Question: My father was never really good to me, I was born the second child, I’m a woman, my father loved his firstborn, my sister but wanted a boy. I came along. Then finally his third child was a boy. He never abused me but never treated me well either compared to my older sister or younger brother. He lives far away overseas with my mom. I have guilt in that I want to “be a good daughter” and I know it hurts my mom that I don’t speak to him. Complicating things is my daughter who my dad loves. In terms of integrity I don’t want to play games and pretend I want to connect with my dad, any advice coach? HB
As with all family issues this is complicated! The middle child complex is a well known one where the middle child feels left out or unimportant between the first child (everyone loves the first child) and the baby (babies yes!). Let me give it a crack. What I’m hearing is a conflict in important values that you have, both are very important and this is when it is challenging as you want to honor both but feel you can’t.
The first value you are trying to honor is “integrity” and/or fairness. By having little to no decent relationship with your dad, your fairness value and intuition tell you that you don’t owe him anything due to his weak efforts to be a great dad to you and clear preference for your two other siblings. You also want to be in integrity with a “rule” that you created a long time ago called “I must be a good daughter”. I assume this means having a normal relationship with dad.
The second value you are trying to honor is “family/connection”. This value tells you that you should do anything possible to maintain the family (it is also tied to the above “good daughter” rule”. There is an unmentioned but implied rule that you must stay connected no matter what (even trampling on your own needs to do it).
In terms of the Law of Attraction, you need to take care of your needs first to be able to hope to give to anyone else. You need to be “selfish” and really dig deep to see if your current attempts to be a “good daughter” trample your need to be a “happy person”. You moved overseas away from your parents, a good indication of your need for independence and freedom. It may also be an indicator that you want to move past that “old” life back home including your dad.
I believe since you are now a mother, you should do all in your power to ensure your issues with dad don’t impact your daughter’s need for her grandfather, as then you would have double guilt!
Guilt is a very low and toxic emotion, #21 on the Emotional Scale, it lingers and can cause cancer. As such, resolution is key here. You can continue with the “good daughter” shtick until it no longer feels right, which may be never. The fact is, your dad will probably never change and attempting to wish that or push him will never work. All you can do is focus on you, ask these questions.
1. Am I still a good person even if I don’t get along with dad
2. Am I willing to risk my self-confidence and self-worth by ignoring my “integrity” value?
3. How can I find a win-win scenario for myself where I honor my “mothering myself”, aka. protecting yourself from your dad’s absent or lacking love for you
4. How do I honor my daughter’s needs for her grandfather (if he shows love to her only)
5. How could I get my daughter to support me in whatever I choose.
I realize #5 can be challenging but, the best solutions come from unorthodox approaches, maybe her opinion will support you or give you new perspectives. Good luck!