Our first family road trip without our alienated daughter we decided to let as many people as possible know about it.
Our family drove from La Quinta (Palm Springs area), California to the Grand Canyon, Salt Lake City, Yellowstone National Park and finally to North Dakota. We travelled through Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona. We heard some people honking and almost everyone we drove near checking out our rear window. Everywhere we stopped to eat, gas up, sleep, or potty breaks people checked out the back of our van.
"It's weird," a mother in North Dakota said, "Everything was fine when they were together but now that they are divorced the father is not a good dad?"
One of the more touching stories was of a young woman in Idaho who had been alienated from her father when she was a child. She stopped us as our girls rushed into a Mcdonald's bathroom after a long run on the road.
I'm not sure what her first words were but almost everything she said, everything that she described as happening to her that caused her to hate her father is something that I hope my alienated daughter comes to realize in the near future.
She has reconnected with her father and has nothing to do with her mother.
After talking for a while I did something that I wish I had been doing all along, I asked her if I could interview her as I videotaped her. She agreed.
It was touching, heartbreaking...and at the end of the interview I asked her what she would tell my alienated daughter if she could. I cried as I tried to hold my camera phone steady. After the interview we hugged.
As I hugged this stranger I imagined it was my alienated daughter that I was holding and knowing at that moment that one day soon, I will get my daughter back.
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