Monday, August 2, 2010

A Promise to Ourselves

recently i read the book A Promise to Ourselves by Alec Baldwin. it details his struggle to remain in his daughter's life after his divorce from Kim Basinger. Throughout the book, he gives many resources that advocate for fathers' rights. His book was very inspiring, but at the end I never got a sense of closure. I guess it just really set in the reality of our situation. It will be an ongoing battle to remain in my stepdaughter's life. Sadly, for most single parents this is a reality. Fathers are seen as second class parents. No matter how hard I(we) tried to make it one big family for her, there are just too many forces against us. Now she, like many children of divorce or single parents, realizes that her dad's family is the second rate family. So what do we do? Do we keep fighting and forcing a child to spend time with a family she doesn't value? Or do we back off and let her live her life and continue to live our lives? I don't have an answer. I'm not sure I ever will, but I'm okay with that.


  1. I know this may not be my place, and if I'm treading just ignore this. But when I saw the question you posed at the end "what do we do," I felt like I should share.

    I think my dad (though he was an alcoholic--so totally different in that regard)randomly felt we didn't love him (though in our eyes we didn't see how we displayed this-we were 8 and 10). So during our summer long stay with him that year, he got drunk and told us that he knew we didn't love him. He said he'd call our mom to come get us, and he did. He gave us a hug and handed us his business card. I didn't know what to think. As I've grown up, I've become quite angry with him for not stepping up and being a father. So what I'm trying to say is I would have felt much better as a child and as an adult, if he would have acted like a father no matter the situation--whether we were with him or at our mom's house.

    The years following his handing us over, we no longer went on visitations or had any contact with him. The story goes on to get more complicated, but I'll leave at this.

    I doubt you guys have any plans for "not being there," but if I could go back in time and tell my father one thing-- it would be "ACT LIKE A DANG FATHER FOR CRYING OUTLOUD." Call to say hi. See how our recitals went. Ask if we won a game---hell, come to a game. Invite us to your house and accept the fact that we may say yes or no. Tell us we look beautiful on our prom night. See us graduate. Give us tips about college. Etc.Etc.! These are all things that can be done with the phone, in person, I guess even on the internet. Even if she pushes you away, let her know that you are her family and will always support her. You never know what those teen years will be like. I can remember asking to go live with my dad just about everyday during those years. Keep the communication lines open and let her know she's loved.

    That all said, I'm sorry you guys are having to go through this. I can't imagine the struggle and it breaks my heart. I hope something good come from all of this. Thinking of you guys...

  2. thank you, Lara! We are still trying to find a way to remain in her life, but give her her space as well. We want to respect her wishes, keep our sanity, put our marriage first, support her, but keep the doors open for the future. I really appreciate your perspective, because it lets us know how she may feel.