At this moment in time, and it is 2:15 am, I am very relaxed and very happy. I received the best Christmas present today. I could care less about anything material that I might receive on Christmas day, because compared to what I got today, anything else would pale in comparison. Today I got my older daughter’s love back.
The story goes back about ten years really, but I am not going to tell the whole story. Too long, and too involved. I will say that it did involve me and my wife looking like we were heading for a divorce. And I did move out for a while. When I did move out, my older daughter visited me and we had some of the best times together. We both have kept some wonderful memories of that time. It was an extremely difficult time for my wife and I, and also for both of my daughters, but my older daughter and I really had some wonderful times together. Very close.
Recently, before going to London, to receive college credit before she was to enter her college of choice in January, she asked me something about that time. I really wasn’t at liberty to discuss it without speaking to my wife first. I told her that I would speak to her mother and that if it was all right with her, I would talk to her about it. She left the next day for London, and although I did speak to my wife about it, and had thought about it, I didn’t feel that speaking with her on skype or on the phone, while she was in London, was the right way to discuss the subject with her.
When she was in London, she increasingly got cold to me. Wouldn’t skype with me and bascially wanted nothing to do with me. So, I just let it go. But when she came home, her indifference turned into downright hostility. She was negative towards me at any chance she got. And she would take my wife’s side on the smallest issue. One day, she said something, and I turned to her and said, “Hey, I don’t know what’s going on, but you’ve been treating me like shit since you came home, and I would appreciate it if you would let me know what’s on your mind.” I kept thinking that it was because I’ve been somewhat of an absentee dad to both my daughters in the past few years. My wife takes them shopping, and they both have boyfriends, and I really don’t have a whole lot of interaction with them.
So, I said, “let me know when you want to talk.” And I waited for a day or so. And then there was a time when we were alone and that wasn’t a good time for her. And then there was another time that wasn’t good for her. I finally called her up today and told her that the longer she waited, the harder it was going to be. Because I know the way I get, if someone is pulling away emotionally and not dealing and treating me badly, I close up and I don’t allow myself to be hurt. And I shut down. And once I shut down with someone, it takes an awful lot to bring things back to normal. That is my protective mechanism. So, she finally told me the reason. She had expected me to talk with her about what she wanted to hear about the time when I moved out. She was waiting to hear in London. I was relieved. I told her that I had spoken about it with her mother and that I was looking forward to speak to her about it, but I didn’t want to do it on skype or on the phone while she was in London. That’s why she was pissed at me the whole time. And I was clueless. So, I was speaking with her on the phone as I drove home and I went up to her room and we had a long talk and she cried and got a lot of stuff out. And it felt good for me too, to be able to be honest about the whole thing. And we found our way back to loving each other. And it felt really good. Because the way it felt before we talked, I was starting to count the days until she would be out of here and back to school. And I didn’t want to feel that way. And now I don’t feel that way. I would have to say that this is best Christmas present I could possibly ask for, finding the way back to a loving relationship with my older daughter. And I got this wonderful present two days ahead of schedule.