We are together as a family again this weekend. We want to be united as one, but we seem to be more individual than ever. When we attempt to have serious discussions to resolve issues, we cower into corners or attempt to overpower with our voices to get our own ways.
I’m not feeling well about this. I guess it’s to be expected. When your daughters aren’t living with you 24/7, they have the right to be edgy and feel distance. You become a part time parent over the phone and at the times you get to see them in person, instead of the full time role you’ve played when they are in your home all the time.
I want both of my girls to get past their anger and back into bonding- with my wife and I. They have a connection to each other- and I am happy for that. But I sometimes question and wonder how much of a mother-father-daughter-daughter connection is really there. When you tangle so much verbally, are you creating the bonds necessary for successful relationships as adults, or are you only teaching them that you have to fight and argue to get your way?
We want them to have respectful conversations with us- not condescending and mean spirited talks when we set limits. I believe some of this has to do with their age and testing the boundaries as they ascend the independent ranks into adulthood- but there are other times where I believe they just want to throw that mean jab or quill out there to push our buttons.
Do I have a quick fix solution to this? Not really. They are angry- they feel shame- they have guilt. I can be here to help them- if they are willing to accept the help. They prefer talking to therapists and clinicians over their parents- because they believe someone trained understands better than my wife and I do their trauma and mental health concerns. However when the real events pop up we are the ones who have to settle them down and process the issues at hand- not clinicians or therapists who can’t be in our home at all hours of the day and night.
I’ve been reading some work by Richard Bandler who is one of the co-developers of neuro-linguistic programming. He teaches people techniques for distorting past traumas, phobias and fears and getting them to triumph over issues that have been plaguing them for years. I know that EMDR/ tapping has similar principles behind it and we’ve seen the benefits for one over the other in this regard. As a parent I wish I could re-write the past script of their lives, but I can’t. We can only deal with the cards thrown before us- no matter how disoriented and out of sorts they are.
So now I vent again. It’s better than taking my worries out on the children. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day- that I won’t take their pain personally. They only want to live a good life- and I should deliver the best that I can for them. As a role model, as a father, as a human being. I need to be real. I’ll continue to be real. The positive needs to outweigh the negative.