A woman and her daughter had become incredibly close ever since her father left them for his new family.
But a week before her graduation party, the daughter approached her mom, expressing the desire to invite her estranged father.
However, her dad could attend the event on one condition.
On June 1, 2022, an anonymous female narrator turned to the “AITA” subreddit to pen her story. The woman, who was in her 40s, had an 18-year-old daughter, B, who had been very close to her father during her younger years despite her parents breaking up before she was born.
However, their relationship took a turn when she turned eight, and her father got married, after which he became distant and eventually abandoned her for his new family. This abandonment had a significant impact on B, leading to rebellious behavior. Despite her struggles, B attended therapy and seemed to be coping well.
Why Was the Woman Upset?
B had not seen her father since she was 12, and he spoke to her only a few times a year, making empty promises of rekindling their relationship. Despite this, B and her mother shared a strong bond, often doing everything together. B even referred to her mother as her “best friend,” indicating the closeness between them.
As B’s graduation approached, the woman felt excited about the event. However, a week before the graduation party, B approached her mother and shared her intention to invite her father and his son to the celebration. The ultimatum given by her father was that the woman could not attend the event if he were to come.
Feeling hurt and betrayed, the woman expressed her anger toward B, stating that she felt unforgivably betrayed. B, in response, explained that she wanted her father to be a part of her milestone moments, just as her mother had been present for many of them. This disagreement escalated into a heated argument between them.
Feeling desperate, the night before the graduation, the woman pleaded with her daughter, hoping to change her mind. But B remained unyielding, stating firmly, “I’m sorry, but I’m not changing my mind.” Devastated, the woman left, her heart heavy with sorrow. She cried until her sister intervened, offering solace by suggesting they go out during the graduation to divert her thoughts, a suggestion the woman accepted.
What Happened on Graduation Day?
The next morning, as the day of the graduation arrived, the woman woke up to find her daughter in tears. Glancing at the time, she realized the ceremony was about to begin in mere minutes. Perplexed, she asked B why she hadn’t left yet.
B, her voice filled with disappointment, revealed that her father had abandoned her once again and was no longer responding. The woman hugged her daughter tightly, advising her to make the most of her graduation despite the situation.
In response, B questioned if her mother wouldn’t be attending now that her father wasn’t, fearing the embarrassment of being the only one without parents present. The woman expressed regret, apologizing once more, and explained that she already had plans. B, in her anguish, screamed at her mother, labeling her a bad mom.
Despite the turmoil, the woman chose not to attend the ceremony, standing firm in her decision to teach her daughter that actions have consequences, even if it shattered her to do so. Since B’s return from the graduation, she remained silent, appearing deeply despondent and as though she had been crying for an eternity.
The woman now found herself wrestling with regret, questioning whether her choice had been too harsh. Her sister supported her decision, but a fellow school mom’s comment about B’s apparent depression at the graduation weighed heavily on her conscience. In this emotional turmoil, the woman sought guidance, questioning whether she was in the wrong for attempting to impart a lesson to her daughter.
Another Unpleasant Conversation
A day after her original post, the woman shared an update on the situation. She revealed that her daughter, B, had been consistently ditching her for her father over the past decade. When she consulted B’s therapist, there was no indication of manipulation; instead, B was holding onto an idealized version of her relationship with her father.
In the conversation with her daughter, the woman apologized for not attending the graduation and expressed her feelings of being left out and unappreciated. B apologized and expressed love, wanting things to return to normal.
However, when asked if she regretted uninviting her mother, B insisted it was for the best, as she preferred her father’s presence. This deeply hurt the woman, who confronted B about her disregard for her feelings. B remained resolute, stating she would always prioritize her father, even if he might not show up.
Feeling bitter and angry, the woman acknowledged her limits, knowing she might not be as forgiving in the future if B’s behavior persisted. Despite potential backlash, the woman expressed her frustration at not being regarded with the same importance as her daughter’s father.
She affirmed her commitment to being there for B in the future but questioned her willingness to continue this pattern if it extended to significant life events like future graduations or weddings. She regretted not following the advice she received from the online community, the majority of whom deemed her “NTA.”
The woman shared a final update in October 2022, where she reflected on her handling of the situation, acknowledging that she had acted immaturely by asking her daughter if she regretted uninviting her. She clarified that although she was referred to as her daughter’s “best friend,” she maintained a parenting role, including discipline.
Following the graduation incident, the woman attempted to contact her daughter’s father (referred to as F) and received a letter in response. F claimed that their daughter had been aggressive and threatening toward him and his family, leading him to distance himself.
He accused B of stalking and threatening his family and insisted he had tried to have a healthy relationship with her. The woman spoke to B about these accusations, leading to a confrontation where B blamed her mother for the breakdown in her relationship with her father. B left for college, cutting off contact and refusing to communicate.
The woman expressed relief despite the pain, as her self-esteem had suffered during the ordeal. She started therapy, experienced a slight improvement, and even went on a date for the first time in a decade without feeling guilty. She acknowledged the imperfections in her relationship with B and recognized the challenging circumstances they both faced.
Comments from Readers
What do you think about this story? Do you think the woman should have forgiven her daughter and attended her graduation ceremony?