I'm Ashamed to Put a Picture on Facebook. Help!
Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!
Dear Willie D:
I divorced my wife last year and now have custody of my three girls. Neither the girls nor I have seen their mother in over eight months. She's out living her life with her new man. The other day my oldest daughter, who is 11, asked me could she go to visit her mother's sister for the weekend. Her aunt has always treated her extra-nice, but she's the same aunt who told my ex-wife that she should leave me because I was no good.
I told my daughter no, because I no longer want my kids to be associated with my ex's side of the family. She started crying and I felt bad, but I just don't think it's a good idea to have my children around people who don't like me. Do you think I'm wrong?
No, you're not wrong. It's your duty to provide a safe environment for your kids, and to protect them. It's a natural instinct for a family member to pick the side of his or her blood relative when a relationship goes bad. So take your former sister in-law's comments with a grain of salt.
Keep in mind there's a good possibility that your ex could have manufactured the facts in your fallouts. Forgiveness may not be a bad idea here considering the fact that your daughter and her aunt seem to click. If the aunt was a bad sister-in-law but otherwise a great aunt, she could become a positive role model for your girls.
On the other hand, if the aunt still harbors resentment towards you and you allow your daughter to be around her, you run the risk of the aunt trying to turn your daughter against you. Maybe there's a common ground that can reached by you setting a few boundaries. However, the first thing you should do is swallow your pride and call your ex-sister-in-law to apologize for whatever part you played in the bad blood between the two of you. There are two sides to every story.
Make your sister-in-law earn your trust. Instead of letting your daughter stay overnight, maybe the first few visits can be supervised. Then you can let her hang out with her aunt unsupervised for a few hours out of the day. If you don't see any signs of brainwashing each time she comes home, let her spend the night. Whether it works out or not, your daughter will appreciate the fact that you tried to do right by her. As a father that's all you can.
BLAMING MYSELF FOR MY DAUGHTER'S SUICIDE
Dear Willie D:
Two years ago my only child took her life after suffering from years of chronic depression. It's so hard to believe she's gone; she was a good child with a huge heart.
I wonder everyday what I could have done differently and I blame myself for her death. Everyone tells me that it's not my fault, but I can't stop feeling guilty. I cry all day every day. How do I stop hurting?
My condolences go out to you for the loss of your daughter. A quick search on the Internet and you'll discover a number of support groups out there who will talk to you about your problem and assist you with coping. I would search specifically for a therapist who deals with grieving parents who have lost a child. As human beings we are designed to experience hardship, but we have the intelligence to overcome it.
It gets easier. Be brave and remember, pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.
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