My daughter, Haley, is in Australia for the college semester. Today, she is getting on a bus to go to the “outback” for 3 days. I won’t be able to talk to her.
I’m surprisingly calm about it. I told her to have fun, be safe, and take pictures.
She called me as she was looking for the bus. “Oh, Mav’s calling. I gotta go. Talk to you Tuesday.” And she was gone.
Mav is her boy “friend” in Melbourne. She “loves” him.
“He’s so nice to me, Mom. He does everything for me. He drives me, he pays for me, he knows me and anticipates what I will need. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I come home.” She told me all this on another call this morning.
I kept my mouth shut. I have learned to just keep my opinions and my cynicism to myself.
“I didn’t see him yesterday and I missed him so much,” she told me. “We are so lucky to have each other.”
So what’s the problem? Why am I even writing about this?
I don’t begrudge her happiness. I’m happy that she’s happy.
Selfishly, it’s a lot easier for me when she’s happy. Her first month in Australia she called me crying everyday telling me how miserable she was.
She only snapped out of it when I told her to come home. No sense being miserable over there for another six months. Get on a plane tomorrow, I said.
The next day she was out of her funk. She called her advisor and booked some travel with the money she had made last year working.
And a few days later she met Mav. And now they are inseparable.
So what’s the problem? OK, I admit that it’s my stuff. I had a guy that I felt the same way about:
- Couldn’t stand to be away from him
- Thought he was the one
- Felt so lucky to have found him
- Needed to be with him as much as possible
- Loved just being near him and looking at him
- Thought the only way we’d be apart is if one of us died
And, he turned out to be a lying narcissist. (I have referred to him as a sociopath but I’m thinking he might just have been a narcissist – it doesn’t really matter, but it helps me to label him as something so I don’t think it was ALL MY FAULT that my great love affair ended so terribly.)
So, when Haley talks about Mav in that way, I get scared for her.
Why is he doing so much for her? Why doesn’t he have a life? Is he a liar, too? Is he a narcissist, sucking her in and then he’ll spit her out?
OK – again, I know it’s my stuff and my past speaking. And, he could be evil like my guy, or he could just be a great guy.
And, whatever he is, it will be a great experience for Haley to either cherish as a great memory, or learn from her mistake. I’m hoping it’s the former.
What I have learned is to keep my mouth shut. Just listen and not comment. Just encourage her to live a great life.
The truth is that I am very proud of her. She is way braver than me. I didn’t go abroad in college by myself. Didn’t even think about it.
It hasn’t been easy for her. But it’s making her stronger.
I’m glad she met Mav. I’m glad she’s having a great time. And, whatever happens in their relationship will be perfect.
I feel better. It always helps for me to get this stuff out. Then I have room to put something more empowering in my brain then my fear and cynicism.
It gives me a chance to Create My Life Out here – instead of listening to my very very negative brain.
Thanks for listening.