Cat is my first daughter. She’s just shy of 18 now and I love the women she has become. She can be quiet or she can be talkative. She walks her own unique path and I love her for it. I have always encouraged my kids to be themselves and to love others no matter what; this includes how people identify.
I left an unhappy marriage after 20 years. This hit Cat (and her sister) pretty hard. I encouraged Cat to come live with me but she didn’t want to be far away from her friends so she stayed with her dad. Dad got remarried and they moved 45 minutes away from me. Again I encouraged Cat to live with me. She wanted to finish her schooling at the elite school she was now eligible to attend.
Cat has become increasingly unhappy as her new dynamic has become much more Christian then it ever was before. She is not allowed to be herself or wear what she wants. Food is scarce so my already thin daughter is down to eating once a day.
Cat made new friends that walk the same path she does and I have seen her flourish. She has been encouraged to be herself and I watch it develop as she ages.
Cat has been spending more and more time with her new friends and the pressure from her dad and stepmom continues to increase. Per her dad, the stepmom is “upset” that Cat doesn’t seem to like them. I reminded him that our children were raised in a household that it open-minded and accepting of all people to include varying religions. He doesn’t seem to see how much he has changed under his new dictatorship.
My ex and his new wife have built a large house with four bedrooms to accommodate both of our shared children and the wife’s nieces when the visit. However, Cat has been pushed out of their nest. Cat feels that nothing about her is accepted or loved by them. This breaks my heart. I continue to encourage her and support her no matter what.
Cat moved in with her best friend and her family. Shannon is her new “mom” and I really like this woman. She’s very similar to me and we even share the same views and hobbies.
I of course continued to offer my home for Cat to live but she declines stating the jobs are very limited in my town and that she doesn’t want to share a room with my boyfriend’s daughter. I feel like excuses have been made but maybe she just isn’t sure about her reasons. Regardless of the reasons, I always offer a place for her; maybe someday she will take me up on it.
Until then, I watch from afar as my sweet girl grows up and finds her way in life. My heart continually breaks for the circumstances around her with her dad and his wife. I wish things could be different but they just weren’t meant to be.