I wrote an email to my adult-daughter today. It is sad that I cannot communicate with her in any other way after over 7 months of her estrangement from her father and I but, it was the only way that I can now communicate with her. Even then, I am not sure that she will get it or read it but, again…there seems to be no other way as she will not pick up the phone when I call or respond to voicemail messages.
This is not the first “walk-off” that she’s pulled on us. Actually, this is the third time and each time that she’s done this, it’s become harder and harder to hold back emotions and think rationally. Part of me wants to scream, grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense into her while the other part keeps telling me that I must remain logical, rational and thinking versus being the angry, hurt, emotional wreck that I am.
All of this seems to have come about because of an extremely messed up man that she’s chosen to live with. Her lifestyle is that of a teenager, living in a Frat house, smoking weed, living from paycheque to paycheque. He has no drive nor ambition to get ahead in life or better their situation. He talks a good game but, his actions are more telling. There are none. His motives are clear to see through as he has systematically worked on her mind to isolate her from everything and everyone who may threaten the safety of his control and relationship with her. Gone are all of her friends and her family. He barely works and when he does, it’s in a job that was created by his father who is now elderly and in his late, golden years. This man sees his family when he does work because it’s a family business but, he has managed to get himself kicked out of his own family’s gatherings over not being able to smoke weed while in the company of family friends, in a dedicated smoking area. Neither of them have family events that they will attend or can attend now. Yet, they say weed is non-addictive. Perhaps, that is so but, he has certainly proven that one can become dependent upon it.
Our daughter was raised quite differently than I was raised. Having come from a family, riddled with alcoholism, I made a decision to never put her through the horrors of living with substance abuse and all that comes with it. I got myself for counselling the moment I left the house and continued with therapy long after many of my family had died from alcohol related issues. In short, I gave her everything that I couldn’t and didn’t get during my childhood and teenaged years of life. She received love, support, praise, ego-boosting, self-esteem building and every advantage that we could afford to give to her so that she would have a great start in life. It back-fired on us with the inclusion of a messed up, drug dependent jerk who worked on whatever he could to convince her that she belonged with him.
Today’s letter was one of “apology”. I apologized on her father’s and my behalf (with my husband’s blessings). We explained why we gave her so much and how it likely caused her to have issues with facing “the real world”. She was handed everything we could afford to give her materialistically was well as emotionally. It was probable that she had to face the realities of the harshnesses of a “cold world” unprepared because no one else would see her as we did and, how hard we figured it must have been on her to have dealt with the stark differences she must have faced. I also explained that we still love her and that we wanted her in our lives but, that she also must understand that we are people too and we have boundaries which we should have set up much more strongly a long time ago. We did her no favours by sheltering her from harshnesses.
It’s likely that she will allow The Jerk to read this email and it’s extremely likely that both of them will twist and turn the sincerity of those words that were written into some seething plot to control her or whatever else the two of them can cook up while smoking up. I have little doubt that our thoughts and words will have the opposite meaning than we meant by the time The Jerk and she finish discussing it all and, we’ll still be back at Square One and without her in our lives.
Frankly, this was one last desperate attempt at letting our daughter know that she is loved, wanted and that we’ve been working on trying to find a way to deal with her choices but, also let her know that she cannot expect that we will always be able to support her decisions or lack of them. It was also a last ditch attempt at letting her know that we know we weren’t “perfect parents” by any means of the word but, we tried and where we think we may have failed and why. Should this email fail to convince her that we are sincere and still love her, making her re-think her stances and choices…I am done. There is nothing more for either of us to say or do after this and it will have to be faced that we no longer have a daughter as part of our lives. As a matter of fact, she is our only child so, we will have to accept the idea that we have no children in our lives. That is beyond all comprehension for me as we both wanted children but, were only blessed with the one.
So, as she sits in the tiny, cramped apartment that is falling down around their ears, smoking hundreds of dollars worth of weed every month, debt up past their earlobes, him barely working, credit rating so bad that they cannot even get a lease on another apartment, her sleeping on a couch because he’s eating and snoring all night after his smoking-up all day, I can only hope that something, somehow, somewhere, clicks into her mind and she wakes up to what her choices have brought her from and led her towards. I can only hope that all of those years of raising her the best way that we knew how and with all of the love, time, effort and energy that we put into her and her future will be remembered. I can only have faith that the love we have given her, shown her and instilled with her, are still there. There is no other thing to hope for than the idea that she still has enough love for us to not allow a totally messed up individual throw away over 3 decades of her life and all that went with it. If she allows that to happen…sadly….she is lost and there is no choice but to give up on trying with her. There’s only so much blood that one can swallow and only so many tears one can shed before reality has to set in. That reality is that she is “gone/lost”.
My 60th birthday will creep up in July of this year (2016) and it’s as likely that I won’t have her around to celebrate it with me as it that she won’t be around. I’ve seen 3 therapists who have tried to give me helpful suggestions. I’ve tried them all and more. As one of them has wisely said, “don’t give up hope”. I am all but out of hope and this was my last try at hanging onto it.
From my little corner of life, I am trying to hang onto hope but, be a realist as well. I cannot allow myself to be taken down totally. I fought far too hard to allow what I’ve worked so hard to gain within myself, healing the scars left behind in myself from my own childhood and trying to live a life that is fruit-filled and productive to let it all slip away to a jerk and weed. I will not allow either to take that from me. I know what I’ve done, how hard I fought and how far I came. Equally, I know that I was and am a Good Parent. They cannot take those thoughts from me but, I struggle in hanging onto “hope” now.