Today my daughter, Sunshine, is 32.
Like many of my relationships, it has had long periods of estrangements.
I had no contact with Sunshine from the time she was six to eighteen.
Since then we have both practiced having a relationship as she has begun to recognize that the story she was groomed to believe by her abusive, controlling, violent, and alcoholic laden family isn’t what happened.
Naturally, it is not simple.
Children repeat what they know, and unknowing requires effort.
As Sunshine and I remind each other that our relationship will never, ever be what either of us imagined a father-daughter relationship would be. Although, it continues to grow deeper and more meaningful it will never look like how I imagined.
I’m deeply moved by her willingness to keep showing up even when it is uncomfortable for us both.
And frankly, based on our individual experiences, relationships will always be uncomfortable.
However, today I recognize, how we got here doesn’t have to define where we go.
Living that truth is all that is required to break the patterns.