Haven’t talked to my dad in a month? Am I a terrible person?


My parents are divorced and on the weekends when I don’t have work or college I would go over to his house and spend time with him for the weekend. I don’t have my license yet so they have to meet halfway to drop me off to other parent and to pick me up. Well about a month ago, my mom told that she wouldn’t take me to meet my dad halfway or meet halfway to pick me up because my dad wasn’t helping to pay for anything. Especially half the bill for my wisdom teeth. So my dad said that he would come and get me and also bring me home Sunday night. Well when I got there my step mom told me that my mom would have to come and get me, they wouldn’t take me home. Well I was freaking out about it and I got so worried I made myself sick and I had a panic attack. I finally managed to convince them to meet halfway so I would get home in time for college. The whole way to meet my mom my step mom was yelling at me and the whole way home my mom was yelling at me. I ended up having another panic attack. After talking to a counselor at my college she helped me calm down. A week later my dad wanted me to come back over and see him and I told him I would but not if the same thing that happened the previous weekend was going to happen again. He told me that he wasn’t going to do all the driving and so he wasn’t going to come and get me. And he made me feel like shit for not wanting to get stuck over there. Then my step mom called me and yelled at me for a whole hour and told me how I am selfish and how I don’t love them. It’s been about a month since I’ve talked to either of them because I don’t want to go over there and be held hostage again. I was starting to come to terms with my decision but then my step sister messaged me on Facebook today and made me feel bad about it again. I love my dad and I miss him but I don’t want to call him and apologize because I don’t want to go over there and be held hostage again basically. But I feel bad because I haven’t talk to him and stuff. I don’t really want to try and talk to him because I always feel like my dad and stepmom are yelling at me and putting me down a lot. They also get mad that I can’t spend time with them because I have work. No matter how many times i try to explain they just don’t get it. Every time I have to call my dad or he calls me Im literally so scared that ill get yelled again. Honestly, not talking to him for a month has made things much less stressful. But I love my dad. So I feel bad. Does me not wanting to talk to him make me a bad person?

Category: Tags: asked May 30, 2014

3 Answers

You're definitely not a bad person for not talking to your dad, especially when all the supposedly adult parties involved are being so immature.

It sounds like something in the background has happened between your mother and father that has disrupted the normal routine. How long have they been separated?
Their relationship with each other does not have to influence their relationship with you.

I think you need to sit down with your mother first and ask her what changed, why she isn't willing to drive halfway anymore. You should tell her that she's being immature and that it isn't fair for their relationship to affect your relationship. You might not be able to say that last part, I probably couldn't, but that's really the point you need to be making.

Try asking to meet your dad in private, go have lunch or a coffee together in a neutral zone. Tell him how you're feeling, that you aren't trying to reject his family or take your mum's side. You have limited opportunities to see him and you value that time together, poisoning it with people yelling and petty arguments about transport is not why you see him.
Do try to keep in touch, I can go months without talking to my dad, but if you have a good relationship now, it is so much easier to maintain than to start over.

What are your other options?
- are you able to take public transport or a taxi between their houses?
- how far and how long is the trip? Meeting in neutral zones between fortresses every now and again might help your dad realise you don't need to be under his roof to spend time together.
- they need to make you the priority. If your dad chooses not to make the extra effort to come see him, that is his loss not you fault. If your mum is too selfish to facilitate your and your dad having a relationship, the guilt is on her shoulders, you are not to blame.

It is tiring and frustrating trying to mediate two parents who are making every effort to not get along. I say this from a position of making a 6 hour bus trip nearly every second weekend to see my mum for 18 months in my last year of school. They nearly didn't attend my sister's wedding this year because of the animosity between them. They hadn't been in the same room for 7 years.

The relationship of my sister and I with our parents became poisoned with all the toxic things they said about each other and we didn't know who to believe or what to do. My sister moved away with my mum after the first 6 months and it was crushing.

Separated families can be hard, separated families who hate each other and you have to be the grown-up in are harder.
My advice is to stay strong and be open to any positive contact. Anything negative they say or do in regards to you and your relationship with the other parent needs to be stopped. Tell them you don't want to hear it. You aren't a child and you are able to make up your own mind about who you care about and who you spend time with. Tell them that the hostility between them should not and should never come between you and either parent.

Speak up. Be brave. Don't let them bring you down.
They do love you, that's why they are being so protective and hostile. Let them know that they're loving you the wrong way right now.
Hi Brooke, sorry to hear about your troubles. Divorce can be such a painful thing for everyone involved and unfortunately sometimes its the kids that get the grunt of it but are forgotten. I had a similar situation so I'm just going from my experience. It got to the point where my father gave me an ultimatum - him and his new wife, or nothing. That broke my heart and I ended up having to walk a way from him. Now my story is slightly different and has many more layers but my advice to you - Keep In Touch With Your Dad.I miss my dad all the time and it pains me to not see him or speak to him. Although when I used to see him and his wife it would be hard, not seeing him is harder.So I would recommend talking to your parents and step-parents and just being frank with them. Tell them you love them and that you want to see them and that you don't want to make things hard for them but you'll need their help. I know it's a lot easier said than done, but sometimes just telling them is all you need to start the healing.

Hello Miss Brooke, you did the right thing in reaching out.

Family can be a touchy subject. We are told that family loves us and will support us no matter what, and for the most part this appears to be the case, but we often forget that our family members are human, too. It is a value that family should always support us, but it is a fact that this is not always the case. Values are not facts.

After reading your issue, it is apparent that there is some kind of bad blood going back and forth between your parents and step-parents that is being taken out on you, and this is having very negative effects on you.

It could be for the best if you did not visit your father for a while, and sit your parents down to explain to them that their fighting is causing tension between yourself and your respective step-parents as well, and until they can resolve their differences, you won't be put in the middle of their conflict.

I know it is hard, but sometimes the adult thing to do is to go against the momentum and change course entirely. Just because a river is rushing madly over a waterfall, it does not mean that everything being carried by the river is pre-destined (or obligated) to go over the falls. If you'll pardon the abstract metaphor. As rational, thinking beings, we can change our course if we identify the trouble quickly enough.

Always think of the solution, not the problem.

If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, my inbox is always open.

Always remember that you deserve the same chance at pursuing your happiness as anyone else. Never allow anyone or anything to stifle your will to live happily, and most importantly, never forget that you matter, and you are not alone.