Seeing Yourself Through Someone Else’s Eyes

I always try and be a positive thinker. I do my best to be supportive of family and friends. It appears that is not always the case. As great a job as I think I am doing, in someone else’s eyes, I failed them.

Our oldest recently moved out a few months ago. I received an email from them yesterday outlining and unloading a lot of thoughts. Turns out they felt I was not a supportive parent. They told me they were afraid to talk to me about pretty much anything. They also said I destroyed their childhood because in their eyes I did the bare minimum of parenting. The hardest part about hearing this is the fact that they have run off to live with the one person who I felt was ruining their life back in high school. I was vocal then about him, and I’m still of the same opinion.

I always had a tough time communicating with our oldest as they hit the teenage years. My expectations of who I thought they could be were always high. Probably unrealistically so, hence why I may have appeared to be a terrible father in their eyes when I became angry with their shortcomings and inactions. Specifically in school when they willingly chose to fail classes and lie to my wife and I about it. Again, the friend they are currently living with is the one who constantly brought down their grades.

October 2017- Silent Treatment

As an individual, my kid is entitled to have these feelings towards me. A part of me is not surprised by how they feel- as I could sense that there was a division happening in our relationship over the years. I even took counseling on how to improve communication with your kids. That worked periodically, but our oldest always had a way of derailing conversations and becoming silent.

Needless to say, the relationship with my oldest is at an impasse. I will leave the ball in their court and hope that one day they can see more of the positive aspects of our relationship. I also hope the secrecy and destructiveness their friend is creating in their life will end. Looking back at my youth, I know I made some poor friend choices and ignored my parent’s well wishes.

Parenting is tough and it hurts to be viewed as a villain. Unloading this today in my blog is not my normal and joyous thoughts. It’s the gritty hard truths that build up into something to overcome and create a positive action from.

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