I know your pain -- been there. There is nothing worse than the loss of a child and the loss of a child's love --nothing. I am sure that she still
loves you. I really feel for you. It's a depth of pain that is unimaginable. An estrangement is the loss of a child without the funeral and support of
the community. Your description of the pain couldn't be more accurate. However, I think it's temporary.
Many years ago, when my daughter was 17, she went to live with her girlfriend and family 2 miles away from our home because she said I didn't care
about her. I doted over her, gave her everything she needed, provided well, and so on. At the time she was hanging out with kids who were
disrespectful to teachers and parents. Once she got way from them she came back to me. I didn't pressure her, I let her self-conclude they weren't
right for her. Their friends/peers have an enormous influence over them, and unfortunately it's a case of 'the blind leading the blind.' So, be aware
that this might not be all of your ex's doing.
When my daughter returned home 4 months later I was overjoyed. I didn't launch into my pain, "Do you have any idea what you've done to me -- the pain
you have caused me?" because that evokes anger and pushes them further away. She learned 'the grass isn't greener on the other side', as her
girlfriends parents had also imposed house rules -- chores, curfews, etc. For the next 15 years we were closer than ever.
They are in a very different place in their life than their parents, and at that age, the teen years, they only care about themselves. They are also
unpredictable ...just as the previous poster said, "One day they want to be an Astronaut and the next day a Gymnast." One day they are never getting
married and having kids and the next day they are looking at pictures of wedding gowns. The decisions they make during their teen years are not
permanent -- they change their mind with their moods.
The tiny and specific part of the brain that regulates impulse and controls emotions/empathy is not fully matured/developed until the mid-20''s,
usually between 24 and 25, and as late as 26 years of age... however we start noticing a shift, along with positive changes in the early 20's.
The point is, with limited empathy, she cannot relate to your depth of pain and feelings, only her own pain and feelings -- aside from her not being a
parent herself. As she matures I think she will become aware of your pain and will need you more than ever.
Being a fatherless daughter is painful and is not a comfort zone for any girl/woman.
If you can get a message to her somehow, one that validates her feelings ..."I understand how you must feel -- anyone would feel badly if that (fill
in the blank) happened to them and if they thought their father (fill in the blank)"... type of validating message, along with something like...
"Sometimes things appear a certain way, but sometimes our perception is not the reality." But, be careful here that you don't illicit a "Oh, so now
I'm crazy and imagining stuff" type of response. They are very, very touchy at this age.
One of the biggest problems is that with their limited empathic capacity they have difficulty sorting out fact/truth versus lies/distortions. Also, as
you know, it's impossible to love someone and want to be with someone whom we do not trust and respect --- without trust and respect their cannot be
So, you'll want to re-gain both her trust and respect, which is easier said than done when we are dealing with someone who is not seeing the truth and
who is believing in lies and distortions --the source/root of the problem here is mostly that her decision isn't based on truth and fact -- she is
reacting off of lies and distortions, and as an unfortunate result, may not trust or respect you. But, perceptions can change.
On a personal note -- my daughter is now an adult and married a toxic bully a few years ago. He has isolated her from family. She estranged herself
from me 2 years ago at age 33, and it still stings real bad. After we reunited when she had turned 18 and came back home we became even closer and did
everything together... until he suddenly came along 5 years ago. So, I know your pain firsthand -- been there twice.
I believe because of your daughter's age she will be back when she is ready. Have faith.
You don't want to view this as a punishment, but as a lesson, only you can figure out what that is. Perhaps when you reunite (and I think that will
happen) it will bring you even closer and strengthen the father/daughter bond. But, I seriously doubt that she will never contact you again. A 17
year-old does not typically make a major life-changing/altering decision that is permanent. As they mature they start seeing things differently and
change their mind quite frequently -- trust she'll be back. All the best ~JANA
edit on 22-11-2013 by Jana12 because: (no reason given)