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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 7 year old does not share anything personal with anyone anymore...I think to keep the peace and stay "safe." But the other day, her dad exhibited some very bad behavior over the phone with me, and my daughter was present at his house during the exchange. A couple of days later, I asked her what she thought or felt about it. And the only thing she told me was that it made her "think of the song." I asked her, what song? "Break the chain"


This song means a lot to us. At a Victim Witness meeting, we were told about dance lessons for a flashmob. This song was to be used for Valentine's Day this year, in support of One Billion Rising. We went to the class, and my daughter danced. My extremely shy, won't-even-say-her-name shy daughter danced in front of other people for the first time in her life. She was hooked. The participants shared a lot before/after class in a child appropriate way. We went to another couple of classes. Then the day of the flashmob came. We were towards the front. I told her to turn around, so she could see how many people were behind us. She was shocked. Shocked that so many people were in her team, and understood us. Shocked that so many people cared. She barely danced during the performance, as her wheels turned. I danced with her baby sister strapped to my body in her baby carrier, and smiled at her. Every now and then I would point out the moves for her, and encouraged her to dance. That day was the catalyst for her. That flashmob put it all in perspective for her.

It broke my heart when she told me her dad's behavior reminded her of that song. It broke my heart that, at the tender age of 7, she knows. On the one hand, I'm glad that she recognizes abusive and controlling behavior. But on the other hand, I can't help but feel shame, blame, and regret for having chosen such a father for her. I think of the years to come, when she will have to deal with this kind of behavior from him, and my heart breaks for her. She knows now.
 

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It *is* hard to watch my teenage girls become more aware of the conditional love and requirement for them to "perform" for the grown ups rather than be appreciated for their wonderful selves. It is so hard not to let my awareness/stuff about their dad and his young (competitive) wife bleed into those conversations with my daughters. And like someone else posted here recently, DDs are *awesome*~~ wouldn't want them to be different people.
 
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It's *hard* to see that a awareness spark! And almost as hard to own our choice in choosing that flawed person as a co-parent.

But your DD will be stronger for her knowledge! Awareness is an armor for her to protect herself! It will still hurt, but she will be years ahead of the healing process for starting to understand now.

*hugs*

I had DS at a family counselor last fall and the best thing she did was encourage me to help him see that not everything is black and white. That he could see the flaws in his dad and still love him. It didn't have to be one or the other. I was 39 before I managed that myself! Two years after my dad passed!! We're giving our kids the tools to be healthy and strong even though they have to cope with things we'd do anything to keep them from.
 

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I like the advice of that therapist.
I am not there yet. Xh (classic covert narcissist, who is high on public appearance of being a good citizen) is still heavily into the lovebombing phase, and they see him only EOW, so he can keep up the act well that way. My lawyer had a comment about how the non custodial parent can sometimes be more successful at alienation because they can pull the ole' " missed you so much" manipulation stuff, and play on the kids missing them. So I suppose there is one good thing about a 50/50 schedule - they get to see the good and the bad.
Still sucks that she has to feel those things to begin with. Sounds like you are doing a great job of helping her navigate those big feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your input, Mamas. There is so much that goes into play. But you are right...even if our children have to cope with a lot, we are still doing our best to help guide them. I hope that the knowledge and awareness will shield and protect her in the future.
 
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