I have always been someone in control of my life. Secure, confident and able to handle rejection with a smile and move on ”Next”! The feeling of not being in control of my own destiny or environment is not something I was familiar with until I became a parent.
My world completely changed the day Mackenzie came into my life. My little redhead came into this world after 36 hours of labour and has given me the highest highs of my life along with the lowest lows. If you are a parent, you know all too well that you soar when your kids soar and you break when they break. You live, love, hurt and cry right alongside them.
I got divorced when Mackenzie was 4 years old and the custody of her was shared. She went back and forth between our homes every couple of days which in hindsight never allowed her to put down roots anywhere. As she grew up, I could see that this was affecting her friendships and relationships even with us. It would take her a day or so to get out of the routine of one household and into the other just in time to pack up and go again.
I then remarried and my ex-husband later met someone with 3 kids. They hadn’t married but they all live together as a family. Even though she had the daily support of me and her stepfather, there were clear indications, actions and decisions made by her biological father showing that his attention and priority was to his new family. Watching my daughter attempt over and over again to get his approval and attention broke my heart, but more devastatingly, it broke her completely. She could never understand why she wasn’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or just enough for her father.
We battled with her depression, moods and lack of self-confidence for years. We tried everything to make her see the person we saw; amazingly funny, intelligent, motivated, high-achiever, kind and generous but we weren’t qualified or trained to change her self-image. She needed to get professional help. As she entered her senior year of high school and even college, we planted the seed and recommended that she may want to just connect with someone who specializes in these situations so that she could learn how to cope with her anger and lack of self-worth. We wanted her to love herself liked we loved her. My daughter is strong-willed and determined but also very private and couldn’t bring herself to share her story with a stranger for fear of being judged.
Thankfully as the years passed, her experiences changed and so did her perspective. In spite of everything, she started to blossom. Not without a few bumps in the road, she forged a path out of her complete darkness and found a way to find the light in her world. She knew her father loved her but realized she couldn’t change him and that he was never going to “own” his part of their estranged relationship. She needed to accept the relationship as it was or choose not to have one. She has accepted what it is but will now not let it consume her or dictate her worth.
Day by day she becomes stronger and more confident with who she is what she wants. She has found profound joy in cooking, her dog and learning to be okay with being less than perfect. She is a successful commercial real estate broker at age 24 and we can now connect on a business level in addition to being mother/daughter. I have never enjoyed being her mother and her best friend more. We talk almost daily and have a better and deeper relationship than I ever thought possible. I still hope that she will be brave enough to reach out for professional help if she feels she needs it someday. But for now, I am grateful to have a daughter that despite her broken wing, found a way to fly.
About the author;
Kelly Domaille, Associate Broker/Coach – Domaille Real Estate at Keller Williams Premier Realty.
Kelly is a licensed Real Estate Broker and Realtor, a coach, a wife and mother…in no particular order! She lives in Byron, Minnesota and has been a Midwesterner her whole life. Travel, golf and having fun with family and friends go hand in hand with her motto of “Work Hard – Play Hard!”