Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved her family very much. She was a daddy’s girl. He seemed so fun and cool to her. He made her laugh. He made her feel safe. He let her climb on him. He picked her up and threw her in the air. He never got mad at her. She was his little monkey, or Pooh, and could do no wrong. They climbed trees together and sang country songs and he built her swings and rode rides with her at the fair and made pools out of his truck bed. The girl idolized her daddy and wanted to be like him and like what he liked. The little girl had no siblings which meant she had her daddy all to herself, and she was fine with that.
Then one day, everything changed. It didn’t happen overnight, it was gradual, but the change was so great that the girl only remembers the good and the bad. And because everything was so good in the little girl’s mind before, now it was so bad.
The daddy left. When the girl saw him, he wasn’t the same. He didn’t make her laugh or smile or sing and he didn’t talk much. He didn’t want to know much about the girl and he even seemed irritated that she was around. He got mad about little things and seemed impatient and was always in a hurry. The girl didn’t like being around her daddy now; he didn’t make her feel safe anymore. The girl saw some strange things. A woman related to her daddy cooked on the stove, but there was no food. Her daddy never lived in the same place for more than several months. He didn’t play catch with her anymore, or go exploring in the woods, he wanted to search for odd things and he wanted to sell them. He had strange new friends who seemed scary to the girl. He wasn’t relatable, and he wasn’t easy to talk to.
The girl lived with her mother, and she did not want to leave her mother to go see the man who used to be her daddy, because he wasn’t anymore. But she craved love from him and didn’t even know it. So she clung to the closest male and that was her boyfriend. Although she was young, she felt so safe and loved by this (also young) boyfriend. He provided the comfort, laughter, support, and love that she was missing from her daddy. He was sweet to her. He took care of her emotionally, in the way that a pre-teen could take care of another pre-teen. He never hurt her or abandoned her, and he was stable.