Mom Uninvited From Daughters Graduation In Favor Of Absent Father NEW Update (AITA Oct 16, '22)

No way, what? What do you mean, "No way"?

You're correct in that no one should be a, "punching bag" for someone, even if it's their own child. What does being a, "punching bag" look like in a parent/child dynamic? If someone is a parent and their child is having difficulty with empathy, boundaries and consequences, it's a parents job to teach a child those things to prevent becoming a "punching bag". I think a more apt metaphor would be, "door mat", particularly in this example.

As the adult in the situation, it was up to OOP to be responsible and proactive. OOP's child having difficulties living without the presence of her father is not on the child, it's on OOP to help her child navigate those feelings and sometimes, those feelings are really difficult to deal with, especially when you're a single parent, which it seems OOP was from before their child's birth. I can recognize, understand and empathize with OOP's feelings as an individual and a parent.

As for OOP doing the right thing? Well...I can see where OOP is coming from, but I don't agree with how OOP handled it. OOP has probably had a go of it being a single parent, it's definitely not easy to do, even with a good support network. That said, Bev did not choose any of this life. Bev was brought into this world by two people and those two people have a responsibility to do the best they can to love, raise and support that child. Is that easy to do? Nope. There are a lot of single parents out there who go their entire child's lives without being helped or thanked by Anyone. Do they still do a spectacular job of parenting? Yes. Would it be nice to be seen and appreciated for all the sacrifices they make for their child, by their child? Yes. Do they expect their child to roll out a red carpet for them and kiss their feet and praise them for doing what they were supposed to do as a Parent? No, and they don't think their child should either. Getting that child to being happy, well-adjusted adult is the goal.

Some quotes from OOP that stand out to me in particular:

"I angrily told her, I felt betrayed and wont forgive her for this. " I can see where OOP is coming from, she's hurt that her child chose her absentee father over her And didn't want OOP at the graduation. OOP's child has a Dad that they are desperately trying to include in their life, even after that, "Dad" keeps failing her over and over again. OOP is going to hold a grudge over her CHILD for being desperate to have her Dad in her life?

"I woke up the next morning to my daughter bawling her eyes out. I looked at the time and realised the ceremony starts in 5 minutes." OOP didn't know the ceremony was starting so soon, after how Hurt and Betrayed she felt? Oh, c'mon.

" I chose not to go because I felt betrayed and wanted to teach her actions have consequences, even if it broke me that i didn’t go." OOP felt hurt and betrayed and wanted to make her CHILD feel hurt and betrayed back, this had nothing to do with consequences and everything to do with punishment.

"I respected her decision and didn't go. She didn't console me, even when I have done it for her countless times when her dad ditched her. She takes me for granted as she know I’ll always be there for her. She knew how much I was excited for her graduation, I was speaking about it a year before her senior year yet she uninvited me so callously." How does a child take a parent for granted for being a parent? It's not a child's job to console a parent. Yes, Bev may be 18 and considered an adult but studies show our brains are not fully developed until our mid twenties. An 18 year old is still learning how to regulate their hormones and emotions.

"For the past 10 years, I have not been appreciated and instead have been tossed aside 24/7 for a father who abandons her." Again, I can see where OOP is coming from, they're feeling hurt. Again, it is Not the Child's job to appreciate an adult for being their parent. OOP said her and Bev had a good relationship and even felt like best friends. How is that being tossed aside 24/7?

"This is the first time I ever said no to her. For 18 years I have done everything I could to make sure she doesn’t feel abandoned like her father and she just ditches me. I know parenting is self less but I want to feel appreciated. And I’m always second choice to a man that’s doesn’t appreciate her." If this is the first time OOP said no to their Child for 18 years, yikes. It's ok for OOP to want to feel appreciated. Acting like an immature jerk to your child, is not the way to get appreciated. Also, "always second choice to a man who doesn't appreciate her"? That is A Lot to unpack...yeesh.

"I told her nevertheless I should have been there and if I could do this all over again, I would’ve gone. ( honestly I said this as I thought she now knew her dad can’t be trusted- and I felt for her)." OOP only said this because she thought her child learned a lesson? A, "lesson" that takes a lot of time and maturity to process and come to terms with? As someone who also grew up with a Flakey Dad, I WISH it was as easy as being stood up for a major life milestone ONCE. Oof.

"I told her not to expect everyone to apologise and turn a blind eye when she doesn’t value them in the real world. And i also said, knowing how she feels, don’t expect another apology from me and this is the last time I’m doing this." What even? The last time she's going to be there for her CHILD, who she is still trying to get in touch with? You're never going to say sorry again, OOP?

"I know I’m going to get a lot of backlash saying this but I’m bitter and angry.

I understand wanting her dad there but I should be on the same level of importance as him. I’m still going to be there for her when he inevitable ditches her again but if this behaviour carries on to her next graduation or wedding day. I can’t say I’ll be that apologetic to her." The backlash isn't the bitter and angry part, that's obvious and it's sad. OOP shouldn't be on the same level of importance as the Dad because they aren't the same. It sucks because OOP has been the steady parent in Bev's life. It seems that, at least up until now, Bev has felt loved and supported by OOP. Bev didn't feel hurt and abandoned by OOP but she did by her Dad and she's trying to change that, even if it's a fool's errand, (which it most likely is, sadly speaking from experience). If OOP can get past this and find the healing they need and deserve, hopefully they can help Bev come to terms with that, if Bev is open to it.

As for Bev allegedly stalking and threatening her Dad...

We can only speculate what was going on there, whether or not Bev was actually stalking and threatening the Dad and his new family. I will say this though, Bev's, "Dad" is trash. If he was truly having issues with Bev, why did he not reach out to OOP, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE BEV WAS IN THERAPY. I mean, C'mon. What the actual fuck? What was the therapist even doing? I mean, I know therapists aren't omnipotent but wouldn't there be some clues in the meetings between them and Bev that would maybe indicate something like that was going on? IDK, not a therapist, just someone who has been through similar trauma and has parents who were also like Bev's.

As for Bev... 18 years old in the US is when you're legally considered an adult, it is not when you are emotionally an adult. If I was in OOP's shoes, I have no doubt I would feel hurt by some of the choices my child made, but I would also understand that my child is not fully emotionally mature and is having serious issues. I would not make them feel bad about choosing something/someone over me. That said, I would also not be OK with my child calling me names and breaking stuff. I am not excusing Bev's behavior, I am understanding it. I'm not a medical professional and don't feel comfortable diagnosing anyone over the internet. I do hope Bev seeks therapy and support and achieves emotional stability, for her own sake.

As for OOP ? I'm glad they're going to therapy and pursuing a social life outside of a parental role. It does sound like they've cleaned their hands of their child, which is unfortunate and personally I find that disgusting but, it's common. Some parents think that once a kid turns 18 they're done being a parent and being responsible for the human being they brought into this world. For kid's that had those kind of parents: depending on your parents, I'm either sad for you or relieved. Whatever the case may be, I hope you find peace, love and support in your life without your, "parents".

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