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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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I was a single parent. My daughter would go to her fathers

Resolved Question:

I was a single parent. My daughter would go to her father's house every other weekend. At some point she told me he sexually abused her. Devastated, I put her in therapy. I was young, did not have good parenting skills. I drank more to cope and made her childhood worse. Never pressed charges per my therapist at the time. This was 40 yrs ago. Sober 23 yrs now, I have tried everything and still her anger towards me is heartbreaking. Now we are not talking to each other. I am in therepy, she is too. We live in different states. She was so disrespectful to me I hung up the phone. Now what? I don"t know if she wants me in her life. call? write?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I am sorry to hear your pain and that of your daughter's as well.

CoachJenK :

I am happy that you got her in therapy back then and also proud of your emotions here with me now...you are open and honest about it all.

CoachJenK :

One of the first things and maybe most important is forgiveness toward yourself.

CoachJenK :

I can hear how you are carrying this around and letting her her be disrespectful because you believe you deserve that.

CoachJenK :

She is entitled to have her feelings and work through them.

CoachJenK :

I am hoping that with your quiet support now that she can come back around and create a better relationship with you.

CoachJenK :

You are both in therapy...have you suggested that you go together?

CoachJenK :

I know you are in different states but maybe even a session or two could open the door to further dialog.

CoachJenK :

I might suggest also that you write to her....letting her know how you feel for her and what you feel about the abuse that took place.

CoachJenK :

I see you are offline now, so I will wait for you to come online so we can talk more.

Customer:

I am right here listening

CoachJenK :

ok great.

CoachJenK :

Have you written to her?

Customer:

yes, please go on

Customer:

AT this time, no. Previously, many times.

CoachJenK :

I do believe healing can occur if she is willing. It does sound as if she currently is unable to let go of the anger twoard you.

CoachJenK :

Would she be open to some session together with a therapist?

CoachJenK :

how old is she?

CoachJenK :

married, working, kids?

Customer:

whenever she visited in past, I would ask her to be in a session with my therapist .reluctantly she would

Customer:

her therapist , I have never met.

Customer:

she has been with her for 15 yrs. whenenver I suggest new one she is offended

CoachJenK :

I might suggest you writing to her again at this time letting her know of how you desire to work on things in the relationship and that you would travel to her area to visit with her therapist.

CoachJenK :

Why do you suggest a new one?

Customer:

married, will not have children. working.

CoachJenK :

I can see that she has a strong will...maybe gets that from you....

Customer:

because she is still angry after 40 yrs.

CoachJenK :

I understand that, but if she is comfortable then suggesting a change could only make her feel more alienated from you and that is not what we want.

Customer:

she will not give me any credit for all the good things

Customer:

ok, I see that

CoachJenK :

She cant if she is harboring the anger....i suggest taking the quiet approach with a heartfelt and loving letter....

Customer:

will do

CoachJenK :

nothing in the letter about you and the great things you did do as a Mom...I know there are many, but right now she cant hear that.

CoachJenK :

I would come to her from a place of love and understanding for her pain and for your failings, which by the way ALL mom's have. I am one too and I can tell you that you are not alone!

CoachJenK :

talk of her pain and acknowledging that and your failings and how you desire to repair it...not go back per se but move forward with love and understanding.

Customer:

I want very much to solve this

CoachJenK :

sexual abuse takes its toll and even though it is 40 years it is still very painful for her and has had a profound effect on her.

Customer:

definitely , on both of our lives.

CoachJenK :

I would write that letter and in it let her know you are willing to do whatever it takes or she suggests to make repairs and build anew.

CoachJenK :

that is correct and you are both still suffering.

CoachJenK :

If you can give her that love and understanding and not push for new therpaist and let her lead then maybe we can begin to have her feel some control around this.

Customer:

I have suffered the lose of a loving relationship with her and endured yrs of guilt and sorrow. does she want me in her life/ this is my question.

CoachJenK :

yes you have suffered. Hard for me to say as to what she wants, but I can say that most daughters want a relationship with their mom's even when they are fraught with pain.

Customer:

I will do whatever it takes

CoachJenK :

the key is to get to a place where you can hear her...it seems that she may feel as she is not being heard or that because it has been 40 years she may feel that pressure to just be done with it..

CoachJenK :

then let her know that with gentle love!

CoachJenK :

I hear your warmth and know you can express it.

CoachJenK :

nothing about you and your suffering...hard but it needs to be about her so that you can move forward. that is what my gut is telling me.

Customer:

ok, that sounds right

CoachJenK :

and then on your own....you have some work to do to let go of the guilt. this was not your fault or hers....it was the doing of her father.

CoachJenK :

once you come to terms with that then you can really be open to hearing her.

CoachJenK :

but I think you cant hear her fully as it is too painful for you as it kicks up your anxiety, guilt and sorrow.

Customer:

Yes, Iknow what you are saying. I do need to relieve myself of this torture of guilt.

Customer:

her life seems good in so many other areas.

CoachJenK :

yes you do....you cant really let her emote if your guilt blocks it

Customer:

yes but

CoachJenK :

and it may be great in other areas but this is within her and has deep scars

CoachJenK :

whats the but...

Customer:

I have been letting her have her feelings and express her anger, but I can"t be the recipient tof that any more . It breaks my heart and keeps me in guilt

CoachJenK :

yes but that is what is causing the rift...she must sense that you close up but wants more....so that is why working on those feelings of guilt and forgiving yourself will allow you to let her express without it doing damage to you....she needs you and needs to get it out with you.

Customer:

I feel like she wants to punish me

CoachJenK :

it is painful and will be but I believe you can get through this.

CoachJenK :

and maybe she does....and I am not saying you have to take it if she is being mean and nasty...you can set that boundary...."I will listen to all that you have to share but I find it hard when I feel attacked. I want to hear you and support you. Is there a way to talk about it without you being hurtful.?

Customer:

ok, I am all for that, the only way to heal is talk. yet she does not want to have therapy with her therapist and me. we could Skype!

CoachJenK :

yes you can skype...the key for you is to not shut down when it feels painful because it will...she needs you

Customer:

oh, if only I could find the words. I am not a good talker in many cases

CoachJenK :

let your heart be the guide and then all will flow. we

CoachJenK :

are all human and can only do the best we can.

CoachJenK :

I have faith in you and faith that you can work through this with time and patience

Customer:

actually, you have been quite helpful

CoachJenK :

I am so glad. Please come to me any time if you need my support.

CoachJenK :

I feel your love for her so please extend some of that toward yourself as well.

Customer:

thank you

CoachJenK :

my pleasure. If you need me, I am here. If there is nothing else right now, I would be apprecitive if you could offer a rating of our time together.

Customer:

yes,I will .

CoachJenK :

take good care.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
Coach Jen K. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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