Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Those of you not into family style drama may want to give up reading my blog. (If, on the other hand, you're into it, click the tag "estranged" and it will pop up the older posts on this topic, so you'll understand the overall picture from my perspective.) Either way, right now it seems like the best outlet for me to form complete, relatively non-hysterical thoughts.
My friends, god bless 'em, have opined that a well crafted letter to my daughter would be a good idea. That such a letter would avoid jabs and assignation of blame etc. To "exude love, forgiveness, and asking for forgiveness".
I really don't think I'm "there" yet. I doubt my friends would think of the following as an acceptable final draft.
If I wrote a letter to my child today it would say,
I don't understand. And for as long as I don't understand I will continue to be confused and hurt and angry. You could help with that by explaining some of the following items, in an effort to resolve this roadblock between us. If, indeed, resolving that roadblock is a goal, which it may not be for you.
1. You expressed no intent in the days/weeks leading up to your 18th birthday to move out. In fact, you hugged me the morning of your birthday and sent us off on our trip without saying a word in that direction. We had conversations in the months leading up to your birthday and I understood that you would probably want to spend more time there, but you were already there about 50% of the time so I figured at worst, you'd come home every weekend or two. Why was there a need for you to hide your intent?
2. While I was away, you staged what essentially was a home invasion. (And yes, we called the police when we got home.) You removed everything that belonged to you, and some things that belonged to me. You did so with the assistance of your stepmother, who under no circumstances is welcome in my home. And you chose not to notify me, before or after the fact, by call, text, or note. This created a few perceptions on my part. a) that you completely direspect me, my husband, and our right to determine who is or is not allowed in our home. b) that you have no respect for our personal property. c) that you have zero intention of coming home, because otherwise why would you take EVERY SINGLE THING? Why was there a need for this "shock and awe" campaign?
3. After you took flight, you chose not to make contact with us. Not even for hubby's birthday. You told your friends, who texted me, that you missed me. But the in the couple of interactions that we have had, all by text/facebook, you were consistently cold, mocking, and condescending. You call me childish and immature in nearly every contact. (Yes, having your heart broken does make one react in ways that may seem immature. It's called being in pain.) You consistently state to others that you have no problem with being in contact with us, but you don't initiate contact and when contact is made it is hurtful. Why is there a need for this continued insulting tone?
4. I understand that you told others you were upset that we "went to Paris without you". We didn't "go without you". You abandoned our family. What did you think would happen? That you would break our hearts and then we would all go on vacation together after six weeks of non-communication? No, instead it cost us hundreds if not thousands in cancellation fees and rearranged plans, and quite frankly made the trip not very enjoyable. Further, I understand that my genuine "wish you were here" postcard was viewed as taunting. It was not meant in that way. I wished you were there, not just in Paris, but in our lives, and still don't understand why you chose not to be.
5. I understand you told others you were upset that we removed your name as beneficiary on the 529 plan. Again. What did you think would happen? That you would abandon our family and that we would then cheerfully pay for your college education?
6. Others have told me that this is because you were "tired of your parents fighting". Your dad and I don't even speak, and haven't for months. We don't fight. I don't talk about him, particularly. I don't even think about him. I don't know what's going on at your other house, but your dad isn't a topic at my house. Why is this a story you are telling? How is it true in your life?
How did you see this playing out? What was the goal? Was it as it seems - to completely exclude myself and my husband from your life? Did you have a different vision of where this was going to go? Now that is has gone where it is, how do you see it evolving? Or do you not?
I am genuinely curious and interested in the answers to these questions. My experience of this situation has, quite apparently, been extremely different from your experience of this situation. I feel like the girl whose boyfriend dumped her for no reason and she just sits there bawling and bewildered, trying to piece together what happened.