Hi all, I was wondering if I could get some insight on a difficult situation. I was hoping you folks could provide some unbiased opinion. You guys are pretty smart and have a lot of good perspective, from what I've read, so I need some help.
Okay, here goes: When i graduated from high school, my parents offered to pay my college tuition to give me the opportunity to go to college, with the understanding that I would perform academically, which I have (3.75 gpa and honors). As the semesters went on, however, one of my parents began to use the money as a guilt mechanism, saying things like "you'll live where I tell you", "you'll choose X major", "you'll come home for the summer", because "I'm paying for you to be at school and thus you're obligated". Some things I let go, to keep the peace, and others I held firm to my own decisions. The comments got worse, though. During my last conversation this parent implied that the money spent on me "had been a waste" because the career I am going into is not acceptable to my parent. It's become such a major guilt trip for me, that I asked my parents not to pay my tuition my senior year, but they paid it behind my back, out of habit, mostly. The good thing is that it will be over with in a few months after I graduate.
My conundrum is this: for various reasons, I would like to not participate in the graduation ceremony. It's a personal choice, mainly because I have a job offer that will kind of conflict with the date, and the other is that I am having a hard enough time leaving my college town and friends, the ceremony will make it harder for me. However, this parent has said that I must walk the line because "you're parents have supported you these years, and you are obligated."
Now, I didn't ask for this money, they offered it to me, and I never took it for granted. My parents paid for my tuition only, I held down a job the entire time I was in school to pay for housing, food, all my living expenses. This, and this guilt trip has made me very resistant to honoring this particular wish of my parent's. When I brought it up, I had to cut the discussion short because it turned very heated and immature.
Would I be out of line in sticking to my decision to not do the ceremony, or should I suck it up one day for family harmony? I don't want to make a hasty decision in anger or anything. Please help.