof of my mouth (on an out-patient basis), attach tiny gold chains to my incisors which were impacted there, and tighten the chains weekly to pull my incisors down through the roof of my mouth and into place. The young male dental students saw how my mother treated me and were encouraged to be inappropriately sexual, brushing their lower bodies against my arm, holding my head as they worked on me, resting their arms on my breasts, and joking about how what they were doing would or would not facilitate me performing oral sex, and this was before I had ever even been kissed. Their clumsy work was also very painful.

Caption: Bricked Out Of A Scholarship To University By My Parents

Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

Caption: Annmarie Throckmorton―senior in high school with braces 1967

(I had no makeup in high school, the photographer added it to the photograph.)

(I was too thin because my parents withheld food.)

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