Four years ago this May, I was on top of the world. It was two weeks and a half before my 18th birthday, and three weeks before my high school graduation. I mentioned earlier that this was such a big accomplishment for me. Incapacitated by anxiety I missed half of my sophomore year. Though my grades were high this lead me to officially flunk the tenth grade. Soon after this time period I started medication and talk therapy. With the fight my mentor Mr. Jones put up for me and a note from my therapist, I was able to regain my credits. I went on to miss only one day my junior year, and only three days my senior year (one being a senior skip day).
I had gotten early admission to the only college I applied to and wanted to attend The W. The world was my oyster (my god I hate that saying). There was never anyone as happy to put on that unflattering cap and gown.
I had had a rocky relationship with my father and his family for years. When I was 12, I had stood up for myself and refused to no longer take the abuse from my father. We had all called an uneasy truce a few years later, but they never treated me the same after. They always gave my cousins more, where they got birthday gifts I got a phone call. I was never jealous and always happy to just accept less. I just wanted their attention.
When my 18th birthday rolled around, I hadn’t heard anything from any of them. But I let it go, and I just hoped beyond hope that my graduation wouldn’t go ignored. But that day rolled around and I hadn’t heard from them. Not a card, not a call, not a peep. It was supposed to be one of the best days of my life, and it was. But I was brought so down by their lack of caring. And the best night of my life was also one of the worst.
Soon after I cut all ties with them, I just couldn’t try anymore. It hurt so much. When I told them all this, they all ran out and bought me gifts. It bothered me so much that to them it was all about gifts. They thought I was just greedy and selfish. It was never that. And I didn’t see anyone again till this Christmas.
I was filling out graduation invitations this weekend with my mom. And I made the choice not to send them one. I felt that if they sent me gifts it would be because they felt they had too. And if they didn’t send me anything I would be crushed. This is a total lose/lose situation for me.
This graduation is in my hands. I did this on my own, and I don’t need nor want their approval. They have no power to make or break that day anymore. And that is a good feeling. It took me a long time to realize that while I love them, but they cannot love me like I wish for them too. And maybe, just maybe that is ok.