Daddy Issues


This is a long one (like a whole lifetime). I started doing some digging into finding my dad last year; as I had always been brought up knowing that my absent father was called Phil Lastname; when I mentioned the name to my mother-in-law she knew him. Then I began asking lots of questions, question my mum would never answer. I then through a friend of my mother-in-law made contact with my ‘dad’. Only to find out he wasn’t, and that they had DNA tests done when I was a baby; hence him leaving. I then confronted my mum and asked who my real dad was; she told me. And now I feel like my whole life has been a lie. My mum had no reason to lie to me about who my real dad was and I now feel like I have been robbed of a relationship with him and I don’t know how I feel about my mum any more; of course I love her but now there is just this empty feeling there too. I also did some digging into my actual dad’s life and it turns out he is happily married with 2 daughters; on of which is an acquaintance of mine; should I make contact as I feel I deserve some sort of relationship but I do not want to be the source of any conflict in his or his families life.

Category: asked May 10, 2014

3 Answers

It sounds to me like your mum may have been clinging on to the life she had planned for herself when she became pregnant. It sounds like she was in a relationship with Phil and was possibly unfaithful. She may have hoped for the family to be a unit until her indiscretion was discovered and Phil left.

Your biological father may not know you exist, without the DNA tests to compare yourself with him, you may not know for certain that this man is actually your biological father. If your mum was sexually assaulted and does not know, or refuses to acknowledge the man you is your bio father, it could be a point of shame and pain for her.

I think speaking to your mother will help. She will be scared, for any number of reasons, but she has hurt you and I really doubt she wants the cracks in your relationship to become permanent. Ask her for a real and proper sit-down because you want to know more information about your biological father. Explain that you are old enough to make your own choices about how to judge the situation and whether or not you would like to pursue a relationship with this man.
Sit down and write down some questions that you feel are most important. I would say there are two routes you could take:

- Ask her why she has been dishonest and explain how she has hurt you. If she sees your suffering and knows she may be able to ease that, she may be more open with you. She may want to justify what she has done and why she chose this path. I wouldn't use this time to be angry at your, be an open ear and let her know you are grateful that she is being honest. It may take a while for her to give you the information you want, but it may also help to heal some of the hurt between you.

- Be quite clinical about the situation. Don't make it an interrogation as she would likely resist and feel she is being accused of not doing things in your best interest. She may already feel guilt about the situation and reminding her how much she has hurt you may make her shut down. Write out a list of really clear questions about what you want to know about your biological father. Don't ask her why she has been dishonest, look at the situation before you ask why and how the situation came across. All you need right now to follow up on your pursuit is the details, pure and simple. The two of you can go back and start to rectify the situation later.

It's a really tough situation. I don't know your mother, she probably isn't the typical mum, no one is! But my guess is that she feels ashamed to have hidden it from you, especially that she has been found out. She may have had it saved up to tell you on some special occasion she had in her mind, so she didn't feel as guilty. Who knows. Try to stress to her that what happened in the past was the past, nothing needs to change between the two of you, as long as she is honest and as open as possible now. Remember that she may not have all the information you want or need, depending on the circumstances. That will probably be a tough pill to swallow, so acknowledging it as a possibility may help you in the long run.

Be brave and I hope you find what you're looking for.
I think you should contact him, tell him who you are. Maybe you can write him a letter of something and tell him what you just told, that you "do not want to be the source of any conflict in his or his families life" but that you would like to have a relationship.. Then if he feels the same he will talk to you.
You aren't responsible for your mother not telling you who your father really was - that's probably an issue that your mother needed to work out with herself, the man she thought was your father and the man who actually IS your father. Personally, I would contact this man - just by asking about your paternity you're not "interrupting" or ruining his existing family life, especially if that family came along after you were born. He might not even know you're his daughter, and just think, you might have half-sisters.