I never wanted my daughters to be like me. To be heart broken and lost in a world that just destroys who you are, tossed aside feeling alone and empty inside.
I want them to be strong and full of pride. Proud of themselves. Proud of each other. Empowering others to change the voice society pounds into our heads until we feel like we’re not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough or do enough. Positive little lights in the world here to help change society’s deafening voice that drowns out our inner music and isolates us from others causing us to believe the lie that being different is anything but beautiful.
I want to empower them with the tools to fight back and to stand up against the crowd with their own truths being so secure in themselves that no matter how loud someone screams and shouts they never believe the lies we so often tell ourselves. Thinking that it’s our own voice that says we are unworthy of love, ugly and not enough. As their mother, I can only do so much. I can not do this alone.
I need my sisters. I need my friends. I need their teachers and I need their friends, but the most important person in a daughters life who teaches them to love themself is their dad.
If a daddy is a daughter’s first love my theory is the only thing that makes sense. Daddy’s teach their daughters all they need to know about unconditional unselfish love. How patient and kind it is. How forgiving and relentless it has to be. A daddy is a pretty powerful person in a daughters life.
Mothers have their roles and we do our best to fill the shoes that we are given but daddy’s have the ultimate toll of teaching their little girls how they deserve to be treated.
Those of us who had our hearts broken by the one person who was entrusted with building it up know that daddys have the power to destroy your self worth with one fatal blow. Causing a life that is untrusting, bitter and cold. Never feeling wanted or good enough. Why wasn’t I enough. Why am I unloveable.
I’ve spent a good part of my 30 years asking myself these questions. Believing the lies that I not only told myself but that everyone else had told me too. I took those on as my very own truths. The burden that I carried was the reason I stayed married comfortable with someone who spewed those lies until it was what I had become. Embracing the darkness and stories that he told. Never believing I could over come where I came from.
A daughter of divorce.
The cycle had been laid out before me, the curse set in stone. Drug addicted father and a never enough mother. I didn’t want to be anything like my family. I wanted to be better, but I didn’t know how so I started by searching for what was missing in all the wrong places and trying my best to be perfect, a mission impossible to complete.
I thought I needed someone to see me. Someone to love me, but ultimately all I needed was me. I’ve been in therapy for 3 years. Some months I only see her once and others I come as often as she has openings. I was lucky to have a bonus dad who I didn’t come from but who claimed me as his own. Who took the time to show me that I was worthy. It took a lot of work and never did I believe him until I was ready to see me, to love me, to stand up for me. Only then did I see that the damage which was so hard to fix was caused by the broken hearted daughter of divorce with a daddy who didn’t see me, who didn’t want me, who didn’t need me.
I never want my daughters to be like me. To be broken hearted daughters of divorce. And never do they have to be.
I know that you love them. I know that you care. I know that they are a priority and you never want to hurt them, but you can’t just be there. You can’t just tell them that you love them. You can’t just tell them that they matter. You can’t just pretend that their attitude is a product of hormones or bratty intentions. You have to be aware. You have to know the power that you hold over their futures and who they will become.
We made our mistakes and we have both had to face our demons and consequences of those actions. We’re both healthier apart and happier to start. We both understand the things that went wrong and have to change the tune of our very own song. We both have our part to play but we both have to stay because they are worthy of all the work we will have to put in to ensure that we never break their hearts again.
Disappointed and betrayed, we destroyed their family with all of our flaws. Too late to go back. Too late to start over. They don’t understand what went wrong. They mourn the family they had, but we can show them their family will be stronger with more people to love. In time we will prove over and over that they are worthy and deserving with two parents who love them more than life itself. But we each have to do our part, I can not do it alone.
So coming from a daughter of divorce, I beg:
Please see them. Please hear them. Please show them that they matter over and over and over. Please hold them when they are falling apart and acting out. Hold them tighter when they are pushing you away and going astray. Please be up for their test. Please be stern and hold your own ground but be kind and forgiving. Please put them and their feelings above all else. Above your pride and above your hurt, they are only children and they need more than just being told, they need to be shown over and over again. Until they learn how to patch up all that we have destroyed in our selfish destructive paths.
Show them unconditional love and that they don’t have to earn our love. It won’t be taken away if they go astray. They don’t have to be perfect or say all the right things. Teach them that love is unselfish and serving that they don’t have to do anything to be so deserving. Give them your all and never will they feel alone when they fall. Never punish by taking your affections away. Please just show them how much you love them. Don’t just be there, show them that you freaking care more about them than anything or anyone else in this world because they are our world.