When My Daughter Was Seven
It’s tough to put into words and even more difficult to share with the world but, for whatever the reason, the time is now.
My relationship with my daughter isn’t the way I wish it was.
When my daughter was seven, I chose a man and a dream of a better and more normal life for us, over her – even though I thought it was for her. It is so contradicting to write but it’s as raw and honest as I can be. Anyone who is in their forties can understand the concept of not fully grasping life in your twenties. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been an old soul but where I’m at now vs 23 years ago is a world of difference.
When I had Kaycey I had been 22 for one week.
In hindsight, now that she is that age, I’ve realized that although I was mature and fairly responsible, I had her, to save me. Save me from myself and my head and my emotions and my craziness. You see, I bought in on the gen x movement of single mom-hood! Little did I think about the child and how it would affect her life and her upbringing and that I wasn’t necessarily ready to be a mom. I was barely taking care of myself. But to me at that time a baby of my own would save me. I’d never be alone again. I’d have someone to love me no matter what. Ha! Duh…
Don’t for a moment think I regret creating her. She is amazing and beautiful and has gifts that surpass mine tenfold, however, I admit, I didn’t actually consider her when I purposely created her. It was all about me.
Her father is an amazing wonderful man. I knew that when I choose him. Again a person I selfishly didn’t consider when creating our daughter. He was a different vibe than me. Chill and laid back. Zen in a natural state. Everything I wanted to be but wasn’t. I knew he was the yin to my yang. Yes, I know you think that’s backward! But, it’s not (See my future blog about alpha females and beta males).
He was beautiful and caring and I loved his family. I knew that no matter what he would be the best father. I thank him every day in my heart for turning out the way I thought he was.
Back to my daughter and I…
Her life wasn’t easy but it was good. She’s a true millennial. Everything she did absolutely deserved a trophy and we gave it to her with a smile.
When she was very young I had come to the conclusion that her father and I were great co-parents but we weren’t soul mates. In truth, I think I was scared of being committed. He probably would’ve been a great partner but, I just wasn’t mature enough and I wasn’t ready.
When we split we co-parented like a dream. 50/50 time split, worked with each other on bills and insurances. We even took family photos together. It was the perfect balance. I was allowed to be me 3.5 days a week and then I was grounded as a mom for the other 3.5 days. It kept me sane and safe (for the most part).
It wasn’t until I fell in love with an idea that things took a turn. Ya, I’m finally back to that part!
When Kaycey was in second grade, I fell in love. He was everything. Almost an obsession. He promised me a life greater than I had ever imagined. He was someone I wanted and worked very hard at perusing. When I finally won him over. I didn’t yet realize the truth. He was the “boobie prize”! Enough of him, just know in the perspective of today he was a clown and a loser and one of the best lessons in my lifetime. Long story shortened just a bit, I moved away with him in hopes of providing her the nuclear family. Her dad stopped me from taking her. It was too late, I was committed, purchased a home far away, and don’t forget I was obsessed.
Although I technically saw her more days once I moved away, she paid the price repeatedly.
Crying when she left her dad, flying alone, crying when she left me, etc., it didn’t take long for me to realize I needed to move back and try to repair what damage and injustice to my baby girl I’d done (Very truncated for the purpose of this writing). This other man had failed me, the idea was unreachable, and the promises were all made in vain. Kaycey actually sent me an email asking me to “Come bake home”. Yup, she was ONLY seven so her vocabulary was new. I was home within six weeks thanks to my family (My brother) and a bankruptcy lawyer.
I had nothing and I was ready to do whatever it took to fix what I had ruined. I was also heartbroken. My dream had died and my relationship with my daughter suffered. I couldn’t understand how I could’ve left in the first place. Like I said, I was young.
Fast forward to her in the present day and me being who I am to myself, my clients, my husband, and my kids. She and I are close but it’s strained. We’re not close in the way I wish we would be. Maybe more time and me being here god-willing will fix that? I’ve been her punching bag and her friend. I’ve given until I was broken and beyond.
She’s now facing life’s hardships with relationships and lovers and working and playing all while juggling the responsibilities of being an adult… Her understanding is growing. Yet, something is still off.
What can I do? I’ve tried everything from being overly controlling to being laid back and loving to straight-up abrasive. Every interaction lately is strained. She’s pissed off and only gives when she’s in need or feels comfortable in the moment. I long for deep connection, I strive for warmth and encouragement. I want to fix it all. It’s been 15 years! How much longer does it take? The frustration is so heavy. My husband cries for me when she’s closed off. He sees more than anyone else how I suffer. We’re friends yet… we’re still here in this place of uneasiness. I ask myself, “How can I fix it?”
This is what I’ve realized.
I need to stop being selfish and give to her without expectation.
I need to offer support and love but keep strong boundaries.
I need to stop buying her love. Just because my love style includes gifts, hers obviously doesn’t, and that is okay.
I’ll be her advocate as long as I truly agree.
I will forever let her know how loved she is and that I’m ready at any time to help her heal from my actions.
So, if you have a strained relationship and you’re trying to repair it, take a drop of advice from me…
Timing is everything.
Let them come to you, let them know your ready and willing to put in the work.
Yeah, I know, this is all easier said than done but, it works. Whether it’s a child, sibling, parent, lover, or a friend, you know them and they know you. Stop pushing what you need on to them. Open up and allow them to show you what they need and be there ready to give it. Time is the best solution however, learning timing is even more important. When you are on the side of the relationship that failed, it is their timeline that you work on. If you are on the other side of the relationship move with ease and at a pace that is comfortable for you. I hate to get cliché’ but, Rome wasn’t built or ruined in a day. All things worth having take time.
Come from love at all times. You are love. They are love. Patience is a practice of love.
Be grateful. There’s always good moments. Hold on to them with every fiber of your being.
Namaste my friends,
If you need to talk about a strained relationship and want help and guidance in shifting your perspective or healing it, please reach out to Nicole. She is waiting to help you repair your heart and soul.
Are you interested in learning more about Mindfulness? Nicole provides Mindfulness Training Classes at The New Hampshire Holistic Health Associates center in Nashua, NH. She also provides one on one Distance Healing courses and Mindfulness Training via Zoom.
Nicole’s Education includes a B.A. in Psychology and a M.Ed., concentration in counseling from Rivier University. She holds an additional post-graduate certificate in Human Resources form SNHU. In addition to her formal education, Nicole is a Certified Clinical Hypnotist and a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists. Nicole has completed certifications in; Neuro Linguistic Programming, Reiki, Qi Gong, Numerology, IET, Chronotherapy, and Aromatherapy.