Another week, another promised visit, another last minute oh no I can’t, but promise I will come Saturday, I’ll be with you for 11am.
Saturday arrives, 11am becomes 12, becomes 1, becomes 2, becomes 3 and nothing, no call, no reply to nice texts, nothing, just nothing.
You’re a Dad, your daughter is getting the train from a city where in the same week some kid was raped at a train station, you worry, but you also think she is 17, the station is 2 minutes away, she will be okay, it is daytime, there will be people there, but as time passes and you still hear nothing you start imagining the worst.
We pay the phone bill so I can log onto that and from that work out what is her Sisters number (the one she calls at random hours and probably less than she calls her Dad), add it to the phone, open whatsapp and yes the profile picture says it is her (think on this you may think you are anonymous but not with the linkging of phones and apps).
I send a message to say her Dad is worried, is finding the number for the police, he is worried something has happened as her Sister was due with him over 4 hours ago and she had not arrived, her phone is turned off so he can’t get through and is thinking the worst.
Phone reception is not brilliant so we move around, then we see a call log, she has been calling since I sent the message to her sister on WhatsApp – we move outside, trying to find the better reception area and she speaks to her Dad, she is sorry, she overslept, she had been up all night the night before. She was up but her Mum was out and had not left her the train fare she promised to come over so she was going back to bed and would come on Sunday.
What came back at hear was a torrent, 6 months held back frustration, hurt, upset, promises and words broken, how could she be so cruel, why didn’t she set an alarm, why didn’t her mum wake her up, why did she not wake up herself and think oh shit..!!
What we didn’t know at the time was about 10 minutes before this her Nan had called her up to ask her what was going on, why wasn’t she with her Dad, why did she keep doing this.
Then what has become the standard reply, I am too emotional to come today, this has really depressed me, I will come tomorrow I promise, only this time he put me on the phone, I pleaded, said I understood it was hard, this is your Dad, he loves you, he wants to see you, you are hurting him etc., etc., etc.,
I did not realise until the next day I was on the phone for over an hour, but she did agree and did come by taxi even though her Mum said that she did not want her to go.
I won’t go into detail on the conversation on Saturday night but it was frank and open on both sides and an uneasy peace was achieved, we got a little bit out of her, how she felt town between parents who hated each other, how it was easier to step out of it, how she did care but it was hard, her home and friends and life was with her mum, her mum hadn’t left her the money, her mum wouldn’t help her with the train etc., etc., etc.,
Her Dad has for 18 months not said anything negative about her Mum, he has made a conscious decision that what he thinks is not said to his daughter, he knows that there are issues, there is hatred so he tries to ensure that when she is here it is calm, peaceful, she can be open, frank, honest and that a strong relationship is built from that, hopefully one where she knows he is there for her, she can trust him, he will be there for her if he is needed.
Sunday was a calm, relaxed open chatting day, chatting about normal stuff and an agreement that if both parties were okay a line would be drawn, a movie was watched, games were played on the playstation and the normal calm after a storm continued.
This morning he took her back to her Mum’s, he did say I pay for your phone, please call me, please don’t leave it four months to say hi, please don’t ever do this to me again, it hurts, I know you don’t mean to, but I also know if I mean anything to you, you would not want to hurt me, and ended with have you got your Debit Card, only to be told, oh no, I forgot to pick it up.
This was the debit card that would mean if she wanted to come, she could at anytime as all she needed to do was call and one of us would put the train fare into her back account and with the elusive debit card she would be able to get a ticket…
We wait to see what happens now, she has said that she will be over early next week, that she does want to spend time with her Dad and will come, but then she was in a car going home and as she had again been up all night gaming equally wanted a pleasant non confrontational journey back.
She was told that if she didn’t want any contact then she only had to say and her Dad would respect that and she said, I do Dad, I really do.
Time will tell on this one, I hope this has been a wake up call (as horrid as it has been) and that she will make the effort now….