Why Doesn’t My Daughter Love Me?

18 Jun

What Did I Do That Was So Horribly Wrong?

silhouette of dad and daughter holding hands on the beach That’s what it feels like. It feels like she doesn’t love me.

“Of course she loves you, you’re her dad” they almost jeer from the side like some frenzied Colosseum.

I see her every two weeks from Friday through Monday morning when I drop her off at school 50 minutes away.

I call. I text.

And no answer. This is my trigger.

I’ve felt like a horrible dad since last September. Probably even before that. You all know what happened last September when this trigger hit the hardest it’s ever hit. 

It’s one of the hardest demons for me to face as it lifts its cowl and I see its razor incisors dripping to gnash.

I Abuse Alcohol.

I drink.

I’ve been drinking regularly.

I’ve become really good at that.

I escape.

The buzz kind of numbs the pain. Sometimes it backfires. Like when you zip tie your neck to your bedroom closet’s doorknob and fist a bottle of sleeping pills down your face.

I Get So Angry

I get angry because I subscribe to blogs where women write about their dads. Some good, some bad. They miss them or they remember how good they are to them. The good ones call and stay in touch with their girls…their kids. Even the bad ones; their daughters still yearn for a relationship with them. It’s their biggest dream.

You know how painful it is when you call or text and YOU KNOW there will not be any response?

Do you know what kind of strength that takes?

How deep the wound of worthlessness continues to open?

How much the nine inch nail is driven?

It’s one of the worst pains in the world. I wish it on no one.

I’ve Read Books.

Maybe I Should Practice What They Preach. Maybe I shouldn’t have read them at all.

Divorced dads books on a shelf

What I Hang On To.

A fellow blogger framed it perfectly for me. I can’t quote it or remember who it was but the gist of it was, “even though my mom and dad were divorced, my dad delivered flowers to me every Valentine’s day for the past [#] years. No matter how far away he was. No matter how busy he was, the flowers showed up with a note EVERY single year. Because of that I know he never forgot about me.”

‘Nuff said.

Do any hurting sons/daughters have advice for me? Thank you for taking your time to read this.


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23 responses to “Why Doesn’t My Daughter Love Me?

  1. Gale Wright

    06/21/2015 at 21:32

    I do know what it is like to get no response to a text, letter, phone call, or even actually talking to my son. It takes lots and lots of time to learn to relate to each other, especially when there are lots of issues.. And eventually I discovered that this problem with communication is part of his nature, which helped me to relax a bit, which helped me to make it less pressureful. Parent/child is a very complicated relationship in my opinion. Though things are much improved now that he is 35 (!), I can still be easily triggered into feeling unloved and guilty. Guilty because I was truly not a very good mother in the beginning. It’s tough, it really is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/21/2015 at 22:02

      Thank you for the honesty in your comments, Gale. Relationships are tough, especially the closer you are with someone. X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Looking for the Light

    06/21/2015 at 12:58

    My friend
    My heart tore apart with every description of how you attempted suicide. The on going thoughts and the horrific pain that breaks your heart. I can’t say anything to make the pain go away. I can give you a different perspective. You know me, you’ve read the bullshit and pain I suffered at the hands of my parents.
    I was estranged from my dad for years, rightly so. I was 28 years old when the call came my father had killed himself. All I did was scream at the top of my lungs. I had to gather my thoughts, did I really get that call. I called my gramps back, are you sure he’s dead? Yes, he said. My father didn’t know how to be a father, was trashed by my mother since I was 6 years old. The worst, my father sexually abused me. My heart broke, I found out how mentally ill he was, delusional. He called me six months before he died telling me what he was going to do. I suffer from a severe mental illness and know you can’t get thru to someone delusional. I paid his bills for the six months. I didn’t tel anyone in my family what he said, the quilt was heavy and lasted almost ten years. He had a lock box on the coffee table, his Bible open to job and every card I’d given him as a child.
    I share this painful story because no matter how your daughter may act now, she doesn’t want her father dead. I feel deeply for you. I’m here anytime,
    My friend, the first step I believe is seeing a therapist who is trained in High Conflict Divorce. You have to get everything out on the table with someone who can coach you. You have a responsibility to your daughter but it doesn’t mean what your doing is helping. You have to become the father you want your daughter to see. It’s hard as hell, one of the hardest. Get on your knees everyday praying for direction. Thank God for the opportunity to change the future. The change you want is a long process. You have to have a trained professional and you have to take a hard look at yourself. Are you proud of yourself, would your daughter be proud of you if she’s old enough.
    One last observation from my life and many others on WP. Very few divorces are friendly. I know people who are willing to destroy their children to get even. My mother told me my father raped her and she couldn’t get an abortion. Sometimes the other parent or both struggle with mental illness, that fucks everything up. My mother always called me stupid, what did I believe? I was stupid.
    I’m praying for you. Dig as deep as possible and become the father you want to be, regardless of how your daughter acts now.
    Big Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/21/2015 at 18:00

      Thank you so very much, Melinda. Your honesty and brave words here are an inspiration to drive forward. You are correct in saying, “Dig as deep as possible and become the father you want to be.” Thank you for your courage in your comments. I value your friendship. X


  3. Ms. Ethel Duck

    06/20/2015 at 02:47

    I have been on both ends here. I still desperately want a closer relationship with my father but I don’t know if it will ever happen. I just keep loving him the best I can. As for my children, there was a time when they went to live with their dad and he feed them so many lies. They hated me and really didn’t want to see me much. I just kept praying and letting them know how much I loved them. I’d send cards and little gifts on occasion. Called just to tell them I loved and missed them. It was so terribly painful and I just wanted to give up but I didn’t. I couldn’t. Today my kids are 24 & 20 and I have the most amazing and wonderful relationship with both of them.

    I encourage you not to give up. Whatever you daughter is going through, she needs to know you’re available to her IF she wants to talk. I don’t know what the full story is or how old she is but there will come a day that she figures it out on her own and she will always remember you were there for her even when she wasn’t receptive.

    Bless you for trying and as painful as it gets…never give up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/20/2015 at 18:18

      Ms. E.D., thank you for your encouragement and kind words on honesty. I praise you for your strength in YOUR story and hope to persevere as you have. Thank you for your courage and vulnerability in your comments, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cinnia

    06/20/2015 at 00:40

    I was/am the daughter. I was disconnected from my father for several years after my parents divorced and I lived with my mom and sibs.

    The primary part of it (which I’m not sure is the case with your daughter) was that my mother isolated us on purpose. She essentially poisoned the well by enforcing strict rules around our relationship and conversations and repeatedly telling us that it was our father’s fault for the divorce. That it was his addiction that caused all of our problems and that she was only the victim, never culpable. I didn’t overcome this until after I left home and moved in with my dad, learned some basic psychology, and gained a new perspective on the world. Still, some old associated emotions still come up every once in a while, when triggered.

    The rest of it had mainly to do with my own issues/inner demons and response to my father’s behaviors:
    – As a teenager, I never could tell anyone that I loved them; it was too hard to be that vulnerable after I’d protected myself for so long with a very stubborn outer shell. It was less painful to shut people out and ignore them, rather than assert myself in the relationship. Passive aggression is a bad coping mechanism for trauma and must be actively trained away with better habits.
    – My father has made some truly horrible decisions while acting out in his addict brain and hurt me and others I care about in the process. It’s hard to reconcile his dark side with his best side sometimes. Especially if I feel he’s lying again or otherwise being insincere.
    – My father has a lot of trauma, too. Sometimes, when he looks at me, he doesn’t see me, but instead the people who hurt him in the past or those who disappointed him with their actions. I sometimes avoid interacting with him because I’m afraid of the anger/new conflict it might bring. He’s better now, but the healing process has been very difficult and littered with pitfalls.

    Don’t give up on her. She has a lot of growing of her own to do. And she might surprise you yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/20/2015 at 18:15

      Thank you for your candor and open thoughts, Cinnia. Yes there are lots of eye openers in your comment. Many things for me to hold onto and remember to exercise. You are right to say to not give up on her. I appreciate you taking your time to leave such courageous things for me to reflect on and reread.


  5. ivebeenthere98

    06/19/2015 at 20:20

    As a daughter in a broken home, I can relate to what your daughter is doing to you. I was and am the same way towards my mom..but I think what made my anger towards her worse was the fact that she STOPPED calling, STOPPED visiting, STOPPED caring. The only advice I can tell you is don’t give up on your daughter. Even if it hurts now that she won’t respond to you, Im sure it’ll hurt her more if there’s no text or call in the future because at the end of the day, you’re her father..I don’t even know if that makes sense, but that’s my input from expierence. Best of luck in this sitution.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/19/2015 at 22:52

      Thank you for your insightful and honest words, ’98. Your words make sense, yes. I appreciate your courage and vulnerability in putting yourself out there for me. I greatly respect and admire that. You are right. “Playing a game” of not reaching out to her will only poison the relationship. Your words will push me to be the dad that I know I should be. Thank you X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. abbiegrrl

    06/19/2015 at 11:10

    I was the daughter. As I grew, I saw my Dad more realistically, and we got to be close.
    But I didn’t want to weigh in as the daughter.
    I have wrestled with depression for longer than I can remember. As soon as I was able, I sought refuge in a bottle.
    Guess what? Alcohol is a depressant. Considering the increasing depression and insanity coming from your drinking, I can only imagine what your drunk texts are looking like. Of course, we long for our child’s affection and all that goes with it. And if my son was not responding to my attempts, I know I’d have a really hard time dealing with it, as well.
    In my humble estimation, your only solution is to work on overcoming your own demons. Put down the alcohol. Get to a Dr. and/ or a Therapist, so they can help you deal with the others.
    Only after becoming as healthy as we can be, do we actually have the ability to be the parent they need. I know you don’t get to parent her, now, but it will CHANGE. If you do.
    If nothing changes, nothing changes.
    I feel so sad for you, I empathise, friend. I address my own demons every day, not because I want to, but because my kids deserve the best. I’ll always fall short, to be sure, but when I give it my best effect, I am a thousand times better than I would be if I returned to my life of self-destruction.
    You can make tomorrow a better day. Yesterday is gone, none of us can change that, but we can allow others to help us make better choices, TODAY.
    I care. I hope you’re able to consider the replies you’ve gotten here, in the spirit in which they were intended.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/19/2015 at 11:59

      Thank you so much, abbie’. Yes, I absolutely DO appreciate all these comments. They are so reassuring and even comforting. Just the support in itself is priceless. Hearing other thoughts is an added bonus to be sure…that’s how I grow. So yes, I treasure these in my heart. I appreciate that you had the courage and vulnerability to put your thoughts out there for me. Gives me something else to strive for 🙂 I am sorry for your pain but at least I know that I have you in my support system and can share the burden in some small sort of way. Thank you again, my friend. X

      Liked by 1 person

  7. jasminehoneyadams

    06/19/2015 at 09:11

    I’ve got two perspectives for you: As a daughter, and as a former high school teacher. Sorry it’s long:

    As a hurting daughter who didn’t speak to my dad for 3 months before he died, I’d like to offer a huge barrel of sympathy. Trouble was, I had tried my best, worked so hard to help him, to spend time with him, and sometimes it felt like it was all one sided. The last time I visited him, his brain was so messed up from the alcohol that he kept calling me Frances. That’s one of my cousins. I loved him a lot, I really cared about him and I did everything I could to make him happy, but ultimately I had to have my own life. It was too painful to watch him slowly kill himself, and I couldn’t do it anymore. When the call came, I was beside myself because I’d always wanted a relationship with him, but it was so hard because when I first found him, when I was 16, there was my mum being a bitch and making me feel bad whenever I called him, visited, he visited us etc, and then, once I’d left home, there was this alcohol problem that just got worse and worse, and I feel like I never got a chance to just spend time with him or get to know him. Sometimes people distance themselves because they’re afraid of how much it will hurt when they lose you. That’s why I did. I was terrified of losing my father, and it was imminent, and I couldn’t handle it.

    As a former teacher, I know that kids keep throwing their issues at you over and over again because they think adults are invulnerable and they think we don’t get hurt by it, they don’t do it to hurt you so much as to stop themselves from hurting. Separation really unsettles kids even when they stay in the family home, and it takes a while to rebuild that trust, especially if mom is not being particularly nice when she talks about you. I don’t know what’s going on in your daughter’s life but she will work through it and get to a point where she might even want to stay with you rather than mom. I don’t like telling people what to do, but from experience as a daughter and as a teacher, I would recommend stopping calling/texting (except for organizing visits etc) for a bit and letting her come to you. She knows your number, she needs to know you’re not a commodity on tap that she can just put in a cupboard when she can’t see you. It might take a few months but she’ll start calling/texting you eventually once she realizes she has to make some effort.

    Sorry to be blunt, and please know I really feel for you and aren’t judging you in any way, because I know that when someone stops talking or ignores you how bad it feels.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/19/2015 at 11:55

      Thank you for your kind and honest words of encouragement and clarity, Jasmine’. I do really appreciate them and will reread them (probably print them out and hang them on my wall). I was a high school teacher so I should know better it just hurts more when it’s your own daughter. I am sorry for your pain as well. Relationships can be so hard but I know as a dad I’m the one that must push through so my daughter at least can SEE that I love her. I don’t want her to EVER look back and say, “you forgot about me” or, “you weren’t there when I needed you the most”. All I can do is my best and move forward from there. Again, thank you for your greatly appreciated words, they hold a place in my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. dimdaze

    06/19/2015 at 06:04

    My daughter once said this to me, “Dad… I just don’t know what to say. So I say nothing.” Your daughter is caught in a crossfire of emotions which under the best of circumstances is difficult. Don’t beat yourself up. That just leads to more issues for you. Be the best you you can. Love her unconditionally. Love conquers all. All in most any language, means all. I hope for you the best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/19/2015 at 11:50

      Thank you for your strong words of encouragement, ‘daze. Wow! That’s spot on. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. houck52

    06/18/2015 at 22:13

    as for having raised my children who were adopted…they have many issues but generally are good kids…I can say as a parent that you try the best that you can using scriptures to guide you and wise counselors…then let go and let God because when your life does come to an end…it is just you and him anyway…not your kids. Your daughter is living her life…just as you did. If she does not return your call right away …who do you think you are? Not her God…just her dad. Do not take it personally…she will eventually get to an age where she may intentionally not return your calls…you will have to face it….we are not that important as we think we are. Yes we love one another…but love lets go…and lets God.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. morgueticiaatoms

    06/18/2015 at 21:26

    My daughter, who I pretty much draw breath for, screamed earlier that she hated my guts and called me stupid. Because I wouldn’t buy ice cream off the truck for her as I had no cash. Parenting is a thankless job even if you’re the present parent. And it’s triple suckage on a cone when you’ve got mental stuff to battle.

    Yeah, I know it’s not the same, but at least you care enough to be affected. My kid doesn’t have that much with her donor and that is all him. I give points for effort on your part because it obviously pains you to try so hard and feel so shut out.

    Hang tough, my friend. No platitudes about it getting easier cos it doesn’t. But maybe because it’s so hard we keep fighting and that keeps us going, as parents, and as people battling the mental cooties 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Surviving the Specter

      06/18/2015 at 21:40

      You are so right, Niki. I REALLY thank you for being such a welcome sounding board. Your genuineness is sososoSO appreciated. I am so thankful to have you in my life. X

      Liked by 1 person


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