Sunday, May 9, 2010
The Absent Parents
It is my last week of college before I graduate this Saturday. After graduating, my route is going slightly more differently than that of a typical person's. I'm getting on the plane on Sunday morning to San Francisco where I will begin the next chapter of my life. There will be no parties, no family events to celebrate this moment of my life.
It is because my parents will not be attending my graduation.
I really hate to write this on here because I feel like I've talked the death out of it too much already, but it must be said. I can't even begin to say just how hurt I am by them. Them, as a pair, both my Dad and Mom.
True, I am aware that there are some financial problems at home. The trouble with saying this is that while I know about it, financial issues have plagued my family since I was born. It's a fairly easy excuse to fall back on for them. Plus, they don't necessarily use the best judgment in purchases either. Case in point, a hundred dollars to fly out to see me graduate or to spend on Yankee Candles.
That's right. The Yankee Candles won over their only daughter.
I hate candles by the way. Never liked them to begin with.
They've spent this week and last week criticizing me for my decision to attend this school, for being in any school in general instead of the military where they both went, and for my choice to move to SF when I graduate instead of going home.
Another fun moment is that they believe I'm driving a wedge in our relationship. That I want to get further away from them and don't care about how it affects us.
And the best one? They're not happy that I tell people that my parents won't be at my graduation. What do they expect me to say to my friends and bosses at work? Do they want me to lie for them? Everyone asks and I can't say something else!
Naturally, the responses from my friends and former bosses has been very sympathetic. Most of them are amazed that I'm not more upset. Nobody is happy with the decision that my parents made and of course, now that Dad and Mom know this, they're even more livid at me because now they look like bad people. They hate that there is an audience to my life and that they can't spin the story so I look like selfish, spoiled, bitch daughter that they love to paint me as.
Fine. I didn't even want to write it, but here goes:
I've never been more hurt by two people in my entire life than their decision to not attend my graduation or be a part of my post-grad life. My entire life, they've always told me "blood is thicker than water" which is certainly not the case. They don't practice what they preach. And the idea that their referring to my friendships as being "water-based" makes me want to throw up. These are the same two people who told me not to make any friends when I was at my JC because I'd leave them and not to have any long-term relationships with boys because eventually, they'd end.
Proximity shouldn't be the issue at hand either because my Dad didn't even attend my high school graduation and that was a fifteen minute drive from our house....It's just the classic Taylor case of if it doesn't cater to what they like exclusively, they see no need to show up for it.
And considering that they had four kids, that's a pretty shitty philosophy to have.
Yesterday I had a thought about my Dad and his lack of involvement in my life as well as my brothers' lives. The thought was about how he used to take me to the bookstore as a little girl which I loved. What I thought was father-daughter time back then I suddenly realize wasn't. Think about it. I sat upstairs in the children's department reading while my Dad was downstairs. Most of the time, when I was done I had to go and find him myself and even then, he looked irritated that I had bothered him. Then I would go back upstairs alone, fervently wishing that whatever book I'd read next would take me away from my reality. Which it always did.
So strange. My brother Earl and I once discussed our childhoods with each other and he said, "Most of the time I just repress most of it."
Maybe I've been doing the same thing unconsciously. Or maybe I've been seeing the past in a better light than what it was.
The damage has been done. My roommate and her boyfriend will be taking the empty seats instead of my parents. I almost burst into tears when they told me they'd go. So amazing.
So now I know what I want. I don't want to talk to my parents for a long time. I want space between us, miles and oceans, but more than geography, I need time. Time to erase my pain, time to run from the memories. Days to stretch onto months and years.
And then maybe, just maybe, they'll understand just how hurt I feel. Maybe they'll realize just how wrong they were and how this moment in life is one they'll regret not being at.
Love to you all,