Today is my daughter’s 19th birthday. I haven’t seen her on her birthday since she turned 7 and Its been 6 years since we were in each other’s lives. So far today I haven’t been able to contact her. Wherever she is I send all my love and hope she is happy.
Sir Richard Attenborough was recently asked to name his favourite animal. He replied “The Human Being at age 3”. If you knew our S at age 3 you would know exactly why. I was lucky enough to share those crucial magic childhood years with her. Some parents miss those early years that shape the person. I didn’t and that’s a huge positive.
In fact, in honour of this special day I chose to examine the positives from our situation – and I found plenty.
1. I have learned patience. “Patience is when you’re supposed to be mad but you choose to understand”. And I understand because:
2. I have become a student of the psychology behind all this. An added bonus is that I found I enjoy psychology. I love digesting the blogs of the world experts on PA. I just read an influential psychology book from the 60s and immediately saw how communication breakdown in PA can be explained using this model. So I wrote a little “Paper” on it, (if that’s what they call it. lol) Ironically, S almost topped her State in psychology, so perhaps she got her aptitude from me.
3. Similarly, I have developed a keen interest in astronomy. When my world was falling apart all those years ago, a wise friend dragged me to her Astronomy lectures. It not only gave me a new hobby, but made me realise the real big picture in terms of time, space and perception. The message is “Get on with it”.
4. I have learned the real meanings of “unconditional love’ and “best interests of the child” after being thoroughly tested in a way no parent should.
5. I have experienced the satisfaction derived from “giving back”. I became a facilitator at _____ and helped setup a local group to help other parents avoid or manage the living death that PA can become. I am also on various internet support groups.
6. My journey has forced me to seek out answers or different perspectives to challenges in my life- where I otherwise may not have. I am at varying stages of learning Buddhist philosophies, Acceptance, Mindfulness, Detachment, the healing aspects of forgiveness and some real out there stuff too.
7. I have had the time, space and opportunity to travel extensively, learn the beauty of my wife’s Thai culture and continue learning Thai language.
8. As Nixon said “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain”. I don’t know when but I believe S and I will reunite. We have both been in that deepest valley so we may experience a joy that is inversely proportional to the depth of that valley.
I look forward to that day but in the meantime I’m going to get on with it.