Teen Girl you have had a tough year, your favourite teacher who believed in you, motivated and inspired you died very suddenly. You didn’t get into the school that you dreamed would help you pursue your talent and vocation and now your Dad has remarried and is moving abroad.
You were only little when we divorced, I have often wondered how much you remember, I know that you have sometimes blamed yourself for the divorce and some of the difficulties we have experienced since then I want you to know that none of this is your fault and that we both love and are very proud of you.
I sometimes think the true cost of our divorce is only becoming apparent now as you move from being a tween to being a fully-fledged teenager about to start your GCSE’s.
Your sadness is palpable, you have lost confidence, some of your infectious joy, fearlessness and ability to engage with everything and everybody with a smile. You have however maintained your ability to see the best in everyone including inexplicably Katie Hopkins!
You worry about your weight and your looks. You are developing your own sense of style and opinions about the world. You are tentatively discovering boys. There have been tantrums and tears, we have hurt each other with thoughtlessness and cruel words. I feel that you direct some of your anger at me because I am here, I try to understand what you are going through (I do remember what it was like) although it is difficult to deal with sometimes.
Your pain about your dad leaving makes me sad, I sense your bewilderment, it echoes the sadness I feel about the relationship with my own father who also lives abroad now. A distant tense relationship with so much anger and hurt remaining unsaid. I don’t want that for you.
I worry who will be your safe male role model, who you will be attracted to, what sort of relationships will be your normal? I hope your experiences do not mirror mine, I hope that I can support you to spare you that.
I will help you maintain your relationship with your father (you are the teen queen of social media and technology) and I hear you when say that’s not the same and not enough. I will be here for you when you are finding it hard. It won’t be the same as it was when he lived a mile away it will just be different
You have seen so much in your short life, illness, death of family member’s, difficult friendships, rejection, turbulent relationships and divorce. I know ultimately these experiences will shape you and make you stronger. I know its difficult now though and far from the idyllic teen life we see on the TV.
You are smart funny talented and braver than you realise, you have always been a delight to be with. I want you to know that although you have had a lot of loss and disappointment this year and your world is changing fast there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Hold onto to your dreams, I know that you will be a success in whatever you chose to do because you are amazing and my favourite girl in the world
Love your Single Mum Dawn