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Contacting my father

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:38 AM   #1
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Default Contacting my father

Here's the back story:
My father abandoned me when I was 3 years old. I haven't seen or spoken to him since. He evaded paying child support for years. Even though I lived in the same house my entire childhood he never once bothered to call or contact me in any form. I was never upset about it since I never really got to know him. He was so inconsequential to my life that he may as well have been a sperm donor.

But as I got older I started getting more curious about what exactly happened. My mother has no answers for me. She says that he had wanted the three of us to move to California but that she refused to leave her family in Arizona (where I grew up). Then when his mother died, he returned to Vermont (where he is from) and never came back. That's as much as she knows.

Last year I started doing some research. I found out what town he lives in and I even found a picture of him in a newspaper article. It's the only picture I have of him. I was unable to find any contact information but I did find his brother's phone number.

Would it be out of line to contact the brother in order to get a hold of my father? And even if I can get my father's contact information, do you think it's worth it to bother contacting him? I'm afraid that he will want nothing to do with me (still, heh). Not that I want a relationship or anything like that. I just want some answers. I also kind of want to yell at him for being so irresponsible and show off how much better of a person I am. Is that a bad idea? Under normal circumstances I wouldn't be so rude but all things considering, I think I deserve to be a little angry.

I've been mulling over this question for a few years now and it's now sinking in that I'm getting old. And he's getting really old. I'm thinking it's probably now or never.
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:50 AM   #2
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I really don't think it's out of line to try. You have a right to know *something* about him, and you're probably right. It's soon or never. I might not lead off with being angry, but he does need to know that he hurt your family

I know from experience - the angry 'you left' conversation doesn't generally go well. Even when people know they've done wrong, they have a tendency to be defensive and get angry back...if you must yell at him, wait til you've gotten your answers, lol.

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Old 07-01-2011, 06:52 AM   #3
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I think you should go for it. Having an absentee father myself (different situation and circumstances but absent nonetheless) I can understand your predicament. No matter what happens, you'll always regret not contacting him if you don't.

You totally deserve to be angry because no matter what his situation he could have contacted you. Good luck with whatever decision you make!!

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:38 AM   #4
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Honestly, I'd leave it be. My father left when I was 6 and I did have sporadic contact with him. I let him know my address. He seemed to want to have some relationship with me and i felt sorry for him. I also ended up having creditors call me when he left the country. They said he used me as a reference for loans. They stopped calling but I can't believe he did that.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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I'd leave it be, as well. A close friend recently went through this, contacted her father, and is really regretting it.

If you do, I think you need to figure out exactly what you want to come from it. And realize that no matter how you expect it to go, it can go a thousand different ways. Are you prepared for how painful it will be if he rejects you?

Hugs. What a difficult situation.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:51 AM   #6
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I think you need to make some sort of contact. You need to find out what medical issues your father has had. This information is a part of what you might need to know to protect yourself.

Many of the diseases we face have a genetic basis, that is, we inherit certain tendencies or weaknesses. Finding out what those might be could help us avoid them.

Anyway, best of luck to you no matter what you decide.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:21 AM   #7
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This man has made it clear he wants nothing to do with you. You may be opening a pandora's box that will bring a load of hurt. My husband was adopted and we never made any effort to find his birth mother or father even though the family health history would have been helpful. It sounds like your mother was more attached to her father than her husband and children and the blame for this should be laid at her feet.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:45 AM   #8
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My husband's biological father left him and his mom when he was very young, then proceeded to be a truly crappy dad on and off. He would call to say he was coming to get him, never show up, and not even call for a few weeks before repeating the same scenario. Real awesome guy. Sometime around when we first started dating, his dad moved, changed his phone number, and never told DH. DH surely could have contacted him, he is in contact with his half siblings (who, awesomely enough, his father is super involved with) but chose to let it go. I think it was the best decision he's made. His biological father made him feel rejected, brought up terrible memories and feelings, and overall, made him unhappy. Choosing to "walk away" from it and stop chasing after him has made him feel much more empowered- his biological father may not have wanted him- but now he doesn't want him either. In the last year or so, we've had contact with him throughhis half siblings (a wedding, a birth, etc.) and I have never seen my husband so anxious, insecure, and upset as when he is around him.

So I ask you this, if you ask your father for answers, and he ignores you, will it compound the anger you have now? If you yell at him, and he flat out doesn't care, how will you feel? I can't tell you what to decide- but be prepared for him to be the same uninvolved, probably douchey, guy that he's always been. IMHO, a man that evades child support, etc. etc. is probably still not going to want anything to do with his kids, nor does he deserve to.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterInVA View Post
This man has made it clear he wants nothing to do with you. You may be opening a pandora's box that will bring a load of hurt. My husband was adopted and we never made any effort to find his birth mother or father even though the family health history would have been helpful. It sounds like your mother was more attached to her father than her husband and children and the blame for this should be laid at her feet.
Woah!! Way harsh. It takes two to make a marriage work. The guy left his wife and children. He also refused to pay child support. Did the mom abandon them too? If not, than leave her out of it. This post didn't read like a blame game, imo.


coastalvagrant He is your dad and you have a right to answers, but you might not like what you hear from him, or he could refuse to allow contact with you. I'd leave the anger at the door. You said it didn't really bother you growing up that he was missing from your life, so don't start pulling a heavy load of anger around now. It won't affect him in any way. Only you.

On the other hand, he may feel like he had no right to contact you, since he up and left, and didn't pay child support. If he's feeling guilty, but not wanting to push you away, than you might have a real chance of getting to know him now.

Its not an easy decision for anyone to make.

Last edited by CrystalZ10 : 07-01-2011 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalZ10 View Post
coastalvagrant He is your dad and you have a right to answers, but you might not like what you hear from him, or he could refuse to allow contact with you. I'd leave the anger at the door. You said it didn't really bother you growing up that he was missing from your life, so don't start pulling a heavy load of anger around now. It won't affect him in any way. Only you.
I agree with this.

All the best to you.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:14 AM   #11
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I don't think he deserves to be in your life. That doesn't stop you from being curious and wanting answers. Only you can decide if you can accept the answers and move on. Or in what direction you want to move on. He might be very open to a meeting or he might shun you again. You need to decide if you are strong enough for either.

You also need to be prepared for your feelings if things progress. Be prepared to have no feelings for him, or be prepared to have a rush of feelings. You do not know how it will go. Just protect yourself and your heart..and be prepared.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:16 AM   #12
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If you do contact him, do not yell at him. You do not know the circumstances of why he left. I umderstand your wanting to talk to him but just get the facts , even if you are angry , take the high road. Remember you only have your mother's side of the story and it seems to me she left a lot unsaid. Remember she admits that she refused to move with him to California. I imagine he is feeling just as rejected as you are.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:12 PM   #13
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This could either way.

I will say this. If you do contact him, I'd avoid yelling or accusing. You might feel like it, but that sort of stuff is best left written in a journal.

I guess what it comes down to is preparing yourself for the outcome of many situations.

You don't call: Do you see yourself regretting this future where you never got to really talk to or meet your father?

You call your uncle: He refuses to give information or tell your father.

Or

You call and get the info -

Your father is furious, tells you EXACTLY what happened in the harshest way possible and you never hear from him after that.

Your father refuses to reciprocate. Will you still regret calling or will you at least feel better, because you tried? And in fact, you got an answer... it just wasn't the answer you wanted.

Your father is indifferent. You may or may not be able to get answers to what you ask.

Your father is at least a little happy you called, but won't talk about why he left or what the situation with your mother was.

Your father is at least a little happy you called, but it takes time for him to explain the history. Will you be satisfied with the answers even if they weren't the best decisions of his life?

Are you in a forgiving place in your life if forgiveness is called for? Are you in a closure place in your life if the call ends in closure? (Even harsh closure) Or do you just want to call and be angry with him, and let him know you're angry?

I'd say if you're in a place where the first two questions are "Yes" then it might be best to at least attempt to contact him. If you're just calling for the last reason... then maybe now is not the best time.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:21 PM   #14
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It's really up to you. Just be cautious and expect the worst. When your hopes are up it hurts pretty bad. My dad left when I was a baby. I calle dhim when I was 13, my mom didn't think it was good but she let me do it. After a week of calling his gf finally asks to talk to my mom. I put my mom on the phone and I picked up the other line. Only to hear my father say that he hates me and my family and if we contact him again he will kill me. I was so distraught, not only of what he said but it was the first time I heard his voice. This man I'd been dreaming of meeting for years, didn't care. It sucks, but I'm glad. It's better this way if he's going to be like that. Too bad for him he can't see how amazing I am.

My brothers met their dad as well, they got all dressed up and were excited. Their dad was falling over drunk cussing them out- the meeting was planned.

If you do it, just know it doesn't always end good. In fact, most times it doesn't. I wish you the best.

He didn't pay child support either, he kept changing jobs- that to me should had been a bad sign. They finally got all the money from him, I'm sure he hates me more now. I still think of him though, everyone says we look alike. The only pics I have are from 1985 when I was born, he has tattoos like me. I bet we could get along, but I'll never get the chance. As far as I'm concerned the day I hear he's dead we'll have a good long talk at his grave. Just be so careful.

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Old 07-01-2011, 01:42 PM   #15
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Coastalvagrant-OMG. Our stories are so similar. I just went through this last year, and for the very same reason. I kept thinking, what if I hear that he has passed away and I missed my chance. I had to get some kind of closure, or answers, something.

I think you should do it. I did find my dad and we wrote back and forth for a few months. It wasn't a big happy TV reunion. He was receptive, but had a boatload of excuses for why I was better off with out him. The excuses were pretty lame and I found it hard to contain the anger that had been bubbling under the surface after awhile. We don't write anymore really. I found out what I needed to know and wasn't able to respond in a civil manner at a certain point. I decided that I'd just back out once the relationship became hurtful again. He knows where I am and I know where he is.

I have to say though, it brought up some serious emotions that I didn't expect. I had a wonderful friend that talked me through the whole thing and listened and cried with me. It was not a cut and dry kind of thing. Lots of drama, emotion, he said/she said stuff. I found that a person that abandons a child of thier own is likely to be a little on the insensitive side, something to keep in mind.

I believe that if you need to know something, and you really think you have considered all the possible outcomes, than it's healthy to see it through. I feel better knowing that I made an attempt to get to know him. I don't like how it turned out, but I know that I did more than my part in mending fences. I can put it aside now and know that it is finished business. I may or may not have some relationshp with him again someday, but I held out the olive branch and that was all I needed to do to get some peace with it.

I wish you the best and I hope you let us know what you decide to do.
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