Do I meet my Dad after 26 years?

Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 10:23 am
I'm going to try and explain my situation the best I can, This is my first post on a forum like this and I have never done anything like it before so you'll have to bear with me.

When I was 2 years old I was passed on to my Grandparents by my parents due to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, I was raised by both my Grandparents and lived a very good, happy upbringing, I couldn't be more grateful how lucky I was being taken in by them.

My Mum came back into my life when I was 14 she was clean and sober and we built a relationship from there, but my dad was nowhere to be seen, My mum hadn't heard from him not long after they gave me up and she hadn't heard anything since. She was married to him but had met a new partner and they wanted to get married so she had to go through the courts to legally divorce him, they hired a company to try to track him down but had no luck and they assumed he must have passed away, This all happened when I was 15/16 - due to me never really having my real father in my life it wasn't an issue and by that point I was kind of over it.

Move forward to now, I am 28 have my own wife and child and live a very happy life my Grandad lives with us as after everything he did for me it only made sense to give him a comfortable place to stay with no bills etc, the things people dream of I guess and I am very happy, over the years my relationship with my mum has slowly got worse, mainly guilt on my mum's side and we are 2 very different people and don't exactly get along, but this is an issue I have learnt to deal with and don't have much hope for the future but this isn't the reason I'm here to talk about, Me & my partner were on our first getaway since having our daughter and on the last day I woke up to a text from my mum saying she had received contact from someone through her business that is claiming they are my Father, but she wasn't 100% if it was legit and she was asking if I wanted my number being passed onto him, I always said if for some miraculous reason my Dad did turn out to be alive and wanted to meet me I would down right refuse and move on with my life & that is exactly what I said to my Mum and left it at that, She texted me a few hours later saying she had spoke with him on the phone and it was very much him and he was extremely dissapointed that I didn't want contact, I didn't really think much about it that day.

The next day travelling home and I had this weird feeling of Anger & Sadness about the situation & felt completely lost, I am normally a person who takes things on board, processes it and forgets about it but this just doesn't seem to be the case with this and it's bothering me massively, I spoke with my wife and she is brilliant, she spoke to me and told me what I was feeling is normal etc but provided her side of the matter and said maybe I should consider meeting him not just for me but for our daughter etc she then asked if she could try to find him on Facebook (something I have done over the years with no luck) she spent 2 minutes hunting around and found a man who weirdly looked like me, She showed me a photo and I agreed with her he does look like me and I had an instant feeling of shock and you know when you just know?

When we got home I spoke with my Grandad and showed him the picture and he said instantly 'Yep that's him' which confirmed it for me, He just advised me to take some time to process it and come to a decision sometime in the future.

The issue I am having is, All I can think about is this situation, I'm struggling to sleep, lacking focus in my work, forgetting basic things which my wife asks me to do etc My head just feels so confused and just lost, Something I have never experienced before - I don't know what to do and I thought by now it's been about a week I would feel clearer in my headspace and I just don't, From seeing the photo of him it's clear he spent many a year abusing drugs and from the settings around him he doesn't look in the best position, My mum said he sounds sober - So I've created this whole idea where I think he got help to get clean & he is now sober and received help in finding my mum to reach out to me & he may have nothing and I've just turned around and said no, how does that make him feel? I'm so good at feeling sorry for people I shouldn't lol.

What should I do, Give it more time - reach out to him, or just get on with my life? Part of me is now thinking maybe I should, the other part of me just can't be bothered with the hassle (sounds bad but I like a chilled life) and the many things that could go wrong from meeting him etc

Apologies for the insanely long question, but I've got so much whizzing around my head I wanted to get it out properly on here so people who don't know me and may have a different mindset could offer up some advice, and heck maybe someone has been in this position?

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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 10:31 am
Keeping in mind you possibly should investigate if you can if approaching him directly would disrupt his present life too much or not, I say you ought to arrange to meet with him. I last saw my father when I was around three. He was a mean alcoholic. As an adult I more and more needed to find him. But I was over fifty when I made contacts and learned he died when I was six. It will always be a hole in my life that I have no memory of him.
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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 11:26 am
I have a bit of a different take on things. I saw my father after 30 years (he left when I was 10). I was the only one of us 7 who didn't want to meet him because he just deserted the whole family right after my mother was badly burnt in a house fire. He never sent a penny or wrote or called. My mother tracked him down and convinced him to come back to Canada (from the UK) to meet everyone. Anyway, some sisters convinced me to meet him at a dinner. I did confront him about why and how he could father all these kids and not send their mother any money. He responded, "Call me a cad." He was the same selfish bastard he'd always been.

Sometimes things are better left alone, but it's up to each person to decide. I really didn't need to see him (but it felt good to challenge him). Your family are the people you choose, not necessarily blood-related.

Whichever you decide to do, make that decision - it sounds like you're a hot mess right now. What does your partner have to say?
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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 02:02 pm
Hello Ab3ii,

If you could get to know him through text and or messages as a stranger or contact first, over the next few months but no contact with him until you understand what his situation is like. Analyze his messages very carefully and message him about everyday life that involves positive actions and happy outcomes and see what his reactions are to see if any of it is negative or a not caring type of attitude. Don't let the thought about it burn you out on a daily basis. Get on with life and do what you normally do because he is not thinking about it so you have to stop wasting energy on it. You are a father now and spending time with your child is the most important thing to them and their life. God gave you a life so live it. Always take a long time when approaching any situation like this and remember that you are a man and just because he is your father doesn't mean things would be good to have him in your life. You can always learn from other close friends that had good parents of how it would feel to have a good father by talking to them for a long time and learn about their lives and how they went about creating a good family and this may help you when or if you decide to meet your father. Think positive and most importantly, be happy with yourself and your family. Life is the best gift in the world, don't waste it. Take care.

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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 02:36 pm
Gosh I honestly don't know what to say. I can understand why you would feel the way you do.

The one thing I can say is - you could be walking in to meet him and have a huge disappointment...

Reading this
So I've created this whole idea where I think he got help to get clean & he is now sober and received help in finding my mum to reach out to me & he may have nothing and I've just turned around and said no, how does that make him feel?

If it is not the case you would have a huge disappointment kind of like the response Mame got from her dad.

On the other hand - you might get closure if you do you meet him - but I would not expect much from him. I do think you have good people around you so to me they are the best that know you and would guide you the best way.
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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 06:19 pm
Tough question. Just like your mother when she came back into your life, your father is not the person he was when he left you. Neither your mother nor your grandfather seemed to have had an extreme adverse reaction to his appearance. Maybe you should ask them about that. Whether you choose to meet him or not, it might be good to talk with someone about your feelings. It sounds like this has dug up some issues that you might not have completely resolved.
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Reply Wed 15 Sep, 2021 09:27 pm
Alcohol and drug addiction alter everyones character and personality.
Your mother got sober and her life in order and wanted you to know that and be part of your life. Her guilt ruined the relationship, but you at least tried.

I do think you should at least hear your father out - he may want to apologize, make mends and he may be indeed a different person now. There is only one way to find out. After you have met him and you'll decide that he's not your cup of tea and you rather not engage in any future contact, then at least you can stand by your decision for all the right reasons. Now you don't know and you will always wonder about him.

You seem like a sincere person having his heart in the right place and you've got a great support system around you to help you cope with whatever the situation brings. Meet him in a neutral setting somewhere away from your home and family and let your instincts decide if you want any future contact.
Good luck!
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Reply Thu 16 Sep, 2021 05:29 am
Sounds like your mother may be promoting this “reunion” - Why?

These two had a dysfunctional relationship before, it might start up again.

Trust your instincts to not trust. It’s up to both of them to show they are capable of enhancing your life, not using you selfishly. After all, you said that you have a good marriage and a happy life. Don’t let anything disrupt that. Put up a protective screen around yourself if necessary.

Dont expend any energy in making this happen and don’t let your mother be the arranger for any meeting. If this man can’t work up the energy and make arrangements, then do nothing.

(As you might suspect, my family is replete with alcoholic “ selfish parenting” people. I see how they have dragged down their children when they return - sick and in need - after years of putting their children thru hell)
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