A Reconciliation

by Carolyn on February 15, 2010

Inner Child by Fairy Nuff (on Flickr)

It feels eerily the same as when I was ten.

Waiting for a phone call that’s not coming.  Wondering what I did wrong.  Thinking that maybe the last time we talked I wasn’t nice enough, didn’t seem interested enough in his life, or that maybe somehow I upset him.  That internal dialogue is whispering through my mind these days, just as it did almost 25 years ago.  Constantly running in the background like a skipping record that can’t find it’s track.  Waiting.  Replaying.  Analyzing.  Wondering.

When I was ten, the days would tick by and I would feel the knot in my stomach grow.  Worry would consume me.  Maybe he’s sick.  Maybe something’s happened.  A car accident.  A catastrophe of some sort.  But I would tell myself no, that would incite a phone call, not prevent one.  No, it had to be me.  I must have done something.  He told me he would call but now it’s been 3….5….7 weeks.  My fault.  It was the only explanation that made sense.

At ten, I didn’t have free reign over the phone.  Money was tight, and facing the ever present tension between my parents to ask one of them if they would pay for me to call long distance to the other became both all I wanted yet all I didn’t want to request.  It killed me to ask.  I didn’t want to burden her with the weight of it.  Whether it was because I had done something wrong, or because something had happened to him, in my mind the burden didn’t belong to her.

I wonder if anyone knew how damaging that was to me.  Both distracted with new families, I wonder if anyone saw the pain that I felt.  How it ripped me apart.  I wonder if she ever saw it in my face or if he ever heard it in my voice.  Today, these memories remain as some of the most defining in my childhood.

I would finally work up the courage to ask and easily be granted permission to call.  I would instantly be told how crazy work and life was.  I remember the relief.  Relief at knowing that everyone was safe and that I wasn’t to blame.  But I also remember the disappointment.  Disappointment that it wasn’t me or some unexpected twist of fate.  Because if it had been that, if it had been something I had done, I could apologize for it.  And if it had been an illness, there would be a recovery and resuming of routine. But I couldn’t change work and I couldn’t expect a recovery from life.

And if it was absentmindedness or carelessness, that was even worse.  Because I didn’t have enough time with him to be angry.  I couldn’t waste the moments I was allotted with him by being mad.  I couldn’t even summon my anger towards him when I felt I should, when I knew it was there.  In the precious time we had together, love always bubbled to the surface above everything else.

After the call, I would relay the explanation and then she would try to help.  She would tell me this was simply his nature and assure me of his love.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the support I needed.  For me, it was never love that was in question.  It was my Worth.  And her attempt to support me by supporting him, translated in my ears to me not being worth any more than I had received.  It was if she agreed with him and all was justified just as he had said.  I know it’s not the message she ever intended to give.

But life went on.  We never really talked about such things.  He, I would imagine was either relieved to simply be off the hook, or perhaps he truly felt that in the landscape of his life, there just wasn’t time for the calls.  She, I would presume was busy and distracted, and maybe a little unsure of how to be the sounding board for my relationship with him.  And so, we all continued in our silent status quo.

On nights like tonight it’s hard not to feel just like that ten year old girl, even with the benefit of time, maturity and insight.  Feelings can be errant things, heading to places I wish they wouldn’t.  Making me wonder sometimes if I’m just being oversensitive or worse, regressing.  I’m still a lot like that little girl.  Love still overwhelmingly tempers my anger when I talk to him.  I still look to myself to blame when I feel neglected.  And I actually find myself still hoping that it is me, because it’s easier to face my own guilt than any resentment for him.  But I’m also different from her.  I pay my own phone bills now and I can call China if I want to without asking anyone’s permission.  And yet, on nights like tonight I don’t call him.  Am I entrenched?  Maybe.  I acknowledge that I’m too close to the vortex to know for sure.  But there are a few things that I know.

I know it’s not convenient for him, being close with me.  I know it takes more effort than it does with his other children. I’m not automatically at the family gatherings.  I’m not around.  I’m not even sure that I’m welcome anymore. The distance and dynamics don’t make any of this easy for either of us.  But I keep hoping that one day I’ll feel like I can count on him to be there.  That one day he won’t need to be cajoled or pressed, reminded or prodded to actively and consistently participate in a relationship with me.  That one day he might actually want to make that effort all on his own, thinking of time with me not as an obligation but as something to look forward to.  That he would feel that I was worth the effort.

Perhaps the reality is that to him, I’m not worth it.  Perhaps to him, there is no real potential in our relationship.  Perhaps truth be told, I am no more than an obligation and he just doesn’t have the effort to give.  And that’s what I need to reconcile.  That despite how much I love him or how much effort I’m willing to put forth, he may never put forth the effort himself.  And for me, facing that is more important than picking up the phone.

I’ve been telling myself for years that I’m good enough, nice enough, respectable enough, smart enough, and accomplished enough to be worth his love and attention.  Maybe, just maybe he doesn’t see it the same way.  Our history is starting to speak for itself.  The cycle is getting tired and I want off the ride.  Reconciling may actually set me free.  I need to stop repeating the things I was told so long ago.  It may be him.  It may just be his nature.

But me? I’m worth more.  And tonight, my reconciliation is with me.

Share

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 WhiteSockGirl February 15, 2010 at 3:40 am

Oh this is so sad and emotional but so beautifully written. I actually read it twice before I commented. I rarely read a post twice.

I can’t comment on the content. Even though I have my own severly dysfunctional special relationship going with my father, it is so far removed from your issues,.. I just can concure with you have said, you are worth soo sooo much more and he is simply losing out.

Reply

2 Carolyn February 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Thank you so much.

Reply

3 Persis February 15, 2010 at 4:23 am

This is an incredibly touching post. I can in so many ways relate to hurts that you’ve harboured since your childhood. We tell ourselves that we’ve recovered and moved on…but we never do, do we?

Dropping by from SITS…Hope you have a lovely week ahead.

~ Persis.
.-= Persis´s last blog ..Back In Business =-.

Reply

4 Carolyn February 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

You know, Persis? I’m not sure we ever do. The bleeding stops but the damn scar seems to last forever.

Reply

5 T February 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

We could easily switch fathers and I’m sure neither of us would notice (or them).

I get this …..To the very bottom of my soul. I have this same issue with my dad — the need and desire to want him to WANT to be part of my life. Yet his lack of desire to want to put any effort into ME. (though these days I see it as lack of caring)

Me, I chose to get off that ride 2 years ago. I just stopped. Calling, writing, everything. Just stopped. It was so hard and it hurt. But it was a clean hurt – that cleansing kind that sets you free. I still ache on certain days, but the gut wrenching, heart breaking emotions aren’t there any longer.

You have to do what you can to take care of yourself and know that you are worth that effort.
.-= T´s last blog ..A Snowy Heart =-.

Reply

6 Carolyn February 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Thank you for sharing, T. They are hard issues and take a lot to work through. I’m still on the journey and I really appreciate your support.

Reply

7 WhiteSockGirl February 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm

You are so welcome.

I left something for you on my blog!

Reply

8 Carolyn February 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Thank you so much! You are awesome.

Reply

9 Wilma Ham February 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Hi Carolyn
I can so resonate with all that you are writing AND what I have learned is that all the agony that I was feeling came out of my own head as a result of the Little Voice in my head making meaning.
When I understood that, I could observe what I was doing.
That was a big shock as at first I felt that what I was thinking and feeling was some sacred truth.
To learn that that is NOT the truth but just a story I was making up was at first hard to swallow.
In the beginning I hung onto that story until I got to see that it was just that, a story in my head and that my worth had nothing to do with it.
Once I got to that point I gained an enormous relieve, I could get on with leaving the past behind and make a phone call when I desired to do so without all these meaning making thoughts.
Love Wilma

Reply

10 Carolyn February 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

Hi Wilma, and thank you for visiting. I think Peggy Nolan had mentioned your work to me on a previous post. What you write about here reminds me very much of Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements. In particular, his second agreement which states:

“Don’t take anything personally because anything anyone else says or does is simply a projection of their own reality, their own dream. And when you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

I agree in many ways with what you and Ruiz are saying. I understand that we are often victims of our own perceptions. And I’m also very aware that both my mother and father would have different perceptions of that time than I would. But here is my impasse with this particular situation:

It would be easy for me to call. Very easy. Much easier than what I’m doing instead. I want to tell him that it’s alright, that it’s no big deal, that I don’t mind and I understand. I want to be the good child of divorce who says or does whatever is needed, sacrificing any of my actual feelings in order to shield a parent from any guilt or hurt. That behavior is ingrained in us. It would be so damn easy.

What’s much harder is this. Taking care of myself instead of him. Acknowledging my feelings along with his. Making my own self worth a priority instead of only preserving his. And reassuring myself that I am worth more while forcing myself to disengage with an open heart. Knowing that I will take whatever he has to offer but that I will also no longer allow the absence of him to live in the forefront of my life, while I continue to remain merely in the background of his.

Reply

11 Wilma Ham February 17, 2010 at 12:00 am

Hi Carolyn
You are right, Peggy is a fan of our program and what we are a stand for.
I acknowledge you for recognizing that my sentiments are aligned with Miguel Ruiz’ point of view about NOT taking things personally and not being a victim of needless suffering.
I appreciate your sharing yourself as I too are getting clarity from writing about my life circumstances. It is great how sharing with others is contributing to my clarity.
Love Wilma

Reply

12 Peggy February 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Hi Carolyn – mind if I chime in? (I heard my name mentioned…lol)

Letting go of the story we’ve been holding onto for our whole lives is really tough. But the stories are just stories – filled with angst, half-truths, white lies, and a lot of fear. I know what it’s like to not have the type of relationship we believe we should have with our dads. I’m a daughter, too. A child of divorce. Only my dad won custody of me and my brothers. My dad is far from perfect and he fell from the pedalstal I had him on a long time ago. It still took years for me to let go of my story – I ached for my dad’s approval.

(and thus my type A overacheiving nature!)

But guess what. When I let go of my story and accepted dad for dad – no more, no less – that’s when I learned just how much dad loved me for me. Things changed right before I turned forty. Because when things fell apart in my life, my dad was there in ways I never would have dreamed of.

As he is for ALL his eight kids (he collects them – long story) Most recently I saw my dad be there, really be there for my younger brother as his wife passed away. Dad was there for all of us as it has been both a difficult time but one of love and family.

Let go of your story. Release your dad from your suffering and see what happens. I can’t promise green grass and lilly blossoms, but I can almost bet how much freedom you’ll receive when you accept, release, and let go.

My love to you,
Peggy
.-= Peggy´s last blog ..Save Me A Good Seat… =-.

Reply

13 Carolyn February 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Hi Peggy, As always I thank you for taking the time to comment here. And I want to say first and foremost that I’m so very sorry for you and your family’s loss. I know you are nothing but well intentioned in your sentiments, and please know I am nothing but the same in my response.

I think the crux of it is that I simply don’t subscribe to the same philosophy as you and Wilma here. In matters of the heart and mind, there is never an ‘answer’, never a ‘one size fits all’ solution. There are a myriad of therapies because we all come to healing in our own way. Even therapists often find themselves disagreeing. You would find that there are therapists who would disagree with you here. Trust me, I’m related to one. But she’s a trauma counselor and the rhetoric of someone’s perspective being ‘made up’ can be very dangerous when dealing with someone who is a survivor of physical, emotional or sexual abuse (not that I have been a victim of any of those, but you certainly would have no way to know that about me either).

And what can be really difficult for someone who has walked their own road to enlightenment to understand, is that even when something’s worked so thoroughly for them, it may just as thoroughly *not* work for someone else. When I was in school to become an addictions counselor, I remember one of my professors saying that recovered addicts as recovery counselors bring an authenticity to the table that noon without first hand experience can, but that those same people tend to find themselves bound by only truly believing in the treatment modality that worked for them; while others can objectively assess clients and tailor treatment according to individual needs.

I’m not saying your philosophy is wrong, or that it hasn’t worked for you, or even that it wouldn’t work for others. But it doesn’t work for me. Because it’s not just a story, it’s what happened. Promises were made, both then and now which have been broken. Over and over and over. And the theme I was conveying in this post was my recognition of the pattern and recurring feelings and the need for me to set up some boundaries for myself so that I don’t keep getting hurt by someone who’s not supposed to be hurting me. I doubt your advice would be the same to a child crying beside a phone because their parent didn’t call when they said they would. No one would look at that person and tell them they have a problem with their perception and they need to disbelieve or release it. When you say accept him for him and let it all go, it rings as exactly what my mother said to me, and as I wrote in the post…that advice wasn’t particularly helpful.

I write here for two reasons. My first is to share my feelings and experiences for the benefit of other grown children of divorce who may have felt or experienced similar things and be comforted to know they aren’t alone. But we children of divorce are as diverse as snowflakes, so often you may not feel a congruency in our histories. My other reason is to give divorced parents a glimpse into the heart of a child of divorce. If this post opens a divorced father’s eyes to understand that he needs to call when he says he will and that breaking those promises over and over will leave deep and painful scars on his children, I will have done exactly what I set out to do. If one divorced mom learns from my reaction to my own mother’s response, it will all be worth it.

Reply

14 Peggy March 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm

My heart really goes out to you Carolyn.

We do have a choice to live in the past or live in the present. What happened, happened. To hold onto it now is creating the story so that what happened happens over and over again. I know how tough it is to figure it out.

It wasn’t my dad who abandoned me. It was my mother. Imagine being eight and having no one explain why you can no longer see your mother again. My dad won custody for a reason – mother physically abused me and at least one of my three brothers. But as the oldest, I bore the brunt of it. Did it happen? Absolutely. Is it my story? No. I released it a long time ago. When I made contact with her when I was 28 years old. She denied ever laying a hand on me. No memory, no recollection. Convenient for her I guess. That was 18 years ago. I forgave her a very long time ago so that I could move on and just do better as a parent and as a mom to my own children.
.-= Peggy´s last blog ..Making Rainbows =-.

Reply

15 k80@onegirlsjourney February 16, 2010 at 8:58 am

Thanks for sharing your post. I can relate to some of those feelings although my situation is/was different. But the feeling of ‘insecurity’ from it all is that residual effect that is so damn hard to deal with, no matter what rejection or hurt…

Thanks for sharing…and most definitely – YOU are worth it! :)

Reply

16 Carolyn February 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I agree, it is hard to deal with. Thanks for stopping by!

Reply

17 Theta Mom February 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

I also can’t comment on the content of this post since I cannot offer any pertinent or useful opinion, having no experience myself. But what I do know is that you are a wonderful writer with so much to offer your readership.
.-= Theta Mom´s last blog ..Build Your Following Through the Power of Social Media =-.

Reply

18 Carolyn February 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Thank you as always, Heather.

Reply

19 Shell February 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

What a laying-it-on-the-line post. So heartbreaking. But, you are worth more than that.

Stopping in from SITS.
.-= Shell´s last blog ..You Can Quote MEme =-.

Reply

20 Carolyn February 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thank you, Shell.

Reply

21 Kitty February 19, 2010 at 1:17 am

I’ve always found writing therapeutic, and the wonderful thing about a blog is that somehow putting it out there seems to ease the burden; even if no one that “matters” read it. I’ve never even touched on some of the most important issues in my life, wanting to keep my blog simple and happy, but what I find so appealing about this blog post is that though you speak so eloquently about such a touching and deeply personal topic, there is no pleading for attention or begging for attention.
.-= Kitty´s last blog ..My Alarm Clock =-.

Reply

22 Carolyn February 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thank you for your insight, Kitty!

Reply

23 Angelia February 22, 2010 at 2:33 pm

This post really resonated with me not from what happened with my dad but from how I lived for soooo long..second guessing and overanalyzing to death about what I did to cause this person not to talk to me. I still do it sometimes. I understand completely the ache and worry.

Thank you for sharing. That’s a great picture to go with this post.
.-= Angelia´s last blog ..Sunday’s Healthy Reflection-Positive Cycle of Forgiveness =-.

Reply

24 Carolyn February 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Thanks Angelia. It’s definitely a hard cycle to exit.

Reply

25 Robyn Hardy February 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I can somehow relate..or you’re a child and you see your friend’s father/daughter relationship and how great and normal it is and you wonder how come its not like that in your own father/daughter relationship. Even as an adult and you see how some fathers are with their daughters, it still makes me wonder why it didn’t happen with mine. I guess it all boils down to what type personaility they are or even how they were raised themselves but not even 100% sure about that.~

Reply

26 Carolyn February 26, 2010 at 9:59 am

Oh yes, Robin. I think it has everything to do with it. Personality and how a person relates to others of course will spill over into their parental relationships. I would imagine if someone is usually the passive one in their life relationships, it would be difficult for them to take the lead that’s necessary in a parental one. And if they didn’t have a strong parental relationship modeled for them themselves, it must be quite easy to fall into the same type of relationship pattern when they become parents.

But it’s not an unbreakable cycle. When a parent keeps mindful and aware of both what they’ve experienced as well as what they want their children to experience, real change can occur.

Reply

27 Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef March 3, 2010 at 9:47 am

Great post, great writing and I applaud you for baring your soul. I was particularly moved by this part “Because I didn’t have enough time with him to be angry. I couldn’t waste the moments I was allotted with him by being mad. I couldn’t even summon my anger towards him when I felt I should, when I knew it was there. In the precious time we had together, love always bubbled to the surface above everything else.” I totally agree with this. As a child with divorced parents, we just never had the time to really deal with our anger because who wants to spend that kind of time with our parents?
My father made and broke many promises. My mother was totally not there for me. I knew I was loved, that wasn’t the issue. Like you said, was I worth their time and energy? Sadly, most of the time it felt like no. To this day my mother takes little interest in any of her childrens lives. It’s sad. My dad died in 2004 and I think I began saying goodbye the day my mom, my brother and I moved out of his house, when I was 12 years old. That was many years of goodbye.
I also read this entry with my own daughters in mind. I was pregnant and married at 16 and divorced by 19, and had two children then. My younger daughter never knew an intact family until I remarried when she was 8. They went through that whole “will he call, what did I do wrong, I can’t get mad at him” emotional roller coaster. But I allowed them their anger and encouraged it. At least I knew that was something they needed to express.

Sorry to go on so long, this really touched me and opened up an issue I have long not dealt with. Good thing I see my counselor next week!
.-= Michelle @ Italian Mama Chef´s last blog ..Pizza, pizza and more pizza! =-.

Reply

28 Carolyn March 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm

I’m so glad you knew how to support your daughters in their pain. If that’s the best thing that we can use our experience as children of divorce for, it somehow makes it okay, doesn’t it?

I’m so glad you were moved by this post. It was hard to write, and the emotions run deep. Feeling insignificant to people who are so significant to us is a difficult pill to swallow at any age.

Reply

29 jules April 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I missed this when you posted. You are so significant in so many peoples lives. You certainly deserve better & I hope that things are a little better by now. I do have a question for you–what did you need to hear from your mother? I want to be there for my girls.

Reply

30 Carolyn April 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm

I think what I needed my mother to do was to help me find a voice for my feelings. When I talked with her after posting this, she told me that one, she didn’t really know what to do for me because she never had her father present in her life at all and therefore couldn’t really really relate and somewhat felt that what I was getting was better than nothing. The other thing she mentioned was that it was just so important to her to always support my relationship with him that she didn’t want to say anything negative for propriety’s sake.

I wish now that she had told me that she could tell how much it hurt me and that she had offered for me to call to him when he didn’t call so that I wouldn’t have had to stress about asking to make the phone call on top of the feelings of rejection I was already experiencing. I wish she had told me that it was perfectly understandable and acceptable for me to angry and that being angry didn’t mean I loved him any less. I wish she had told me that I deserved better. And I wish (and maybe she did this, I’ve never asked) that she had advocated for me with him. That she had told him what the broken promises were dong to me and encouraged him to follow through when he promised something. It may not have made any difference, but knowing someone was in my corner would have been comforting.

Things are better now. Not with regards to the relationship, but in regards to the boundaries I have formed with regards to it. I will no longer sit by the phone. If he were to call today, I would be thrilled to hear from him but I would have no expectation for anything further. From now on I will lovingly accept whatever I am offered but I refuse to shed one more tear while sitting by the phone.

Reply

31 Toothless from Spoiled Children... March 8, 2010 at 3:07 am

Hi Carolyn.

Wow, really well written and heart felt post. Thanks for writing it.

Do you remember how your Mother handled the situation? My Mother was so off the beam I couldn’t really talk about anything except whatever information I grilled on after the weekly dinners.

But, the weekly dinners were pretty regular and I knew my Father was trying. He just wasn’t there when I needed him.

I can relate to the whole sense of confusion and of not knowing really how to handle the situation. They’re the parents, they’re supposed to take the lead, and they’re supposed to fake concern for their kids.

The word “obligation” that you used really struck home for me personally as hurtful. Intact families struggle with it too but I think that rules begin to seem totally useless and senseless with all the complications from “other obligations” related to post-divorce life.

Unfortunately with hindsight being what it is I can only say that the relationship probably isn’t worth losing too much sleep over. It seems that you are pretty flexible person and can go with the flow. That’s a great thing. The unfairness and the rejection were very hurtful for me.

Reply

32 Carolyn March 8, 2010 at 10:49 pm

I seem to feel better these days. I won’t let myself sit by that phone anymore. Sometimes just creating the boundaries for yourself can help more than anything else. And that’s what I needed to do. Thanks so much for your comment, Toothless. Your input means more to me than you know.

Reply

33 Sasha Townsend June 17, 2010 at 11:56 am

Carolyn, Thank you for this post, and thank you for your responses to the comments above. I have had a similar experience with my dad. I long for a relationship with him that will never come, and I want him to want that relationship with me…but it just isn’t in him, I think. Readjusting my expectations has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, and it is a decision I have to make again and again. It never seems to be permanent. I still long for a different relationship…thank you, for showing me that although our experiences are unique, we (the children of divorce) are not alone.

I read the thread with Wilma and Peggy and I love what you said here: “And what can be really difficult for someone who has walked their own road to enlightenment to understand, is that even when something’s worked so thoroughly for them, it may just as thoroughly *not* work for someone else.” Every person’s walk is unique, and there are as many different ways to heal as there are children of divorce. Sometimes we want to help so badly that we rush to give advice. It’s like a story told in the 7 habits of highly effective people. Its like an optometrist prescribing the glasses that worked well for him for the past 30 years. We fail to diagnose the problem. We fail to really listen and seek to understand and empathize with another human being first…we immediately label — and in that failure to understand and labeling of someone else’s thoughts or feelings as similar to our own, we prescribe our own glasses. I understand this, because I’m human and I have a tendency to do it too.

Thank you so much for your writing. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon your blog. I wonder if you’d be interested in doing something with our nonprofit, Blended Love. We seek to support the child of divorce.

Thank you again, Sasha

Reply

34 Carolyn June 24, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Thank you for this comment, Sasha! You understand perfectly. The point of this post for me was never about the actual act of my father not calling me either when I was a child or now. It was about me coming to an understanding that I had to set some new boundaries for myself. I recognize now what I needed and didn’t get with regards to support when I was a kid and now it’s up to me to do that for myself today. And when I, as you wrote ‘adjust my expectations’ and keep my own boundaries, I am free to take whatever he has to offer without fear or bitterness. It’s a good place to be, but again as you wrote, they are decisions that require constant tending to. Thank you for your insight.

And of course I would be happy to do anything I could for your organization! Let me know what if anything that you have in mind and we’ll get it together.

Nice to connect with you, Sasha!
Carolyn

Reply

35 Summer July 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Wow. I could have written this post. This rings so true for me and it is an issue I don’t know if I will ever not struggle with on some level. Thank you for articulating it so perfectly. Like T, I had to withdraw from trying to continue a relationship. I decided after 37 years, I needed to take back some power by removing myself from the situation. I can see the wisdom in what Peggy writes, and while that is something I aspire to, it is very, very hard to do… and some days are easier than others. Some situations in life just reopen that wound and all the rationalizing I do to try and make it easier just fly right out the window. It would be so great if we could just choose to walk away from our past. I guess for me, though, I feel like there is some lesson I was meant to learn from this. I’m kind of dealing with it from a different angle right now with a difficult situation between my husband and my adult stepdaughter. Trying to understand why their situation affects me so deeply led me to your blog. I’m glad I found this. Thank you for writing it.

Reply

36 Jennifer Moore September 16, 2012 at 1:28 am

Thank you for giving me me insight into how my own daughter could be feeling about the distance we have between us. I am her mother but I bet she doesn’t feel like I have been any kind of mother at all.
Jennifer Moore´s last blog post ..3 FREE Sets of Tumblr Backgrounds

Reply

37 nikki October 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm

wow. Your post had me in tears. I felt like I have had this exact conversation in my own mind a thousand times.

Reply

38 A non-custodial father August 21, 2014 at 11:44 pm

You have written this article very well. I wanted to say to you that being a non-custodial father is rather difficult too. A lot of those same feelings you have written are similar to mine. Wondering if you are bothering your child when you call, and then when you call, they seem bothered, you feel bad. I know what it is like to want to call but don’t because of fear of rejection, or making the child feel uncomfortable because the mother doesn’t approve of the relationship. Trying to stay hidden or maybe better to say under the radar so you can still see or talk to your child. Fear causes us to do or not to do things. Calling and not getting an answer time and time again. Calling and being rejected again by your child not wanting to see you is quite painful too. I would love it if my son would call me and tell me these things you are saying so we could move past these things and mend the broken relationship. Perhaps your father wants that to but is afraid.

Reply

Cancel reply

Reply to Peggy:

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: