My new life is SOOOOOO different than my old one. I realize every day how much of my old life I was unhappy with, but I learned how to cope. And to stay out of guilt.
But of course, when I speak to my daughter, there is a tendency to fall into old patterns and to be instantly transported to my old life. So while on one level I was feeling the old guilt, I also was thinking that the fact that my daughter is asking me for money when I tell her that 80% of my money already goes to my ex-wife (it was supposed to be 30% based on last year's salary, but my business took a major turn for the worse and unfortunately lawyers have advised me it may be near impossible to change my alimony obligation) my daughter still asks for the money, and says "hey, I'm trying to root for you here -- everyone in my old life considers me a monster for having run away to another country with a younger woman."
And while I do feel the pangs of guilt, another part of me is getting angry with my daughter. I take full responsibility for raising a somewhat spoiled, selfish child, and maybe it just is feeling a little uncomfortable because of the newness of the situation to let myself feel the anger instead of the usual guilt.
My gut tells me in part that if I don't come up with money for her, my daughter will have less of an interest in talking with me. I know that with teenagers the saying goes they only call when they need money. But maybe it is moreso with my daughter.
Perhaps I am just afraid that if I treat my daughter more appropriately, she will cut off ties with me. (She did cut off ties and said it was easier if she thought of me as dead for about the first 8 months since I left.)
It is just hard sticking to my gut when everybody in my old life thinks that I am so totally, totally wrong. (Not just my ex and daughter, but my entire old circle of friends. The word is that I am crazy, and a monster.)
What do you think?