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Old 02-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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Question I need the perspective on this father issue?

I need the advice of people who have been there done that, or support rather?
Okay well lately I've been thinking a lot about my dad. I'm 16 and my mom and dad divorced when I was just a baby. I live with my mom. I've become extremely distant from him because he just makes me so...angry. The man can't even remember my birthday, he doesn't even know how old I am, he never calls me on any major holidays and the only times he's called me in the past year have either been to shake my mom down for information for various things or to bug me about going to see him. On top of that every time I do see him, he makes me feel bad. He always tells me how he wishes he could've "kept me" and how I should go and see him but then every time I go down, he works all the time and I end up staying in with his girlfriend and her kids (who are adults now, like 20's).
I know that I can't completely blame him for everything, we haven't gotten the chance to know each other, but it seems like everytime I try to actually get to know him, it just...doesn't work. I have a half-sister, same dad different mom, and she use to live with him. But then one year I just went to see him and she was gone. He hadn't even bothered to tell me that she left, and this was in like '05. I've been looking for her since then, I really want to find her, but I know that there are things he isn't telling me. And it's not even like the 'details' of why she left it's things like her mother's name (which I only met the lady once) and where she last lived, etc, I feel like he's purposely holding back because he doesn't want me to talk to her. Everytime I call and ask he'll give me some speech about how she doesn't want anything to do with him and blahblahblah, but honestly? I'm starting to see why.
His girlfriend, as I mentioned, has two kids. I love my "step brother" and "step sister" and even my dad's girlfriend, I want to get to know them more, but my dad...my dad is just not a person I want to speak to right now. I found my "siblings" on facebook and added them but is it wrong of me to not want to speak to my dad right now, yet speak to the rest of his family? I feel TERRIBLE about this, the man is my FATHER, but I feel absolutely...ignored and unwanted by him. Maybe some day I will get to know him better but right now I just can't...I just don't want to do that. I'm too angry with him.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:23 PM   #2
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It's not wrong of you, but I would like to see you not completely burn any bridges, either. My perspective might be skewed, but I am a 45-year old mother of a 13 year old boy who has a similar situation to you, and I know others in the same basic boat.

At your age, you're learning to make your own good judgements based on facts, which doesn't really happen when you're little. When your Dad told you at eight (or however old you were) that he loved you and wanted to keep you, you believed it because you wanted it to be true. But now you can see that he might be manipulating you at least a little, and his actions towards your sister show what's going on. Maybe he's been right all along, but your observations seem spot on to me.

You have the right to feel however you want, and if you're mad at him, then that's the way it'll be for now. You could let him know how you feel and that you choose not to see him, if you haven't already, and be ready to corner him (so to speak) on the issue of your sister. Tell him flat out that you want to talk to her and if he doesn't tell you how to find her, you will assume it's because he did something to make it happen (doesn't pay support, totally blew her off, released her for adoption to a new dad, etc.) Aside from that, if you know her full legal name and date of birth, maybe you could search for her online doing a records search.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:11 PM   #3
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I felt that way about my father for years. I put off talking to him for a long time. I let the anger build up in me and even when I talked to him I couldn't help but resent him a bit. I always thought I'd get to know him better and get along with him better when I was older and he thought the same but it was not meant to be. He died in August. One of the last conversations we had before he lost consciousness and never came back was not a pleasant one. I was so annoyed with him and he tried to tell me that he regretted a lot of things in life but he never regretted having his daughters, he never seemed proud of me and he never seemed to want me in his life so i blew the comment off and gave him a half hearted goodbye. I never got the chance to talk with him again or tell him how sorry I was that I was being rude. Now that I know I will never be able to see him again there is a void in my heart and a deep regret that I missed out on years and that there are many things I will never know about him. Stories I will never hear, lessons I will never learn, and the realization that no matter what he was my dad and there is no one else in the world who will ever take his place. Don't let that happen to you! No matter how angry you are try and work things out. That sort of regret is not something you would ever want to have to live with!
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:42 PM   #4
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No, it's NOT wrong. He clearly has not made the effort to get to know you. A lot of people have this problem when their parents split up when they're young. Mom does the raising, dad kind of half-asses the dad part. I saw it with a lot of friends of mine growing up. And you know what, that hurts, and you have a right to be hurt/offended/angry with him. He says one thing, but his past actions tell a completely different story.

And I'm sure you know, but I'll say it, you didn't do anything to deserve this. But that's life... sometimes you just get the short end of the stick. All you can do is move on, and realize that your situation has shaped you into the person you are today.

Go ahead and be friends with your step-siblings. They had no part of this issue with your dad, and there's no reason to cut everyone off because of how you feel about him.

But I do think at some point you should tell him what you think. Obviously be respectful, but try to be as matter of fact as possible. I would suggest just telling him, straight up, that you're upset and angry about his seemingly lack of interest in your life and his unwillingness to help you get into contact with your half sister.

I'm sorry this has happened to you, but I can relate.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:41 AM   #5
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My apologies if this comes out long. I, too, have daddy issues and I'm also sixteen, so hopefully this helps.

I call him Ryan, by his first name.

Growing up, I was always a daddy's girl. I loved playing football with him, I loved being the only daughter he had, I loved it all. However, my constant need to be with him blinded me from the harm he was doing. He took me on drug deals, he constantly fought with his girlfriend in front of me, and he got sent to jail multiple times (aggravated assault, trying to burn the house down, etc).

My mother tried desperately to get custody of me, but every time children services came out I told them everything was fine. I. Was. A. Daddy's. Girl. I was 10 years old and Ryan could do no wrong in my eyes. Then one day he tried burning our house down (I lived with him and his girlfriend).
I remember grabbing my 6 month-old step brother, Maxwell, and running out of the house once I heard his girlfriend screaming for me and Max to get out. Later that day my mother came and picked me up and she would not let me go back to him. He ended up losing custody, never seeing me for a very long time.

I did talk to him when I was 11 years old. I told him I was tired of his promises and all the pain he caused.

From there I didn't talk to him again until I was 13 and learned he had a heart attack.

I haven't talked to him again since I was 13, I'm now 16.

While Ryan is absent from my life, I do keep updated from family. He's still with his girlfriend, my step-brother, Maxwell, has to go to a special school due to delayed learning, and I heard Maxwell is out of control from all Ryan has put him through.

I pray for my littler brother, Maxwell. I've talked to my fiancÚ on and on about getting in contact with Ryan just so I can see and save my brother Maxwell. We've talked about all the different possibilities, all the wounds opening again, etc. It's truly a hard decision.

It's not bad that you're not talking to your dad. He is your father, but if you feel that right now isn't the best time then that's how you feel. Don't rush it until you know for sure it's what you want to do. You also have a right to know about the well-being of your half-sister. Try talking to your mother/guardian about this decision more. My mother has always told me that she will never hold me back from talking to my dad when I decide, but I must know the consequences.

I hope things get better for you, for both of us.
You're not alone. You have so much support here.

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Old 02-19-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
I found my "siblings" on facebook and added them but is it wrong of me to not want to speak to my dad right now, yet speak to the rest of his family? I feel TERRIBLE about this, the man is my FATHER, but I feel absolutely...ignored and unwanted by him. Maybe some day I will get to know him better but right now I just can't...I just don't want to do that. I'm too angry with him.
So just talk to the other relatives and don't talk to dad.

Just because he fathered you is no great thing.

Relationships grow strong because there's relating going on back and forth. He hasn't taken much time to build a relationship with you and you aren't interested right now in putting the effort to build one with him. That's understandable given your history.

So just get to know the other relatives and call it good enough for now. Later on you can always change your mind and try again if you want to. You don't have to have all your life solved at 16!

GL!
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niafabo View Post
I felt that way about my father for years. I put off talking to him for a long time. I let the anger build up in me and even when I talked to him I couldn't help but resent him a bit. I always thought I'd get to know him better and get along with him better when I was older and he thought the same but it was not meant to be. He died in August. One of the last conversations we had before he lost consciousness and never came back was not a pleasant one. I was so annoyed with him and he tried to tell me that he regretted a lot of things in life but he never regretted having his daughters, he never seemed proud of me and he never seemed to want me in his life so i blew the comment off and gave him a half hearted goodbye. I never got the chance to talk with him again or tell him how sorry I was that I was being rude. Now that I know I will never be able to see him again there is a void in my heart and a deep regret that I missed out on years and that there are many things I will never know about him. Stories I will never hear, lessons I will never learn, and the realization that no matter what he was my dad and there is no one else in the world who will ever take his place. Don't let that happen to you! No matter how angry you are try and work things out. That sort of regret is not something you would ever want to have to live with!
Bunny, please reread this. She is giving you a very wise message.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:23 PM   #8
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I am so sorry some of you did not have good relationships with your fathers. Just somebody can make children doesn't mean they should!

However, people can and do change .... although it is rare.

Bunny ~ I know you want/don't want a relationship with your father and I can see your dilemma. My advice would be to go slow based on what you do know for fact and maybe try to start up a "committed" relationship over the phone....something along the lines of you telling him you will call him every xxx day at xxx time. Maybe you both can grow on that where it will be more comfortable for you to expand on when YOU feel like it.

Good luck and prayers
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:45 AM   #9
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Thank youy everyone, I knew I wasn't alone in the situation. (I'm so sorry Ciao, RM, Nia) I actually called him to talk to him but, oh wait for it, he changed his number. So I called his girlfriend...nope, she didn't pick up. I get what you're saying Nia but...I mean when he doesn't even let me know he changed his phone number, how can I get to know him? I'll give it time, I guess...
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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Any feelings you have are yours to have and are not wrong.

I had a very difficult relationship with my dad beginning very early. In short, my mom had an affair and I latched onto my dad, blaming my mom. When my dad moved out he actually told me he didn't love me. I was 13. It wasn't until college when email was invented (that ages me!) that my dad and I began to communicate because we could edit out anything stupid we had typed. It turns out my dad said that to me because he knew I'd formed an unhealthy attachment to him over my mom and he thought if I hated him I'd deal better with living with my mom. That's a male thought pattern for you! He also married my step-mother before I ever met her and didn't even tell me he was getting married. So I see some similarities to your situation.

I got through it and have the good relationship I have now with him because I forgave him. Corny, I know. I gave up the idealistic father and took my dad for who he was. He has some faults. He's not the most thoughtful person. He forgets birthdays and doesn't send Christmas gifts or birthday gifts to his grandchildren sometimes until months afterwards. That's just my dad. He means to, it just doesn't get done. He never calls me...ever. So I call him. He's always happy to talk to me. I used to test him and wait to see just how long he'd go without calling. Stupid test. He never called. Things go much better when I just drop all expectations and take him where he is.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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There is a difference between a sperm donor and a father. Some men don't know how to be fathers and it isn't the childrens fault and it isn't the mothers fault. I'm in my 30s and have had a difficult relationship with my father ever since he left my mom when I was 5. I realize that there is more pain in my life with him in my life than with him out of my life. I have a supportive environment with my mom's family, my husband's family and my friends.

One thing I struggled with a few years ago is that I don't need my father in my life but some part of him needs me in his life, or at least it seemed. I'm nice and had a hard time cutting him off but honestly, I'm done. I feel no guilt about it either. He has made his choices and I can make mine.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eliana View Post
Any feelings you have are yours to have and are not wrong.

I had a very difficult relationship with my dad beginning very early. In short, my mom had an affair and I latched onto my dad, blaming my mom. When my dad moved out he actually told me he didn't love me. I was 13. It wasn't until college when email was invented (that ages me!) that my dad and I began to communicate because we could edit out anything stupid we had typed. It turns out my dad said that to me because he knew I'd formed an unhealthy attachment to him over my mom and he thought if I hated him I'd deal better with living with my mom. That's a male thought pattern for you! He also married my step-mother before I ever met her and didn't even tell me he was getting married. So I see some similarities to your situation.

I got through it and have the good relationship I have now with him because I forgave him. Corny, I know. I gave up the idealistic father and took my dad for who he was. He has some faults. He's not the most thoughtful person. He forgets birthdays and doesn't send Christmas gifts or birthday gifts to his grandchildren sometimes until months afterwards. That's just my dad. He means to, it just doesn't get done. He never calls me...ever. So I call him. He's always happy to talk to me. I used to test him and wait to see just how long he'd go without calling. Stupid test. He never called. Things go much better when I just drop all expectations and take him where he is.
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