The Day That Changed My Life


Article by Wendy McCance

Like many people, I am divorced with kids.  The kids don’t have the best relationship with their father or his wife and her kids.  Even so, they see their father half of each week because we share joint custody.

I have seen my oldest daughter go through every emotion possible in regards to her relationship with her father.  She has been seeing a counselor to help sort out the issues she faces as the child of divorced parents.  I have gotten many calls and texts from her when she stays at her father’s house.  She would reach out when she was miserable, confused, lonely, angry or just feeling overwhelmed.

The first day back home each week, I would see her go through a decompression period.  Feelings that had been held in would come out.  Sadness and frustration would show up.  My daughter was emotionally exhausted each week and in need of some gentle support, care and love.  Needless to say, the cycle was heartbreaking to watch.  All I could do was be there for my daughter when she needed me.  My hands were tied.  There was nothing I could do to get her out of a situation that was becoming increasingly stressful for her.

Then, one day, everything changed in the most surprising way.  My daughter, who was starting her last year of high school was at her father’s home for the weekend.  There was a fight with her father’s wife and something snapped inside my daughter’s head.  She was done.  She called her father and said that she was moving out.  He was at work when the fight occurred.  The rest of the day was filled with tearful calls and a determination to leave a bad environment.

Unbelievably, she was able to pack up her things ( 2 small bags) and her father drove her over to my house.  My daughter was home and my heart was bursting with a mix of joy to have her home and heartbreak for the reason why.  My daughter walked in the front door at 9:oo pm with tears in her eyes.  Her father told her that she was no longer welcome at his home and took her key.  He said some other hurtful things that parents should never say to their children.

Through those tears and hurt for what she felt she had to do, there was also a glimmer of pride.  My daughter valued herself enough that she was able to stick up for herself. Through hurtful sentiment by her father she still had the courage to leave an increasingly toxic situation.

When she walked through that front door, I just hugged her and didn’t want to let her go.  I love my daughter so much and was so proud of the heart wrenching she had made.  I never knew she was contemplating leaving and was thrown when I later found out how long it had been on her mind.  I am grateful to some extent that I didn’t know.  This was a decision she needed to make without other peoples voices in her head.  Knowing what I did, I’m not sure I could have stayed silent letting her come to the decision on her own.

A few days after my daughter was settled in, my husband sat down and had a talk with her.  It was the sweetest conversation and brought tears to my eyes.  He told my daughter that he was proud of her for standing up for herself.  He told her how much he loved her.  Then, with tears in his eyes and his voice cracking, he told her that he had always wanted to have the kids home full-time and not half the time like was scheduled due to the joint custody arrangement.  He said that now he felt more complete.  He had the family life he always dreamed of having with the kids.  He finished up by telling my daughter he understands she has a dad and would never dream of trying to replace him.  Even so, he loves her like his own child and will always be there for her.

Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

19 thoughts on “The Day That Changed My Life

  1. This brought tears to my eyes. What a strong young lady!! And so very touching knowing that she is surrounded with such positive love in your home and stress is gone! :)

  2. Awe, I’m sorry she had to hear her father’s anger, but one day she will probably realize that he was just angry because he had lost control of the situation. I was divorced & remarried when my daughter was 4. We didn’t ever try to have her call my new hubby “daddy”, but one day she just came home from school and asked if she could call him daddy. Even though her biological dad lives here in town, he rarely ever saw/sees her and rarely ever paid child support. Now she is 26 and she doesn’t even worry about her “real dad” because he doesn’t return phone calls or ever attempt to see her. He had another daughter that was 10 yrs. younger than mine & he just decided that he was going to try not to make the same mistakes with her as he did with mine. The sad part is that she figured out that I bought all the Xmas presents from him so she wouldn’t be disappointed, and she knows he loves her, but she is farther down the line after himself and her “sister”. She and her sister are closer than she is with him. (He wasn’t married to her mom)
    They figure it out… Glad to hear she is seeing a counselor. That should help a lot…

    • Wow, you really get it. I am so sorry about your daughter. It’s heartbreaking the way some parents treat their children. The kids stepdad came into their lives when the oldest child was 8 and the youngest was 2. I don’t know what I would have done without him. The kids have told me that they are glad I married him and that he is more a dad to them then their very own father. I am so grateful that there is a good male role model in their lives that is a positive loving influence for them. Wishing you and your daughter all the best.

  3. Your daughter should feel so proud of herself. If she can stand up for herself to her father, then she’s on the right track. She can stand up to anybody. People go their entire lives without that strength. And good for you for having a husband who is a true man that loves her as his own. It takes an amazing person to do that.

  4. I feel your daughter’s pain as I too had problems with my father and had to walk away from him and never look back. What an amazing husband you have to not only feel so much love for your daughter, but to open up and express it to her like that.

  5. Wow. What amazing strength your daughter has. She is so young to have learned the painful lesson that sometimes we just have to walk away. Her dad may come around some day, he may not. The important thing is that she is learning to take care of herself and recognize toxicity when she sees it. No one needs to be in situations like that. I grew up in all kinds of toxicity (I like that word!) and it took a long time to be able to name it. My parents are deceased now, so it’s just me and my siblings. There are still toxic moments and I have to remember it will never be all I want it to be, but I’m OK with it. Your daughter is learning to forge her own way and you have every right to be proud! Blessings on both of you!

  6. Hi Wendy,In this life sometimes things happen that we have no control of. As parents we love our children and it hurts us when they are hurt. But thank God your daughter had a stepfather that loved her and was able to comfort her. Wow what a great story by a great writer.

  7. Awesome…the courage to break free is the first step! God bless you and your family..may happiness be there to hold you in tough times too :)

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