Questioner: maureen clarke
Subject: Urgent advice please
I will try to keep this brief!! I have two children, one with Autism who is now in a lovely placement after many years of fighting the authorities (he is 18), my daughter is a young 17.
I married in 1988 to a man who turned out to be very mentally abusive, I was crushed by him and so were the children. I eventually escaped the traumatic situation with help of the court, he has still continued to be a very difficult person to deal with over the years, including sacking me from my self employed job in promotion and taking over it himself, including all the money(don't ask it's too complicated!!),
The courts did nothing to help on this score, he has NEVER paid child maintenance, again CSA did nothing,
even after private interview, said they understood and agreed, but didn't have the resources!! I have a new partner, who, brought up the children with myself, i.e. care, attention, love and financially (did everything and more that her father should have been doing). We did however find out that there were complications later on involving my daughter and the son of my partner (I am cutting this bit short) this has been dealt with legally!! So, a mess you would say? Yes, it has been all round, and a very painful experience on top of the past issues. My partner and I have been devastated through this.
My daughter moved out to her fathers last year, and of course he has used this to attack me and my partner, He is poisoning her mind towards me and my partner even though, it was us who were always there through her tender years. As a result, contact is very strained between us, as she is more or less saying that I need to give up my happy relationship with my partner or else she wants nothing to do with me.
I know that deep down she is still fond of my partner(who still loves her), but, she would dare not say this in front of her father as he would never allow this. I am very hurt through this situation and feel trapped, as I don't want to let anyone down, but also feel that I should not be backed into a corner like this. I am convinced that if she was not with her father, then she would be able to make up her own mind, it seems that I am in a no win situation, I am very depressed and don't know what else to do!
People have suggested that I should just wait for her to grow up, but at the same time I don't want to let her down. At the end of the day, my partner and I have never hurt her, but her father has. Can you offer some advice please? This is obviously just an outline of the problem.
Answer: Dear Maureen:
Unfortunately life is not often fair. I hear your pain and the betrayal you feel. It is often the sharpest pain when it comes from those we have loved the most. The advice your friends are giving you is the best.
The best you can do for your daughter is to continue to live your life to the fullest, be happy and let her go. You can tell her you love her and will always be there for her however, you will not allow her or your ex to dictate how you live your life. Even though she seems to be so distant sooner or later she will need you and will come looking for you. Eventually she will figure things out in the meantime remember you have done a good job and start to celebrate having raised your children. Focus on what is going well with your life and keep living the example she will one day need to draw from.
I am sorry you have gone through such rough times. If you live life moment to moment, appreciating the strength you have acquired I am sure the best is yet to come!
Feel free to call me if you would like to talk in person!
M Kay Keller