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Topic: Father who abandoned us wants to reconnect

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. triggerhappy
    triggerhappy avatar
    10 posts
    3 February 2020

    Hi

    In short, I'm just about 18 and so about 8 years ago my biological father left my three siblings and I without contact. Recently, via his mum who we scarcely talk to, he sent us a brief message including apologies, sympathies, saying it wasn't our fault, telling us where he lives, etc..

    My mum and he divorced ages ago. She remarried to a guy who I have seen as a parent for basically as long as I have known him. I don't have an issue with the need to have a 'father figure' in my life. All those years ago, the four of us saw him every second weekend. My siblings remember everything but I don't for a single thing and haven't for years so I am going off what they have said. Apparently he would 'take off' a lot without contact for as long as 6 weeks and wouldn't really look after us properly when we were with him. It turns out he was psychologically and sexually abusive to my mum when they were together when I was maybe 6 years old. He left this time 8 years ago and didn't make contact until about 2 years ago when my mum tried to get hold of him on behalf of us so that we could legally change our names (we wanted to). At the time before he left he had a girlfriend who didn't know he had children. He was also working a very high paying job at the time and, to the best of my knowledge, for years after, but did it in such a way to evade tax. He comes from a family who are highly manipulative. My eldest brother was greatly effected and ended up in hospital. Apparently I was sad for a few weeks and suddenly 'got better' at the time, but had an 18 month episode maybe two years ago triggered by minor stressors which closely resembled the actions of my father. I was majorly distressed for most of that time without an apparent reason but in hindsight I think I was having a delayed response to my father disappearing suddenly without knowing it.

    I AM curious but would never have any sort of relationship with him. My mum tells us she supports whatever we want to do collectively but obviously doesn't actually want us in contact with him, and has said that perhaps mere curiosity isn't a valid reason. I don't want to admit it but it does extend beyond curiosity. Apparently he used to be manipulative and so I should be cautious regarding my expectations. My older siblings haven't dedicated any time to discussing with my sister and I, so I do feel a bit stuck. Anything I decide to do also affects my myself, siblings and mother.

    Thoughts?

    Cheers

    R

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8228 posts
    3 February 2020 in reply to triggerhappy

    Hi, welcome

    You have reached an age when any decisions you make can be yours alone and you can base such decisions on many things.

    However another persons perception of him being “manipulative “ is not something you should,imo, be relevant as he wasn’t manipulative to you, Furthermore, being manipulative isn’t a crime and although it isn’t a nice trait, you are aware of it and can take precautions. Eg if he asks you to pass in messages to siblings- “no dad, contact them directly” etc

    Having a good father figure in a step dad doesn’t mean he has to be replaced by your natural father. You can’t have too many father figures. You can enjoy a friendly relationship with him without disclosing the details to your mum and siblings. If they desire to expand their relationship with him they can, keep yours to yourself.

    While it is unacceptable that he broke off all contact with you all it is very sad. You don’t know if he has mental health issues or had negotiation issues with your mum, I’m not excusing him but everyone deserves a chance and we are all different.

    Throughout your adult life you have to make your own choices. Allow your siblings to make theirs, and they should allow you to make yours.

    Relying in other peoples account is not a good way to make conclusions.

    He is wanting contact, that means as a minimum, he wants you in his life. That is credible.

    TonyWK

  3. triggerhappy
    triggerhappy avatar
    10 posts
    3 February 2020 in reply to white knight

    Thank you very much TonyWK - I really appreciated your response as it provided with a very different (helpful) perspective.

    I do know he was sexually and psychologically abusive to my mum and made my eldest brother lie about not being his son on multiple occasions before he left, which I don't think I can oversee. But you are right in saying that whatever dimension to our relationship is my own, as is the case with my siblings for themselves.

    Again, thanks:)

    1 person found this helpful
  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    8228 posts
    3 February 2020 in reply to triggerhappy

    Thankyou for replying, not everyone does.

    If you reconnect I’d leave the sensitive topics until you get to know him better. You don’t need to trust someone 100% to have a relationship with.

    All the best.

    TonyWK

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