Dad struggling through a painful divorce shares a comforting letter from his daughter
"Hey dad, I know you are going through a hard time right now and I just want you to know that I will be here for you forever & always."
Divorce is a terribly difficult process for families to go through. It can evoke feelings of despair, anxiety and loss. People also have to deal with emotional abandonment, the pain of being disconnected from children and financial stress.
Going through a divorce is so stressful that, according to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, it is the second most stressful life event right after the death of a spouse.
A Reddit user with the username stefanfection shared a powerful letter his daughter wrote that's given him hope while going through a painful divorce. “I went through a divorce recently and have been having a rough time,” stefanfection wrote on the MadeMeSmile forum. “I woke up to this this morning, from my daughter. It also helps. I just gained custody of her.”
He uploaded a picture of a letter written by his daughter.
I went through a divorce recently and have been having a rough time. I woke up to this this morning, from my daughter. It also helps I just gained custody of her.
by u/stefanfection in MadeMeSmile
The letter reads:
"Hey dad, I know you are going through a hard time right now and I just want you to know that I will be here for you forever & always. I hope you become happy again because I would love to do a ton of fun things with you in the *summer* I love you tons & just remember that... I will always be here for you."
The post inspired people to send messages of support for the father. The most popular was from Icouldusesomerock, who wrote: “She loves you more than words can express. You’ve done a fine job sir keep it up.”
“Thank you, I try my best and so does she. It feels good to hear that from you,” stefanfection responded.
Some people who had lived through divorce took the opportunity to remind stefanfection that it’s not his daughter’s job to be his emotional caretaker. “Remember to tell her it is not her job to take care of you even as you appreciate just how much she loves you,” mmlperiwinkle wrote.
"As a child who lived with unhappy parents who let me become their emotional ‘caregiver’ (at the expense of my identity for a very long time), I found this pretty distressing to read. This seems sweet on the surface but letting a child feel responsible for a parent’s emotions is devastating to the child,” tofuandsardines wrote.
However, stefanfection was adamant that he hadn't placed any additional emotional burdens on his daughter and that they were undergoing therapy. “I have discussed this with her. We are going through therapy and getting all the necessary tools we need,” he wrote. “Although we do stuff together and I try to make it look like everything is the best, she can tell there is hurt. It's just life.”
Others chimed in to remind the father that there is plenty of time during summer vacation to do some epic things with his daughter. A group of Redditors exchanged lines from the theme song to “Phineas and Ferb.”
"There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation
And school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it
Building a rocket or fighting a mummy
Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Discovering something that doesn't exist
Or giving a monkey a shower"
The father’s post shows that even in the darkest times, there are wonderful people in this world who will help lead us to the light. In this case, it was his daughter. Even though no one knows how the situation will turn out, the dad seems to be doing the right thing by going to therapy with his daughter.
According to Psychology Today, up to 33% of children develop behavioral problems after their parents divorce. They can have academic challenges, mental health problems and engage in risky sexual behavior and substance use.
Clinical psychologist Patricia P. Martin tells Mass Live that parents and children should talk to mental health professionals while going through a divorce.
“This gives the children a neutral, supportive space to share the confusion, anger, sadness, frustrations they are feeling and to find constructive ways to deal with these emotions,” Martin told MassLive. “I recommend all children of divorce have at least two or three sessions with a mental health professional as a means of screening for problems as well as providing supportive education.”