Moving On

Discussion in 'Coping and Compassion' started by BMWTeamLeader, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    Hello,

    I came across this board only today, tho I'm been a DIS member for a little while now. There is some sadness in my life that I am struggling with and could use an area like this to share in hopes of being able to move foreward in my home.

    I'm in my 40's. Married back in 2001, had a daughter in 2002, wife took off in 2005, leaving me to pick up the pieces with my daughter. I was the best dad I could be even tho I struggled a ton. Flash forward to 2010, married a woman I had been seeing for three years and had four children of her own (currently ages 18-10). The dynamic was a lot for my daughter, I'm the first to admit. Long story short, she went to go to live her mom. I took a huge risk that I was doing the right thing, but once at mom's our relationship took a turn and now she (my daughter) has refused anything to do with me.

    I have tons of professionals in my life helping me grieve over this unfortunate circumstance. I have shared legal rights so I know my daughter is doing well where she is and her mom has come along way insofar as stepping up to the plate, so that's not a concern, but unfortunately being able to co-parent in this new sety-up has been tried and failed. I'm being told the best thing I can do is wait, hope and have faith that one day my daughter will want a relationship with me.

    My wife is supportive as are her children. My wife and I are great communicators. Its her biggest asset, but as I grieve and adjust to yet another lifestyle change, the saddness I feel gets a bit overwhelming for them...and for me.

    I guess what I hope to accomplish by writing here is to find a place with people around where I can grieve, reminisce, and see myself thru this muddy patch, so as not to take away from the joy I have around my family; yet not forget how much joy my daughter brought to me and how much I miss her every single day. I also need some self-confidence as a father figure because over time I've done a bit of damage to that over the guilt I feel for trying to do my best, but falling short.

    Thank You for listening...
     
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  3. kandb

    kandb DIS Veteran

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    Sorry to hear about your situation with your daughter. One thing that helps me in life is when I accept that I have no control over what another person decides to do. Even if you have made mistakes (and all parents have), perhaps when she is more mature and realizes "nobody is perfect", she will reach out to you. Can you send her cards or a note and tell her you love and miss her? I wish you luck and enjoy life, no matter what.;)
     
  4. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    Thank you. Yes, I send her cards as often as I can. Part of my adjustment isthe "less is more" approach. When she was living with me I overcompensated for the qualities I lacked. One thing I remember is she always loved me for who I was. After I took her to Disney World for the first time (she was 5) she said Daddy I love you more than Mickey Mouse. Later in life when I apologized for for not being perfect, she said "but daddy you're perfect for me". As for the latter I had a hard time believing her, mostly because my biggest imperfection is not believing in myself. This is where we disconnected and this is what I have to work on
     
  5. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    I'm sorry about your situation OP. it sounds like you are doing the right things.

    It also sounds like your daughter is at that awkward age when she needs her mom. Her body is starting to change, so are her thoughts and feelings, as well as social interactions. I went through that stage where my dad just didn't understand where I was going through (or so I thought). It passed eventually.

    Here's to hoping she is just going through a faze. Keep your head up. .
     
  6. disneydee6

    disneydee6 DIS Veteran

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    OP, sorry about the situation you are in. It sounds to me, like the best thing you can do right now is make sure she knows that whenever she does come around, that you are there for her and that you love your daughter very much.

    Perhaps her Mom can be a help in making sure that your daughter knows that just because circumstances have changed doesn't mean you love her any less. Life is constantly changing, and for someone her age, it is a very hard concept to understand. Girls that age are a bucket of hormones and when they are angry, the parent who may have made a few mistakes is like a walking target. No parent is perfect, and kids don't come with guidebooks, you can expect to make mistakes along the way. You just have to hope that in time, she will come around.

    In the meantime, dwelling is not only hurting you, but also the supportive family you have. Just be as patient as you can, and take some solace in knowing you are trying the best you can.
     
  7. DisneyFairytale

    DisneyFairytale DIS Veteran

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    It sounds like you raised your daughter well. Reading your thread was interesting, because in your situation I was your daughter. I chose to disconnect myself from my father and chose to cut al ties with him because he re-married and decided to make the best decision for himself and I was not mature enough or ready to deal with the big changes.

    I raised very well, and those memories and things he taught me got me to want to have a relationship with him but what it took was time and a lot of growing up into the women I am today. I guarantee you right now, that there is not a day that goes by where she does not think about you. I think it's just so difficult for a child to deal with such big changes, that its sometimes easier to go to the parent that is most stable at that moment.

    She will turn around. The best thing my dad did when I chose to stay away to not have to face or deal with the overwhelming change, was to stay positive and happy for me despite the difficulty of dealing with it. He continued to keep in touch and remind he was there at christmas and birthdays(despite me getting angry about him doing so), and my heart grew up and things changed.
     
  8. MomiTo2SwtGuys

    MomiTo2SwtGuys DIS Veteran

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    Praying for you!
     
  9. mommasita

    mommasita DIS VETERAN Moderator

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    I'm sorry for all you are going through. You sound like a loving man..

    Thoughts and prayers. :grouphug:
     
  10. cm8

    cm8 <font color=blue>Half of the time we're rushing ar

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    Hugs, I hope that you are able to spend more time with your DD and that the relationship you had will once again flourish:grouphug:
     
  11. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for all your encouraging words. A bit of good news happened over Easter when DD's teacher asked me to come in for a parent-teacher conference...a routine one, nothing bad. I was so nervous...nervous that she and I might accidently run into each other (altho I scheduled it long after school got out just to be sure) and nervous I might run into a disgruntled judgemental teacher, but it was nothing like that. The teacher was supportive and empathetic. We discussed that DD was doing so great socially, academically and emotionally. There were essays on the wall and hers was about a happy memeory when she was in the fourth grade at the school she was going to when she lived with me. The teacher complimented me on what a great job I did. I humbly (and a little bit tearfully) accepted the compliment.

    I wrote DD that night a congatulations card. It wasn't really recieved well, but instead of staying silent she wrote this long letter with a lot of anger underneath it all. Unlike other times I was not surprised. In a good space I really tried to listen to what she was saying as if she were saying things right to my face. I sent her a reply, a short reply, a gentle reply, but after it went in the mailbox I started to second guess my choice of words and scared I was still speaking "grown up speak" as I have done unintentionally in the past. My friends remind me that I'm trying and that's all I can do. I have come a long way in my whole attitude about this.

    My wife and my other 10 year old have helped me create a space in our house where I can go when I miss DD so that way they know if I am upset I am not upset at them, I just miss my daughter and need to feel close. There are pics of her, inspirational sayings, and a hope chest of some of the special memories and school projects, etc. that got left behind. I am also thinking of making a time capsule and burying it in the backyard in hopes one day a long time from now, we might be able to unearth it together....

    Anything I can do to let go, but still remember......
     
  12. Goldilocks07

    Goldilocks07 DIS Veteran

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    This post really touched my heart. I really feel your pain, and I am a 37 year old woman with a 2 year old- in other words, though I am no where in your situation I can feel your loss.
    It sounds to me like you are doing the best you can from your end, and in due time your daughter will (as the other poster stated) grow up and mature a bit.

    Thank you for sharing with me (us). Reading your story made me realize the love and caring a father can have for his daughter.

    I wish you happiness and peace of mind...sending a big Baloo bear hug your way.
     
  13. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    Father's Day this year brought a new resolve. I was nervous because I wasn't quite sure how I was going to react. But it was great. My wife and Dd 11 made me breakfast and lavished me with homemade gifts. We went to lunch with my 14 year old. We went to Taco Bell which by itself wasn't that sentimental except that's where my ex wife went with her cravings when she was carrying my DD. My 19 year old stepson needed help filling out job applications. And my own dad took me out yesterday for dinner and bought me a new pair of dress shoes as I have advanced in my job and needed a touch of professional pizazz about me.

    I have been writing faithfully to my distant daughter for many months now and my gut was saying I needed to try something new. So I set up some parameters with my ex wife to begin making goodnight phone calls daily. I was prepared for the worst but that made the abrupt hang ups a bit more bearable. Sometimes I hear it in her voice how much she misses me. Other times I hear how frightened she really is about sharing how she feels or even uncertain. If she is anything like her daddy managing emotions do not come easy. I have learned to be grateful for the time I get each night even if its only five seconds even if she looks for anything to turn into a negative while I stick to the positive. It's like the little engine that could. The effort it takes is becoming less overwhelming. We have a long way to go but even that doesn't seem so far as it used to. The most difficult thing is I love her more than words can express and the distance makes it challenging to convey that. But I want to find a way to keep at it.
     
  14. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    What about Skyping on the computer with your DD? That way you have some face to face time with her and it makes it more personable.
     
  15. mommasita

    mommasita DIS VETERAN Moderator

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    Glad you had a nice Father's Day..:)

    I can't imagine the hurt.. But as an adult who was your daughter. She will grow up and her eyes will be wide open. I know this doesn't help you now. I think it is fabulous that you let her know how you feel, and it isn't ever TOO often.. She is stuck between a rock and a hard place...
     
  16. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    I would love face to face time on Skype but my daughter is no where near ready for that and that would take a lot more cooperation than my ex is willing to give.

    There will always be ideas to take things to a new level but now is not the time.
     
  17. JohnstonMandy

    JohnstonMandy Earning My Ears

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    I wish she could read this thread. I am tearing up over your longing for a relationship with her. I'm so glad you are making progress.

    Girls are so difficult (I am one and was blessed with 2 dds) but the best advice I can offer is, don't give up on her. Even if she's angry, she needs you - and if you miss one call, it's easy for that one missed day to turn into a whole week. I am certain you make this a priority by your posts and I admire your love and determination to stand by her. I will be praying for your dd to realize what a gift she has in such a loving, devoted father. Hugs!!
     
  18. DisneyJsquared

    DisneyJsquared Earning My Ears

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    Your post hurts my heart. I can only imagine the pain you feel. First off, I kind of know what your daughter is going through. I was extremely close with my father - he essentially raised me by himself until I was about four years old. We had some serious rough patches when he got re-married and when I hit puberty, man, that was not a fun time for anybody. But my dad and I are very close again today and I am so grateful to have such a loving, caring dad. If there is one thing I know, the "don't give up" advice will definitely pay off.

    The fact that she wrote you a letter expressing her feelings is a wonderful sign that she is open to rekindling her relationship with you. And let's not forget, her body and brain are going through so much right now. Adolescence is basically a second form of the terrible twos. Her words may be saying she wants independence, but on the inside she's a fireball of adolescent emotion. What she needs right now is to feel safe and secure. The biggest and most wonderful thing you can do is continue to let her know you are here, you care, you miss her, you love her, and you would do anything for her. Just keep saying that. She will come around.

    And I would urge to not take such a hands off approach. Don't force her into anything, but act like her parent. Don't ask for her to love you, just know she will, and until then, go visit her for an afternoon, take her to lunch, spend the whole time letting her talk, listening to her, ask her every question you can think of, tell her you love her. If she balks at first, keep bugging her about it. When my dad used to tell me things I didn't like, he would say, "You may not like it, but there is no one else on this earth who cares more about what's best for you than me." EVen though I may have rolled my eyes, that one statement made me feel so loved. My dad still tells me those words and they still make me feel special.
     
  19. DisneyJsquared

    DisneyJsquared Earning My Ears

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    Okay, so I read through all the replies and saw you were doing the goodnight phone calls and everything. You're doing a great job, dad. Your presence is immensely important even if it doesn't seem appreciated.

    Would it be too crazy to suggest you and your daughter go to counseling together? It might help to have an intermediary and to get some dialogue going.
     
  20. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for all the recent replies. Nothing new to report. I have kept up with the phone calls although she refuses to answer the phone I leave a message each time. Off to her school open house tomorrow. She won't be there but the school system had been great about keeping me informed of her academic progress and any opportunities that come along like that ill take over just waiting to hear her voice again.

    I have been advised by most of the professionals at this point that my ex has my daughter shielded by a lot of my attempts to connect with my daughter but there is not a lot more i can do or they can do and it's become just a waiting game based on faith - something I utilize daily.

    As for therapy, her mother won't cooperate putting her in therapy. i go myself plus to a weekly parents group. Anything to keep going in a foreword motion. It's work that my daughter doesn't see now but hopefully someday.

    Marlin needs to be strong for his Nemo. I am thankful for my Disney ties to help me keep swimming.
     
  21. BMWTeamLeader

    BMWTeamLeader Earning My Ears

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    After weeks of not hearing anything except the answering machine on the other end. My daughter returned the phone call and we talked for a good twenty minutes . She's angry at me no doubt but I let her get angry at me only correcting her when it started to get disrespectful.

    All my therapy is paying off. I can step back enough to decipher where truth lies and what needs attention versus what can just be let go.

    I hated she was so angry but so proud of her for persisting and not giving up on the call. I could have stayed on much longer but it was getting to the point where she was going to combust. She tried very hard to verbally spearhead me but for the first time in a long time I took it like a parent. It took her by surprise.

    But if she and I agreed on one thing it was that nothing could be solved in one phone call or in x amounts of years.

    I told her I'd wait for as long as it took. That I wasn't going anywhere and I will keep on wanting a place in her life and search out the opportunities.
     

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