Thoughts Help: Reunited With Father After 30 Years

neitzaNovember 22, 2008

Last fall I received a call from my half brother - we talk sporadically but we've always had a good relationship. During our conversation he asked if I'd heard from our father (a question we've been asking each other for 30 years) and my answer was the same as always, "no". When we'd finished speaking I decided I would look my father up - it took me all of $14.95 and 8 minutes before I had him on the phone. I called him up without thinking thru what I was actually doing. I was just as shocked to find him as he was at being found. LOL. After the initial shock our conversation was awkward and tentative. We exchanged numbers and began calling one another.

Here is a little background information:

My father left my mother for another woman "Nancy" when I was 7. My Dad married "Nancy" and raised her daughter Megan- while basically abandoning me (I had a brief relationship with him at the age of 16-I'm 46 now). During the brief relationship I did not get along with Nancy at all - after my visit my father and she divorced for a short period of time and she always blamed me for it.

I contacted my father last fall after about 30 years on a whim. Well it was the best spontaneous thing I've ever done. After months of talking on the phone we made plans to see one another. He's flown here twice in the last year to visit with me, my brother and our families and our reunion has been good emotionally for both all of us. He's apologized and acknowledged and took total responsibility for abandoning us and we've been able to forgive him and move forward. He and I now talk on the phone daily (from his secret cell phone-it's secret because Nancy hid or broke the previous phones) and we email one another frequently. My brother, my father and I are all ecstatic that after all these years we have reconnected and getting to know one another.

Here's the problem - my father's wife, Nancy of 40 years is having all kinds of fits and doesn't want him to have ANYTHING to do with me - his biological daughter. She erases my voice mails, intercepts cards from my children to their grandfather, turns my photos down, has violent fits after I talk to my father on the home phone (she doesn't know about the cell phone). I sent my father a guided biography journal for father's day to fill out for me. He spent months filling it out with all types of historical information/stuff and she took it and threw it away. Basically she's making it very difficult for my father with all this bickering about me. My father is hurt and angry because he says this should be the best time in his life - reconnecting with his children.

Basically she doesn't want me to exist. They are both in their 70's and my father is seriously contemplating divorcing her as he doesn't want to live the remaining days of his life fighting with her and he refuses to give his kids up again. She is responding to our reunion as if I am "another woman" instead of a daughter that simply wants to have a relationship with her father. It's the strangest thing I've ever heard of. I've not asked for anything other than my father's time - so I don't know why she's tripping.

Oh lest I forget - her daughter, Megan is very ill and bed-ridden and living with Nancy & my Dad. Dad has taken care of Megan for 47 years as she has severe mental health issues. He is furious that after all he's done for her daughter, Megan that she would behave so cruelly and selfishly because he simply wants to have a relationship with his own children.

This has been going on for over a year now with no signs of progress. My dad seems to be getting more and more impatient and frustrated. This should be a joyous time for all of us - but it's like a sick soap opera. I've reached out to Nancy twice and she is not at all interested in making amends with me.Please send prayers/thoughts/good vibes our way.

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justnotmartha

I will be sending thoughts of strength to your father and patience to you. I think I will also send you the SF Forum lamp, which we like to send to our members to smack those who deserve it upside their heads. It's got NANCY written all over it.

Keep us posted . . .

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:18PM
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sweeby

I'm so sorry for what you're going through Neitza -- But to me, it sounds like Megan's mental health issues may have been inherited...

I can see how Nancy would have hated you at 16 if she blamed you for breaking up her marriage. And while it's not fair to blame a child, I can see how she might do it anyway. Teenagers can be very difficult. But it's been 30 years!

Do you have any kind of relationship with Megan? Sounds far-fetched, I know, but I doubt your father will be able to get through to Nancy...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:18PM
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neitza

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and respond. I've really not had anywhere to vent about this nonsense. It does seem that Megan's issues are genetic. It's really a sad state. I can't see how anyone would be so callous. No this is an example of a complete and utter "Step MONSTER". I'm a step mother myself and cannot fathom the way this 72 year old woman is behaving.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:35PM
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serenity_now_2007

Neitza:

Don't let Nancy do this. Tell her and your Dad everything you feel NOW before he gets too old or too sick and it's TOO LATE. Best of luck, you'll need it. Hang in there and be strong.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 2:51PM
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nivea

Hey Neitza!

I'm not sure what you could do, other than try to keep Nancy out of any communications with your Dad. Don't mention her, don't ask for information. It's your Dads problem. If he does decide to divorce her, thats his choice.

Maybe you can tell him that you just want the relationship with him and go from there. Tell him that you can't go live a "soap opera" and do not want drama, just want the relationship with him.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:48PM
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neitza

Hi Nivea!! How are you doing? Did you ever find a forum for us? LOL

As you can see - the drama continues. Yes it's his problem - not mine.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 8:04PM
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nivea

I'm ok, just really busy with work and my own drama :) I am still looking for material for a more comprehensive and permanent website. It's a lot more difficult than I thought, there are hardly any resources for an adult stepchild. But you already know that!

But anyway, I'm sorry that this is still happening.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:38PM
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quirk

I agree with nivea, this is really your dad's problem not yours. And if you start to feel bad for him, I would maybe also point out that this is the woman he chose to spend his life with, and it sounds like this is who she's always been. He chose, many years ago, to leave his family and marry a woman who didn't want him to have a relationship with his children. The fact that he's changed and grown and is now willing and able to have a healthy relationship with you is great, but the fact that his wife is not supportive is the result of his own past choices. It's his problem to deal with, not yours.

I know it's probably not possible to completely avoid the drama while still having a relationship with him, but I'm just saying that this is what he chose for himself. It's entirely up to him to deal with the repercussions, and in no way your responsibility.

Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:29PM
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kkny

Of course it is not her responsiblity, but she try to maintain contact. I would also be concerned for a parent as he/she ages. If the time comes when he is being taken advantage of, I would also contact the County Dept of Aging to see if they can help.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:44AM
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quirk

Didn't mean she shouldn't maintain contact with dad, just that she shouldn't feel any obligation to deal with Nancy or make further attempts to make nice if she doesn't want to.

Dad, Nancy is your wife, you deal with her as you see fit.

Repeat as necessary.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 10:35AM
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organic_maria

Its hard to maintain a relationship with her dad if his wife is breathing fire down his back and face after each contact!
Nancy sounds threatened to me. i'm sorry to say this but maybe she feels that you want something after 30 years of no contact and that something is inheritance. I know its an ugly thing to say. I went through something similar before all of you jump down my throat!
I had a heated arguement and fall out with my dad as well and partly due to my stepmom. I didn't see or hear from my father for 10 years. My husband was the one who encouraged me to recontact him and i got the same cold shoulder from my stepmom at first. BUt after a few months of talking and breaking some ice my relationship wtih both ofthem is quite good. i noticed she calmed down after she realized i was married and had a child of my own. i wasn't going after his money...infact, the only real reason for the contact was not for me but for my son. I still feel a sense of hesitation from her , as if she doesn't trust my intentions but that is her sense of insecurity she has to deal with ...not mine.
I say keep calling. keep in touch and its up to your dad to reassure her. The violent part gets me worried though...what do you mean by violent? screaming...hitting??? if its violent you have to call an agency for the elderly for abuse..... If nancy hates you , there is nothing you can do about that. Do you live far apart? have you gone to visit or ask him over for his grandkids? Nancy has no business stoppping him from seeing his grandkids...i'm really thinking because her daughter has health issues she feels threatened that any care for her daughter will go out the window for you and your kids. Your father has to put his foot down with his wife. And only he can do that..not you.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 1:34PM
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colleen777

Now just wait a minute there neitza. It is not your stepmother who needs to make amends to you, it is your father. 30 years is a heckovalotta time. What kind of "whim" was it you had? LOL. Looks very opportunistic to me.

And who, pray tell is the one who is informing you of all the things this horrible woman is apparently doing? Daddy dearest? Do you think it even remotely appropriate for your father to be discussing his marital situation with you? He is a wimp of the sorriest kind.

IF I were "Nancy" I would say goodbye to his ugly arse. I would divorce any fecker who tried to make me to blame for his sorry arse weak actions.

PFFFFFFFFFFFFFT.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 3:51PM
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neitza

colleen777

I never stated that Nancy needs to make amends with me or do anything for me. Yes 30 years is a very long time - a long time to carry anger around with me & forgiving my father is one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I'm not sure what you mean by "whim" you are referring to? As far as opportunistic - I'm not sure what you mean. I don't need anything from him & have told him so. This is purely about reconnecting with my father & learning about him.

As far as our discussions go - the only time we discuss Nancy is when she has done things in an attempt to sabotage our communication. If she would quit interfering we would have no reason to ever discuss her. She is the person running interference not me. Believe me I get no joy out of knowing what an ignorant twit he chose to marry.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 4:14PM
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