difficult conversation – was it a good thing?


Hi there. So I had a difficult conversation with my daughter last week. I’ll list the facts and try to leave my opinions, hurt feelings, disappointment, anger, self-pity out of it.
She came to town last week.
She didn’t tell me she was coming.
She didn’t contact me while she was here.
I learned this information from pictures I saw on Instagram.

So I spent days cleaning up my thoughts about it. I self-coached and self-coached. I listened to four of your podcasts (How to have a Difficult Conversation, When You’ve been Let-down, When Something Sucks, and Challenging Relationships). Whew. Took notes. Worked the model, wavered back and forth on whether or not to call. Decided finally that communication was important so things didn’t become more distant.
I texted her and asked for a time we could talk, and she called me later that day.

While it was helpful to get things out in the open and listen to where she’s coming from – I was also surprised at the list of things she’s angry about, disappointed about, her interpretation of things and pretty much I came away from the conversation not sure that it was a good thing to do. I mean, at least I’m not guessing what’s going on with her – but before the conversation I had just decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, just love her, know that she’s got a lot going on in her life right now, etc. After hearing her out – I realized our perspective on what’s going is 180 degrees apart and I feel she’s been looking for reasons to verify that I don’t care. The tipping point for her was a recent phone call to me wanting help because she had to fire a new nanny and she’d moved to a new state, didn’t know anyone there and her husband is deployed for another 6 weeks. But she called me when I was already gone on a long planned trip myself, to visit my son who had made plans to be with me and taken time off work (for which he doesn’t get paid) and has been going through a lot himself & lives alone, and with my girlfriend who had made B&B reservations at two different places for us to visit so she had financially invested.
I HATED having to tell my daughter I had other commitments and couldn’t come at that time – offered to come as soon as I got back home (2 weeks from that time), checked back with her to see how it was all going, to which she sent a short “All is well. It’s all worked out,” response.

Two weeks after that was when she showed up here in town with no contact.
So, the unintentional and intentional models I have are:
C Conversation with my Daughter
T She really has bitter feelings about me
F Surprised. Attacked.
A I wonder if it would have been better not to hear these things
R I feel very distant from her and that she only values me as a caregiver to her when needed

C Conversation with my Daughter
T She has really negative opinions of me and that’s ok
F ?? Acceptance? Peace?
A Focus on other aspects of my life and people who enjoy my company
R I don’t allow her opinions to sour my present joys

I put question marks in the feeling line because I’m working on getting there. But I love her so very much but I love and respect myself and my journey too. Any suggestions on processing this in a more healthy way? I think Mom’s are so easily the ones we can not give a break to and while I don’t want to walk away, I’m also really tired of walking on eggshells, so to speak.

It feels to me like remaining where I am and giving her space to feel that way about me as long as she needs to is what and where I want to be.