Janine - It's interesting that you had second thoughts about the second half of your response. But I have been thinking about how to respond to that all evening, so I want to do that.

You said I seemed to not be taking responsibility for my part of the estrangement. There was a time that you would have been right, because I had no idea what I had done. My daughter has never shared that with me, although there was an incident that happened beforehand where she asked for the title to her car and I would not give it to her. She was only 17 and did not have a job to buy a new car. After that, all communication was cut off. For years, I would have told you that was the reason she estranged herself from me.

Since then, I have done a lot of work, healing my own emotional traumas and facing a lot of very hard stuff. I have grown to understand that estrangement doesn't happen in a vacuum, and there were a lot of circumstances that built up to that conclusion. Am I responsible for all of it? No, but I have seen where I am responsible, the ways that I failed her, the way she felt abandoned after her father and I divorced. I have written her a letter detailing all the ways I understand that I failed her, and asking her to share her part of the story, but I have never gotten a response.

I have my eyes wide open to the ways I am responsible for her pain. I am not afraid to admit that I made mistakes that hurt her. I am careful what I share in my writing because I am always aware that, while I am free to tell my story, she has to tell her own if she ever feels led. I cannot, and will not, overstep my boundaries in what I can tell.

You are right. This has been one of the greatest opportunities for growth that I have ever been given. For that I am grateful. I have written a lot about this and you will find that I while I have learned to step up and take responsibility, I have also learned to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made. It serves no one for me to live with the shame of being an imperfect human. All I can do is try to make amends if she will ever let me.

Thank you for reading.

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there. You can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/bethbrunoauthor

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