I Miss My Daughter

SELF REFLECTION

DAY 19

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This is a very difficult post to write. It leaves me feeling vulnerable. I am sure some of you will read this and disagree with my decisions. That is ok. I am reflecting on my own life. This is my story. These are my memories. I owe myself acceptance and closure.

I do not have full custody of my oldest daughter Josie. Her father and I have joint-custody. We have always shared our time with her. If you are interested, you can read part of that story here. When Josie was little, we split the days of the week evenly, so she would have equal time with both of us. We would alternate weekends, and that worked for us. For a while anyway. When she was three, love found me when I least expected it, and it turned my world upside down.

My husband and I have an amazing love story. I’ll try to keep it short and only explain how we met. My brother introduced us in 2009. I had just reached a point in my life where I thought I would never fall in love again, and I would quite possibly die  alone. At first I was not interested in him at all. I knew he had to move around for work, and having a long distance relationship was not something I wanted. Also, I had a daughter. I was in no position to be traveling any time soon. Four days was all it took. We fell in love immediately. We were crazy about each other, head over heels, inseparable. ( by the way, we still are) We were married three months later, and eight months after that, our daughter Lily was born. Soon after, we got the news that would change everything. Our family was going to have to move from Maryland to Texas. We had three months to prepare and get our things in order.

The news crushed me. In my heart I had always known this day would come, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon. I had Josie. What was I going to do? I was so angry, and I took my anger out on Josie’s father. I yelled at him. I wanted her to stay with us. I threatened lawyers and court, the whole nine yards. I was in an endless amount of pain, and in no way was I prepared to handle the inevitable. We were going to Texas. We had no choice. I remember praying harder than ever. I remember asking for peace and guidance. I knew I needed to take a step back and assess the situation. I needed to look at the entire picture. I needed to think of Josie and not just myself.

Josie’s entire life was in Maryland. Her father and I had been raising her together since the day she was born. Both of us and our families loved her more than anything.  Everything and everyone she knew reside in Maryland. Including her school, her friends, and her family. Her father was in Maryland, and he really was a great father. Although he was not always my favorite person in the world, there is no denying that he has always been a wonderful father to Josie, and he loves her more than anything. Knowing all of this, what kind of person would I be if I took all of that away from her. My heart was breaking, but I never felt that taking her away from her dad and the only life she knew was the right thing to do. I soon came to the conclusion that I would have to leave my four year old in Md. while I moved to Texas with my husband and newborn. We both decided I would get Josie summers and holidays. My parents would be able to get her on the weekends.

I  cried the entire drive to Texas. The next couple of years were the hardest in my life. I fell into a deep depression. I was riddled with guilt and I felt like a terrible mother for leaving. I blamed my husband, and our marriage suffered. So many days I wanted to run away. I thought of taking Lily and moving back. What was I thinking!? I loved my husband more than anything. He needed us, and we needed him. I was just hurting so bad. It was so hard to function without having Josie. I thought of her every second of everyday. I cried all of the time. I was physically ill. Anxiety took over my life. We skyped a lot, and we saw each other summers and holidays. Eventually, with time, things started to get better. Josie was doing great. She had adjusted so well. She was happy. I told myself that as long as she was happy, I could be happy too.

We moved to Rhode Island a little over a year ago. We are a lot closer now, and we are able to visit MD a lot more. We all miss Josie everyday. I still cry. Being away from her is one of the hardest things I have ever done, or will ever do. I struggle daily. When I look back on things, I know that I made the right decision. I would make it again if I had to. As hard as it was, I believe in my heart that as her mother, I made the right decision. My decision was selfless, and I did what I thought was best for her, not what  was best for me. We are leaving for Maryland this weekend, and seeing Josie will be the best Valentines gift ever.

I feel like whenever I share this story with others, they judge me. Hell, you may be judging me right now. Us relocating was out of our hands. Even though I am her mother, it was not my place to take her away from her father. I believed that then, and I believe it now. It has been six years. We have made it work. It has not been easy at all, but I stand by the sacrifices I have made.

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94 thoughts on “I Miss My Daughter

  1. This was heartbreaking to read (fighting not to cry), and I cannot imagine how difficult this was and is for you. The fact you realized letting her stay with her father was best for her, and let it be, shows just how much of a good mother you are. You did what was best for her, not for you. The love that shows through that is powerful. Stay strong! Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sad story, but the love you have for your daughter shows in your writing. No judging here. I’m a single mom & can’t imagine every moving anywhere WITH her, because her whole family is here & here is all she has ever known, so you saying you couldn’t take her away, I can relate to that. I hope you & Josie and the rest of your family have the best Valentine’s ever!!! sending hearts to you from Arkansas!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to be honest with you: I don’t know how you found the strength to let your daughter stay with her father and the rest of her family (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). You did what any great mother would do and put your daughter’s needs and happiness first. I’m sure that it must be incredibly difficult emotionally to not be with her physically every day, but I bet not a day goes by that you don’t think about her……and she thinks about you. I bet you can’t wait to see her and wrap her in your arms

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    1. You are so right. It hurts me inside. Missing her is so hard. I feel so incomplete. But she is such a happy child. She had friends, her father has remarried and she has a brother there. It was the hardest decision. I can’t tell you. But I knew that it was the right decision for her. I hope that one day she will understand the sacrifice I made and why I made it. I think she will.

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  4. You weighed the options and made your decision not with your heart, not even with your head. You chose with your soul the best decision for her. I would write the teenage her a letter, one you would write to an adult, laying out exactly how you came to the final decision how it effected you and the family. I would do this soon and date it. Then when she is a pissed off teen and rebels (most do, not all but most) You will sit with her as two adults and read it together. And if she is a grown woman before she needs to ask, you will have it put away with her treasures you’ve gathered and you will be able to let her understand. You know if I could have my still born child alive, on the same Earth as me, I wouldn’t care if she didn’t live in my house she would still live in my heart.😇

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    1. You gave me chills. I am wiping the tears away now. This has been such an emotional day for me. This is why I blog. People like you are here and you make my day so much better. I’m so sorry Ellen. I can’t imagine the pain you feel. You are a beautiful soul and I am so honored to have you following me on this journey. It is so much easier knowing I am not alone. Thank you.

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  5. Nobody knows the situation better than you do and nobody has the right to judge you. Being a mom is so hard… you just have to do the best you can and let God take care of the rest. Thanks for sharing… life is unfortunately never easy. Sounds to me like you’re a great mother. Don’t ever forget that! 🙂

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      1. Being a parent is a tough job even in the best of situations. It’s so easy easy to second guess our decisions. I have a similar situation in my family so I do understand some of your pain. Lori

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  6. Damn, Rachel, your posts hit me hard. It’s really heartwarming – as you wrote these days – to find other bloggers who are also on their way to self-discovery. Good luck on that.

    What you feel and felt is completely normal. – probably this is nothing new to you -. Separation from your child is always hard, for the child and for yourself.

    Before being alone, I lived with my elder brother – who is 18 years older than me. He was like a father to me, the father I never had. He was the only person I’ve ever really trusted. And the the situation here in Spain was/is hard. He had to go back to Venezuela to study there, so that he could have a better job when he came back to Spain. That was 8 years ago, and he’s now stuck in there.

    Of course, 8 years ago I was a kid, and all I did was blame everything on him. I thought that he was a traitor. I blamed everything on him, and I got a two year long clinical depression. Hell, I was so stupid. I remember when I realized the sacrifice he was making just to get a better future for everyone. I called him and told him how much I loved him, and how much I missed him.

    Hope that somehow helps.

    -D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does help D. Thank you for being so open. I second guess myself a lot. But her father and I are in good terms, and that is partly due to my sacrifices. I know that when she is a bit older if she ever WANTS to live with us she can. Her dad wouldn’t come between that if she really wanted to be here and was old enough to make the decision. Time will tell, but right now she seems perfectly content with the way things are. So that gives me some peace…

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      1. As long as you’re 100% okay with everything, then you’ll be able to cope w/ it. And knowing that those dear to us are happy really does make our lives much easier. Sweet nostalgia – to feel sad because you know that they aren’t there, but to feel OK knowing that it’s the best for them.

        Okay, I’d better stop writing. I’m messing up again.

        And no, Rachel, thank YOU for being so open. I find a lot of relief reading through your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh bless you, I couldn’t imagine how difficult it was/is for you, but you made a selfless decision that was best for your daughter no one can ask for more than that! You’re a strong woman by the sounds of it, there’s no judgement here, I think you made the right decision and I agree with one of the other comments about writing a letter for her when she’s older, those teenage years are just full of emotion and it would help her to understand the full story, because she perhaps wasn’t old enough at the time, I send my best wishes for this weekend and for your life in general 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I will certainly write a letter. I loved that idea. Also I know and she knows that when she is a bit older if she ever WANTS to live with us she can. I just want her to be old enough to make that kind of decision on her own. Right now she is happy and content so that helps me deal some.

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  8. Funny how people judge. And how they think they know what they would do in a given situation. You made a courageous decision, and then you lived that out with integrity…dealing with your own personal pain while you missed her desperately, and staying connected through any and all means you could. You can see Josie and know that she has thrived, and you were wise, and loving. Hope your weekend is filled with joy! HUGS.

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  9. You will receive absolutely no judgement from me, you did what was right for your child, which is exactly what a mother should do. I am sorry that you went through so much pain with it, I can’t imagine what it must be like. But never let anyone else judge you for your decisions, they are yours alone to make.

    Leah xx

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    1. Thank you Leah. That is great advice. The older I get, the more I am learning exactly that. I suppose wisdom comes with age. I used to worry so much about what others thought. It has gotten better. The hardest thing right now is when we are home visiting and I take her to school and pick her up….I always feel like the teachers and staff are judging me. I get weird looks and whispers. It could be in my head but I don’t think so….

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  10. Ah, Rachel – I looked for contact information to tell you by email or something, but I couldn’t find anything, so excuse me if I post this here.
    Would you like to join us at onceaday.wordpress.com? Check it out – you’ll love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t see how anyone could judge you. A parent’s job is to do the best for their child, to put them first & do the right thing by them. You did exactly that. You put Josie first. To me, that makes you the best kind of mum xx

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  12. Gosh I love this. And hell there is no judgement here! Life is hard enough and you just don’t know what happens in others lives to make people do what they do! It sounds like you made the best decision for her regardless of how difficult it was for you. How painful that must have been. I only have admiration and respect for you momma! Sending prayers and blessings your way for continued acceptance. Enjoy your time together.

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  13. I love this. She has a good mom. You let her be her own person and knew what was stability was for her before she could understand it. I am sure even her father was grateful. And it doesn’t matter what others think or say because each family unit is like a snowflake-different than the others. Also this experience for her to have two great families to love her makes a wonderful support net to feel loved and accepted when she is older.🙂

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  14. The older I get the more willing I become to share things from my past. I think the reason for that is because as time goes on, we realize no one leads a “perfect” life. Life is hard and there are tough decisions to be made. How can anyone judge you when they haven’t walked in your shoes? It’s so important to share stories and experiences with others. You never know who you might touch. Sending hugs your way…..this mothering business is tough. 🙂

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  15. Our life story is what shapes us into what God meant for us to be. Never be ashamed of your story. I’ve learned that through sharing our stories, we touch people’s hearts often times at just the time they needed it. If God prompts you to share, share away! My step-daughter came to live with us as a very messed-up (for lack of better words) 9 year old. She is now almost 21, loves God, and loves life. I’ve been on the flip-side of your situation…the raising side. It hasn’t always been easy. Heck, somedays it’s still not easy! If your daughter is being loved and nurtured with her father, then that environment will help shape her into exactly who God intends for her to be. Hang in there, Mama! God is good all the time!

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  16. You are not alone on this front. When I remarried my husband and I lived in the same town that my ex husband lived in. My ex always had Aeiris Sun night-Wed morning and I would pick her up at daycare after work on Wed. It went on that way for 5 years. My husband got his old job back in Indianapolis and we had to move. I managed to stave off the move until the end of the school year since I’m a teacher, but that was it. Then shit hit the fan. My ex and I were fighting non-stop and we ended up in court. While your daughter had her whole family in MD, my daughter didn’t have everyone in Terre Haute. She only had myself and her dad until I moved. My family is in Florida and his family is over an hour away plus a time change. She started school here in Indy and one day when I went to pick her back up from him, they weren’t there. She was missing for 72 hours until our first court date and I found out he was hiding in a hotel from the police and started her in school there. It was a huge mess. We finally resolved things in mediation but only because I caved because I felt it was hurting my daughter. I said she could stay there for school but only on the condition that she spends all time she’s out of school with me. We split the Christmas holiday in half and I agreed he could have her for one week in the summer. Otherwise, I have her every weekend, all school breaks, and the whole summer. I miss her immensely and it sucks when she goes back. Her baby sister was born two months ago and she’s been begging me each week not to send her back. It breaks my heart 😦

    I feel your pain. I realize that we are closer than you guys are, but the situations are similar. I’m sorry for your pain.

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  17. I read your post yesterday and could not stop thinking about you. I had to come back and just let you know today. I grew up with divorced parents and lived with my dad, in Colorado. My mom lived in Minnesota. I missed my mom so much it hurt. I’m 39 now, my mom is nearing 60. She always tells me that my dad had us girls when he needed us most – when we were young. It broke her heart. But she says God knew what was best, and gave us girls to her when she needed us most – in our adult years. And I’d have to agree. My dad was awesome at raising us. My mom is awesome at being here for us now, when we are raising our kids. My dad travels and moves around a lot now. My mom lives three miles away from me. Life has a way of working out the way it is supposed to. You made a very tough, very unselfish decision for your daughter. It was hard for you and it’s hard to get past the here and now, especially when it hurts so badly. But you never know what wonderful things are just down the road. Someday, your daughter might be raising her kids, just three miles down the road from you. Hang in there. It gets better.

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    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful reply. I can not tell you how much reading your words has helped me. I struggle daily with my decision. Mainly because I miss her so much it makes me ill. I never saw it this way…thank you so much for opening my eyes. There is always a “bigger picture.” I know God has his plans. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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  18. Sometimes living life experience calls for us to make life altering decisions. You are brave, indeed! And I wish you & your loved ones the very best. Thanks for liking and following authentic woman. Blessings to you!

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  19. I think that the decision you made was hard, But for the best. I think it makes you a strong mother to be able to make a decision like that. It’s not like you said “hey, here’s your kid I’m out” and just left, You had to do what you had to do. You could have ripped her away from everything she knew and she could have hated you, and I think that not doing that was the best thing you could have done. I want you to know I read a couple of your posts and you’ve inspired me so much to want to be my very best as a mother. I’m almost 20 with two and I think that reading your journey is something that will continue to inspire me to be the best mom I can be. Best wishes to you and your family love!

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    1. Wow, you have no idea how much that means to me. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so happy to have you hear reading and sharing this journey with me. Knowing that I have inspired you is everything. You are a young beautiful mother and person and I can’t wait to follow you as well.

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  20. You are a WONDERFUL mommy/parent. What you did was an act of love. You wanted what was best for your daughter. Despite how hard and painful that was for you, you did it. You should be hugged, not criticized. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  21. Ahhhmmm, I did not meet your expectations, I didn’t judge you. Rather, I loved you. You are human enough to feel the emotions. I hope the depression is out of the window now. Thank you for following my blog

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  22. What a heart wrenching story! I homeschool and am with my kids so much. I recently put my middle child in school and that depressed me. I can’t imagine what you went through and how you feel as it’s the little things that set me over the edge. Loads of hugs your way!! Don’t listen to the judgers of the world. They always gripe about everyone but their own lives as I have found. God bless!

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  23. What a brave and beautiful thing to share this story. No one should judge another person for something they simply cannot understand. I don’t think you have to justify your decision to anyone. You know in your heart you did right by her, even though in a different world, under different circumstances, right might look a little differently. But in this case, what you did seems as right as could be. You sound like a wonderful mother. I sense your heart still aches and I’m sorry for that.

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  24. I’m not sure I understand how you leaving was out of your hands. I cannot fathom *any* reason that would ever make me leave my child. If I was offered a job that paid 100 times more than what I made near my daughter, I would turn it down, literally. So I’m not judging you, I just don’t understand how leaving was out of your hands.

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  25. Lots of positive comments, but then maybe you need them to make you feel better. Everyone says ignore who ever judges, but as much as I hate myself for sounding like the only one that does judge, I just wish I understood more of your situation even though it’s none of my business, really what is so important that you had to leave, could you not have chose to lose whatever opportunity it was that came your way to continue sharing custody of your daughter and make a life with your husband and newborn near your eldest so your daughters had a chance to bond… I’m presuming your husband was offered a job or something which must if been really exciting for him but I personally would of said I can’t leave, it wouldn’t if even been up for discussion. If you were loved as much as you say you were he would of chose to stay with you seeing as you and his baby were his life now…. I dont expect a response to this message and I certainly don’t expect you to explain yourself. You say your daughter is very happy without having you there as often as you could be and that’s all that matters, I just hope for both your sakes that the happiness will continue into her adult hood and she won’t begin to question things as she matures and has more of an understanding of relationships and feels that she missed you being around so much so that she wonders if her life could if been different if you were there.
    I honestly wish you all the best and I’m not trying to cause any upset or disrespect with my comments but I’m also shocked to see that no one else had wondered about your daughters feelings in all of this and everyone is praising you and your brave decision when an innocent 4 year old had no say in it and she’s the bravest one learning to adjust to something she has no control over.

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    1. Oh Amy. You have not gotten my upset with your comment. It takes a lot more than a strangers opinion to rattle my cage. And although you are right, it is none of your business why my husband and I had to relocate, let me enlighten you a bit. And anyone else that may read this post and feel the need to comment. My husband is in the Military. And yes I married him knowing he was in the military. He serves our country and that is why we had to move. That is also why we will continue to have to move in the future. Many people never judged. They didn’t need to know WHY we left, all they needed to know was the hurt I was feeling and the pain I was going through to feel compassion for me situation. Not you though. But now you know WHY we left. I am sure this is not sufficient enough for you. But it really doesn’t matter does it? You should try not to be so judgemental. You never know what other people are going through, what they have to endure or WHY they have to endure it. You don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives. You read what I wrote and you assumed way too much. You actually took time out of your day to leave this comment on my post just to let me know that you don’t approve of the decisions I made in my life for my family. I am a complete stranger to you. You know nothing of me or life or my family.

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