I always try to take the high road when I can. It’s innate in me because I want everyone in my life to be happy and I don’t like giving up or being blamed for anything. It’s an insecurity of sorts I think, the people pleaser in me comes out when there’s stress between people and so I will cave more often than not in order to keep the peace. Probably left over good girl syndrome from my childhood along with the post trauma of narcissistic abuse.
But I do feel as if it has served me better in my life on many occasions. It’s given me the ability to bridge the gap when relationships are stressful and also allows me the peace of mind that I did my best to try to mend whatever is going on. It’s helped to improve situations at times. But at others, it’s simply given me peace when the relationships have been severed. And for that, I’m grateful because I know I did my best.
So, my kids had a tough Thanksgiving break with their dad and his family. Due to their dad’s inability to answer texts or stay in touch, there was a lot of miscommunication so tempers were high. And it caused a lot of friction between them…in addition to me hearing the venting about their frustration all weekend with me unable to help in any way. Because I can’t get in the middle of this issue since it’s between them and my former husband who doesn’t speak to me anymore, let alone co-parent.
As the observer, I can see all sides and feel for them. Because if they’d get out of their own ways, they’d all get what they want which is to be loved. But there’s a lot of unsaid residual feelings of abandonment (by the kids) and feeling unappreciated (by their dad) that muddies the waters between them. So instead of them spending a few days with him, they spent time with me.
So when it got ugly, I suggested to my older kid that he reach out to his dad and take the high road, bridging the increasing gap of connection between them. I explained to him that sometimes we just need someone to reach out in order to heal a relationship and being that his dad wasn’t, perhaps he could try. So he did…and there was little response in return, so he was angry with himself and with me for suggesting that he take the high road.
Maybe in hindsight he will appreciate that he tried to reach out to his dad but didn’t get a response. It hurts, I understand, but in time, as the relationship dwindles even more, maybe he’ll find peace in knowing he tried so he won’t blame himself for the disconnection. Because they do at times blame themselves because their dad walked away from them too. Especially because when we were happily married, he was a great dad and husband so long ago…and they still remember that man. Heck, I remember that man fondly. What stymies them is the narcissistic stranger that still looks like their dad, but isn’t the man they once knew and loved.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?