What matters is what you need to satisfy this goal: Take care of yourself.
One of the most crucial roles a parent plays is of protector--yet children of abusers need protection from parents. All these kids, to some degree, are forced to protect themselves.
Once your father gave you the job of watching your own back, you earned the right to keep the job. That means you're free to go into any event involving your dad, no matter how significant, with an eye to what's best for you. Guilt-free.
So. The question becomes, what's best for you? Or, if it's useful to think of it this way, which choice is least likely to ripen into lasting regret?
You have an idea which choice will have the lowest emotional cost to you. That's the one I advise you to make.
Carolyn Hax at
WOW! No one has ever said it better, or more clearly. Thank you Carolyn Hax.