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I want to reconcile with daughter

Lane

SF Supporter
#1
Hi. For some that know me, you know that my oldest child and I haven't spoken in 5 years. I have 3 others. I worry that my identity will even be compromised when I talk about things here, but I really have grown comfortable here. I do have someone that likes to know everything about me so I have to watch my back. Lately, I just want to move say fuck it and...oh i dont know, sorry getting off track.

So, my niece who is like my soul mate was shocked and me too when I told her that my oldest daughter will text me, Happy Birthday or Happy Mothers Day. I used to try to keep any lines if communication open, and then I gave up. I got angry, she sided with her father, blah blah. Etc. She judges me, she just throws me a crumb. When I really felt such devastation, like my heart was ripped out. I'd give my life for her.

Of course I think about her. I dont know. When is the right time to reconnect? I've always, or been that parent that have never forced my will on my children. And, look where jts gotten me, ha. My niece says I'm being a snot.

I'm willing to take any input from this community, even harsh. I've done things that my daughter can see as counter culture and she is straight laced and has expressed as a child of just wanting a normal family, never to forgive me for leaving her father. After I did, I went into a very deep depression when I realized the dominoe effect I caused and took me a long time to stop living with guilt.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
 

Kiwi2016

🦩 Now a flamingo, not a kiwi 🦩
Forum Pro
#2
First I am so sorry that you have been so estranged from your daughter as can only imagine how difficult that is. I believe that any estrangement between parent and child is amongst the hardest things to deal with. As I had a very challenging relationship with my father and have watched my husband and friends deal with estrangement from their children.

I believe that it is a combination of not forgetting but of forgiving/trying to understand their perspectives, keeping the lines of communication open (in my case with Christmas and birthday cards) and trying to build a relationship of sorts not based on the past but from this moment forward if that makes any sense. And keeping in mind the understanding that they may still be dealing with the past and have not yet come to terms with it in a rational sense but still from an emotional sense. This isn't an easy thing for them to overcome and get past and may take quite a bit of time and is something they have to be willing to work on as well but that it may happen over time and if the lines of communication are still open then a reconciliation of sorts can happen.

Sending you hugs.
 

Walker

Admin-a-monkey
ADMIN
SF Social Media
SF Author
SF Supporter
#3
I think we've spoken about this, Lane. I'm sorry this has been such a long-standing issue. Sometimes kids have a hard time seeing the place the parents are in. Usually the get over it - sometimes they don't. Sometimes they find it hard to climb down off the horse they're riding so I think that leaving the line open by sending birthday and/or Christmas cards and such is a good one. (not gifts, just cards, so she can't use that / you to get things) As long as she knows you're still thinking about her and still care then she'll have an easier time showing back up when she's ready. (Otherwise she has to wade through "does she even care about me? I haven't heard from her in years!" and act like you're the bad guy somehow)
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#5
Why does she say that?

Is going to family therapy with your daughter an option?
Because I respond with one word responses to her texts of Happy Birthday, e.g. Thank you. I'll say I miss you. And she won't respond. I leave it alone.

I haven't talked to her so she is 26 beginning her life with a boyfriend so I dont see myself as a big part of her life or a consideration, enough for her to carve out that time. I was waiting for her to come around and have given up. I was thinking about being proactive. I believe there might be more pain for me. Her boyfriend doesn't think much of his mother, so maybe hes an influence. She's intelligent so maybe not influenced. I cant say anymore @may71. She seems content with her stepmom and stepsister. Ignires me and my daughter (her half sister). I figure shes an adult, I cant push her. But maybe I should be more forceful. Thanks again. It helps to talk about it.
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#6
I think we've spoken about this, Lane. I'm sorry this has been such a long-standing issue. Sometimes kids have a hard time seeing the place the parents are in. Usually the get over it - sometimes they don't. Sometimes they find it hard to climb down off the horse they're riding so I think that leaving the line open by sending birthday and/or Christmas cards and such is a good one. (not gifts, just cards, so she can't use that / you to get things) As long as she knows you're still thinking about her and still care then she'll have an easier time showing back up when she's ready. (Otherwise she has to wade through "does she even care about me? I haven't heard from her in years!" and act like you're the bad guy somehow)
That makes sense @Walker. My 2 out of 3 have had, have been impacted mentally from the divorce and probably their father's attitude towards me. I dont know her address maybe I'll text her and ask.

Thank you
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#7
First I am so sorry that you have been so estranged from your daughter as can only imagine how difficult that is. I believe that any estrangement between parent and child is amongst the hardest things to deal with. As I had a very challenging relationship with my father and have watched my husband and friends deal with estrangement from their children.

I believe that it is a combination of not forgetting but of forgiving/trying to understand their perspectives, keeping the lines of communication open (in my case with Christmas and birthday cards) and trying to build a relationship of sorts not based on the past but from this moment forward if that makes any sense. And keeping in mind the understanding that they may still be dealing with the past and have not yet come to terms with it in a rational sense but still from an emotional sense. This isn't an easy thing for them to overcome and get past and may take quite a bit of time and is something they have to be willing to work on as well but that it may happen over time and if the lines of communication are still open then a reconciliation of sorts can happen.

Sending you hugs.
Your response helps so much. I know I'm not alone too, I forget that. Its crazy that this happens...when a parent loves a child so much. My son will quickly point out, "ibdont remember that. I was a baby dont bring it up". Children firget that parents have feelings. Well maybe it's the holidays too. Hugs. I'm going to work on it. Also thanks for sharing about your own situation
 
#8
You're welcome! :)
Because I respond with one word responses to her texts of Happy Birthday, e.g. Thank you. I'll say I miss you. And she won't respond. I leave it alone
So it could be that she's expecting or wanting a longer response. Then if she doesn't get one, she goes silent. I'm not sure why else your niece would say your being a snot.
I figure shes an adult, I cant push her. But maybe I should be more forceful
It sounds like a communication issue rather than a force issue. Communicating what you think and feel to your daughter isn't applying force.

I wouldn't be surprised if your ex has talked trash about you, which might influence how she sees you.

One approach might be to talk to a family therapist unilaterally, and ask how to approach proposing this to her. You could also try to get some info from the niece about why she thinks your a snot, and maybe try to find out if she wants to communicate more.

Hugs
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#9
I included my daughter, oldest in group text. I figure shes still my child. Just to cover the hurt. And I was angry too, I was telling people when asked for a little while that i had three children, when i had 4. Its brutal when going thru the steps of not having your child talk to you.

But I'm trying to get over myself. She did like a picture I sent in a group text. I remember her personality now, very reserved, conservative. I respect it. I love her and her decision even if it means to not have me in her life.
 

Sunspots

Pffffeckn amazin
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#10
I haven't spoken to my father for nearly four years now. He isn't a nice person but I do still love him, he's my dad. It wasn't a conscious decision to cut contact with him but it had been brewing for many years. I could forgive him treating me badly but when he did it to my kids he crossed a line. I was angry and hurt so I stepped back for a while, not intending it to be permanent. And that was it, no row, no conversation even. He never tried to contact me and that's how it has stayed. When my brother speaks to him he doesn't ask after me or his grandchildren. I send him a Father's Day card and a birthday card every year, I don't know why as he doesn't reply. I don't know if he cares or not.
 

Kiwi2016

🦩 Now a flamingo, not a kiwi 🦩
Forum Pro
#11
Your response helps so much. I know I'm not alone too, I forget that. Its crazy that this happens...when a parent loves a child so much. My son will quickly point out, "ibdont remember that. I was a baby dont bring it up". Children firget that parents have feelings. Well maybe it's the holidays too. Hugs. I'm going to work on it. Also thanks for sharing about your own situation
I included my daughter, oldest in group text. I figure shes still my child. Just to cover the hurt. And I was angry too, I was telling people when asked for a little while that i had three children, when i had 4. Its brutal when going thru the steps of not having your child talk to you.

But I'm trying to get over myself. She did like a picture I sent in a group text. I remember her personality now, very reserved, conservative. I respect it. I love her and her decision even if it means to not have me in her life.
@Lane I do think the holidays bring so much back to forefront and make it harder especially when estranged from your daughter. Good for you for including her in the group text as that keeps the door open and as hard as it is...it is up to her to decide if/when she may reply. But you have kept the door open as that is all you can do. So often as children we get stuck in our relationship with our parents...to one or several incidents and perhaps with time she will realize that you both have become different people and that incident(s) of the past don't necessarily have to define what a new relationship could be if that makes any sense. Sending you hugs today and this week.
 

Kiwi2016

🦩 Now a flamingo, not a kiwi 🦩
Forum Pro
#12
I haven't spoken to my father for nearly four years now. He isn't a nice person but I do still love him, he's my dad. It wasn't a conscious decision to cut contact with him but it had been brewing for many years. I could forgive him treating me badly but when he did it to my kids he crossed a line. I was angry and hurt so I stepped back for a while, not intending it to be permanent. And that was it, no row, no conversation even. He never tried to contact me and that's how it has stayed. When my brother speaks to him he doesn't ask after me or his grandchildren. I send him a Father's Day card and a birthday card every year, I don't know why as he doesn't reply. I don't know if he cares or not.
I am so sorry this has happened...as I too was accepting/tolerating of my father's treatment of me but when he started going after friends and colleagues and not acknowledging my husband ---those were my lines in the sand. Good for you for sending cards and keeping the door open. One thing I have realized since my father's death in June was that he was never able to truly come to terms with his actions and simply say one simple phrase... I am sorry and admit that his actions were over the top... but that was his own internal warped perspective which he never was able to overcome alas. So for you I hope that with time he can come to accept his actions, take ownership of them, admit his wrongs to himself and to you... and then perhaps you two can move forward with a relationship from that point...not forgetting the past actions but just moving forward if that makes any sense. Sending you hugs.
 
#13
@Lane I do think the holidays bring so much back to forefront and make it harder especially when estranged from your daughter. Good for you for including her in the group text as that keeps the door open and as hard as it is...it is up to her to decide if/when she may reply. But you have kept the door open as that is all you can do. So often as children we get stuck in our relationship with our parents...to one or several incidents and perhaps with time she will realize that you both have become different people and that incident(s) of the past don't necessarily have to define what a new relationship could be if that makes any sense. Sending you hugs today and this week.
It does make sense. She's intelligent, but hopefully not cruel.
 
#14
Th
I am so sorry this has happened...as I too was accepting/tolerating of my father's treatment of me but when he started going after friends and colleagues and not acknowledging my husband ---those were my lines in the sand. Good for you for sending cards and keeping the door open. One thing I have realized since my father's death in June was that he was never able to truly come to terms with his actions and simply say one simple phrase... I am sorry and admit that his actions were over the top... but that was his own internal warped perspective which he never was able to overcome alas. So for you I hope that with time he can come to accept his actions, take ownership of them, admit his wrongs to himself and to you... and then perhaps you two can move forward with a relationship from that point...not forgetting the past actions but just moving forward if that makes any sense. Sending you hugs.
thank you for talking with me about this issue. It's close to my heart Nd only after years am able to calmly discuss. *hug10
 
#15
I haven't spoken to my father for nearly four years now. He isn't a nice person but I do still love him, he's my dad. It wasn't a conscious decision to cut contact with him but it had been brewing for many years. I could forgive him treating me badly but when he did it to my kids he crossed a line. I was angry and hurt so I stepped back for a while, not intending it to be permanent. And that was it, no row, no conversation even. He never tried to contact me and that's how it has stayed. When my brother speaks to him he doesn't ask after me or his grandchildren. I send him a Father's Day card and a birthday card every year, I don't know why as he doesn't reply. I don't know if he cares or not.
Is he stubborn? He or your mom raised such a lovely daughter.
 
#16
I am so sorry this has happened...as I too was accepting/tolerating of my father's treatment of me but when he started going after friends and colleagues and not acknowledging my husband ---those were my lines in the sand. Good for you for sending cards and keeping the door open. One thing I have realized since my father's death in June was that he was never able to truly come to terms with his actions and simply say one simple phrase... I am sorry and admit that his actions were over the top... but that was his own internal warped perspective which he never was able to overcome alas. So for you I hope that with time he can come to accept his actions, take ownership of them, admit his wrongs to himself and to you... and then perhaps you two can move forward with a relationship from that point...not forgetting the past actions but just moving forward if that makes any sense. Sending you hugs.
I'm sorry to hear about your father's behavior.
 

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