My daughter hates me: suicide is never easiest (Part 4 of 13)


Let’s be frank.

My daughter’s mom, Betty, hates me because of some of my choices. She hates me because I consciously made some choices because they were in my “best” interest. She hates me because I disagreed with her and made other choices I thought were in Cassie’s “best” interest. Of course, there are some plain old-fashioned poor choices. These were choices that were in no one’s interest. They were simple the easiest. I made more than a few of these “easiest” choices – as did Betty. As I said, it is because of these choices Betty hates me. And Cassie hates me because of what Betty has taught her about my choices.

Truthfully, I can offer only feeble excuses for my poor choices and the resulting behavior. I won’t even attempt to justify that behavior. In the early days, I often didn’t chose “right”, or even “best”, I chose only “easiest”. I chose what I thought was “easiest” throughout Betty’s pregnancy and financially for several years of Cassandra’s life. In hindsight, I was often wrong and continue to struggle with the consequences. In every case, the “easiest” choices have resulted in the harshest consequences. I had difficulty buying a car because of the past due child support. I’ve had my license suspended. Third dates were hard to come by because most women have difficulty understanding why.

Heck, I have difficulty understanding why.

However, the most painful consequence was not being able to face myself in the mirror, or look others in their eyes, because of my shame. It kept me awake at night. Sometimes it still does.

I wish I could say the consequences affected only me. They didn’t. My choices tore through the lives of family and friends. My daughter has grown up not knowing her father. My first wife, Rachel, struggled with the emotional and financial consequences of my arrogance. My daughter’s stepfather is raising her. Choices have kept my parents from seeing their first granddaughter for almost fourteen years.

Try looking at yourself in the mirror after these hard set in. Try living with that hard truth.

I imagine if you’ve read to this point, you’re angry. Rereading this I’m angry. My daughter, my family, her family and society deserve better. I know it. I’ve known it since the beginning but it all came to a painful head on Oct 9, 1995. The year Cassie turned six.

I just didn’t know where to start to make it better. I knew it would never be “right”. So, I figured it would be “best” for everyone if I were dead. I sat on the corner of a hotel bed in Chicago wanting to pull the trigger. I wanted to escape from the seemingly inescapable, endless pain and consequences. I wanted an out. I couldn’t look in the mirror. I couldn’t look my wife, my family, my friends or complete strangers, in the eyes. If I did, I was sure they’d see straight to my soul and see I was walking through a living hell. They’d see I was a failure. A coward. A liar. A cheat. A thief. And how I felt about myself was far worse than what others thought about me.

Believe me, I know, because on more than one occasion people share their opinion of me with me. They never said anything new…they rarely said anything helpful.

I didn’t think the shame, remorse, fear, loneliness, and morbid reflection would ever dissipate but it did because someone cared…

7 Comments

  1. Your honesty is very genuine. You have taken a hard and honest look at your life. That is hard enough to do by yourself, but to have the guts to share it with others really takes a strong person, one that is not projected in the things that happened earlier in your life, but in the man you appartently must be today. It takes a big man to own up to faults and to inadequacies. You show a deficiency that you felt in yourself, however I doubt that you are that same person today. I respect that you have the courage to share your story in the hopes that others will see it and learn from it and know that there is another place when life seems dark.

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  2. Sean,
    Your honesty strikes a chord deep within me. I am in a similar position with my son. I did my best as a parent, but my best wasn’t enough. Your bravery in confronting your past is inspiring. I hope that by writing this, your pain is lessened and some resolution is found.
    Thank you for sharing and know this… your not alone in dealing with a separation involving a child. I hope we both can heal with our children.
    Hugs
    Jennifer

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  3. It is only by looking at our past, that we can grow into better human beings in the future. Kudo’s to you for recognizing your mistakes, faults, and foibles, and I am thankful that you are here to share your feelings and thoughts.
    I am sure that you have heard of the “butterfly” effect.
    And that even the smallest actions from us, can have devastating results on another human being’s life.
    It sounds to me that you have taken a great deal of personal responsibilities for your actions, and even though you cannot change the past, you have learned from it. Living+Learning=Progress. Great job!

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  4. I don’t have kids so I wouldn’t know how it would be to feel like you’re failing them… but I know how it is to feel so worthless that suicide would be your only way out.
    I have one thing to say here: I wish my dad cared that much about the “easy” decisions he took in my “best” interest.

    Make sure your daughter read this post and she will understand. Kids mostly hate parents because they are never really honest and open about their thoughts and feelings. It takes courage for a parent to admit what they did wrong.

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  5. Hey Sean, I really admire your courage to share your painful story and admit your past mistakes. I personally believe that if you continue this self-improvement track you’re on, all the anger directed at you will start to weaken and eventually cease to exist, because people will start to see you for the new and improved person that you are now, instead of judging you for your past mistakes. Please, no need to be so harsh on yourself anymore, self-forgiveness is key towards moving on and you’re definitely on the right track.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Best,
    Najia

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  6. Parenting can be a very scary step to some. We weren’t born knowing hot to handle things, especially the hard stuff. Not all our parents were good teachers either, they just did the best they knew how and the cycle continues. I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from. The past is just that, “the past”. What you are doing now is laying it out there. You have become a teacher of sorts. This is nothing to be ashamed of. What you are doing and publicly professing could possibly break the cycle for not only your children but for a total stranger. This is something to be proud of!

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  7. Wow Sean, I am truly glad that you are still here with us because your writing is beautiful and you have learned a very hard lesson which you are now turning it into something helpful… And I agree, this is something you should be proud of. much love. xoxo Tina

    Like

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