father has no contact in almost 20 years

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tiredof33, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I have known about 4 people that had one parent desert them at an early age and reappear later in life when they start to realize they won't live forever.

    My children's father has had no contact with them for almost 20 years. I gave my daughter away at her wedding and she did invite her dad and he came as a guest. She and her new husband (first and only time he was to meet him) gave him their address and telephone number and invited him for dinner. He was to call and never did, my daughter never heard from him again.

    About 10 years ago my son was visiting Atlanta and called him to visit while he was in town. His dad said no! I can't understand why, unless, dad thought son was looking for some place to live, which was not the case. My son said the call was about 1 minute long.

    16+ years ago I had a phone call from one of the dad's relatives. His mother was dying and was asking for him, no one knew how to reach him. His family had zero contact with me and the children because they did not believe in divorce, but I was very surprised that they had no contact with him.

    He had remarried and was living with her parents so I called the mother and asked if I could give his family their number, I knew their name and they were listed in the phone book. We had a nice conversation and I asked her if he knew he had 2 grandchildren and she said yes, he did receive the birth announcements. I told her he had zero contact with his kids. He has never paid child support.

    It ticked me off that his family was calling ME to pass messages after they had totally ignored us. I told the mother to let ex-husband know that I would never pass messages for him again, regardless of the situation. That I did this time for his mother, not for him.

    This week there was an obituary for his oldest brother in the local newspaper, the ex was listed and the town they live in. He has remarried again and now is 60+ years old. I have discussed several times with both of my children that I know he will be looking for them in his laters years, and I still believe that. During those conversations both of them said they don't feel anything for him and don't care to hear from him.

    He only has 1 sister in law living in this small town and I guess that was the reason for the obit. My phone is listed in hubby's name but I am involved in a lot of charities so people know I'm here, easy to find me.

    The obit made me think about what I will say when I am contacted for my children's phone numbers. He knows my family members living here and has called my sister asking for my number before, she didn't give it to him. 5 years ago I would have come back with a smart retort just to make him mad so I could call the police when he threatens me, which he loved to do. I would have wanted to get even in some way.

    Yesterday while working in the yard I reaffirmed the message to my self that I last gave him many years ago. I do not feel like it is my responsiblity to help him contact his children, but I am not angry any more. I had already told him I would not pass messages. They are all adults and I will tell him and his family that it is between them, I do not want to get involved. He has had both of their contact info and should have kept it.

    This time I can say that, and believe it, without spite or hatred! Just thoughts of how much he missed in their lives by walking out and never looking back. His choices, his losses!
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad that you are at peace with your decision. Sometimes it takes a long time to work through issues but resolution is worth it's weight in gold. Hugs DDD
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is quite a shame isnt it? Same thing has happened to my oldest son who is 30 now...almost 31.

    His father left him when he was less than a year old and has seen him 3 times since then. They were not good visits either. My son does know who is father is and what his father is. His father went on to have two more families after us. Oddly enough the man likes to get married on the exact same day for all his weddings...which is also his parents wedding day! My son now has started to get in touch with some of his other half brothers through the internet. And 2 of his aunts. His grandparents are about useless too. We did find out that my ex abused his sisters or at least 2 of them physically and sexually when they were kids. I never knew that.

    I dont think Bill will be calling me for a darned thing. His sister may. Thats okay. I actually talk to her on FB now and I never thought that would happen. I am glad Billy has connected with some of his other brothers but he will never be as close to them as he is to the kids I gave birth to but that isnt my fault. I gave his father every opportunity to keep up with him.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I split from the kids' dad over 20 years ago. He pretty much quit seeing both girls in around 1999, for various reasons (all of which he deemed my fault). I never tried to stop him from seeing them, and I never bad-mouthed him. Since then there have been various attempts by each girl to salvage the relationship, all of which have failed miserably. It always ends with him telling them how much they've f'd up their lives, and how it's all my fault. Oldest hasn't spoken to him in 5 years. Youngest tried again about a year ago, but when plans didn't materalize for her to visit him and his family (he lives about an hour away) he blasted her for "jerking" him around, and told her the only reason he'd wanted to attempt a reconciliation with her was because of the grandkids, he figured he could have a relationship with them even if he didn't have one with her. As far as she was concerned, that pretty much translated to, "I don't care about you or love you." She told him she would never let her kids be exposed to his emotional abuse like she was, and she was done. I was really proud of her for that, becuase she lived in fear of his abusive tirades for so long. Still, I know it's painful for both girls. They really feel the loss of not having a father, and never having one who was supportive in any way. It's definitely affected their choices in men and relationships. Took me a long time to accept that there was absolutely nothing I could do to help mend that broken bond. It's very sad.

    His family hasn't had much to do with the girls in all those 20 some years. If (when) something happens to him, his wife or his sister can find the girls on Facebook to let them know. They're "friends" with them there (which is so ironic). I don't think they'd even know how to reach me, unless it was through a link to my own profile on the girls' Facebook pages.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Kiddo's father calls now and then and starts koi up with me and blames me about how he doesn't know her and we moved away (exsqueeze me, who left and moved away first? who never calls? who never bothers?). He has a family with some older and younger than Kiddo, too. There's also one a few years older than Kiddo that he also doesn't bother with, and her mother got in touch with me recently about the kids emailing each other. Which reminds me, Kiddo needs to check her email again. Kiddo finally gave up on her father but I think she'll start to get to know her oldest half-sister through email.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My biodad walked out before I was born. He and my mom were divorced shortly after my birth. We rarely saw him, although she'd encourage him to come to visit for photos if nothing else. Those visits were few and far between, after I was about 9 months old those stopped too. (I'm the youngest of 5) He married his mistress, a real major difficult child, and the mother of the half sister that is only 6 wks younger than me and the brother that is a year younger than me. Divorced her, married her again.......no one can possibly count the number of other females that floated in and out of his life. He divorced the mistress yet lived with her another 20 yrs........until he finally figured out she was indeed a major nut job. Several years down the road met his last wife, fantastic lady.......so much so I have no idea how he managed to snag her. I can count seeing him during childhood on one hand......and it's about 3 times that I can actually recall. He never paid a dime of child support even after going to prison for a year due to it. He just moved out of state when he got out. Bros did flock to him as teens, as sometimes happen with boys........they formed somewhat of a relationship with him. Us girls could've cared less. Once he married the great lady........we're all grown and have kids. Suddenly he wants a relationship with us girls too. We're not stupid, we know it has more to do with the great new wife than us, but we give him the benefit of doubt. That lasted as long as that marriage, not suprising. Although my biodad did come through for me once when I really needed him......also due to the great wife, not really him.

    Now? He's alone in a nursing home in Indy. As far as I know, no one calls or visits or writes. Heck, I don't even know where he is or what the nursing home is called, nor do I care to find out. When he passes I will go to his funeral out of respect, period.

    You reap what you sew. Do I feel sorry for him? Yeah, I suppose I do. It's sad to think that the only relationships someone could manage throughout their life were superficial ones.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    My father was very abusive to my mother and myself. After my mother died (she was only 49 years old), he just about disappeared from my life. Efforts were made so that he could see his grandchildren, but he had no interest. Anyway, for years he cried on everyone's shoulder that I was so mean to him and didn't want him to have a relationship with his grandchildren. The real truth was that he was an abusive husband and father and never wanted to make amends. Never wanted to lift a finger to have a relationship with me or his grandchildren. Sometimes I think that his avoidance and disappearance from everything was guilt. I mostly think it is extreme narcissism and he was unable to truly be empathetic or caring. I think your situation couled be similar. My father died this past summer and he was difficult to the end...but I like to hope and pray that he had a quiet change of heart. It hurts so bad. All I can say is that just like we have to do with our adult kids, you should probably learn to detach from your father's antics as well. Whatever is going on with him, is just that "something going on with HIM." It is EXTREMELY unlikely it is anything you did. A father should want to be with his daughter and grandchildren. He is an adult and he knows in his heart if he messed up and should face it like an adult man and move forward. If he hasn't been able to do that, it is not something he wants badly enough and for whatever reason, he is not able to make healthy choices that would lead to healthy relationships. This is not your fault. It is unfortnate for your father that he missed out as it was for my father as well. May you be blessed with people in your life who can nurture you and love you in a healthy/caring manner. And although it is unlikely, hopefully someday, your father will realize his losses and behave in a healthier/more caring manner. In the mean time, I agree,trust your gut. You do not have to abide by his wishes if they do not feel right to you. No way!
    Lasted edited by : Mar 10, 2012
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is really sad Lisa. I feel sorry for him. His big loss though. HUGS
  9. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I agree that it may be sad BUT you do reap what you sow! It's not just men (I thought it was for a long time after my divorce!) I worked with a woman that had been told by her father that the mother was dead.

    Then when my coworker was in her 50's a woman calls her and says she is her birth mother! She was in so much shock that she took a week off from work to sort things out. The birth mother had a terminal disease and was looking for help. I don't know if she helped or not, it's a tough call!

    When I was growing up (59) it was unheard of for a woman to walk out on her child. A woman had to be a really bad mother (or really rich dad lol) to lose custody of her children.

    I don't understand how anyone (man or woman) could have a life not knowing if their children are dead or alive. But my children's father does too!!! and of course it is going to be all my fault. I never bad mouthed my ex to my children, you don't have to, they will show their true colors! and now they know the truth, but ex will still try the blame game.

    (((hugs to us all)))
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bingo. That's exactly my situation. The girls now see it all, I didn't have to say a thing. Although now I do "agree" with them when they vent, or empathize with them at least. The only advice I can give them is to accept him for who he is, and accept that he's not likely to ever change. I don't know how you do that about your own father, though.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    The forgiveness that I found was not in forgiving my ex for the things that he had done to me, or my son. It took 15 years in therapy some of it twice a week, some of it three times a week - to get over, get through the damage. The forgiveness I found was for myself for allowing it. Once I was ABLE to forgive myself? It didn't seem to matter if I forgave him, and actually I couldn't forgive him - because in order to forgive someone they have to say they are sorry, and be repentent of, and continue to change the behaviors that caused the hurt in the first place, or ask your forgiveness. With my x? There was none of that, nor will there ever be - he's a sociopath/psychopath without a conscience that has stated (and I quote) "It's all water under the bridge now, I would hope you could be the bigger person and just let by gones be by gones instead of still being a little girl and pouting."

    The other reason I can not say "I forgive your Father' is for the horrific things he did to my son. How do you tell a child who suffered his entire life, without any sense of feeling that what was done to him was vindicated even under the law - that you FORGIVE the person that did these things to him? I've said in the past "I think we should just forgive him and move on with our lives." But then I found myself asking that question over and over. It was abuse. It was torture. He didn't behave like a Father. He didn't behave like a husband. So my statement after therapy to my son is "I can now forgive myself for not knowing any better, and staying as long as I did in a relationship that damaged both myself and my son, and I hope some day you can forgive ME. As for your biofather? I pray for him because it's all I can do, because it's not up to me TO forgive him. I believe he took that choice out of my hands years ago when he continued to repeat his behaviors over and over and over without fail. Now it's between him and God - and someday? Someday I believe he's going to have to stand before Him and account for all the horrible, rotten, mean, dispicable, attrocious, hienous, things he's done on earth - not only to me, to my son, but to countless others - and face the reality of his life. In doing so, I can only imagine that he'll be asked to re-watch his life- with a conscience like we have, and feel how he made people feel over the years, feel what we felt. I believe that will be his Hell, and I feel okay knowing that despite what he did to us? I'm still praying for his Salvation. Because without doing so? I'm not practicing what I believe.

    I don't have to turn the other cheek with an abuser - and I don't have to teach my son to do so either. But in order to find peace in my own soul with what happened? And peace for my son? You have to be able to stand up and learn how to forgive yourself. That's not easy, sometimes it takes help, sometimes it takes years, and with children who feel such anger and rage at parents who hurt them, and abandoned them for NO reason of their own? I think it's important for them to be able to move on - but they need someone to help them put those emotions in perspective. It's okay to be angry, it's okay to be hurt, it's okay to feel abandoned - because you were. But it's NOT okay to use that as an excuse to RUIN your life - and the sooner you, me or anyone else understands forgiveness of self? The sooner you can heal, and move on to better things, and a better life.

    My son has taken TWENTY ONE of his TWENTY ONE years on earth to begin to understand how one person, could do so much damage and NOT feel even a twinge of responsibility for their actions while as his Mother -and society were constantly preaching about RESPONSIBILITY for your behaviors. I don't know HOW you would make a child understand this, or cope with this. So it's not a wonder to me that so many adults feel like they do about their childhood. You're not even handed these coping skills until (if ever) much later in life - and by then so many other things have gone on. For those of you who have risen above it without help? I think you are extraordinary people indeed.
  12. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I agree Star, my ex shows no remorse, takes no responsiblity. What always amazed me was, after not knowing where is he was for 2 years and leaving me to raise 2 small children on my own (which except for the financial part was heaven compared to what we had been living in) he just shows up on my doorstep as if nothing had happened!

    He had been living with another woman and told her I was his sister keeping his kids. They were to marry on Valentine's Day and we were not divorced. I had to call the police to get him out. He pulled a knife and was going to fight the police. All of this in front of my kids! Then the fool called me collect from the jail. I just don't think so lol!!!

    The time he was gone gave me a chance to see I could live without him, and my life was better. His girlfriend's mother called me and started calling me names, when I told her the truth she didn't want her daughter to marry him. But she did anyway, she was my witness for the divorce lol!!!!

    I knew he was going to treat her the same way, only took 3 months and he had picked up someone in a bar and wifie tries to committ suicide on the streets, he left her there and someone called the police.

    They were married for about 8 years, and off and on both of them would call me and ask if I was happy. My reply was always, 'very happy!!!!'. I can't imagine what prize this man thinks he is that I would ever go through that again.

    I was very guilt ridden and it was never mentioned in counseling. When my son was in his teens and my daughter in her 20's I apologized to both for marrying him. I said he was not like that when I married him. As I got older I realized he had always used drugs and he hid it from me.

    My child had a crappy childhood, but he also has had so many chances to turn it around. After his dad left our lives we so much better, then he decided to be an 'out of control' kid at an early age. He has to do this for himself.

    I still say God should have made us with auto birth control and after passing a 'child rearing test' we could have it removed, say when we are in our late 30's lol!!!!

    I forgot to add, my ex grew up in a large family, the parents were close to 40 when he was born, extremely religious. So who knows what causes them to turn out as they do other than themselves. Their choices!!!

    (((blessings and forgivness to us all)))
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Well let's just hope - (or my great hope) is that when the roll is called up yonder? I'm not standing within 100 miles of my x - because when the hole opens up to take him down? I don't want to be anywhere near him. My prayers or not? I don't think he's going to hear "Halleluijah" I rather believe it will be "Grab yer torch and pitchfork."