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3 Bumps

Awkward situation...what to do?

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, 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

This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I saw another side to this issue. my dad is one of 9 siblings. him and his sisters learned of the # 9 sibling in 2000. He changed his name an came around to be part of the family. Then not suprisingly he wasnt used to having a family at all as he was raised as an only child he quit coming to family things. Which is a little hard for him as he lives out of state but for the years he was part of our family we cherish those memories. we call sometimes but other than that nobody hears from him. so yeah you can make contact but they will be scepticle may want a blood test and only some may except you but you wont know if you dont try.

    Answer by firewife1 at 10:14 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I would, although your mom never instill this on you, family is great, if you are rejected at least you tried, you got nothing to loose and a lot to gain, go for it!

    Answer by older at 10:00 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Contact them and be completly truthful.. If you weren't up front with them right away, they may think that you had an alterior motive.. Tell them who you are.. It's never good to lead with a lie..

    Answer by Ren_Ren at 10:54 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • YESSSSS Contact them... it could open doors as it can close some for you... you desreve to know the truth and who your family is

    Answer by BobbieJo286 at 3:41 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I would get in touch w/them. I would not mention he could be your Father. Not in a letter. Since you have some doubts. I would not mention the relationship w/your Mother either. Not @ first. If they choose to see you. Spk. w/them first. Get a lay of the land. So to spk. Then go from there.

    Answer by glamlady at 10:20 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • would get in touch w/them. I would not mention he could be your Father. Not in a letter. Since you have some doubts. I would not mention the relationship w/your Mother either. Not @ first. If they choose to see you. Spk. w/them first. Get a lay of the land. So to spk. Then go from there.


    That's my problem, why would I otherwise want to contact them? I have no reason to be "in the area," and no other connection to any of them (personal or professional), except through my alleged father who is now deceased. I was hoping that through Facebook, I would have a mutual friend in common, to open the door, but that hasn't happened yet. So how do I go about writing a "nondescript" letter or message to them without stating what would otherwise appear to be a random "let's be friends" letter!!?? LOL

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:31 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I think if I were in your situation, I couldn't resist getting in touch. Maybe through Facebook or something you could explain to them who you are and give them a brief run down of things you explained in your question (omitting things about your mother, unless asked). As long as you're prepared for what could happen. Who knows, you could end up becoming close with your half sisters which would be a whole new world for you seeing as you're an only child. If you do decide to get in touch, best of luck to you. I hope things work out in a positive way.

    Answer by Nanixh at 10:36 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I agree with Ren Ren. Be truthful from the start. Them not knowing you and starting out with a lie will make them question weather you can be trusted at all. Just go for it truthfully, you don't really have anything to lose but alot to gain. Good luck

    Answer by arenad at 11:03 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Get in contact with them and tell them you have reason to believe their father is yours. I would not mention your mother and your relationship with her. Things can change and it really isn't relavent to you seeking your father out.

    Answer by bjane01 at 11:11 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Thanks for all of your advice! I have been searching all over Facebook this afternoon, and found a few more relatives (I think!). I'm going to go for the others said, I have nothing to lose! :)

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:24 PM on Nov. 27, 2010