Alvarez: Daughter's heartache

I WAS in the dining room, when I saw and heard her crying, I asked her why and suddenly she outburst in tears saying “nakakainis kasi siya masyado Mama, I felt cheated”. I wanted to embrace her, but I was hesitant because I was not prepared to see her broken hearted.

I was numb, silent but I felt like I was stabbed deep in my heart, and I was too totally broken.

Her first trusted boyfriend, first approved date and first to visit her at home with our blessing as parents devastatingly broke her heart. She caught him chatting with his ex-girlfriend and she felt betrayed by their conversations which lasted at 3:00 a.m., while she was already deep asleep. I heard from her friends' stories of trying to save the relationship, I was interested to know, but I feel that she wanted to be alone and prefers not to talk about it.

But each day as we begin our day, I can see her eyes tired of crying. The lights in her room as early as 7PM are shut off, but I knew that she is still awake and her silent cries are too loud for me to hear.

God, I also cried her tears, I mourned her loss and I saw the pain beneath that smile. Sometimes, I try to knock in her room and pretend to get some stuff, just to check on her. And as always, I leave her with words like “anak, everything will just pass”. And she would always immediately tell me “I am okay Mama, naka moved on na kaya ako”.

Considering the break-up just happened a week ago, I am not convinced that all of her is settled. She even eats less and gets very irritated easily. And I began to realize that even if I have scientific evidences that allowing kids to feel pain and sometimes rejection enable them to grow I would still not feel good at all if I don’t do mothers’ interventions just to ease her pain.

Oh, how sad it is that I listen and help my clients fix their broken hearts, and then here I am allowing my daughter to hide her killing emotions. These are realities that prompted me to think of how can mothers help their daughters to pick up their broken pieces after a lost love. Let me share it with you.

Providing her a space. Mothers would always make sure their kids are visible to them. And when they are in pain, mothers would be like emergency ambulances to attend to their kids immediately. They can stay wherever their children are 24/7, they are very good observant, like physicians monitoring their patient’s status. But sometimes, girls when they are experiencing relationship heartaches, they would prefer to be alone or may choose friends to stay with them, rather than with their parents. So, mothers should respect their daughters, when the say “I want to be alone”. Growing kids need space and privacy.

Listening without questioning much or judging. A person who feels so bad mostly would need somebody to listen. Being with her, even without talking provides so much comfort. When she shares her pains and fears, it is important to utilize active listening. It is giving your full attention to the person, without interruptions. You don’t need to ask questions, because your queries might disappoint the person and may stop her from expressing her true feelings. Allowing her to express in her own way is best, your judgment and opinion may not yet be needed at this point of time. And don’t ever push her to tell you all how she feels.

Allowing to spend time with her friends or do her own thing. It is at this time that your daughter needs to be with her trusted friends. Remember that she is going through a hard time right now, so instead of getting mad of her multiple plans with friends, support her but with guidance. Offer also family activities that are of her interest or you may also support her individual activities, like her hobbies of swimming, reading books, etc.

Not blaming anyone in the relationship. It is not helping to blame either her or his boyfriend that caused the relationship to end. It is true that mothers have to support their daughters, all the way. But taking sides is not fair and your daughter will not be able to learn from the heart-breaking experience. What is essential is to help your daughter see the real meaning of the breakup and learn that relationships, not rooted with true love may not last. But true love is infinite and eternal.

Making her see her value. Most girls at a young age, feels so ugly and neglected after the breakup. So, accompany her when she requests for a manicure, pedicure, haircut, etc. Pamper her with self-care that will boost her self-esteem. Or when you both are in a grocery store and she asks for her favorite chocolate, if it is not too much in your budget, buy it for her and she will feel important. You may also remind her how important she is in the family. Tell her how her presence at home makes the family feel complete. Make her feel loved with your comforting words and warm embraces.

Yes, it is not easy to mend a daughter’s broken heart. It is absurd as putting together pieces of a broken vase. And hearts that are broken cannot be cured by adhesive tapes, paste or glues. But a mother’s profound love can heal a wounded heart. Ahh. Mothers love is the light to a daughter’s heart – there is no off switch!

I love you Bea!


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