Dealing with Empty Threats

"When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” The Buddha

In my last post, I touched on my awkward reunion with my middle daughter over Easter. I alluded to my pain, and my awareness of how long the road to authentic relationships with my three daughters is going to be. What recently dawned on me, is that I have almost no control over my situation.

One of my biggest obstacles in connecting with my daughters is their inability slash unwillingness to see me as a person beyond their father. When I do see them I sense anger because I’m the reason we are no longer a family intact. My daughters make little effort to mask judgmental looks. I don’t blame them. They have close relationships with their mother and over time they have come to unquestioningly accepted my wife’s narrative that the fundamental reason our family is no longer together is because I don’t have a job and I am overweight.

I know my daughters are hurting. I also know, like my wife, The end of my marriage was much more complex, with shared responsibility. I cannot change my daughters’ perceptions. I can only strive to be authentic, true to my self, and trust eventually they’ll see me for who I am. In the meanwhile, I need to take care of my self. Meaning, I understand my daughters are not providing the emotional nourishment I crave. Despite dear friends who have been thoughtful and supportive, I am a bit lonely.

My recent Twitter obsession has been an effort to fill the void. On the Twitter platform, I am drawn to like-minded people scared of our “president.” So there’s an element of companionship Twitter provides that I savor. In addition, I take pleasure in my tweets resonating with others. “Likes,” replies to my posts, and followers provides an instant degree of validation.

I know that the satisfaction I derive from Twitter provides is not a long-term solution. In the short-term, however, there is something extremely gratifying when I express an opinion, a sarcastic meme, or a brief history of Watergate, and immediately get deluged by people who like it, and by extension, me.

Two weeks ago I realized I was buying stuff as means of masking the void. So I banned myself from buying anything on Amazon. I also have reduced alcohol consumption. I haven’t gotten high in over a month. The point is I have, without a conscious effort, I’ve reduced reliance on a few unhealthy remedies for the emptiness I am feeling. And that’s an extremely positive development.

I’m working on tangible ways to actually meet people. I will share some of the ways I am doing so once I’ve got a better idea of my plan. I recognize the nourishment the Twitterverse provides consists of essentially, empty calories. They feel great in the moment but leave me immediately hungry for more. Definitely not a long-term solution. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check my Twitter feed.

Thanks for listening. Stay in touch. Connect.

P.S. A clip that’s actually on topic. Will wonders never cease?

5 thoughts on “Dealing with Empty Threats

      1. ahh. tough ages. I am hoping the best for you. My relationship with my father was similar – now I am 34 and we are super close. It didn’t happen until I was about 26-27-28. I am sorry that you are going through this.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Danielle, thank you for your kind words. I know my daughters want a healthy relationship with me. I am positive of that and it is that fact I remind myself of when things are bad. Patience and time…

        Be well, and thank you so much for thank you for taking the time to reach out. It is extremely meaningful for me.

        Jon

        Liked by 1 person

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