Estranged from my Daughter
I'm 31 years old and have been divorced for 3 years but seperated for almost 4 years from daughter's father. My daughter is 10 years old...so she was 6 at the time. Here is the story...
I moved out of the marital home (which I have learned was a BIG mistake on my part). My ex-husband though gave me a fit and was coming back to the home after he agreed to move out. So...that wasn't working out very well. Plus his parents lived one street over. True...I should have dealt with it in order for me to stay there with my daughter but I didn't. I got an apartment about 15-20 minutes away. The night that I moved out my daughter was at her aunt's house (my ex-husband's sister) staying while everything was being done. Anyway she ended up staying there for a couple of days because my ex-husband said she needed time and that this was going to be a lot to put on her. So...I gave it a few days then he told me she wasn't ready to come to my apartment yet because it was just to much at once. So...I agreed to allow more time. BIG mistake. Finally after a couple of weeks went by she came to the apartment and stayed for a night or two. She seemed a little distant and zoned out a lot. I understood though considering everything that had happened. I found out that her dad was telling her that it was my apartment and not hers...things like she can't put up a christmas tree at my apartment..she could only do that at home with him...etc etc. So...things started going down hill...fighting with him and her pulling more and more away from me. Several times we had fights and on one occasion the police even had to be called out with my daughter there. Basically though she viewed me as the bad person...like I had caused it all to happen. My life started going down hill after that. I gave up on everything because I felt that I lost her. I turned to alcohol and hanging out with the wrong people. Obliviously I look back now I have regrets about all of that...I only dug the hole deeper than it already was. I was hanging on to everything by a thread. I lost my job, my apartment...pretty much everything. I had to move in with my parents and get help. I did and a year later I was standing tall again and felt great. However....my family informed my ex-husband of everything that I had done. It has been 3 years ago that all that happened. I now have a great job, really nice apartment and I take care of myself but he will never let me live it down. He told my daughter about the alcohol problem and me having to get help for it. Anytime I talk to her...she brings it up and it feels like someone has stabbed me in the chest to have to talk to her about something like that. That is something that she is too young to know or understand. I am now the bad mommy who can never do right again. What do I do????
I call her everynight and leave voicemails every single time telling her that I love her, I'm here for her and that I am sorry about the mistakes I have made in the past. I miss her so much that there are times I feel like I can't breath. Like the world is moving in slow motion and leaving me behind. It takes all I have to carry on and get up and face each day knowning I may not see her again for a long time. I do have joint custody of her but her dad threatens me that if I take him to court he will fight for full custody and take all my rights away. I feel like I'm up against a wall with no way to get to her. I know he tells her things like..."mommy's family is not your family anymore and you don't need mommy. You have me." On the few times I do get to speak with her on the phone...she crys and tells me how I ruined her life because she now doesn't have a mommy and no family. I tell her over and over that I am still her mommy and love her with all my heart. I am scared to death that I have totally lost her and I don't know how to live with that. My relationships fail and I have emotional problems all the time. I still manage to work and support myself but inside I have a void that nothing will fix.
I hate that because of the mistakes that I made...I will be haunted and judged forever. Living with these regrets is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I need some advise desperately. My ex-husband told me I would pay for leaving him....I guess taking her away is what he meant.