It’s not because I don’t get to hear her voice as often as I am accustomed to, even though I don’t. The last time we talked was Christmas and before that it was November 15, 2012.
It’s not the sound of her voice that I am not familiar with. I love the sound of her voice still, perhaps now more than ever because I hear it so seldom. I hang on every word even though her words are harsh, cold, and too often cut deep.
I listen for remnants of the daughter I once knew; a loving, innocent daughter who is now ensnared in a web of lies, learned hate and dysfunction.
I don’t recognize my daughter’s voice anymore.
I don’t recognize April in her text messages either. They are unrecognizable as well. Messages that no longer end with “I love you,” “I miss you,” or “I can’t wait to see you.”
All the love and gentleness that they once held is gone. Instead they are demanding, accusatory, and end just as sudden and as abruptly as they appear on my cell phone.
I keep my phone near not knowing when I will hear from her again.
I am not allowed to contact her. (though no one can give a good reason why...)
I didn’t believe they were my daughter’s words anymore
I used to fool myself into believing that her older sister Kaylee, drowning in her own dysfunction, and in an attempt to bring April down with her (dysfunction loves company) had taken April’s cell phone and that Kaylee was the one texting me. I pictured April jumping up, trying desperately to get her phone back from her sister twice her size. The 20 year old beauty school dropout keeping her little sister at a distance with one hand and with the other hand holding the cell phone high out of reach she would text me in the rude and disrespectful manner that is the learned norm for Kaylee.
But of course a father would want to believe that was the case. It hurts less than facing the reality that our own daughter no longer needs the misguided directions, the underhanded nudge, on how to be disrespectful to a loving father; she has become quite capable of doing it on her own. What kind of parent would be proud of that accomplishment?
The way our daughter talks at me now is beyond distant and surpasses cold quickly and goes right into icy. She has an unappeasable loathing for me that is apparent with every sentence.
“You are contolling and manipulative and you just scare me! I dont wanna see you” she says in her mother's voice.
Controlling and manipulative. If I had a nickel...You don't know how many times I heard that from Christy. The irony is who is calling all the shots? Who has all the control? Who is doing all the manipulating?
There is nothing that I can say, no appeal for empathy or plea for compassion will sway our daughter's animosity towards me and now my wife. Appeals for reason or an acknowledgement of truth, or any suggestion that this may be a simple difference of perception are all swatted away like an annoying memory buzzing around. No response or answer to her frivolous accusations, no matter how entrenched in truth and reason will satisfy her.
Anything that comes out of my mouth is a lie to her or somehow twisted into being an attempt at manipulation, or an attack on her or her mother.
“I AM a good kid” and “My mother IS wonderful!” are her programmed responses.
If I ask her what I can do to make things better she responds that there is nothing I can do and that she doesn’t want things to get better between us regardless.
Don’t even try she says. Don’t waste your time. Then she parrots her mother’s words, “Anything you try will only push me further away.” I may not recognize our daughter’s voice, but I do recognize her mother’s.
If I point out that I have always been a loving father to her, she automatically goes on the defensive stating that her mother is the wonderful parent and has always been her savior, her protector.
If I respond with “I love you beautiful,” or “We miss you,” I get nothing. She ignores it and moves on to attack me on a manufactured shortcoming or incident and always perceived deficits in my character that she has never witnessed but heard stories about.
But the last time we hung out together you said you loved me and you hugged me.
“I was simply tolerating you,” the strangers voice says.
I don’t recognize my daughter voice anymore. If you think this is a sad thing to say, well, it is a heartbreaking thing to experience.
Her reasoning for not seeing me, her step-mother, her sisters are nonsensical; her rational is nonexistent and somehow, not needed in her world. Like asking a Klan member’s child why he hate blacks or a deranged terrorist why he hates American infidels. Answers filled with vague generalizations, invalid arguments, a blurred rational, and even a blind hatred.
I don’t recognize my daughter’s voice anymore because it isn’t her soul speaking to me any more than those are her words that spew from her lips. There is no hate born in a child’s innocent heart it has to be placed there.
Children don’t know the meaning of hate any more than my daughter knows what she is saying when she justifies never wanting to see me again because I “manipulate at” her.
Listen to our daughter here: Before and after the programming.