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Old 06-24-2013, 09:25 PM   #16
JohnstonMandy
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I wish she could read this thread. I am tearing up over your longing for a relationship with her. I'm so glad you are making progress.

Girls are so difficult (I am one and was blessed with 2 dds) but the best advice I can offer is, don't give up on her. Even if she's angry, she needs you - and if you miss one call, it's easy for that one missed day to turn into a whole week. I am certain you make this a priority by your posts and I admire your love and determination to stand by her. I will be praying for your dd to realize what a gift she has in such a loving, devoted father. Hugs!!
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #17
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Your post hurts my heart. I can only imagine the pain you feel. First off, I kind of know what your daughter is going through. I was extremely close with my father - he essentially raised me by himself until I was about four years old. We had some serious rough patches when he got re-married and when I hit puberty, man, that was not a fun time for anybody. But my dad and I are very close again today and I am so grateful to have such a loving, caring dad. If there is one thing I know, the "don't give up" advice will definitely pay off.

The fact that she wrote you a letter expressing her feelings is a wonderful sign that she is open to rekindling her relationship with you. And let's not forget, her body and brain are going through so much right now. Adolescence is basically a second form of the terrible twos. Her words may be saying she wants independence, but on the inside she's a fireball of adolescent emotion. What she needs right now is to feel safe and secure. The biggest and most wonderful thing you can do is continue to let her know you are here, you care, you miss her, you love her, and you would do anything for her. Just keep saying that. She will come around.

And I would urge to not take such a hands off approach. Don't force her into anything, but act like her parent. Don't ask for her to love you, just know she will, and until then, go visit her for an afternoon, take her to lunch, spend the whole time letting her talk, listening to her, ask her every question you can think of, tell her you love her. If she balks at first, keep bugging her about it. When my dad used to tell me things I didn't like, he would say, "You may not like it, but there is no one else on this earth who cares more about what's best for you than me." EVen though I may have rolled my eyes, that one statement made me feel so loved. My dad still tells me those words and they still make me feel special.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #18
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Okay, so I read through all the replies and saw you were doing the goodnight phone calls and everything. You're doing a great job, dad. Your presence is immensely important even if it doesn't seem appreciated.

Would it be too crazy to suggest you and your daughter go to counseling together? It might help to have an intermediary and to get some dialogue going.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #19
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Thank you for all the recent replies. Nothing new to report. I have kept up with the phone calls although she refuses to answer the phone I leave a message each time. Off to her school open house tomorrow. She won't be there but the school system had been great about keeping me informed of her academic progress and any opportunities that come along like that ill take over just waiting to hear her voice again.

I have been advised by most of the professionals at this point that my ex has my daughter shielded by a lot of my attempts to connect with my daughter but there is not a lot more i can do or they can do and it's become just a waiting game based on faith - something I utilize daily.

As for therapy, her mother won't cooperate putting her in therapy. i go myself plus to a weekly parents group. Anything to keep going in a foreword motion. It's work that my daughter doesn't see now but hopefully someday.

Marlin needs to be strong for his Nemo. I am thankful for my Disney ties to help me keep swimming.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:37 PM   #20
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After weeks of not hearing anything except the answering machine on the other end. My daughter returned the phone call and we talked for a good twenty minutes . She's angry at me no doubt but I let her get angry at me only correcting her when it started to get disrespectful.

All my therapy is paying off. I can step back enough to decipher where truth lies and what needs attention versus what can just be let go.

I hated she was so angry but so proud of her for persisting and not giving up on the call. I could have stayed on much longer but it was getting to the point where she was going to combust. She tried very hard to verbally spearhead me but for the first time in a long time I took it like a parent. It took her by surprise.

But if she and I agreed on one thing it was that nothing could be solved in one phone call or in x amounts of years.

I told her I'd wait for as long as it took. That I wasn't going anywhere and I will keep on wanting a place in her life and search out the opportunities.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:13 PM   #21
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Omg omg omg...what an awesome day! My daughters mom and I have been emailing each other since the open house. She initiated the suggestion of us going to parent teacher conference together instead of the customary separate sessions for her and I.

I loved the idea but my trust issues kicked in and I explained as politely as I could how uncomfortable that made me feel seeing how at this point nothing we were doing was united (and not for a lack of trying either).

So there were a few short emails back and forth. I can't explain a lot without getting personal but the only thing that was upsetting to me about her parenting style was keeping me out of the loop even when valuable pieces of information about things about our relationship might have come in handy. That was setting me up for failure and by no means helpful.

I'm not sure if it was what I said or how I said it but I got a surprise in my email from her in the form of my daughter's first day of school picture with a message that mom and I can keep up a dialogue.

I have not felt so much relief in such a short time. In all the struggles that I've had it brings me so much joy that I stumbled upon the beginnings of something familiar but new.

One of my favorite plays in the whole world is A Christmas Carol (I am my community theatre's resident Bob Cratchitt) I feel like Scrooge at the end realizing so much and finding joy in the ability to get a second chance.

All I can think of to say right now is God Bless Us Everyone!
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:01 PM   #22
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It's still going good...for my relationship with my daughter. I got the sweetest, most sensitive response to my regular goodnight call last night.

Its very difficult to recapture the moment in words, but I was devestated the whole day as I had just been laid off from my job. I made my regular goodnite call, left my regular goodnight message with no mention of anything that was happening around me

A few minutes later the phone rang back. I took a deep breath, and the voice on the other end..it wasn't angry...I kept the focus on her and what she was saying, but the tone changed when she wanted to express how sorry she was I lost my job, but not to worry that I'd find another one. I thanked her and then I asked her about her weekend coming up and if she had any plans.

It was so "in the moment"...

After a few minutes she asked if it was okay if her mom talked to me. I said that was okay and her mom and I chatted about the email I sent about how we were going work child support.

DD made it a point to ask her mom if before she hung up if she could say goodnite to me. Mom asked me if that was okay and of course I said SURE!

I hung up and my tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy. I was able to wake up and remember how much my work was working where it needed to and I could face everything else knowing my daughter does still love me.
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:27 AM   #23
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How wonderful... I missed a few posts, I apologize..

You made my WEEK!!!!!!!!

What a loving and caring man and father you are... I wish you nothing but the best.. Love pays off
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:32 PM   #24
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When my daughter was five it took her to Disney. On our last night when I wished her goodnight she said daddy I love you more than Mickey Mouse.

I never thought I'd hear anything sweeter. I was wrong.

My calls with my daughter have been more frequent and longer each week.

Last night she said

Dad I'm glad we started talking again...
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #25
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Awww, on a bad day you brought me to tears!!

Love pays off
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:52 AM   #26
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I have been lurking and reading your posts and it occured to me that you may not realize how many people are like me - reading and praying for you, but not posting.

Thank you for giving us updates. your words have cheered me up more than once. I am so happy that you are working things out with you daughter and that you are such a strong and caring father. You are simply amazing.
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Old 10-25-2013, 08:14 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWTeamLeader View Post
Thank you. Yes, I send her cards as often as I can. Part of my adjustment isthe "less is more" approach. When she was living with me I overcompensated for the qualities I lacked. One thing I remember is she always loved me for who I was. After I took her to Disney World for the first time (she was 5) she said Daddy I love you more than Mickey Mouse. Later in life when I apologized for for not being perfect, she said "but daddy you're perfect for me". As for the latter I had a hard time believing her, mostly because my biggest imperfection is not believing in myself. This is where we disconnected and this is what I have to work on
It sounds like things are moving forward in a more positive way. I'm glad.

But, I do want to say that you shouldn't be putting statements like "I'm not perfect" on your young daughter. I understand why you may need her reassurance, but that blurs lines between the two of you. Absolutely apologize for your mistakes. God knows we all make them, but please don't list your short comings to her.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:07 PM   #28
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There will be good times and there will be bad. Lately things have been neither just very tough. About two weeks ago on my phone call my daughter in a pretty serious tone asked that we ditch the small talk and begin talking about the past two years. I was floored by her candor but impressed by her maturity. We talked at great length. There is still a lot we are not hearing each other say. Still the discussion remained engaged and not lopsided as before. I talked to her as gently as I could and answered her questions to the best of my ability. I left her speechless and tearfully she asked to end the conversation. She hasn't picked up any of my calls since.

The waiting is hard and with the holidays and me still out of work I'm more out of sorts than usual.

I am excited about the gifts I sent for Christmas. One of the best calls we had was when she played her keyboard for me and she said she plays on the floor because she didn't have a stand. Right then and there I knew what I was going to get her. My parents are getting the bench that goes with it. I hope she remembers that phone call.

Love my little girl. Want the best for her. Still left with the feeling I could be doing more but right now I keep up with what I've been doing and do a lot of praying alongside. I won't give up .
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:30 PM   #29
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HI there.

As you say, I am sure they will be ups and downs... Anything worth it, is worth the trials and tribulations, isn't it.

I applaud and am SO moved by your love for your daughter... She must have a lot to think about and deal with, along with just plain old growing up

Maybe you can fill some daytime by writing a nice journal.. She may enjoy reading it one day.
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Old 12-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #30
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I want to give you a little advice from a daughter who has issues with her parents. For me, to hear my parents say to me, "I did the best I could" or "I did the best I knew how", is the one thing I hate to hear. I think a child has a right to their feelings. I also think those feelings need to be validated. For example, If my daughter were to say to me that she doesn't think I love her, instead of telling her she is silly and of course I love her, I would validate her and try to get her to explain to me why she feels that way. I would also ask her what I can do to make it better.

Sometimes pride can get in the way of any relationship on both sides. The words "I am sorry" go such a long way. The words, "what can I do for you today" go such a long way. I think we try to explain our way out of things and try to convince others why their feelings are wrong. Instead, we should validate a feeling and try to figure out how to make it better.

I truly hope you are able to make things better. Don't ever give up. I would keep a journal. Maybe you could write two. One for your eyes only. Another for you to give to her when she is older to show how much you truly love her.
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