I didn’t really have a bond with my daughter

Dona D
An Idea (by Ingenious Piece)
4 min readJan 8, 2020


My daughter, my second child, is 55. I was very young, 19, when I had her. I didn’t want another child. I was deeply depressed. I was in an abusive relationship with my husband whom I married at 17 and he was 4 months younger.

I thought of falling down the stairs or something to end my pregnancy with her. My husband beat me the entirety of my pregnancy. I could not have been more depressed.

I did love her when she was born. Then at two she got chicken pox. Yep, my son had them too, with only a few spots, couldn’t tell he even had them.

But two weeks later my daughter got them and she definitely got it hard. She had a fever of 106. Actually that is as high as the thermometer would go so maybe it was higher.

She had a convulsion while I was holding her. I felt panic. I drove her, laying in the front seat of the bench style seat of my car, to the hospital. The first one said they could not treat her there. Yes, really. So I drove to the Children’s hospital where they kept her for days. They gave her ice baths and put a straight jacket on her so she couldn’t scratch herself.

When the hospital released her they X-rayed her head to be sure she didn’t have brain damage. Yes, X-ray. No MRI or CAT or any of those modern imaging techniques back then. They said she was okay.

But she wasn’t okay. I truly don’t know if the severe case of Chicken Pox caused her slow learning or if it was something else.

Her father and I were divorced. Years later he was diagnosed with bi-polar later and eventually hung himself. So she did have that in her genes.

There was a long history of mental illness in her father’s family. Maybe it was a combination of both.

From very early she looked right through you when you talked to her. At first I thought she was just being contrary on purpose. When I had her and her brother see a psychotherapist later on I was told they were normal kids. It was 50 years ago.

In school her teachers told me she was not paying attention. She was later diagnosed with bi-polar and had schizophrenic and catatonic episodes. She had auditory and visual hallucinations.

I was a single mother and had to work to support us. She ran away in her teens. Sometimes I would come home and she would be sitting outside my apartment. I couldn’t let her stay long because she would steal from me and bring her friends home who would steal from me too. So I would let her stay the night but she had to leave in the morning when I left to work.

She would disappear for months at a time and I would wonder if she was still alive. She was very pretty so there was always a man to take care of her and she had married twice.

She always remembered my phone number (which I kept for years so she could call) and either she called or a hospital called to tell me she was in a psyche ward. Again.

She had three children but was unable to care for them so other relatives did. She was sterilized when she had her third, at her request, when she gave birth to her third and last son.

It was in a Catholic hospital and the doctor told me she would have to come back in two weeks because it had to be approved by “the nuns.”

Yeah, no, I explained how if she left the hospital now she would not return and the next thing we would hear was she was pregnant again. So he did it.

My daughter lived on the streets, was sold and drugged by men who used her and profited by her.

As a result she got Hep C and AIDS. She was taken in by a facility that cares for the mentally ill with AIDS. My daughter still does drugs. But she does return to the facility, her home. They monitor her medications for both her mental illness and her AIDS.

She calls me when she wants something. I used to not give her money because I knew it would be used for drugs. Now if she needs new sheets or clothes I send them. At Christmas and her birthday (only two days apart) I send money.

Do I regret having her? Yes. I wonder what the purpose of her life was when she was not happy, is not happy and has never really loved anyone. That is how I see her. But no one can know or judge another person’s mind or emotions.

She has never held a job, never driven a car, cannot take care of herself without help. She could not be held in a mental facility for long because the rule is you have to be a “danger to yourself or others”. So if you can’t take care of yourself, you are taking drugs and selling yourself or being sold by others, how is that not considered a danger to yourself???

Yes, I loved her. Yes, I rescued her from some very bad situations. But I have resigned myself to the fact that she is not going to change. She is not going to be the daughter I hoped for when she was a baby. I feel like I have not had a daughter. There was no mother-daughter bond just as she had no bond with anyone for long. But still I love her. And I have let her go.