Posts Tagged ‘walking on egg shells’

Divorce Fallout

February 3, 2009

I’m a bit worried.

When I first told the Girl and Boy Child that I was leaving their mom, I got reactions that I mostly expected.  The Girl Child was not surprised, but very upset nonetheless.  The Boy Child was not surprised and readily accepted the news.

In the ensuing months, The Boy has taken a caretaker role, always asking in phone calls, “Are you okay?  How are you doing with this?”  Girl Child, though, has continued to struggle, though doing a valiant effort of supporting both of her parents.

I can’t speak for what is said between her and her mother*, but I cannot help but feel Daughter Person has words still left unsaid and emotions still unexpressed.  I have no real choice but to be patient.  I cannot, nor should not, press her to talk before she’s ready.  To be sure, I must…and do often…make myself available to her in case she wants to talk.

Where I see it most is when I talk with her about things I’m doing to get on with my life, even though the divorce is not yet final.  Now, I’m not talking about dating other women.  Given her reaction, which I’ll talk to in a moment, I doubt that will come up for some time.  No, I’m just talking about setting out on trying new things, new adventures…or going to a bar with friends…or getting help in setting up my condo.

The key to all those discussions?  Each will often—certainly not always—involve talking about a “non-Mom” woman.  I happen to have women as friends…yes, along with men, too.  And the mention of any woman—even without a name or the nano-hint of an emotional connection to them—creates a visual visceral reaction in Daughter Person.  She tenses up ever so slightly (or, on occasion, more than slightly).  She gets quiet (which is NOT like her).  She changes the subject.

And it doesn’t seem to matter if the topic is innocent or not…

–     Being designated driver to my good friend DK at the Masquerage?  <daughter cringes>

–     Mention I went to a bar with some guy friends?  <daughter nods nonchalantly>

–     Talking about how some of the furniture in the condo is borrowed from theater friends (a couple of whom happen to be female)?   <daughter winces>

–    Say I went flying with some pilot friends who are male?  <no reaction other than, “Cool”>

–    Mentioning that I took a group dance lesson, but two female friends happened to be there too?  <slight recoil>

<caring sigh>

She will get to the point she can talk with me directly.  I just hope it is sooner than later.  And I’m positive that she has friends that she is already sharing with and leaning on.

But, I still worry, as I guess any parent will do.

And, still, she will have to get over it.  I intend to date when the divorce is final.  Often.  In exuberance.

But will always do so with concern for her.

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*And purposely so.  I do not intend to create any ideas that I’m trying to manipulate her relationship with her mother.  Either by trash talk or enlisting her as a spy or anything…

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