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I need to help my daughter - her dad's dying.

(20 Posts)
tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 22:52:12

He left me before she was born, and has blown pretty hot and cold ever since in terms of contact (wanted none for the first 2 years then hassled me for more than she wanted - to avoid CSA payments, then got a girlfriend and couldn't be arsed, couldn't cope with stroppy teenage years, etc etc). I've picked up the pieces over the years and been in part angry and in part proud of her in how she's responded to the crumbs he's deigned to drop from his table. She's now in her early 20's, he was diagnosed with cancer in July and probably won't last much beyond Christmas.

He's been pretty open to her - recognising he fucked up. She loves him and she's so angry and sad.

She lives with me (with her DP and baby) and I know she wishes she lived in a flat that he could come and visit. I'd be fine about him coming here but he won't entertain it, even if I go out. We haven't spoken in years.

What's the best way to support her? I'm doing practical things, like caring for dgs and housework, washing. I don't think I'm doing enough for her emotionally. I feel like I'm letting her down. I'm rubbish. I can listen and hug but I don't know what words of wisdom or strength to give her - I'm at a loss. (crying here)

I'd really appreciate some help.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 22:58:02

Even if you and he had the best relationship in the world there isn't anything you could do that you aren't doing now.

It must be so horrible to see your daughter going through this and you can't 'fix it' for her.

It sounds like you are doing everything you can for your daughter, please take care of yourself too, its bound to be a difficult and frustrating time for you as-well. Have you got some support?

AnyFucker Sun 04-Nov-12 23:00:35

oh, sweetheart, I don't know what more you could do, seriously

she has to find her own way through this

it's good that her father is acknowledging his shortcomings...better late than never, although do make sure you are not shortchanged by this

if I have a ken for your daughter though, she will be ok, with just the support you are giving her

BluelightsAndSirens Sun 04-Nov-12 23:01:56

You can only do what you are already doing and reinforcing the fact that she has you for love and support.

Awful thing to go through at any age but at least she has you and some kind of relationship with her dad so she knows she did all she could.

You sound lovely btw.

LivesInJeans Sun 04-Nov-12 23:03:07

If you rang him (or wrote) and said how much it would mean to DD if he would visit her ...and that you would do whatever to make that happen...would he listen?

I paid for one of mine to have counselling - a private counsellor - when her Dad screwed her up and it impacted upon our relationship. I was short of money and struggled but it was money well spent.

LivesInJeans Sun 04-Nov-12 23:04:54

My local hospice provides free (grief) counselling. They recognise that families need support in those final months

CogitoErgoSparklers Sun 04-Nov-12 23:08:35

I think you're doing great. You can't be hypocritical and start saying what a lovely bloke he is. You can't experience the grief for her or take the upset away - that's something she has to experience personally. There are no words of wisdom to explain why a man would rather stay at a distance than walk across your threshold - although there are a few inappropriate home truths. All you can be is what you are normally and what it sounds like you've been her whole life.... the person who is constant and reliable when others have routinely let her down. She's grown up to be a caring young woman with a baby and a DP of her own in spite of crappy teenage years and a dead-beat Dad etc. Emotionally, you've done her proud.

AnyFucker Sun 04-Nov-12 23:10:30

you listening, OP ?

huh ?

you are doing great, just as you are

if you feel a need to do more, just do more of what you are doing

tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 23:11:41

Thanks for responses - so quick - you're all lovely!

LivesInJeans I've suggested I write to him, she just says it won't make any difference - but I could suggest that again. Thing is I know (and dd knows) he's unhappy at his mum's. I think I will write to him. It's a weird family. Honestly I think she's the one beacon of sanity and brightness in his life. Yes, I feel sorry for the bastard

Thanks, people for telling me I'm doing things right, and AF it's true, she does have to find her own way through this. She's really mature for her age (but she's been through loads of shit already inher short life, it seems so unfair!)

tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 23:13:13

x-post. I'm listening! smile <sniff>

AnyFucker Sun 04-Nov-12 23:13:42

Life isn't fair, but she will get through it with your help

LivesInJeans Sun 04-Nov-12 23:25:59

I rang my ex about my DD - without her knowledge. It was a let's bury the hatchet to benefit our child conversation. It really helped

I think, you cannot make this right. You can make it tolerable and help her through it. You sound like a lovely mother

tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 23:27:43

His brother gave dd a lift back the other day and she was looking forward to having a chat with him about the future - but then controlling matriach grandma got in the car. Dd's shy of phoning his brother (older, bossy) - maybe I can help there. I think she feels the family is organising him in a way that suits them best and not him. That's a way I can help - and with getting counselling for her. I know there's been contact with MacMillan (sp).

Cogito you're right, she's a pretty special kid. My God, she gave me grief in the past but I'm so proud of her now smile

She's also got a younger brother who's in denial ( she rarely sees him) and wants to support him too. Okay, I've got a plan. Write to her dad and contact Macmillan charity.

And keep on doing what I'm doing. Thank you all so much x

tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 23:29:00

I'm so glad I posted!

Nitwit Sun 04-Nov-12 23:29:18

Winstons Wish are very good too.

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 23:29:39

<Ahem> and take care of yourself too and make sure you have support....

AnyFucker Sun 04-Nov-12 23:30:06

MacMillan are brilliant

I have worked with them, and there is something about the extra training they get that makes them wonderful people who get how families are often complicated and how to cut through the crap that can hamstring you when you are immersed in it

do that

LivesInJeans Sun 04-Nov-12 23:31:28

A plan smile

Missy has given excellent advice

tallwivglasses Sun 04-Nov-12 23:34:24

missy I wasn't ignoring you! I'll get support for me too. I started already - Here!

missymoomoomee Sun 04-Nov-12 23:37:02

smile Good. I just didn't want you to forget about taking care of yourself too. You can't be strong for her if you are ill with worry about everything.

You sound like an amazing Mum.

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