I am in a very difficult situation right now and I am trying my hardest to do the right thing, but I'm not entirely sure what the right thing to do is in this case. Here is what's going on:
My parents are currently divorced and have been so for about the last 6 months, my father is in the national guard, (I live in America, for those of you who don't know) and will be shipping out to Iraq in January.
2 months ago, I let my dad know that I was planning on going a to a concert in Detroit, about 4 hours north of where I live. every time that I've seen him since, I've been sure to remind him of my plan; however, he has decided in the last two weeks that he wants to take my little sister and I camping for a while in East Harbor, about 4 hours east of here, and 1 hour and 45 minutes away from Detroit. I explained to him I still plan to go to this concert and that we need to work something out. He then told me that we could work something out, and that he might not even get the week off of work, therefore, we wouldn't go camping. So I've been jerking my friends around to every change that he makes in our plans. Earlier this evening, (I'm posting this after 3 hours of tending a fire and thinking about this deeply) I got an email from him telling me that if there were any conflicts between our plans, he could just tell me "to hell with the concert" and then take me camping anyway. What he wants to do is have my friends, come out to East harbor and pick me up, then go to Detroit, and finally head back to East harbor to drop me off. This can't happen though, because we are picking up two people on the way there, and the guy that's driving has a stop that he's got to make on the way to Detroit.
So that's the situation. What I need advice in regards to is: How should I tell my father that I don't want to hurt him, and in fact want a real relationship with him without ruining the tenuous bond between the two of us.
I've looked at my legal rights and I could tell him to "shove it up his ass" or something of the like and never talk to him again. On the other hand, I could just concede to him, but by doing so, I think that apart from throwing away something that I really want, I am telling him that forcing your way onto other people is O.K..
After about 3 hours of reflecting on everything that I knew that related to this, and his history with his father (who was a real monster, and the two of them haven't spoken for 8 years), I think I may have come up with a solution in the middle way. I'm going to send him an email saying the following:
When I got your email, my first instinct was to pick up the phone, give you a call and tell you to go to hell. Obviously, I haven't done that, rather, I've been thinking a lot about how we could work things out. I want us to work things out because when I look at how your father took the way your relationship with him ended, I see a lot of pain. I don't want to cause that in you; however, you must understand that while your desire to spend time with me is valid and I understand it truly, you are trying to make things happen with a very heavy hand and by doing so, making life difficult for a lot of people.
It seems like every time I try to make a compromise with you, or nail down some form of a plan, you either give me an answer that has no substance, or procrastinate actually making a decision. As a result of you not making a firm decision on your plans, I have not been able to make things work out in a way that is conducive to both of us. So now, I am giving you the best solution that I have open to me.
I am going to go to the concert as I have planned to for the last two and a half months. I would have my friends pick me up at East Harbor, but we are picking up two other people on our way to Detroit, and if we come out to East Harbor and then head to Detroit from the east, we won't be able to get them. Unfortunately, this means that I cannot come camping with you, because in doing that, I would be screwing several other people out of their plans for your last minute decisions.
I'm sorry that things have worked out to where our plans cannot work together, but there's nothing I can do about this. I'm not going to give up this concert, you know how much it means to me. I can't let myself and other people get screwed over because you didn't make your plans in a timely fashion, like I asked you to do MANY times. Again, I'm very sorry that we can't both get what we want in this situation.
Any advice, comments, anything?
I ask this especially to Rinpoche because I know that he went through something fairly similar with his mother.
Please give me insights to the best of your knowledge.