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1|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


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The SMS was pretty clear when it came through, “Get fuc*** your not a Father”. Can’t get much more direct than that? You also can’t hurt much more than that. Was it the first SMS? No, on that day there were many more before it and many after it. Had I received messages like this before? Yep, but it had been a long time. I thought I had broken that Ball and Chain of Hurt and Anger over the past few years but I was wrong, it was all still there deeper than I imagined. This hurt could not be carried around or dragged along like a Ball and Chain, it was stuck in the ground and kept pulling me back, it didn’t want to let us all break free it had become an ANCHOR. The message had come from my wonderful daughter who I love so much and I know that deep down she has an alterative anchor for me called love. That Anchor doesn’t have as many chains on it if I compare to the one that was the cause of the message. Yep the anchor that was the cause of that sms has some wonderful chains linked to it, years of disappointment, missed opportunities you know what I’m talking about the links in the chain made famous by the song “Cats In The Cradle”, how many times have I heard that famous line, “When you coming home Dad? I don’t know when but will get together then, I promise will have a good time then” In the years I was overseas that song had ran through my head so many times and I truly lived that life, I would promise the kids so many times “I know will have a good time then” and never delivered, but since I returned to Australia in 2009 I had worked so hard at getting rid of that as my theme song. I really thought I had been travelling well, I had kept up contact, and I visited as often as possible which is tough as they live in another state. I had never forgotten a birthday, I had sent money, I had been there when they needed advice. When I was invited to watch my two girls in a school play I drove non stop for eight hours to see them to make sure I didn’t let them down. So you have to ask what went wrong, why did this Anchor of an anger all of a sudden pull this ship back to shore?

2|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


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It all started a few days before with what I call the dreaded Face book telegraph. Back in the day people used to dread the news you would get in a faceless telegram or Dear John letter, now? Its Face book. Sometimes I think The Face book wall has become the new dreaded giver of faceless news. Face book makes it easy to do so many things we don’t like to do, its so simple to simply UNLIKE a friend that has pissed you off, its so easy to just click “Its complicated” to end a relationship, but more still its so easy just to write something on your wall to give double the pain and yippee you even make it public! I cant complain Face book has been a fabulous tool for me to keep in touch with the kids, I can post all my latest pics and so can they, I can read what they are doing as can they its a sensational thing but it does have its downfalls, and The Face book telegraph is one of them. So how does Face book fit into this article? It was late at night I had been doing some reading and I thought I will quickly check my Face book page before I went to sleep, I notice my ex-wife had posted on her wall so I clicked on it, then my heart skipped a beat. She announced with pride that our daughter was not only the MC of the High School awards night but she had also picked up three coveted prizes including a State Award. I was shattered as I read one by one the comments that people were leaving.”Wow, your a sensational Mother, you must have been so proud” one after the other, I was shocked not by the messages but by the fact I didn’t even know the award night was on. I didn’t know what to do, should I comment, should I shut up? I decided to just have a weep and sleep. I woke up the next day thinking the best thing to do was wait until my daughter posted something on her own wall, and then I could say “Yippee yahoo” so proud of you stuff, but the day and came and went and no words appeared on my daughters face book wall, but it played on my mind all day, “Why didn’t she tell me” Another day passed and yet again there was nothing written, I thought about it, “Maybe she wasn’t that excited about” so I sent her a message, I asked her if she was ok, I asked her how come she didn’t post her achievements on her wall. I mean if it was me, back in the day I would have bragged to the world about, and now, face book is the normal palace to tell the world you have done great things, how come she had not done that. It only took a few minutes and a cold reply came shooting back, “Yep, its cool why do you ask” I am not backward in coming forward, my daughter asked the question I gave her an answer and replied that I thought it was sensational what she had done, I was just a little sad I had to find out on the face book telegraph and I was really confused why she didn’t invite me. 3|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


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Must have been something I said! I wasn’t ready for the Cruise missile attack that followed The messages from that point on resembled what I had put up with way back in the day when I believed I actually deserved them, the content of the messages were of things that I was sure had been healed, the messages were driven by Balls and Chains of anger and pain that I had worked so hard to break the chains and set us both free. I felt that I had fallen into a time warp and it was 2009 I had just arrived back in Australia; I had no idea why this anger had been raised, but worse? It was killing me. The messages died off and then the cousin of Face book telegraph took over and I then copped a contacts rat ta tat of SMS messages. I would reply to each one with as much love as I could muster, not once did I retaliate even though the abuse and anger was getting stronger and stronger. After what appeared to be a novel of message’s the final “Get Fuc*** your not a father” message arrived and totally took all the wind out of my sails and I was done. I fell into a heap on the floor; I had no idea of why this happened, all that we had done, all the work what went wrong? I was so upset I wandered aimlessly around the house I tried to call her but she would not answer. I called her brother and asked him “What did I do wrong” he just told me it takes time to heal wounds and occasionally they open up, “Don’t worry Dad she will settle” I called my closest confidant and asked her, please help, please give me advice but she was as shocked as me. The day dragged, not much work was done, I was just in shock, I read the message’s over and over looking for a clue on what had happened, where I had gone wrong and nothing jumped out in front of my eyes, maybe it is an Anchor, maybe I have to live with the fact that my Comeback as father to my Daughter cannot be complete, maybe it is what is and that’s the best its ever going to be. Whilst I was sitting and racking my brain my phone went off it was the kids Mum, I had been helping her with her website and I thought she was calling to discuss that, but the conversation quickly moved from Hi Shane, how are you to “We have to talk about our daughter” I thought, oh no here comes the lecture, but the shock was no lecture, just sensational advice and support. Now you maybe thinking how can a guy that wrote a book about all sorts of life Comebacks need advice? My answer is I’m human and like the surgeon can’t always operate on myself so I often seek the advice of wise council, in this case I didn’t seek advice it was volunteered. I was congratulated on all the work and effort I has put into the past couple of years and she told me how far the relationship had comeback with my kids especially my boys, but with the girls? its going to need a lot more work. I protested, if I have tried so hard, if it’s all going so well how come I got such a nasty SMS? What was the big change, one week ago all was sensational and then all of a sudden we were approaching Armageddon!

4|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


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The conversation was long but sensational. She did what I would do, she asked me questions that would allow me to frame the answers using the knowledge and information I knew and trusted. Exactly as I would have explained to another person if I was doing a coaching session, always gets me how sometimes the mechanic has the worst car, you tend to get blinkers when your faced with your own problems. I discovered my daughter truly had an Anchor of issues when it came to inviting me anywhere it was still embedded in her heart the amount of times in the many years before I had not been there, how many events I had missed, me turning up to one event in 15 years does not completely eradicate the memory of all the ones I missed. She had issues on the way I was able to get along with the boys but not with her, she wanted to be able to have the same chats, the same sharing of information of our lives but she didn’t know how to go about it. She had issues that our conversations were far to sided towards ME and not HER. The biggest problem ? something we had never discussed, something that wasn’t settled. My daughter (and me) had based feelings and reactions all around what a traditional Father and Daughter relationship should be. The traditional model was the measurement for all we said and did, for every action that model was causing huge problems for both of us. My daughter had realised that when she sent that horrible message she had accused me of having little knowledge of what a father should be but she upon reflection, also realised she had the same issues of what a daughter should be. My ex wife and I ended the conversation with me thinking how brilliant she was and she just laughed basically saying that I knew all this anyway I just needed help in framing it as the situation was far to close to home, it was not about a client or a friend it was about me, and sometimes that is tough to face and causes a loss of clarity, wow super smart women she is. I spent the rest of the day thinking through the issues, I thought a lot about the calls my daughter and I have had and yep they were quite often “Shane” centric, however I came the conclusion that was not the major key to shifting this anchor from the sand and allowing the Comeback of Father/ Daughter to set sail. The years of “stuff” between my daughter and me and I’m sure millions of people male or female that suffer the nastiness of divorce and separation is definitely the stuff that secures the Anchor .It will let you go so far then drag you back, to fix it we need to re-evaluate the roles. Set new guidelines, a boundary as that is what gives the anchor its strength so change it. I like so many other people base my feelings and expectations on the role model of what is “Normal” when the truth is that it’s far from it. Yes there is natural DNA type stuff that no matter how long time passes between visits will still be there, you will always have that “Feeling” between flesh and Blood but to appreciate the relationship, to move forward you have to decide what it is you both want.

5|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


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I made a choice to discuss it with my daughter exactly as I’m spelling it now. I explained to her that I cannot be “A” typical Dad so how does she want me to be, what does she except, what are the Ground rules of our relationship. My daughter gave her spiel and then gave me the right of reply and I tell you, we both felt sensational. Now I’m not going to totally fill you on the full details but let me give you a hint. In her case one of the things that was really important was the conversation’s that we had, I had to promise that for the first five minutes of any call I just listened, I agreed and in turn she agreed never to send an SMS like she did but to call me and voice her concerns and no problem she can sear at me if she needs to! Anchors are not just with parents and children they can be made to hold back any relationship from sailing away but the process of getting rid of them is the same. The Comeback from an Anchor is tough and hard work but simple. It’s all “Communication” setting Boundaries, expectations, discussing and agreeing on them. There will be Anchors that are so deeply embedded in the sand that you may think there is no hope of shifting them, there maybe no way any communication can happen, well there is only one way to find out...TRY Has the Anchor been lifted up out of the Sand between my daughter and me? No far from it, but I can here the pulleys making a noise, the chain is tightening and the anchor is slowly starting to lift and that’s a major start. I wish you well in whatever Comeback you choose to lift the Anchor on. Big Hugs and Love from Shane PS. Big Hugs to my ex wife and Daughter I Dedicate this article to them.

6|P age Copyright

The Comeback www.thecomeback.com.au


Not a Father