What I Learned From My Daughter This Week

June 5, 2014 family, love 10

The only thing that today’s post has to do with books is that it is a constant andrepeating topic in many books…love. Love that is lost, heartbreak and recovery.

One of my twin daughters was gobsmacked this week when her romantic interest of over two years told her the love was gone.  I received an early morning phone call,through many tears she told me she was being broken up with. She was coming home for a couple of days, no work or classes were in the way.

I prepared myself for her arrival by thinking back to my 20 year old self, this journey back in time was kind of startling, because I realize that my daughter and I had very similar character flaws.   As a young woman I was an all or nothing kind of person.  I fell hard and fast for many men during my college and single young adult years.  I wanted that love, whether it was real love, the feeling of love, the outward signs that someone cared for me or any and all of the above I wanted to be part of a duo, a couple.  I have no doubt that this came across as screaming “needy crazy woman”!!  I can remember often giving up time with my friends to be with some guy, often at the last minute too, geez what kind of friend was I?

I have no idea what drives anyone to modify their life to be with another, but I was at one time that woman.  Insecure, certainly, but I came from a two parent family with a devoted mother and father, so I shouldn’t have been hungry for male attention.  So yesterday and today I thought about myself, and my daughter, and I tried very honestly to share with her how I did know how she felt.  I had once loved and lost.  I had felt that I was with the one person I’d marry and spend my life with, as she did.  I did understand how she has spent all this time and energy into building a relationship.  She also feels like she’s losing her best friend, because no one understands her like this person did.  I do understand how awful it feels.  I listened as she cried, and then ranted in anger, and cried some more.  I fed her comforting foods and chocolate, and hugged her.

I also reminded her that she has to put herself first…and perhaps right now that is the hardest thing to do.  She is young, finishing college next year, and about to embark on her own independent life.  I know my own mother loved me and believed in me, but I don’t think she gave me that same message.  I want my daughter to know that she IS the most important person in her life.  She must focus on herself first, and love herself first, believe in herself.  I know I finally got all those messages and I didn’t have to hunt down the man I married or give up a part of myself to keep him.  I cried to myself a bit today when she left, hoping she is gaining strength inside, hoping I gave her just a little bit of that.

Do you remember being young and feeling that all consuming love whether it was right or wrongly placed?  That song Love Hurts keeps running through my head…so so true.

10 Responses to “What I Learned From My Daughter This Week”

  1. lisahgolden

    This is beautiful. I’m so sorry for your daughter because I know that feeling too. You gave her great advice. I’ll probably come back here to read it again and again because I need to hear that too. After 25 years of marriage, I’m back out there and I am still the insecure 20 year old I was 28 years ago. I have so far to go in loving myself, putting myself first.

    Time heals, but man, a broken heart really does hurt.

  2. Shannon @ River City Reading

    Phew, you got me a little weepy this morning. So tough, but it’s also such a testament that the first place she thinks to be is home with you.

    I don’t have great advice, but I would give her a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar, even if she’s not a reader. She’ll heal her, and that confidence, up good.

    • Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

      I second this recommendation. When I read Dear Sugar, one of the things I thought was that I wished I’d had the book as a teenager/young woman. Like you and your daughter, I feel heard for a couple of men who broke my heart. It’s so hard, but Cheryl Strayed’s words are comforting when thinking about that — and give a lot of the message you were trying to share with her.

  3. Pam

    Sorry your daughter is going through this, Anita. It’s so hard to witness our children’s pain and suffering. I’m sure your tender loving care and support will help carry her through this. Hugs to her. And to you!

  4. Michelle

    What a beautiful post, although the reason for it breaks my heart. Love does hurt, but can you imagine a life without it? No matter how much pain it causes, love (and lost love) make us better people, even if your daughter doesn’t see it right now. Take heart in the fact that she came to you at her lowest point and especially in the fact that the advice you gave her is SO important. She’ll hear the message eventually, but at least she knows that you will always be there for her.

  5. Michele

    Michelle nails it above here…look who she came to: you. Wish I had a mother I could have gone to at that age because I’m pretty sure it makes all the difference in the world. Good job, mom!

  6. Beth Hoffman

    This is a beautiful and inspiring post, Anita. I applaud you. You are a terrific person and clearly and outstanding mom! xoxo

  7. lisa

    I think most girls your daughters age are in a similar place to where you were at that age – still trying to figure our who your adult self will be and, at the same time, trying to move into adult hood, sure that means finding the person you’ll be with for the rest of your life. She’s very lucky to have you to come home to, to make it better. We never outgrow needing our moms, do we?

  8. Stacie Gorkow @SincerelyStacie

    Yes, I have been there. Both as the one who did the breaking and the receiver. I’ve moved away with someone and then moved back home, I’ve broken 2 engagements and now have been living “happily ever after” with my husband of 15 years and 3 kids. If it was right, it would have worked. She has so much life ahead of her. But….it still hurts….painfully, heartbreaking. Have lots of ice cream and tissues on hand!

  9. Meg

    You are a wonderful mom, Anita — your advice to your daughter is wonderful. I absolutely remember the pain of losing my first love and, until I met my future husband, it occupied more space in my heart — for years! — than I would admit. But it does get better, we do move forward, and she will fall in love again and find happiness. We know these things logically, of course, but it’s hard to really “get” that when we’re 19 or 20. Hugs to her (and you!).

Leave a Reply