Mirror, Mirror: Reflections Can Be Tough to Take

Life is challenging. Each day a separate set of decisions to be made and choices to take your life in a completely fresh direction. Out with the old and in with the new. But you can’t lead your life in reverse, otherwise you stall in moving forward. We can’t change the past- it can only be looked at within a mirror and hopefully from the reflection you can see what needs to happen now to make sure that if you’ve made an error in judgement, you don’t continue down that same path again.

I’m currently at the library cooling off. While it may be a heat wave outside, I felt myself getting ready to say the wrong thing in order to prove a point that wasn’t ready to be proven. My daughter had already tuned me out by the time I tried to inform her that just because our apartment complex has kids that don’t obey the pool rules doesn’t mean she’s going to ignore them. From there it escalated into her attempting to be snide, sarcastic and in control as a third parent, something that doesn’t work out well for my personality.

I know a lot of it has to do with her age. I know some of it has to do with her lack of attachment. Most of it though deals with the fact that she has zero trust in a male authority figure, so she protects herself by becoming the victim, believing everyone is “snapping” at her and that nothing is her fault. It makes me want to go back into her past and straighten some things out, but I can only deal in the reflections of this. I can only be a good role model and make her see that her pain doesn’t influence me. That if she wants to get out of this hole she seems submerged in, she’s going to have to take those baby steps and come along with the ride with me.

Confrontation doesn’t work with my youngest, so moving into my own happy place at the library and giving distance works for now. Tomorrow we have another therapy session. The past two weeks we’ve worked on what she should be doing (expressing her feelings in the moment instead of tirading, screaming, crying, temper tantruming) in the office, yet the minute the action has to be put into practice at home, she succumbs to her old, comfortable actions instead of implementing a new strategy.

This is tough. I’ve seen how far my oldest has come. I want my youngest to be close to where she is, if not gain more distance. The problem is I can’t will it or wish it- the processing of her past and the feelings that go with it can only be done when she’s ready to, if she’s willing to let go and live. You can have the skills, you can have the knowledge, you can have the faith, you can have the best environment to thrive- but if the will and strength inside is not there, you won’t change. She’ll see the discomfort in other children when they misbehave in public- but won’t change that behavior behind our closed doors.

On the days she wants to be toxic, I need to be positive. I’m going to go on with my life irregardless of her words and actions, because as Jack Canfield taught me during his Maximum Confidence audio program, “No matter what you say or to do to me, I know I am still a worthwhile and capable person.” I’ll spend my time around my wife and oldest daughter who enjoy my company. I’ll make sure my youngest daughter is safe and secure, but I don’t have to engage her in conversation about topics she wants until she decides to put into practice with actions her regret for treating me as unimportant.

In the meantime, I’ll just review more music and remain focused on my goals at hand.

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