How to respond to Negative and Cruel Texts and Emails.

With love.

Sample note from a son of an alienated dad:

“Leave me alone.  I don’t want you in my life, I don’t need you, you are note my father. I know the truth about you — you are a scumbag (this is a PG blog..).  Goodbye!”  Often they will call you by your first name.  They will cuss, they will find anything and everything that you are ashamed of from your past (mostly stuff that your spouse has told them about you — maybe 30% of it true) and use that as a sharp axe in an attempt to extricate your head from your shoulders verbally.

Sample response:  

“I’m not saying goodbye.  You are my son and I will always love you and want a relationship with you. If you already know it is the truth, why are you scared to discuss it?

I suspect that you really know there are two sides to every story and there are many things that don’t make sense to you about your family situation, but it is too painful to even think about these thoughts right now.  It is just easier to make me the evil enemy and then you don’t have to deal with anything, you can just be angry and that covers a lot of pain.

I love you.”

So maybe that wasn’t as good a response as I’d hoped.  Because I got a return email calling me a hole.  Not sure what a hole is, but I suspect it is not good.  But the dad response is still the right one.  Nothing that they can say or do will make me stop loving them.  They have to be told that — along with some truth as well.

“Love those who hate you.”  Jesus says.  You never thought that would be your kids, did you?  Maybe that’s why Jesus had to make it clear that this is our task.  He goes into detail about loving those who love us back and what’s the great difficult in that?  The difficulty is in loving someone  unconditionally — as we do our kids — and thus deeply feeling those words and the wounds they inflict, yet still shaking that pain off and loving back.  No matter what.  Men — we can do this.  It’s a challenge we can rise to.

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