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Hard time with my daughter.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 825
Joined: Jun 2013
Hi Everone,

Yesterday something has changed in me. I just finished a long nasty divorce. We lost everything we made with 20 years of hard work, but I'm ok with that, because I started a new life and despite of my cancer I'm very happy.

During and after the divorce my ex has alienated my 15 year old daughter from me with lies and accusations and it got really bad where she didn't want to see me at all and I was thinking about getting out of her life too so she has less conflict. But I kept fighting for her and got partial custody. Things slowly started getting better, but recently it just got too much for me chasing after my daughter's time. She shows no affection for me, offers no support, everything I try to suggest to guide her she rejects. This summer she was supposed to spend more time with me, but because of my illness I missed my June week and her mother won't let me make up for it. I asked my daughter to help me, bit she made no effort and stayed very cold towards me. I realize that she is a teenager and this may pass, but I just ran out of steam.

Not too long ago I was ok to fight for her and make an effort to be part of her life, but now I'm tired. I have a lot of people giving me support here on this forum, my doctors, nurses, wife, siblings. Yesterday I realized that I cannot deal with people who don't try to help or cant handle my illness including my daughter. When I feel like each time I have to fight for her to be with me and this really brings me down emotionally and now physically Which I cannot afford any more. 

I plan to tell her this and now I'm ready to let her go if that's how it has to be.

Any thoughts?

Laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I do have some thoughts for you. I too was involved in a horrible divorce and was married 20 years. I have a daughter who was profoundly wounded from the divorce. You need to remember a few things. First off, the divorce hurt our children. They did not ask for it and have very big feelings that they do not know what to do with. There is anger, grief, pain. It is really unfair to expect a teenager to know how to handle well the mess we created for them. Navigating being a teenager is hard enough without adding the major disruption of a divorce. This is the age that they normally would not want to spend much time with EITHER parent. I do remember my ex. husband having similar feelings, but I assured him that the treatment that I was getting ay home was no picnic! What most children do in circumstances like this is take out their anger and pain on the person they live with. These are perilous times for the teenager being raised in a single parent home. They are at high probablity for engaging in high risk behaviors. As a mother, I had my hands full and I made it quite clear to my ex. that I needed his support.

As an attorney, I represented many teenagers and their parents with disputes with the school. Many of these kids were children of divorce and weremacting out. Girls are at high risk for promiscuity and substance abuse. They need their fathers.

What I am telling you is this. DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR CHILD! You are the adult. Love the child that you have and acknowledge that you ahve caused a major disruption in her life. Teenagers are difficult. Raising one requires strength, and love. Stay the course! Expect a roller coaster ride and fasten your seat belt. There is nothing more hurtful than hearing your hormonal teenager lash out in pain and tell you how much she hates you! LOL. He doesn't.

This is no time to be egocentric. Speak to your wife and do not assume the worst of her. Love your child more than you are angry at your spouse. Tell her that you want to support her parenting for the sake of your child . Tell your wife that you understand that it is going to be difficult and you will be there for them. Stay in touch with your daughter....they love text messaging! Remember that even hapy teenagers do not really love spending time with their parents. It is the time when a healthy teenager wants to assert their independence and separate from their parents. They need to do this with your blessing, or they do not grow up to be healthy adults!

Be there for them.....you will NEVER regret it!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 825
Joined: Jun 2013

Everything you say is true and I agree with. But how can you work with the other parent who tells my daughter and me that I'm not that sick and I'm just trying to get out of paying support, while I have incredible pain, blood, stool and mucous oozing out of my butt and I still drive an hour and a half one way to work and pay her more than $5700 support a month. She has no moral inhibition and can't realize that she is not just hurting me but demaging our daughter too.

My daughter believed all her lies about me and she told them to my face. I still try to hang in there, but now that I'm ill,  I just have hard time to fight it. I know I can't and won't get out of her life, but things need to change. Her attitude makes me depressed and more sick and I'm not a wimp. It's real.

Thank you for listening.

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

Perhaps I shouldn't even comment on this because I've never been a parent.  However, I have been a teenager and I well remember the hard times that I put my parents through.  I was rebellious and resented them for telling me what I could and couldn't do.  Although my parents were not divorced, I'm sure they had plenty of disagreements of which I was the subject.  Being a parent is very difficult, I'm sure, especially when the parents are divorced and one is turning the child against the other.  I agree with the thoughts that Marynb has expressed.  You can not give up on your child.  I wish you all the best with this.

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I would really try to work with your ex. Make her realize that you are a parent and you want to coparent with her. Maybe counseling. It is easy to assume that your ex. wife is reponsible for all the negativity that comes out of your daughter's mouth. She is probably saying similar things to your ex! I have no doubt that she is giving your ex a hard time too! You say that you have shared custody? Does that mean she goes back and forth between households? That is really tough on a teenager, or any kid. Really tough.

I think if I were you, I would explain that you are recovering and are not feeling well and it will take awhile for you to be fully engaged again. I would explain to my daughter that you love her, but need time to get well and look forward to lots of fun times ahead when you are well.I would let her stay with her Mom as much as possible, for now. Maybe text or call everyday with just a quick hello and I love you. Give yourself time. Cards and texts are safe a bet for teenagers.

You do need time to get well and de-stress. Money should have nothing to do with how you deal with your child. That was settled by the court. Don't drag her into that! Be patient with yourself and with your ex. and child. Time does heal, if you let it. Coparenting with your ex. is going to take a lot of work. For me, I decided to be the bigger person and put all my feelings about what he did to us aside. You need to be consistent and patient. You will never, ever regret the work you put into this difficult situation. As a cancer patient, you know what is important!!

seanman's picture
seanman
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2013

I know it is hard but you need to take care of yourself!! I hve older daughters but my Ex dose the same and that will never change.. Never stop loveing her, just do it from a distance.. Teen age girls can be very hurtfull.. My Daghters dont talk to me at all anymore.. I will never understand the evil of some people.. I will Pray f you my friend!!! Sean

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

What a sad post. Very sad for your child and you. Parenting is tough, but worth it. I hope you don't regret your decision in the end. I would never advise any parent to let go. Stay well.

jcruz
Posts: 205
Joined: Jan 2013

Wow.  Your situation is a bad mix of divorce, serious illness and teenage acting out and each one of those makes the others worse and seemingly impossible to deal with.  

I have great sympathy for what you are going through with your daughter.  My ex-husband and I divorced when our daughter was quite young and managed over those early years to patch together a co-parenting arrangement that worked most of the time.  But when he divorced his second wife he went through a very difficult time with our daughter who was then 14 years old.  She was very close to her stepmother and was extremely angry with her dad, blaming him for everything bad.  She told me she'd never live with him again, etc.  I told her she didn't get to choose never to see him, even if they only met once a week for dinner I wouldn't let her shut him out.  Eventually things got better between them, even when he married wife number three who really did turn out to be an evil stepmother.  His 13 year old daughter from that marriage is now shutting him out after his divorce from her mother, believing the crazy lies that her mother has told her about her dad.  He has been a very devoted father to his girls and I have seen the pain he's going through.  He too thought about just backing out completely but has decided he can't let his ex alienate him from his child.  They were able to agree to go to a mediator (a psychologist who specializes in cases like this when the former spouses are so at odds).  The mediator told him that eventually his daughter is going to realize that her mother has filled her head with lies and will need to be able to turn to her father for help.  I believe this will happen for your family too.  I know that this is a terrible time for you.  I urge you to find a way to be present for your daughter so that she will know that she still has a loving father who will embrace her when she is ready.

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

If the pressure in the cabin is going down, as much as you want to protect your child, they always and for good reason say put the oxygen mask on yourself first. Then put the mask on your child. Try to get help for yourself for all this pain, abandonment and resentment you naturally would feel in this situation.

You may really be too tired to take on a teenager's moodiness right now. Try to let go with love and take care of your precious self so that you can be there when she wakes up and realizes what a great dad she has.

A wise person once told me "it takes a lot of positive to undo what a little negative can do". It may take a lot of energy to turn her situation around and getting that energy will take time since your body has been through so much. Resting is a good activity for you. Try not to take it all on at once.

By the way, I am aware you have gotten much better advice here than this. I read the posts. This board as really good people on it.

All the best and good luck. Your daughter is beautiful. Being a teenage girl is really hard and they need to know their dads love them, so just show her in simple ways and take good care of your precious self so she can love and understand you when she is 20 or 30 or 70. I pray you both have this kind of time.

All the best,

Sandy

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I love the way you put things! I hope you are feeling better this week!

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 825
Joined: Jun 2013

After a few lowdown days I had a talk with my daughter. It just spontaneously came up after her mom created and other big drama over a minor thing.

I assured her that I love her and I do everything to care for her and support her. Then she started telling me some stupid stuff again her mom told her. I patiently addressed those issues. When everything calmed down I asked her for her understanding and to open her heart to the possibility that everything is true or fair that her mom accuse me of. I also told her that at this point with my illness I can't afford to have people in my life who don't care for me and are not supportive. I asked her for her support anroof she cares for me express it more often. Everything came out good. I think thus was a big breakthrough.

thanks for all of your advise.

laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

That is a great start! Expect to have similar heart to hearts many times for her teenage years! Just keep loving and all will be well!

qv62
Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 2012

Glad to hear things are looking up, aside from typical teenage harmones and moodiness, divorce has rocked your daughters world. In addition she may be scared of you having cancer and she may be shutting it out along with you as a defense mechanism so she doesn't have to face that you are sick. Stay real and full of love no matter how rough the road ahead my be with her, always leave the door open, don't shut her out. My parents were divorced when I was very young (2), neither of my parents had a nice thing to say about the other, my dad and I ended our relationship when I was about your daughters age (15), I was not even invited to his wedding (I was about 17 and he had nearly 300 people) After many years of hurting (nearly a dozen) we reunited right before I was married, he came to my wedding (whole other story/disaster) but our union was short lived, although I have since extended the olive branch and been refused it has been over 20 years again this round since we have spoken. Sometimes there is no going back, he has missed out not only on his daughter but his grandchildren as well, point being always leave your door open, don't wake up to have regrets when it's too late. On another note, teenagers are not educated on what we as adults with health issues have to deal with, maybe you can giver her some reading material to understand what your world has become. Hope all goes well

sandysp's picture
sandysp
Posts: 734
Joined: May 2011

QV62 what a tough story you told. This is why people say divorce is harder than death on families. I never understood that until reading your post. To know that he is there but so not there. Three hundred people invited to the wedding but not his own child! That is heartbreaking.

Laz, you have a better head on your shoulders than that. Laura will remind you of your ex sometimes and yourself. But she is who she is and Laura is a unique young woman who needs a dad to be available and be authentic. You have the opportunity to make memories that are good in spite of the goings on around you. It sounds like you grabbed one and I doubt Laura will ever forget your talk.

Dad's are the most important part of a young girl's relationship with herself, in my experience. That you keep the door open is the very best way to go. Hang in there.

You and Laura and your ex wife are in my prayers.

Sincerely,

Sandy

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

I am so sorry that you were treated so poorly. It is his loss and I hope you know that!

It is so true that cancer has a very profound effect on children. Their very foundation is shaken to the core! Add a divorce and what a nightmare! If the parents cannot find a way to work together and stop the war, the casualty is the child. Adults have no right to feed their own egos by making demands on their children! So unfair. The hospital where I was treated had a special program for children whose parents have cancer.

Laz, that may be worth checking out.

fourbeaner's picture
fourbeaner
Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2013

Hey Laz, you have gotten so much good advice on here!  Many things I thought have already been written, and some things I didn't.  I wanted to add a couple of things, though.  I hope they help.

 

My father and I have been on the outs for years after a silly disagreement we had years ago.  Not even a fight -- it was something he did that hurt my (then) husband's feelings, and I had a problem with that.  Coming to his defense, I told him unless he could see fit to apologize, he was not allowed back at our home.  I knew he wouldn't EVER admit he was out of line, and the fact that he was so able to so completely and quickly shut me out of his life still hurts me, and I'm 48 years old.  He has 4 other children.  I have only one dad.  Never, never turn your back on your child.  Always leave that door open and let her know that she's always welcome to come in.

 

As far as your ex- talking smack about you....  If she is, you need to rise above that and NOT stoop to her level, period.  You need to be as respectful as possible and require her to do the same where your ex- is concerned.  After all, she is your child's mother.   Don't talk smack about her or drag your daughter into the middle of things.  That is SOOO not fair for ANY age child, especially one who is already struggling with "teenagehood"!  If you do this your daughter is old enough to be able to see who the better person is, and as she gets older and wise and matures even more,  she will realize who has been the one causing all the grief in her life, telling all the lies about the other, etc.   When that does occur, which parent do you think she will want to be with then?

 

At any rate, I wish you the best!  She loves you, but she's a teenager!  Who knows why they do anything?  Tongue Out

mp327's picture
mp327
Posts: 2818
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to this group, although I'm sorry you have a reason to be here.  I read your profile and am sorry that you are also dealing with kidney issues requiring you to get dialysis.  I hope you will be able to get a transplant.  I also hope the treatment you received for the AC has been successful and that your future follow-ups will confirm that.

Your comments above are right on IMO.  Kids should never be put in the middle and shame on any parent who does that to their child.  I often wonder if the parent who is trashing the other ever stops to think about what would happen to their child if they should suddenly die.  Would they really want their child to not be able to be cared for by their other parent, instead putting them in the hands to strangers?  There's no guarantee that other family members would want to take on the responsibility.  It's crazy to me. 

I wish you all the best and hope you'll join in our discussions on this site! 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 825
Joined: Jun 2013

...you gave me a lot of support, good tips and changed my mind about a couple of things I thought I was right about.

The demaging things my ex and other people like like with no moral inhibition are doing I call "The Dark Energy". These people have no moral brakes and capable doing the most unimaginable things without considering the consequences. My ex doesn't care about me or that I have a potentially deadly illness. And even if that is ok in her mind, she doesn't care what kind of damage she is causing to our daughter with her auctions. I am a kind, loving responsible man and my ex couldn't and still can't handle that, because it doesn't fit her dark world that is bitter, suspicious, always expecting the worst from people and irresponsible. She tries to fit me into her world, painting me black in our daughter's and other people's eyes then justifies her actions by protecting her from me. It's crazy.

So I went with a middle of the road approach. I have been expressing to my daughter that I love her much more than before. And this is not easy, because she gave me a lot of grief. At the same time I told her that I'm a very difficult situation now and I need a lot of support for one and I cannot afford any more negative energy in my life. She has to be aware of that and respect that. I never trashed her mother, because I want them to have the best relationship possible, especially now that my future is somewhat uncertain. 

And the most important thing that I want to show my daughter is that no matter how bad things get, you try to stay positive, optimistic and make the best of every day, every event and every interaction. This is I believe the number one life approach parents have to pass on to their kids.

Thank you for listening.

Laz

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

That is really great to hear! Your daughter will see who you are without any input from that "dark energy"! Stay positive and all will be well. This, I do believe!

Marynb
Posts: 1134
Joined: Aug 2012

So very true! After one of the visits with her father and his mistress, now wife, my little girl came home and said, "mama, don't be so nice to them, because they hate you". I told her that I couldn't control people that hate me, that we were not about that. It helped me to teach her about
Christianity. It was a challenge, but I stuck to that her whole childhood and now that she is grown, I am so glad that I did. Our children come to know us by how we treat them and how we treat others. My daughter is now a loving person, though she saw the worst possible behavior in her own father and the woman he chose.

seanman's picture
seanman
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2013

Your Dad loves you to!! I am sure it hurt him when you told him not to come back.. Men have this problem, WE LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS ... It sounds like he respected your wishes , I am sure that wasen't what he wanted. Words Hurt, and they can heal aswell ... I hope you talk to him about it... Sean

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