I have been wrestling with an issue that I'm hoping some of you who have been through, or know of a similar situation can help me with. I'll try to make the story as succinct as possible--as I want to try and avoid it reading like a soap opera! LOL
First off, I'm an only child and over 40 years of age. I'm happily married with two young children, and I have not spoken with my mother in over seven years--which was my decision, living over 300 miles away from her and my childhood hometown, makes it easier to avoid her.
My mother never married my father, and has always remained single, however, I was never to know about him, to the point where my mother told me he was dead, then told me he was alive, but unfaithful and had no future prospects--basically calling him a loser. She is now 65 and will take the true story and related stories to her grave--it's just who she is!
My mother told me that if I ever tried to contact him, she would disown me! Mind you I have lived on my own since going away to college at 18, and moved out of my home state at age 23, and continued to live on my own until I married at age 32! Since I was an only child, and she was my only parent, and I was raised in a strict Catholic home, and taught to "always love your family no matter what," I continued to bury my feelings, doubts, and questions and not "rock the boat."
I never formed close relationships with my aunts, uncles and cousins, because of my mother and always siding with her, (until I learned about her many lies) as she has a history of writing people off for decades (her brothers and parents) the moment they would speak up or against her (she has major anger and control issues), so it was plausible that she would disown me (there's more to the story, but I'm trying to keep this brief), so I never pursued the issue, even though I was tempted to on many occasions.
Thanks to the internet, every now and then I would Google my father's name, and the names of family members that I discovered through articles and NetDetective.com, to see if I could learn more about this side of my family through public records, articles, and what not.
Almost two years ago, I Googled my father's name, and came across his OBITUARY!! He died in 2009 of kidney failure at the age of 63, as a complication of his having diabetes. And through his obituary I discovered he was a solid family man--having been a loving husband, father and grandfather, having worked for the same company for over 40 years, having been married to the same woman for 39 years, and having been involved in positive community organizations like the Knights of Columbus, his catholic church, etc., Basically, it sounds as if he was the complete opposite of my mother's depiction of him was.
So, my dilemma...I now know that I have two-half sisters--ages are now 39 and 36--they are both married, and on FaceBook--including his widow, her sisters and relatives (amazing the stuff you can find these days!)--and lived just 7 miles away from me the entire time I was living in my hometown/state!
I am wrestling with the idea of contacting them to ultimately see a picture of him (I have no idea what he looked like), and learn more about him. I plan on making my letter VERY clear in stating that I have no relationship with my mother, do not want anything from them (I am financially well-off), live 300 hundred miles away from them, and do not intend to alter or have them question the memory of their father by revealing some "deep dark secret" of his especially since he cannot defend himself, but at the same time, I have always wondered about the other half of who I am--I guess like an adoptee would feel--never knowing, always wondering/curious. I will also tell them that I respect their wishes if they choose to not respond.
In fact, I am not even sure this man IS in fact my father--my mother is an habitual liar, the variety of "whole truth" letters have changed over the years, his name is not on my birth certificate, but my maiden name is his last name, and I was told detailed stories about family members, whom I have verified--so I know there are "nuggets of truth" buried within, and too many details that the average person would not be able to garner from the internet on their own--and from more than 20 years ago, long before the internet made it so easy.
What do you think I should do? Should I contact them or not? I am prepared to accept rejection and insults, as I imagine this would be difficult for anyone to comprehend this issue considering the delicacy involved and all the time that has passed.
Thanks in advance for all of your insight--positive or negative. :)
Asked by Anonymous at 9:54 AM on Nov. 27, 2010 in Relationships
Answer by firewife1 at 10:14 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by older at 10:00 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by Ren_Ren at 10:54 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by BobbieJo286 at 3:41 PM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by glamlady at 10:20 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by Nanixh at 10:36 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by arenad at 11:03 AM on Nov. 27, 2010
Answer by bjane01 at 11:11 AM on Nov. 27, 2010