Tag Archives: overcoming abandonment


I woke up knowing that I had been clenching my teeth again. (I used to clench so badly I made cracks in them and would wake up with headaches.) At least this morning, no headache.

Last night I read my daughter’s blog and read what pain she had been through yesterday.* I had even talked to her afterward and she hadn’t shared it.  I felt sad for her and unneeded. Her friend had walked her through her visit to social services and the stigma and emotions that go along with that ride. (I remember asking for help. I went there once after my divorce, encouraged by a friend, and was denied!)

We have been so close for the last ten years, especially the last six when she moved across the continent. Bless free technology!

Now she has a close friend who herself went through the trauma of divorce a year and a half earlier.

I’m glad she has a close friend who understands.

Ah yes, perspective!

I’m even more glad that she has a close relationship with God.

I knew that at some point she would have to make closer friends than me. I won’t always be here.

I know that, and yet, I was so enjoying our friendship. I had finally gotten past the parenting role where friendship is sketchy at best.

I don’t do friends easily–trust issues from childhood–and was so enjoying the full range of comfort in a real, true friendship. And I feel like I just lost my best friend.

Did I risk too much? Did I go back into parenting too far by saying what I knew to be true? I know she didn’t want to hear it. But I wasn’t judgmental.

One of the first things she said after deciding to separate was, “I’m so glad you’ve been over this road.”

I was too, for her sake, I could be there for her, help balance the highs and lows. Now she doesn’t need me.

So that’s the feeling. Maybe I need to do what good old Bowen (Family Systems Theory) said about distancers and pursuers, and just step back.

That is what I’ve been doing for a week, since I was there and she didn’t seem to want to spend time with me.

I’ve wanted to call at different times just to see how she is, and I have resisted. She did call.

Another time when it got awkward on the phone we hung up and afterwards I thought, I should have done what she has in the past, and say, “Ok, what? I just heard your tone change. What’s going on?” She wouldn’t let me hide!

Why is it that parenting gets harder in some ways when you think it should get easier?

Maybe love never gets easy. It always stretches you. Always demands you look at yourself and your part. Feels the pain of the beloved. Requires strength for truth and honesty.

Can we ever get comfortable?

Only with God, I guess. Yeah? Relationship with Him isn’t even easy! But it’s good!

And as He has been telling me a lot in the last two weeks, “I will always be here. I will never leave. I will always love you. You are her mother. She’ll be back.”

Thanks, Daddy. Thank you for this love, for making me capable of it, even when it hurts. Thanks that some day it won’t involve pain and suffering to love.


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lovelycrumbs.com A Perspective on Feeling Abandoned — To Love without an Escape Plan

If you felt abandoned by your dad,  you will love the pathos and triumph of this blog. I will print it here for convenience, but it’s better at her site.

“To Love without an Escape Plan”

I dial the numbers slowly. A bit of hesitation in my fingers. In my heart.

It’s later than I’d planned to call. But that is the way my life goes. Tucking in all the littles. Wrapping up the day.

And this night has brought with it a resonating ache. A friendship strained and stretched. The weight of it sitting heavy on my heart. Slowing my every moment.

So with this heart already opened raw… I speak into the phone.

“Happy Birthday, Dad”

He mumbles thanks and I quickly ramble off the information of an   e-card created just for him by the littles, our latest in emergency-room visits, a bit of uncomfortable chatter.

He, in his natural way, makes a joke about me only having ten toes. It is him in a moment. The soft bantering humor. It connects me to him as if once again my hands are little.

And then as quickly as it started it’s over and he’s gone. Connection disconnected.

He still doesn’t know how to stay. Not even on the phone.

I want him to know it’s ok. I understand it. Understand him. My heart feels the sadness in his voice. The helplessness.

He doesn’t know how to stay.

I’ve spent my whole life watching him leave.

Watching him. Wishing just once he’d stay. Just for a moment see me. Know me.

There are few things that drive you toward God like an absent father. 

Few things that leave the vacancy, the caverns of blackness. Of empty searching. Grasping.

Looking to be loved. Defined. Beautiful.

I spent half a lifetime wishing he’d died. Somehow thinking it would be easier if he’d had no choice. If he hadn’t walked away. And this last half so grateful to just love him from a distance. Knowing that it’s all he has to give.

Today is his birthday. A day for celebration. Joy. And for me it is filled with ache.

Not the same paralyzing pain of the little girl that waited for him, face pressed against the glass.

No this pain is sadness. The twisting, burning ache of loving from the outside. The sorrow of watching a heart withered, wrapped up tight and unmoving. A heart unaware of what it truly means to be open. To love without an escape plan.

A heart that has missed the joy of a daughter. The indescribable blessing of knowing a child as well as you know your own face.

And I want to tell him it’s ok. I understand.

My heart grieves. No longer for me, but for him. For all that he missed. All that will never come again.

I am well. Strong. Beautiful. Loved.

And he never need feel guilty. For I know how it feels to have a Father. To have the One who never leaves fill your heart. I know how it refines you to love with your Whole Heart. To be the child of a devoted mother. To be a committed wife. To have a child. To have three.

I love him. I love me. The bits of him that are reflected back at me. The parts of me that want to leave when the struggles begin. The pieces of me that can figure out how to do anything.

I am proud to be his child. Honored to have come from him.

He wasn’t there… And he is completely forgiven. Completely loved.

Because he never learned how to stay, I have learned how to fight for love. Because he was afraid of the work of loving, I am not.

Because he left, I know how to stay.

Everything is a Gift. Grace poured out into this fragile soul. I am here in this moment because he is my father. I am part of him. And I love him.

Even though he doesn’t know how to stay.

And birthday’s are for new beginnings…

for Grace.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

Posted By Loxlia to lovelycrumbs at 1/21/2012 12:37:00 AM 00 AM

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