Very long story short(er). L's dad and I were never married and never lived together. He is an attorney and married the quadriplegic Deputy DA of the Child Welfare Division in our county two weeks before our custody hearing. They became good friends with the Judge, who heard visitation and other matters 5 times altogether, and guess who always got what they wanted? It was hell. husband and I married when L was almost 3. When I was 7 months pregnant with M, StepMonster brought L to her personal friend and pediatrician where L allegedly told the pediatrician in SM's presence that I had molested her. L never made the allegation again outside of that room, but guess who was found "more likely than not to have molested L" in family court? I had to go for therapy for years, and had to have supervised visits with L for two years before I could be alone in a room with her. It's only through ignoring that it happened that I can even get on with my life. Fast forward 12 years. L's dad is divorced from SM, who has since passed away, and has ignored L for years. (husband and I had him over for dinner and offered the olive branch. He said "I did what I had to and I will never apologize. Then ends justified the means.") She is 15 years old, promiscuous and won't go to school. He wants her to live with us. NO WAY! He's undermined our authority at every turn and she hates us. He never made her do anything she doesn't want to, and has used "making you move in with your mom if you don't straighten up" as a threat for years. He puts her in a group home 500 miles away for 9 months. She runs away, misbehaves, and gets mad at me because I won't break her out. My sister gets in a fight with me about my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, and she and my brother start writing letters to L in the group home about how awful I am to my parents. Group home mom decides that between the hateful letters from my family and L's running off and not obeying rules, she is grounded from seeing anyone other than me or her dad. I pass the limitations along to my parents without the underlying BS. Group home mom brings her to town while doing errands, and tells her that she is to see me while she is here. L calls my parents instead, and they come get her, promising the group home mom that they will bring L to see me. They don't. They bring her to my angry sister. Everyone tells L that they all understand why she hates me. No one tells me, I'm clueless that she was even in town. My mom calls the next day and asks if they can go out of town to visit L. I pass along the group home mom's directive that they can not. They call L's dad and ask if they can visit her. He says yes, but they should not tell me because I would be mad. Huh? It's not my idea that L's where she's at or has rules about who can see her. My dad makes sure my best friend knows about it and tells me about it the next day. Not only was I angry that they went behind my back, I felt like a fool! I wasn't the one calling the shots and suddenly I'm the bad guy. L's dad and the group home mother refuse to "get involved". Get involved? It's all about them and I'm an innocent bystander taking all the heat! Fast forward to this week. L has found M through his Myspace page. She tells her dad. He offers to take them out to dinner to help facilitate a reunion between them. Never mind that L and M always hated each other, and L bad mouthed him all through school. L told me about this, and I told her I would like it if she and M saw each other and built a relationship, but her dad needed to stay out of it. We are out to dinnner and see L's dad last night. He sits with us at our table, talking about how important he is. I bring up M, and he practically runs from the table. I sent he and L this e-mail today: <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> L~ husband and I saw your Dad and (your stepsister) at Ginos last night. SS had the puppy with her. It is very cute. Your Dad walked me back to our table and sat to chat. I tried to quietly talk to him about my conversation with you the other day that you Dad wanted to buy the two of you dinner to help repair your relationship with M. As I told you then, I would be very unhappy about that. This is something that husband and I have talked about and were going to discuss with your Dad in any case. He excused himself from the table before we could make any sort of point. husband and I wrote this note together after we got home, and edited it together this morning. We are carbon copying your Dad because we dont want anyone to misunderstand what we are saying. We are both happy that you want to see if there is a possibility of a relationship between you and M. We miss M and we worry about him every day. Things werent very good between us for a number of years before he left, but he will always be our son, and we will always love him and want him to be happy. The involvement of outsiders in this situation has only served to make matters worse over the past few years, and while we recognize your relationship with M, your Dad has no place in this matter. We do not want your Dad involved in repairing your relationship with M. If your Dad wants to help facilitate a reunion with dinner, he can pay for dinner for the two of you but he is not a member of our family and should not insert himself there. M is and always has been a mooch. The relationship that you would build with your M through your Dads involvement would be about getting things from your Dad, not his relationship with you. There are other reasons as well, the not the least of which is that your Dad didn't consult us, and it just plain is not your Dads place. You need to understand in no uncertain terms that well be angry with him and angrier with you if your Dad gets involved in this situation. This is nothing compared to how angry we will be if your Dad gets involved and you agree to not tell us or to lie to us about it so Mom wont get mad. You should be aware that if this happens again it will be the relationship between you and I that will to be repaired. I don't ever want to hear that from either of you again. husband and I are grown people who as a general rule make very good decisions regarding our lives and our children, given the chance. We have not made any outrageous blunders and deserve the respect any parent does concerning their relationship with their children. Inserting himself into other peoples parenting is not done under any circumstances whether the child is 11 or 21. Whatever your Dads motivations are at this point, he needs to walk away. He has had his fingers in most every bit of unhappiness in my adult life. He made the time surrounding Ms birth and several years after that a hell for M and for us and I dont know that any of us will ever fully recover from that. All we can do is move on and ignore it, but it did happen and it we will never be able to forget it. It is source of great pain for all of us. Your Dads butting in without consulting me was directly responsible for the falling out between my family and me. That situation added a great deal of strain to our already tenuous relationship with M. If he really wants to facilitate a happy reunion in this family he could start there and the rest would naturally follow. But then that would be much messier than buying M dinner. The hard stuff usually is. Unfortunately, when I asked him to help repair that relationship he refused. He doesnt now get to step in with a confused, angry kid and buy his way into being the hero. M is our son. Your relationship with M has been peripheral, at best. It would make us very happy if you were to build your own relationship with him. Your Dad needs to stay out of it. If he has already made arrangements for you to get together with him and M, he needs to step off. If it has already happened he needs to tell us about it and help us to make it right. We love you, but you need to understand that this will not ever be ok. Im not sure why your Dad doesnt get it, it's pretty basic. Love, Mom</div></div> L writes back: <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I thought I made it pretty clear that it was an offer that was never taken up on. My dad has good intentions. I know that it is a difficult and painful situation with M, and I understand how you feel about my dads offer; however he is my father and as I said his intentions were good. You shouldnt be so hard on him. Love, L</div></div> I wrote back: <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm not being hard on him. I'm asserting my place as M's mom, and trying to keep your dad from making another mistake involving me. If your dad has good intentions, there are ways that he help that would include input from husband and I. The relationship he needs to repair is his relationship with me. That is where all of the recovery for everyone in this family starts. </div></div> She wrote back <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> OK </div></div> Gawd life sometimes! How can someone go through 16 years with an apology on the table and not once ever take credit for or apologize for their role in an ugly situation?