Not scarifying because after a while it truly doesn’t matter, but for perspective…
I worked my way through a bachelor’s and two masters degrees, full shot. (And didn’t hit poverty line until I was almost 30, paying for 'em.)
I never attended a graduation ceremony.
Came time for commencements and my mom said (quote), “do I REALLY have to go through all this?”
It hurt–very badly–each time, for the simple fact that no one cared enough to attend and just be proud. (My sis lived 1500 miles away, broke and couldn’t be there.)
For all the drawbacks, age lends charity in return. Sorta. Usually. In better moments.
Parents are fallible people too, and both of mine were fighting their own demons at the time. The simple truth is neither one saw me. They gave me standards–a huge gift–but bobbled in execution.
It’s taken long, hard years to stumble toward something approximating grace about this. (“Grace” in all senses.) They did the best they could at the time. Too often children become extensions of self, or possessions or projections; the push goes both ways. It’s just deeply fraught all the way around.
Sometimes even parents break. And all you can do is walk on.
I hope that isn’t too raw. (I can’t believe I wrote it.) But it isn’t hopeless, either.
Sometimes it’s necessary to walk your own path then consider a separate peace/forgiveness/whatever later.
Probably said too much–but needs ride,