difficult child's grad day - give me strength! (Update)


Active Member
Hi all, difficult child is having his grade 8 grad tonight. He wasn't planning on going, which upset me but I tried to not bully him into something he didn't want to do. He came home a few days ago and said that he was told if he attends his grad, he will get his report card and will be allowed to finish his year today instead of attending tomorrow, Mon. and Tues. like the other students. So suddenly difficult child wants to go. I was so happy because for me this is a huge milestone. He was expelled from his school last June. He had a 37% average when he moved back home after first term this year, but 2nd term he was in the high 60% range and I'm expecting it to stay that way or actually be higher on his final report card. difficult child has suprised me with all his personal growth and efforts and changes since he moved home. I have such pride and gratitude that it seems he is on the right path finally. So today should be great (!?!?!).
Yesterday I picked him up so plain chino type pants and a short sleeve button down top and a pair of nice sandals. He isnt into dressing up, so I didn't push him for tie etc like the other boys, wasnt' important enough to argue. Well he went livid over the sandals. But if I'd bought dress shoes he'd have been more livid. He was copping attitude with me etc last night and again this morning. I think he is having anxiety about attending, he doesn't participate in anything at school (except basketball team) including any trips, outings, plays, fun days etc. He has zero friends at his school, his choice, he has been a hermit. So I'm trying to give him leniancy because I think underneath it all he's nervous about being in the setting tonight, with the other kids, large group of parents etc. He has always had problems with praise etc as well so there is that to add to the mix.
He has made me swear we will NOT stay for even a minute of the reception afterwards, just the ceremony to get his diploma and his report card, and as soon as it ends, we are to leave. Okay I'll go along with that too. I plan to order pizza (his fav) afterwards and going to pick up a graduation cake this afternoon, we can do the "after" celebration quietly here at home.
But his attitude and anxiety is worrying me. I want us all to enjoy this. Him especially but also me as this is not something I even envisioned, I figured by now he'd be in long term Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The mom in me is going to NOT cry when I see him get that diploma. This feels like the end of a bad chapter of life (14 years worth!) and the start of something new, he is looking forward to high school, and he HATES school. So good things are coming and continuing I believe.
Please cross fingers and toes that he and I can enjoy this, I'm keeping it super low key so as to not make him more anxious about it. But inside I am overwhelmed with pride in my boy.
I am hoping he'll let me take a picture or two. He tried on his clothes last night for me and seemed happy with them. He looked so handsome even with his SUPER LONG SCRAGGLY hair. I've agreed to leave him alone about that so long as he brushes it LOL. Hopefully that will happen. He looks like such a man, just hit 6 feet tall, towers over me, the short mama.
I will post tonight after and let you know how it went, hopefully with pics!!!

Melissa .... crossing everything possible! I just want ONE special typical mommy moment as i've missed the normal ones other parents get .... I know you all know what I mean about that!


Active Member
Little update - difficult child comes home at lunch time every day. He just came in happy that he has afternoon off. Other kids are decorating the gym for tonight so he is allowed to stay home. I told him we'll order pizza when we get home as a treat. He went off on me. "This is not some kind of celebration, why is everything a big freaking deal" etc etc. I just sat there stunned at his tirade (havent' seen this side of him in a LONG time). I waited until he was done and then just simply said I know you have anxiety about this but you can't speak like that, and we are keeping this low key, it's just pizza!!!!! GRRR!!!!!!!


Active Member
Ohhhh.....bless his heart. He must be SO anxious! He also must sense all of your emotion surrounding this, and not want to ruin anything.
I will be hoping it all goes great tonight! I am sure it will!


New Member
Hopefully it's anxiety but maybe it's best to play it his way and if he wants it low key then low key it should be. Maybe wait awhile and then have a celebration when it's all be said and done. Or tell him it's your celebration for getting this far and not throttling him, lol! Maybe play it by how the evening goes.

(((HUGS))) I hope it goes well for you tonight and he loses the attitude. Looking forward to the pics.


No real answers to life..
I'll be thinking of you tonight, hope you can sneak in a couple of pictures to commemorate the occasion.....


Well-Known Member
Deep breathes for both of you. In. Out. In. Out.

It will be OK. Get the pizza, but it is just dinner.

(I am VERY happy for you!!!!)

(and jealous, too!)


Active Member
Thank you all ... I have definitly been hiding my happiness about seeing him finish school this year because I know how he gets anxious about praise, etc. Especially with it getting close. easy child already has been talked to about how he feels (privately when I picked her up to school) so she knows to "not make a big deal" because it will make difficult child nervous etc. She said okay mom, but that just feels really sad. Maybe when we get home and I'm ready for bed he'll let me give him a hug. *awww* She is so understanding.
As soon as we got in though, my easy child, a total tomboy, rushed to get changed (couple hours earlier than needed) into ... *gasp* a SKIRT and a fancy top with lace on it. She even raided my jewelry and is wearing two beautiful sea shell bracelets and matching necklace. She went to difficult child's room and asked if she looked nice. He told her she looked pretty. I think that difficult child is feeling a bit better because he looked bashful and pleased that his sister had stepped out of her comfort zone to look nice for his ceremony. Only talk about tonight was can he wait till last minute to get ready, I said sure, no problem. He is seeming more relaxed. So knock on wood, I think it will be okay.
We are going to relax and walk down to his school just in time for the ceremony, I'll be sure we aren't there early. I will keep my promise about no staying for the reception, we will leave as soon as he hands in his cap and gown and walk home.
By then I think the relief that he is done with this school (where he never felt he was allowed to be himself etc) will kick in since he is truly finished for the year. This afternoon off school helped him I think because he knows after this ceremony he never again needs to step foot in that building and next year he gets the fresh start he's been waiting for and wishing for.
I'll save my happiness and pride for here with you all :smile: Hopefully we will get a picture or two. I decided not to wear a dress I was going to wear so as to not have too much of a "celebration" feel ;). I am going to wear a casual sweater and summery casual skirt and sandals. Hope that helps him too!
I hope one day he can enjoy his accomplishments or that underneath his anxiety he realizes he has alot to proud of.



Active Member
It was a bust. We did low key, couldn't get any more low key. We didn't even make it to the end of the ceremony, who knows what was left or how much more of it was left. There was a silent walk home, he spoke not a word. Quite frankly neither did I. Nothing set him off, he was actually very relaxed. He didn't flip out or anything, his anxiety was even under control. He just cropped up his old difficult child attitude, good times.
I keep saying "I WILL NOT FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF" over and over. It's not working great, I'll keep practicing. Even given that one can't have high expectations of difficult child, even having next to no expectations, difficult child has wrecked every single special occassion with the exception of Christmas since about age 5. Even a couple of Christmas's come into play with difficult child'ness. I am the first to go to bat for difficult child when he's struggling, especially emotionally etc. He wasnt' struggling, he was just being a big jerk. I am sure he's wondering why I haven't commented, haven't said zip about it. He never even got his report card, I had to grab his diploma quickly as he was goign to toss it out. Well I am NOT going to be saying anything, nope, because if there was anything TO BE said at this moment, it would not be the right thing for a parent to say. What I wanted to say is that when I was barely older than you I gave up youth, dreams, education, etc to raise you, to love you, I sacrificed etc. And you STILL make every single ounce of the good part of parenting a nightmare. They say it's a thankless job to parent, but I must say if it wasn't for easy child, I'd give new meaning to the saying.
I'm not angry at difficult child. I'm hurt, and I'm incredibly disappointed. I was giving him to much leeway in terms of blaming stuff on nerves etc. This was just a jerk acting like a jerk :(.
He went to his room as soon as we got in. Actually he wouldn't even walk home with me and easy child, walked half a block ahead and sat on the outdoor swing until I got home to unlock the door. I didn't bother ordering dinner. He can make something. Or he can not eat. easy child had a quick microwave bowl of ravioli and went to bed. She told me she waited until 8pm. for dinner all for difficult child, and he acts like a big idiot. Well, what can a mom say to that?? I can only guess what the teachers and principal are thinking about why difficult child suddenly "disappeared". Nothing provoked this. Hell every parent in the place, grandparents, godparents etc lined up to snap photos of their "kid" when they were called up. I stayed in my spot, in my seat, camera in my purse and dealing with the nasty looks of the staff at the school that I didn't even bother to take my kids picture. How little they know. In hindsight, given how it turned out, I guess a photo to memorialize another ruined "thing" would not be helpful anyhow.
I'm going to bed because I'm afraid to say something to difficult child. If this was all nerves, or the way it unfolded was ANY PART of nerves, I'd get it. I'd be disappointed but completely sympathetic. This was not that at all. I am practicing keeping my mouth shut. Easier done alone in my room with a book and my dog. :frown:
Thanx for the whine!


No real answers to life..
Sorry it did not go as you wanted....tomorrow is a new day and he did get a diploma, so two good things....


New Member
I'm so sorry :frown: I was really hoping he'd give you this one time. I still have to believe though that there is a reason, maybe not anxiety. I know with difficult child when anything is going well or something very positive is happening, he tends to ruin it. I don't understand why but it's to be expected. It's almost like they can't handle the pressure or believe that they have done something good, that they can be good.

There is nothing you can do to get back this evening, but remember that he still did something that you weren't so sure not to long ago he would acheive. Your difficult child graduated grade 8 and he cannot take that from you.

Be p*ssed but continue to be proud. Baby steps still.

(((HUGS))) I wish it could have been a better evening, I was really hoping for you that it would have been (((HUGS)))