God. Sometimes the Medium algorithm scares the hell out of me. It’s like it’s in my head, reading my thoughts. And in my heart, feeling my feelings.

Then it goes back to being absolutely useless and I can breathe easy again.

Going through much of this with my now 17 year-old, and I’m pretty certain come her next birthday I’ll get to experience the rest.

With my daughter, as with yours, this process seems to have begun around my financial situation ( or my lack of one, perhaps). She has moved completely out of my home and in with her father and stepmother, both of whom make more than double what I make. There, she gets to live the lifestyle of which they have allowed her to grow accustomed. Sometimes she will spend a weekend at my tiny apartment, or a night. Mostly she doesn’t, even though she is supposed to alternate households two weeks at a time.

When she does allow me the privilege of her company, she spends the whole time reminding me how much she hates being there. It is soul-crushing. Honestly, I really don’t much like her anymore. I love her dearly, but the way she treats me, with the full knowledge of how it tears me apart, as well as how unnecessarily cruel her actions and words are…well…that stuff is forcing me to emotionally distance myself from her for my own self-preservation.

So I know what you went through. And like your daughter, I just know that once mine makes that final break from our relationship, she’s never looking back.

I’m as sure of this as I am sure this is something my son would never, ever do, no matter what. I take comfort in that knowledge.

But no number of flourishing, fulfilling, healthy relationships in my life will ever fill the hole made by the loss of my bond with my daughter.

Its just not that kind of hole. I guess it’s more like a piece of the puzzle of my life. No other piece will ever be able to fit in its place. That’s why the grief doesn’t seem to ever pass.

I’m so sorry about your child. I’m very pleased you have learned to not allow it to prevent you from recognizing all the other gifts life has granted you.

That gives me some hope.

So, thank you for sharing the story I’ve avoided writing about for so long. I feel like writing it down makes it an inevitable reality and keeping it to myself means I dont have to acknowledge or accept it yet.

But its going to happen either way. Writing it down isn’t what makes it real. Thank you for your courage.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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