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Author: Anonymous (Stanislaus County)
Posted: 06/11/2014 @ 7:15 pm
In 2001 I had a severe mental breakdown. I was diagnosed with PTSD, and severe depression with psychiotic features. I was suicidal. I two years time, I was institutionalized over a dozen times. I had over 60 ECT treatments. My illness took its toll on my family. My daughter left our family when she was 16 in 2003. My son was killed at the age of 19 in 2004. My 24 year marriage ended in divorce in 2008. After years of therapy, I am now in a much better place. I returned to school and received my Bachelors in Social Work. I have tried to get in contact with my daughter numerous times over the years, and only recently made contact with her by phone. Her only response was that she still wanted nothing to do with me because I already made my choice and had to live with it. She said that she didn't run away, but that I told her to leave. I swear that I do not remember telling my daughter this, but I could have at the time. I was under the effects of so many ECT treatments and a lot of prescription drugs. It's been a long recovery road for me, but I am surviving. I want so desperately to have my daughter back into my life, but have no ideas of where to start. It just feels like I am being punished every day without her because of one incident so many years ago. I know that I can never possibly make up all the pain I have caused my daughter. I just want to be given the opportunity to get to know the young woman she has become, and to let her get to know the healthier me that I have become. If anyone has any ideas they wish to share as to how I can accomplish this, PLEASE let me know. Terri (who's daughter is in Modesto)
Author: Mattski56 ( Social Network of Care )
Posted: 06/12/2014 @ 8:22 am


Congratulations for all the incredible experiences you’ve had. These will all be helpful toward where you are heading. I, too, have had similar experiences. My son is in Finland. He was kept away from me for his whole life. I have had to process all of my feelings of grief for my child. I had to process my biological attachment to my child. I have done a lot of process work around it. I have done the 12 Steps around it several times. I work with people in the community who have children. I work with all of my neighbors’ kids, fixing skateboards and bicycles and helping in any musical way I can. I am the father I always wanted to be for my son. Right here and right now, I am a good person. I am bringing everything I need to this party of life, and if my son ever chooses to see me, I have put in all the legwork of being a fantastic father. I have also processed that I may never get to see my child again.

This is the part where we have to fill our empty “God hole.” We have to bring everything we need, right here, right now, to be happy. It is our attachment to wanting to feel safe  with our children that separates us from being genuine and authentic with them right now, and honoring their feelings. This attachment runs deep, but it IS attachment. We need to let go of all attachment, so that they may come to us when they are ready. My son is 18 now and going to college. He knows about me. He knows I’m available. And I sit, and work with my community children, so I do not lose a bead on being a great parent.

Congratulations for all the great work you’ve done in your life. You are an extraordinary person of value and deserve to be happy right here and right now. The children may come to see us, or may not. We have no control over that right now. You are a good person. You are not alone. Many have gone before you. You are safe and protected.



Author: Anonymous (Merced County)
Posted: 08/09/2014 @ 1:08 am
It sounds like your daughter is hurting and needs you to stop making excuses for why you did what you did, and own what happened. She needs to hear you genuinely apologize for what happened and be sensitive to her feelings, not quick to defend yourself. I know you have a lot of feelings to juggle, too, but if you want your daughter back in your life, you are going to push her away if you try to show her how great you are now, and minimize what happened by explaining yourself and making excuses. You need to back off and let her know that you will be there when SHE is ready to pursue a relationship, which will happen quicker if you respect her space and don't push her. Be supportive and let her know you care without invading her space. If you push too hard, it will only push her further away. Regardless of what really happened or what you remember, her version of what happened in her head is very real to her and arguing with her about what happened and how it happened is not going to help. She believes that is what happened and she needs you to see that and own it. Good luck to both of you. I hope that you are able to have a healthy, strong, loving relationship someday.