Vent time again...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Vent time again...
5
Sat, 05-17-2003 - 10:27pm
It's been quite awhile since I've posted here, so I'll give some background info 1st. I'm 18, involved with a 29 y/o. We've been together for 10 months, and living together for over 6 (thanks to the fact that my parents kicked me out for dating him). He's a fantastic guy, he supports me, helped me get a car, everything. We're madly in love, he gave me an engagement ring for X-mas, even tho I told him recently that I won't be ready for at least another couple years. Fast forward to now. My high school graduation ceremony is May 31st. My dad (the real problem, not my mum) originally threw a "him or me" hissy fit with regards to who was attending the banquet, but now is coming. I think I had the last straw tonight, tho. He and my mom's sister ganged up on me tonight, whispering to each other (pointedly about me) and making comments like "She'll grow up and learn her lesson some day". Even if there is some magical lesson I'm about to learn, they don't need to treat me like some child, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE. (Plus I hurt my foot leaving the house, so now I'm doubly p*ss*d.)

And then there's the DE-lightful double standard that sexist fathers use for their children. I have a 15 y/o brother who doesn't date, as he seems to be *quite* anti-social. My aunt asked if he's not allowed to date, HA! Dad & I both laughed at that, as he said "he could be any age and allowed to date." Sexist #^$()@#*$(#!!&#*#&$.

So what it boils down to now is that I don't want people like that at my graduation. This is supposed to be a happy day for me, and I just KNOW that dad will do/say something to ruin it for me. Can I uninvite my parent from my grad? Technically. they can still attend, but they can't come down to the main floor w/o a ticket. But I'm sure that if dad isn't coming, he won't allow mum to either. And possibly my brother. Those 3, SO and I, and my paternal grandparents all have tickets. I'm not sure who else I'd invite in place of my parents. Besides, (and this is going to sound incredibly selfish, but keep in mind my parents aren't willing to put in any money for my grad, other than their own tickets,) they're giving me a digital camera as a gift, from the store mum, SO, and I work at. So if I don't invite them, they'll probably not give me the cam, which is my only source of picture taking for grad. Can I be a brat, take what I can get, then uninvite them when the camera comes in? After all, thats how they treat me, what's the point in trying to prove them any different anymore?

Big hugs and huge thanks to anyone thats made it this far!

Jen

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 05-17-2003 - 10:49pm
No, you cannot and should not uninvite them from your high school graduation! To me this is incredibly selfish, in spite of how your parents have treated you. Sorry to be so blunt, and forgive me if I hurt your feelings, but that's how I feel.

Your boyfriend has only been supporting you for 10 months. Your parents supported you for 18 years. EIGHTEEN YEARS. They bought your school supplies, made sure you had clothes to wear to school, paid for your school lunches, attended your open houses and parent-teacher conferences, paid attention to your grades and your homework and harassed you if either one was lacking, got you to the bus stop on time or took you to school, attended your school plays and sports games, hung your finger paintings on the refrigerator door, bragged to their friends if you made straight-As or won an award, counseled you through the problems with school bullies and problem teachers, dried your tears over a fight with your best friend or boyfriend, and most of all - they paid their taxes so you could have a decent education.

You say your parents won't put in any money toward your graduation except the tickets. ????? Good grief, they put in 12 years toward your graduation already! Graduation is NOT about the ceremony alone. It's not about finishing your senior year (even if you DID do it without your parents' help). Graduation is RECOGNITION for all your hard work since kindergarten, and your parent's hard work and support, to get you there. Graduation is the culmination of an entire career of basic education.

You say this is YOUR graduation, and it is - but I think you are overlooking the part your parents played in getting you to that point. Could you have done it without them??? Why on earth would you slap them in the face by refusing them tickets? If you are mature and responsible about it, you will swallow your pride and make sure that your parents, above ALL others (including your boyfriend) have the best seats you can provide for them. Shame on you if you don't.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-17-2003 - 11:57pm


That sure was an angry and uninformed response. My dad has NEVER done any of the wonderful, "unnecessary" things you listed. He barely did the basics. He's never attended any of my school affairs, even tho he doesn't work in the evenings. Never cared how I did at school, as long as that was where I went when I left the house in the morning. Never gave a damn how my relationships went, as long as I didn't come crying to him when they ended. And frankly I don't give a damn how much they contribute towards grad, EXCEPT that I need $2000 worth of dental work done as soon as possible, because they NEVER took me to the dentist as a child, and now I'm getting severe headaches/toothaches.

I'm also getting anxiety attcks from seeing my father, that should help inform you how much stress this is putting on me. Yes, these people raised me, and did a good job at it too. But they also gave up on me the 1st time I EVER showed any inclination of a backbone.

Hopefully I can get some helpful, more informed advice now.

Jen

P.S. When I'm footing the bill for everything, doing everything I can to make it a nice night for everyone I invite, I don't see why I have any sort of obligation to invite someone who has the power to make it one of the worst nights of my life. Would you honestly encourage someone who makes your daily life shaky and unpleasant (at best) to be involved? Someone whose own mother is ashamed her son turned out this way? Probably not.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 2:12am
It was an uninformed response because you failed to include that *important* information about how your father treated you while you were growing up. Nothing in your first post indicates that he was anything but a concerned, but overbearing parent. Thank you for expanding on the story so we get the full picture.

And excuse me, but my post was not angry. Brutally honest and blunt, yes. Angry, no.

I see now that it would be a difficult decision to invite your father, and in your shoes, I'm not sure I would, either. Of course you don't want a scene at your graduation and your father is likely to pitch a dandy one - taking all the credit and telling everyone what an amazing thing it is that you managed to finish school under the circumstances, and what a terrible mistake you're making now.... Am I about right?

What about your mother? If you excluded your father from attending, could you still include her, and would she come? If she was supportive through your school years (you don't say that she wasn't), it would be tragic to exclude her. Would probably cause her plenty of grief and pain.

There may be one way to deal with the situation (maybe others, too - please, anyone - some thoughts???), though I'm not sure your father would understand and be mature enough to agree: You might try meeting with your parents, and in a very calm, mature, non-accusing, and respectable manner, tell them that you are thankful for all they did to help you get through school (think of something), and that you want them to be a part of your night of celebration but ONLY if your father will be joyful for you, too. Tell him what you told us - that you are worried he will become upset and make you unhappy on a night that will be a part of your memories for many years, and you want to remember this night with love and happiness. Ask him if he thinks he can do that. See what he says....then decide.

Still bothers me, though, that you thought some of the things I listed were "unnecessary." School supplies, clothes, lunches, transportation - unnecessary??? If your mother and father didn't supply these things for you at least through the first 8 years of school, then who did??? The tooth fairy?

In the final decision, you should give honor and recognition (front stage tickets) to the person(s) who helped you the most throughout all of your school years, not just the last one. If that person is your mother, your brother, an uncle, a neighbor - whoever - then give them a ticket and a sincere invitation. You see, it's not just about having a wonderful time for you; it's about honoring those who helped you to get there. If your father blows a gasket over it, then so be it. If you have the talk with him first, then at least you know you did the right thing and you can live with your decision. Your father will have to live with his.

Best of luck to you - really, I do mean it.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 2:44am


Just a note: stuff like transportation, school supplies, etc... not "unnecessary", per se. But not the basic food, clothing, shelter. And they did give me that kind of stuff, I meant unnecessary such as attending functions, the kind of stuff they didn't do.

And I'm really not sure if my mum will come w/o my dad. I have a feeling not. She's a very gentle person, and she's tried very hard to make me happy. (ie, offering to let me move back home & still see my SO... but dad vetoed that.) However, she rarely, if ever, goes against dad's wishes. He'd probably pull the passive-aggressive "go if you want to", and make her feel bad if she does. BTW, thats how I ended up getting kicked out. He told me "fine then, go out with him. I don't care, do whatever you want". I chose to ignore the constant hypocrisy when he'd *almost* sound sincere. So in his mind, since I knew he didn't mean it, it was my fault. (And you may feel the same way, but in my mind, if you don't mean it, don't say it. How difficult is that?)

Anyways, trying to give as much info as possible.

Jen
Avatar for heatherjohnst
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Sun, 05-18-2003 - 1:46pm
Ok,your parents have upset you in many ways......BUT, consider this - Them wanting to show up at your graduation ceremony, shows that they want to support you. It's shows that above all to drama and hurt feelings (On both ends) that they love you. Many times , hurt feelings get in the way sooooo much, that the small details get overlooked. Try and see that they realize that it's a special night for you (It's a special night for them too) and they want to be a part of it. Deep down, you want them to be a part of it too. If you didn't, you wouldn't need our advice on how to handle it , you'd already know.Misfit is right, you need to have a talk with them to explain that you would like this to be a "Peacful occasion". Explain that you want all the people YOU LOVE to coexist peacfully for atleast the ceremony.

You can work on the boyfriend age thing later. If it makes you feel any better, my husband and I have 7 years between us. Most of the time age differences get in the way for alot of people, BUT WITH THE RIGHT TWO PEOPLE IT CAN WORK!! (The bold print is for the reading disbelievers) And , even better, my husband and I knew each other less than a month before moving in together!! We've been together almost 4 years (and married 2 1/2) I have a friend whos parents knew each other less than a month before getting married, and were married 25 years!! The reason your parents are giving you hard time is because they love you. Plus , the type of relationship your in rarely works out , and they are concerned for you. Try and remember that if they didn't LOVE you, they'd never BUG you about it! In the end ;though, only you know what will work for you.I wish you the best.

Heather