February 8, 2021 – You always hurt the one you love.

I finally got some clarity today. My daughter reached out to my husband and shared her perspective on things. The best way to summarize the situation is that we both feel misunderstood. Despite how we choose to engage, by talking on the phone, by texting, by email, or by letter, things just continue to get further tangled up. It’s as if we both are screaming at each other and neither one of us is listening. I tried to make things right immediately after the initial ‘incident’ that started the whole train wreck. I spoke to her twice on the phone and instead of making things better, it made them much worse. In order to make things ‘right’, because she no longer wished to talk to me because she needed ‘time’, I sent her an email. Regardless of what I said in the email, about starting anew and accepting each other without any expectations, we remained in a deadlock. I then mailed her a letter.

After I put the letter in the mail, I sent another email and asked her to contact me, at which point she actually made the effort to call. Whether or not she received the letter by that point, I have no idea, but she didn’t mention it. I had only mailed it two days prior so it is unlikely. Anyway, when we did finally talk, it was obvious she had her guard up and even stated she was still in a great deal of emotional pain from the last time we spoke and didn’t really want to revisit the things we had discussed before. Each time I asked a question, she answered with as few words as possible. I know this is a strange metaphor to use, but it felt very much like when you’re trying to take your dog for a walk and for reasons unknown, it plants its butt on the sidewalk and no matter how much you tug on the leash, it refuses to move. You can speak softly and try to coax it or you can yell at it out of sheer frustration or you can stand behind it and push with all of your might, but that dog ain’t moving!

That’s how that conversation felt. We touched on things but it didn’t seem to get us anywhere. It was clear she still felt misunderstood. I asked for clarification to help me understand what it was she wanted from me but she couldn’t or wouldn’t come right out and say it. And that’s when the total communication breakdown happened. She completely stopped engaging with me after that. The space I was left in once she chose to withdraw, I had only my past personal experiences to reference or work with in order to make heads or tails of the situation. As much as I tried not to allow my heart to harden, it did. Every minute that passed, I could feel the bitterness developing within. In that final communication I sent, the handwritten letter, I put every ounce of my ego aside and spoke with love and complete humility. I asked for forgiveness, I asked for acceptance, I told her that I loved her and that I always would. Radio silence.

When you put your heart on the line and get nothing in return, it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it hurts like hell. It makes me want to build walls around it so that there’s less of a likelihood that it’ll be hurt yet again. It makes me want to shut off all parts of myself that expose my vulnerability and weakness and only access those parts that help me to express my rage. Too many times, when I have attempted to make peace with others that mattered to me a great deal, I got nothing in return. They cut me out of their lives so abruptly, that I have yet to catch my breath. What I find so frustrating about the situation with my daughter is that there is no ‘end’ in sight. She is still ‘processing’ and unwilling or unable to contact me and so I sit and I wait in this space, this space where the bitterness and the rage grows. I feel like I’m in a hostage situation. As I sit in this uncertainty, I have no idea when I’ll be ‘released’.

It could be days or weeks or months or never. I watch the hour hand on the clock and as it continues to move in a clockwise motion, I can feel my heart harden, and that’s the last thing I want. More than anything in the world, I want peace between us. She is as much a part of me as I am of her. My husband told her today that we need to communicate as soon as possible and do a ‘reset’ and she said she was going to send me an email right away; however, has since decided to wait a few more days because she has other obligations at the moment. I find that really disappointing. She also shared that she is aware of what I’ve written on my blog about her and that the way she is being portrayed has caused her a great deal of emotional distress. My intent was not to vilify or misrepresent her as a person. She is actually a really lovely person, but that doesn’t mean things are always rosy between us. We’ve definitely had our moments over the years.

I wasn’t absolutely certain that she had knowledge of what I was writing about on my blog, but I knew there was a possibility. Because of that, I’ve been really careful about my subject matter (up until recently). Since I knew my children could read whatever I posted, I was always censoring what I would share and avoiding anything related to them that didn’t present them in a positive light. However, the whole point of having a blog was for me to be able to express myself openly and honestly and use it as another resource for working through things. For far too long, I’ve kept stuff bottled up inside and used food as a crappy coping tool and I don’t want to do that anymore. It has been incredibly helpful to get feedback from readers, especially when they tell me they relate to what I’ve discussed. When my daughter told my husband that I’ve been talking about her on my blog and that she found it very upsetting, he told her to stop reading it.

That’s how I feel as well. I would prefer to be able to freely discuss whatever I am dealing with or working through and not worry about how it impacts my own children. And when my husband and I discussed it further today and I made it clear that at this stage, I really would rather they not be party to my posts, he sent them each a message and asked them to not read my blog any longer because it’s what I use for ‘release’ or to get things out of my system. I almost sent my children a message a couple of weeks ago to let them know I’d rather they not read what I write, but I wasn’t sure how they would respond to me putting up a boundary after everything had been so ‘out in the open’ previously, so I left it alone. Now I wish I had followed my intuition. Regarding my daughter, I just want to move past all of ‘this’. All of this conflict makes me feel sick to my stomach. Each day when I wake up and open my eyes, her name pops up into my head and I become consumed with anxiety.

Staying in this state of continual discomfort and unease is exhausting and it’s taking its toll on my mind, body and spirit. I have had to muster up nearly every ounce of strength I have left to not fall back into my not-so-old, toxic behaviors and start abusing myself with food because life seems out of control and I don’t have the answers. I know as humans, it is commonplace for us to hurt the ones we love, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to hurt her or me, or anyone for that matter. I just want to make peace or call a truce or bury the hatchet or something that constitutes a means to an end so we can all move forward and live our best lives. That’s all I want; that’s all I’ve ever wanted. Is that too much to ask? Thank you so much for stopping by. I enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I hope I was able to make you smile, but I doubt that I did because today’s topic was rather depressing. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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