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The Disconnection

by | May 1, 2022 | ComLine, Voices of Recovery

We are in the self check-out line, he was waiting for me to finish, his little girl- maybe 5? -by his side.

She says “Daddy can we get this popcorn?” He is staring vacantly into space, looking angry- it seems well worn, the angry look, as if he puts it on every morning. I think I can relate- my son once said to me “you walk around with that scowl on your face. ” He was trying to reach me.

The angry dad doesn’t see or acknowledge her.

Please, I say to him silently, see your daughter. Please. You don’t have to get her the popcorn, but can you please look towards her, maybe bend down to her eye level, say hey baby I know that popcorn would taste good but it’s not on our list today. How about we put it on our list for next time?

That would be love. That would be so lovely to see, to experience.

But he doesn’t do it.

He is hurting her, and he is also hurting me because I see her pain, his pain- and I feel so powerless to help. I know about recovery, but how do I share that with him in this circumstance?

She goes quiet, puts the popcorn down. Stays quiet.

Maybe it was just that day. Maybe normally he notices her.

But maybe this is a daily dose for her. How many more times can she try to get him to let her know she matters, before she just gives up and learns that she doesn’t?

Barbara B.

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