She doesn't want the ex to know what? That she's in therapy? I'd respect her wishes on that unless the therapist disagrees.
And no teenager ever sees what their parents do for them. Not till they're no longer a teenager. Keep focusing on helping her get over the "dad" issue (dad in quotes because your ex is NOT a dad, as you already know).
by BarabellApril 5, 2013 at 11:03 AM
She's hurt by his actions, and I think it's normal for deep feelings like that to surface during the teenager years.
Continue supporting her. Continue her being in therapy. If possible, consider family counseling too between you, your husband, and her.
by dawncsApril 5, 2013 at 11:42 AM
This is a really difficult problem. It is fantastic that she is in therapy for the problems that her birth father is causing her in life. You have to let her know that it is not her fault that her birth father is not in her life much, but it is his decision. In addition, it has nothing to do with her.
April 5, 2013 at 11:51 AMMy son stopped wanting to see his father at all this year due to the broken promises, revolving women, ect.
He wanted to go over, pick up all his stuff and basically " divorce " his dad.
I sat. Down with him when I got a call from the ex saying ds wasn't picking up. I said " yeah, workin on it"
"What's the problem?"
" I really think that's between you two"
And hung up.
DS and I wrote a script of sorts based on ds' disappointment and how to respond if his dad tried to redirect or make excuses. We had two legal pages full.
I told him I'd sit right by him and he could put the call on speaker so I could point to phrases if he got stuck. Man! After the third issue was deflected, he was off and running .... Like years of hurt and rage just exploded. He sure didn't need me!
The agreement between them now is no Day visits until summer. Dinner once a month "IF WE TAKE TURNS ON WHERE TO EAT!"
Ex called me later and I have short answers and this ..... Male justifies this phone call with "well, he's growing up, that's just how 13 yr olds are"
Grrr! Made me so mad! Because my son is so involved in his family and not sullen, or emo, or whatever .. How nice to be able to adjudicate yourself to avoid guilt!
Point being, maybe a scripted talk and a phone call to you ex from her may help. She focuses in therapy in what he doesn't do, because she hasn't expressedit to him, personally.
It's soooo hard, but Tweens are old enough to speak to an adult about their " uncomfortable feelings" now and they need to learn NOW how to express those feelings to the actual person they have an issue with.
Maybe if she can speak her mind directly, she will be able to see how lucky she is to have the loving family she DOES have.
Good luck, been there, done that...DS is MUCH more relaxed after that convo.
by afanofmickeyApril 5, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Thank you for the replies. Its nice to know that I'm not alone out there. I've asked my daughter to call him on several occasions and talk to him about how she feels. How else will he know? Her reply "Why, it won't change him". No, it definitely won't because I've been the one talking to him about how she feels and unfortuntely, nothing has changed. But at least she can be heard and hopefully move on. One day I know it will happen but right now, it's just a nightmare for us. She feels like she is worth nothing because of how her father has been treating. My hubby said to today that doesn't she realize that she is worth everything to us but she makes us feel like we are wroth nothing! Never thought about it that way but I told him we needed to not take it personal. Its not about us. Its about what she is missing; for some reason to HER, its important.
She doesn't want her father to know that she's NOT ok. She wrote letters to ME, my hubby, her father, & her best friend saying goodbye. As if she was gone from this world. We had no clue! We got her in therapy right away and we do notice a difference; it just depends on the day. The FATHER letter was horrible; basically don't come to my funeral - don't act like you care now, type of letter. I've respected her wishes not to tell him but at some point shouldn't she fill him in even if he chooses not to be there for her?
Hopefully this weekends camping trip will give us some bonding time & hopefully bring a smile to her face!