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Family secrets

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Family secrets

My best friend last night got two double whammys. One had to do
with her job, and the other with her family.
When she was young, her mom divorced her father and moved
away with her two sisters.
Growing up they were told that dad was no good, that he didn't love them,
didn't care about them and was just an alcoholic bum. One of her sisters
has since passed away.
When her mom died, her remaining sister went through her mothers things
and found out the truth. Letters to mom begging to see his daughters. He
sent money for support, letters and gifts, all of which they never saw.
Her sister died believing that dad didn't love or care for her.
He came to the funeral, but Meg refused to see or talk to him. Now that the
truth is known, both her and her sister are devestated.
There will be no happy reunion. Her father passed away several years ago.
I cried along with her.
I asked how it made her feel about her mother now. She said she still
loves her mother, but it has changed things.
Why would you do that to your children. Are you that bitter and hateful??
I just don't understand it.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #2
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He still could have been an alcoholic bum, even though he sent letters. I'm sure the mom had her reasons.
Sounds like no one will know the true story now.

Sorry to hear that she's had a rough time lately. Just be there for her when she needs to talk.
Best wishes.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #3
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No, I wouldn't do that and didn't. I am divorced and my 2 children had a loving relationship with both parents even though their parents didn't live together any more. Just the other day my youngest son said something along the line of " sure there were problems but we had love."
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ddc View Post
He still could have been an alcoholic bum, even though he sent letters. I'm sure the mom had her reasons.

Best wishes.
I have seen some of these situations and Mom (or Dad's) reasons are often revenge, vindictiveness and anger among other unpleasant attributes.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:41 PM   #5
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I heard usually when people divorce there becomes this complete bitter hateful battle towards each other. Finding ways to make the other person pay. Not all divorces end like this but a lot do. That is probably what happened. Whether or not the man was an "alcoholic bum", he still attempted effort to see children which makes me more of a man then most "dead beat" fathers would be.

I think that's completely horrible and even reading the story was heartbreaking. I feel bad for your friend...
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:18 AM   #6
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The worst thing here, is no one will ever really know the truth.

There really are ex's out there that are that bad and that vindictive, that they have no regard, for how their attitude affects, the children. They just don't care, all they want is revenge.

Then there is the parent that knows that the ex is an a-hole, but tries to "not" make the bad parent seem as bad, while protecting the children.

The whole dang thing is a crap shoot.

The surviving could find family members from both sides, get their stories and find a way to muddle through it and find a middle ground.

Or just chalk it up to experience, sometimes it's just best to forgive.

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:05 AM   #7
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I know my mother has made villains out of people who I believe were not. Like my step fathers whole side of the family.

Could your friend possibly get in contact with relatives of her fathers and try to find some answers? I swear, no one can mess you up like family.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:18 AM   #8
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What a sad situation for your friend to have been in.

Would I do that to my children? Sitting on the outside I would hope that I wouldn't, but who knows what her mom had been through or what she was thinking when she made that choice. I'd hope that her mom did what she thought was best for her children at the time, and as unfair as that may have been to their father and even to them, we're all human and we make decisions based on the information we have. It might have been malicious, it might have been out of love and concern - we'll never know. Their father may have been a standup guy his whole life and have done nothing to warrant what their mother chose to do but again, we'll never really know.

There are so many ifs and maybes and your friend must be working through a lot in her head. Ultimately people are human and make mistakes.

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Old 01-26-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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My sister started to create a family tree and in the course of her research she uncovered documentation showing that my mother had filed for divorce from my father when I was a young child.

I am 60 now and when I learned that I sat down and wept because I had wanted my mother to divorce my father for many years and at one time she had had the courage to try to.

I wish I had known, okay not when I was five or six because there was not a great deal I could have done to help but later, when I was old enough to provide support and help. My mother played her cards close to her chest and I know that it was because my father was a really bad man and she was trying to protect us kids.

It hurts that I cannot tell her I understood and would have helped. It hurts as much in `reverse'.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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Maybe some counseling will help her.

She needs to be careful about romanticizing the idea of a father longing for his children but always shut out. Is it possible? Yes. However, rarely is one side of the story always correct (the truth tends to be in the middle).

For example, there are legal venues in which a father can take to gain visitation/partial custody of his children, but many fathers do not wish to go through the legal process and in return, claim the mother keeps the child away when they themselves do not make any effort to do so (and yes, these avenues can be attempted pro-se).

As for gifts, well, severe alcoholics are still capable of such things. My son receives gifts/cards from his severe alcoholic grandfather who was drunk and stepped on him when he was 5 months old on Christmas morning. I do not speak ill of my father to him ("grandpa is unwell, he is too sick to visit") and gifts may seem like things aren't as bad as they really are.

I'm not saying the father is wrong and the mother is right. She may have been 100% wrong. But if both parties are dead, then all speculation is simply that - speculation - and people can romanticize what they think happened. That can be dangerous to the healing process and pollute the mind with incorrect assumptions. It is a lot easier for someone to believe that their daddy really loved them but someone kept them away than to believe an equal possibility that he didn't make any true attempts to be in her life. One is easier to believe than the other but that doesn't make it true. Unfortunately she cannot know the truth.

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Last edited by sacha : 01-26-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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There are three sides to every story: his, hers and the truth.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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Ugh. You make my story look like a happy ending. My mom pulled a similar stunt. Fortunately I have learned the truth over the years. It has ruined my relationship with my mother. I'm a very forgiving person but this has just made me look at my mother as a mentally ill person. I'm so thankful both my parents are still alive to repair the damage.

Parents, don't be stupid. Children need two loving parents, even if the love is a lie. In my opinion, maybe lie to a child and tell the child how much their father DID love them, but never the other way around.
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Last edited by Eliana : 01-26-2012 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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I'd suggest grief counseling -- both for the recent loss of the parent and the other parent "re-loss."

With both parents passed away, it's going to be hard to get at what THEY were thinking. At best talking to relatives would be second hand info or perceptions. At worst, they may have their own axe to grind and add more to cloudy the waters further and/or cause more pain.

It could be one way, it could be the other. Could also be BOTH or NEITHER story is 100%. Or anything in between.

I think it's better to talk to a counselor to be able to accept the unknowing but still be able to move on.

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Last edited by astrophe : 01-26-2012 at 09:47 AM.
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