One of my worst nightmares as a father is imagining my daughters as 30-year-old adults struggling to cope with their childhood stories and traumas. As children of divorce, this seems inevitable.
Almost every single adult I know struggles to cope with things that happened to them in childhood. Some of them have survived absolute horrible experiences and lived to tell the story.
But the trauma and sadness still weigh heavy on them and plays out in their lives.
I’ve taken deliberate steps in my life to become a better man by dealing with my shit. I felt that this approach would allow me to be the best role model possible. In recent years I’ve taken therapy and been very open and transparent about the experience with my daughters.
I feel that my girls have a pretty good life. I think. But I would be a fool to assume that they are not struggling with decisions and finding themselves in situations that are causing them pain. They cannot and will not share everything with me.
My girls were ecstatic to hear that I enrolled them in therapy a few years ago. I ensured them that they would have absolute privacy. The therapist would not share anything with their mother or me. Nor would I ever ask them to tell me what they discussed in their sessions.
I try to be the best father I can be. Sometimes that means removing myself from the equation and allow them that space they need.
This was all about them and their mental health. If needed, I would spend every dollar I have and then borrow more to ensure that they get the attention they need.
Their minds are the most precious assets to be protected at all costs. If I can help equip them with the mental tools they need to live, love, hurt, and heal as they wander through life, then I know I have done my job.
This will be the metric I use to decide how hard to pat myself on the back in my old age.