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Old 02-28-06, 09:29 PM   #1
Flippin Sweet
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Difficult Situation, advice?

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.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:53 PM   #2
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It stinks that they (or one parent at least) have given you such a hard time low these many years. They can't make decisions for you, certainly not about your chosen career. And ultimately they can't make you "walk the line". HOWEVER...this is a big deal to them. If you don't you'll be giving them "ammo" for years..."I paid for your education and I didn't even get to see blah blah blah".

SO...my advise is to suck it up and walk the stage.

Go and they'll have their "proud parent" moment. Don't go and you'll never hear the end of it.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:10 PM   #3
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I agree w/ cycleprincess. Suck it up, walk the stage, pose for pics, let them take you out for dinner, then go start your career. You've stuck to your guns thus far, but the grad pics are what every parent longs for. Just make sure you have your iPod or portable dvd player w/ you. Grad ceremonies are boring as hell.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:16 PM   #4
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If attending doesn't harm your chances with the job to a significant degree - I say walk. You may not want to now, but I know several people who didn't when they graduated and they now regret it. One even went back for a Master's degree "just so he could"

It does suck that your parent(s) are holding this over you. But on the flip side, consider how much in debt you'd be right now if you had to take out loans to get through school. If you can handle one more day of appeasement without going postal on someone - tough it out. After you get across that stage, they will be hard pressed to find a way to hold it over your head any longer. Good luck.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:26 PM   #5
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Do what your parents want, and do it with appreciation they deserve it.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:33 PM   #6
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You guys bring up some really good points, and it will help me make my decision. Thanks! No, it won't affect my job too much, fortunately, though I am pretty sure I won't regret not walking, but if I do it, I will totally bring an iPod. Good idea!
The twist is that my other parent, who treats me like a human being, who has supported me and my decisions the whole time, supported my initial choice to not walk; but if this parent HAD insisted, I would have agreed to do it happily. It's all in how you treat people. Anyway, the whole situation has taught me that favors involving MONEY are BAD, even with family. I'd take debt over this bull**** any day. If anyone else has perspective, don't hesitate...
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Old 02-28-06, 10:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by curt in denver
Do what your parents want, and do it with appreciation they deserve it.
Why do they deserve it? One of them made me feel TERRIBLE about this money and this event. I in no way expected anything from them, but I never was ungrateful for it when it was paid. I'd do it with appreciation if my parent only treated me civilly.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:46 PM   #8
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Well, you're seeing classic manipulation tactics, with a little bit of passive-aggressive behavior thrown in there. However, since they are family, and you'll have to live with them for the rest of your life, do that parent the honor. They did pay for your education (trust me, you don't want that debt), you can show them a bit of gratitude. It'll go a long way. Also, remember, you are young and others have been around much longer than you and might know how the world works a bit more than you. I remember thinking that I knew how it all worked--I now realize that I know very little.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flippin Sweet
Why do they deserve it? One of them made me feel TERRIBLE about this money and this event. I in no way expected anything from them, but I never was ungrateful for it when it was paid. I'd do it with appreciation if my parent only treated me civilly.
No one made you feel anything other than yourself. I deal with conflict resolution regularly, and a big part of it is to own your own feelings and actions. It might be, next conflict, you can use this model:

When I heard you say______________, I thought/assumed_________________, and I felt _______________.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:58 PM   #10
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oh wow that's cool. this makes a lot of sense. how come they don't teach everyone these conflict resoultion tactics? I'm going to use that!! I know that I resist doing this thing partly because this parent was using manipulation. That, in addition to the fact that it's not a priority of mine to attend. I don't deny that I did feel browbeaten as a result of these comments.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MERTON
get a new family. yours is trash.
hehehe. I should try that.
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Old 02-28-06, 11:10 PM   #12
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I'm with cycleprincess. If there's no huge harm in walking at graduation, do so. Though you didn't ask for the help or need the help, you did accept it. Being there to let your parents feel proud and take a few pictures shouldn't be too much to ask in return, independent of whether or not other things they ask for is reasonable.

Congrats on almost being done.
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Old 02-28-06, 11:29 PM   #13
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Dang
if i could mix my parents with your parents
we could have like 4 of the world's bestest parents.
My parents are extremely understanding of pretty much everything everybody has done, despite it being for the better or worse. They just aren't rich enough to pay for annybody's college tuition
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Old 02-28-06, 11:35 PM   #14
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Though you didn't ask for the help or need the help, you did accept it.
This is true.

I think I will just have to get a new family . Thanks all, for your input, you don't know how helpful your contributions have been. I will think on it, sleep on it, and make a good decision. How'd y'all get so smart?? I love bf!! *HUGS*

And I'm really pumped to graduate. It's been a good four years, though
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Old 03-01-06, 12:06 AM   #15
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Congratulations
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Old 03-01-06, 12:20 AM   #16
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Congrats! Now go make the bestest best of yourself! You go out there and do what makes you happy and show the world what you got!!!!! More power to ya!
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Old 03-01-06, 01:54 AM   #17
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get a new family. yours is trash.
do you have a New Family Cataloge?
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Old 03-01-06, 01:57 AM   #18
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Walk...do it for yourself and what you have accomplished....do it for your friends that have survived the same.... do it for your future....what will it cost you? 3 hours? that is nothing! and it may give a little peace to the family as well. Happy walking!
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Old 03-01-06, 02:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flippin Sweet
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.
Oh come on dude, let's just go out & pick up a couple a jugs of Thunderbird & drink our blues away.
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Old 03-01-06, 06:01 AM   #20
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How about you wad your bike the day before, and break your leg... no way you could take the walk with your fibia sticking out your calf.

Yeah, it's extreme, but effective.

Koine2002 made some good points, heed them.
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Old 03-01-06, 06:33 AM   #21
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My mom rented out my room when I went to university, so I wasn't coming home... I agree with Stacey, I can send my cousins Guido & Luigi over the day before graduation to break your legs, no charge..
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Old 03-01-06, 09:38 AM   #22
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Walk. Don't walk. Either way, the act in and of itself is trivial in the long run.

I think the more salient issue is that you will be enabling a passive/aggressive, manipulative situation if you walk. Eventually, if not already so, you will harbor resentment in yourself and your parents if this dynamic continues.

If I were you, I wouldn't walk. I couldn't stand the thought of being a codependant of this scenario. I have a hunch that your conscience is saying the same thing. If so, honor that feeling.

Gracefully state your position. Give them your love. Turn the corner and never participate in that dynamic again.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:48 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telenick
Walk. Don't walk. Either way, the act in and of itself is trivial in the long run.

I think the more salient issue is that you will be enabling a passive/aggressive, manipulative situation if you walk. Eventually, if not already so, you will harbor resentment in yourself and your parents if this dynamic continues.

If I were you, I wouldn't walk. I couldn't stand the thought of being a codependant of this scenario. I have a hunch that your conscience is saying the same thing. If so, honor that feeling.

Gracefully state your position. Give them your love. Turn the corner and never participate in that dynamic again.
And then pay back the $25,000 they spent on your behalf.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:53 AM   #24
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Just go with your gut feeling. How do you really feel, you said you don't want to walk cause it would be hard for you leaving all your friends??
I agree with Telenick its a trivial issue in whole big picture of life.
Sometimes we have to take a stand even if it means hurting someone else, its hard but you will be happier in the long run if you stick to how you really feel.
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Old 03-01-06, 09:54 AM   #25
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Walk? get the degree? and thenpay them back?
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