Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dilemma

Some time ago, when I mentioned on the OrthWomen's list that I had a daughter, someone responded that she hadn't known I had a daughter. This post may explain why I don't generally talk about her.

This isn't the first time she's trashed her father and me on this blog (which she knows I read), and there was a period of about three years when she didn't want anything at all to do with us. During that period, she initially had my whole family convinced that the problem was me, and the way I was treating her, but over that period of time, people who got to see us together formed a totally different picture, and sadly, my daughter has no credibility in my family anymore. Obviously, with her friends, it's a different story.

My husband is in favor of telling her off, loudly and clearly, and breaking off relations altogether. I just don't know. Part of me wants to say, "OK, enough with the lies." But a larger part of me references the example of St. Nektarios, who lived under the cloud of slander for, what, 30? 40? years of his life? and died under it. Only after his death was he revealed as a saint, and only after his death was the slander exposed for what it was.

What's better -- to endure, and keep praying for her, hoping that she corrects herself? Or to call her on it?

5 comments:

Suzanne said...

Meg, I can identify with your situation. When my eldest daughter was about 16 years old, she suddenly started hating me and her father, especially and particularly me. There was no warning. I remained unconvinced for years that "my darling child" could/would hate me so thoroughly. I'll spare the details, which would take too long and take up too much space here. Besides, you are familiar with such a situation, anyway. Many times I wanted to confront her, but each time I held back. I did try to reason with her and find out just *what* was going on in her mind, but she just side-stepped that. After college, she went overseas to teach English as a second language with her husband. She was over seas about five years or so. When she came back to the States, she settled in a different state and started work on her PhD. When she became pregnant (a surprise, since she was on birth control and had no plans to have children), suddenly I was worthy of conversation. Well, I'm making this too long. That daughter is now 34 years old, and her son is three. She has moved back close to us and visits several times a month. Since the birth of her child, she has come to understand a lot. I see that your daughter has two children, so that event obviously won't change her attitude toward you. My point is (finally) that if you continue to love her (a verb, not a feeling) and stay on the sidelines of her life--give her all the space she wants and more--perhaps she will eventually "come home." It's no guarantee, but it beats the alternative of fighting and arguing all the time. Actually, over time during my daughter's separation from us emotionally, I came to enjoy a certain peace and acceptance. All I can say, Meg, is to continue to love her. Think about what "love" means and do that. To love is to hurt inside, but you already know that. Don't give up, but give her space, love her, and pray for her. Perhaps something sometime in her life will be the one thing that will cause her to finally understand. And if she never understand, you will know you did all you could to make a bad situation as good as you could, instead of picking at it. {{{{HUGS}}}}
Suzanne

Catrin said...

Love her, pray for her, do not allow her to harm you. In harming you, she harms herself although she probably cannot see that right now.

Sometimes we hurt those we love the most because we CAN - which does not make it any easier to deal with. I am thinking of a very good friend of mine who becomes very hurtful to me when she is under a certain level of stress. It took me several years to figure out that this happens because I was "safe", and there was no one else in her live that she could fully vent to. Thankfully we dealt with that and our friendship survivied, but it really opened my eyes to this odd dynanmic that can develop.

The hardest thing to do in such situations is to put it in Gods hands and leave it there... prayer and love go a very long ways. You and your family remain in my prayers.

Catrin said...

Sorry about my creative spelling - guess that I shouldn't post in a hurry!

Philippa said...

Meg, I am going to echo Catrin and Suzanne's thoughts. Let her be. She is using her blog, not to slam you and hubby, but to work through her issues. Whether the issues are based in reality or not doesn't matter. They ARE real to HER and influence how she behaves not only with you and hubby but with her hubby, her children and her friends. They need to be worked out so that she can continue to grow and mature and be a good mother. Allow her that space.

I would suggest you stop reading her blog too. That is a temptation that is torturing you and hubby.

Many hugs!

Elizabeth said...

Meg, my prayers for you and DH and your daughter in this very difficult situation