Finding Out Truths at 32 - Janesville,MN

Updated on September 25, 2009
A.P. asks from Janesville, MN
35 answers

I am a SAHM of 3 beautiful children, I have been married for almost 5 years to a wonderful husband. My parents divorced when I was a young child of 22 months. I have been told for my whole life that my dad left my mom because he didnt want to be a parent and didnt want my sister and I. My dad and I have never had a good relationship, we had to visit him every summer and every other holiday in California. We rarely spoke until 4 years ago. He did not walk me down the isle when I got married my step dad did.
My issue is just this last sunday my sister comes to me with a letter a that my dad had written to me almost 5 years ago, before I got married, explaining some things of what happened and his side of things on why we didnt talk and how badly he wanted things to be different. Telling me that he loved me and always wanted to be there. With that he sent a letter that he had written to my mother, asking her to take him back (this was before the divorce papers were filed), he listed in there the faults that he had in the relationship and how he needed to improve. He also listed the many infidelities my mother had in there short marriage of 2 1/2 years. Some of which I knew, After reading this long 20 page letter and finding out that all of my childhood was a lie, my father was not the horrible person that he was made out to be and many things that I thought were true were not. I am in total shock. All my life I have treated him so horribly I cant even begin to explain the pain my heart is in right now. I am not sure how to approach this. I do have an uncle that can get me an airline ticket( he works for the airlines) and he said he could fly me out there, so that I could talk to him in person about all of this. I am not sure what to do?? How do I approach this situation?? How do I handle all of my feelings?? I am so overwhelmed. I need some advise?? Is going out there to do this in person the right thing to do?? Should I leave it alone and act like it never happened?? My sister tells me "it happened in the past leave it there" Is that something I should just do?? I am so confused. Please any advise would be great

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M.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Life is too short to live with regrets. It will either be a better relationship if you go, or stay the same. Either way, do you lose anything by giving it a try?

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P.K.

answers from Milwaukee on

Of course you should talk to him. Your relationship was only bad because you were going with what you only knew. You only have 1 father & if your heart is broken over this, then yes of course you should talk to him. I'm sure it would make your father the happiest man in the world. I'm sure he never approached it because most likely you wouldn't believe him & he didn't want to either start anything or make your mother look bad. For your sister to say it was in the past doesn't make sense because now you know. Make yourself happy, make your father happy. I would just call him & tell him exactly what happened & that you would like to sit down & just hear his side & what he has to say.

Good luck!

P.

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C.G.

answers from Davenport on

If your relationship with your father was bad because of the things that you believed, then yes I think that you need to address it. It may or may not improve your relationship now, but it will make you feel better hearing the truth from him. Your sister is right, the past is the past. Maybe this could be a new begining for you and your father.

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E.I.

answers from Duluth on

you sound like a really loving person who just wants to know the truth, and have the opportunity to give your father a second chance. there is nothing wrong with that, and be especially careful when taking advice from other people emotionally involved at this point.

what i would do FIRST is to take some time to think and pray. when you feel that you have gotten over the shock and hurt a little (you never truly will i fear) you can start communicating with your father thruogh letters or phone calls. i wouldnt do anything drastic like flying out there at a moments notice or anything. start the communication from a distance so that it doesnt feel pressured, so that you are at a safe place and you dont have to put yourself into another situation where you could be hurt more.

see how that goes. this could take a long time, rebuilding a friendship and relationship takes a lot of work and in your case, a lot of time to just forgive and find out the truth. see if you can get any information from your mother about this. i dont know if she would be mad about it, or anything, but simply and lovingly tell her that you know she did the best for you at the time, but now as an adult you really want to know what went down and why. tell her she was entitled to her feelings about your father, but you still need to know her story as well as knowing his. if things get heated, back off, and tell her you want to hear more, but not when she is upset. it might take her some time to forgive herself for "lying" to you, and that might make her angry at herself.... so it could get complicated.

anyway, good luck to you. i admire the way you feel about this, that you would forgive your father for everything, and im glad that you will be able to do that. just proceed with caution, and take your time. dont push yourself into anything - just take your time.

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G.N.

answers from Minneapolis on

I believe we only truly regret the things we didn't do. Make ammends with your father either in person or over the phone. You do deserve a relationship with your father.

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C.S.

answers from Milwaukee on

I guess my first question is why did your sister not give you the letter until now...that aside however...

I was just talking to my sister about something similar. My sister has a terrible impression of my mother (very different from me), and our versions of our up bringing are vastly different. In turn her daughter now thinks quite negatively about her gma. Much of it-since I remember it first hand as well, is blown out of proportion. But it is my sister's perspective and I can't change that.

My point is that I cautioned her about saying things in front of her daughter because she is tainting that relationship, (not that she cares). Anyway-I guess what I am trying to say is it SUCKS when you have spent years believing someone elses version only to realize the truth is veiled beneath their own pain..I'm sorry.

That being said-why don't you write your dad a letter first..or call him. Explain you just got the letter, etc...but eventually you should see him. You have the right to form your own opinions not live your life through others.

Good luck.

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T.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm not sure the right path to take, but I'd say leaving it in the past is completely wrong. A face to face, heart to heart discussion is what you need. Just be honest - tell him what you were told growing up and he'll understand why you felt and acted the way you did, but now is the time to make changes. You can't change the past but you can certainly make changes for the future. Imagine yourself in your dad's shoes - he didn't give up and walk away, he still loves you so much. Give him a chance.

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

Hi A.:
Go see him!! Plan a visit that will allow the two of you to spend most of your time there talking. If it helps write down everything you want to talk about. Get it all out in the open. You don't say how far apart you two live but if he made the effort to have you there for summers and holidays he loves you very much. It would have been easier to just not see you and pretend you didn't exist. Unfortunately you have been lied to and now while you have the chance to hear it from him find out his side of the story. My S/O passed while I was pregnant with our daughter so they never met. My daughter would love the chance to meet her dad and talk to him. You dad reached out and told the truth, think about how difficult it was for him to do that. It would have been alot easier to 'let sleeping dogs lie' go see him establish lines of communication with him. You can email and IM while you are apart and you have the chance to really get to know him and for your children to get to know him as a person.
Go while there plan for him to come and visit you at your home. Yes it will be tense but remember he reached out so he does love you.
I would like to know why you sister thought it was okay to not give you the letter for 5 years.

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C.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Go talk to your dad for your own sake. It doesn't have to be in person. The phone is a good place to start. Just remember that there are two sides to every story. You shouldn't be involved in why your parents divorced. That is between them.
Establishing a relationship with your father may be very beneficial to you or it may not, but you'll never know until you try.
Good luck!

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T.M.

answers from Appleton on

Hi A.,
I am glad it sounds like you have not let your childhood get in your way of becoming a successful person, good mom, and loving person. I agree that you should talk further with your father and then decide if you would want to go see him in person. More importantly, I wanted to tell you that even if what you were told was not true, your father was still the adult in this situation. You were a child! He could have reached out more, proved himself as a loving father,etc, despite what you were being told by your mother. You are at no fault in believing what your mother told you. It was his job to love you and be there for you NO MATTER WHAT happened between he and your mother. I am not saying don't pursue a relationship. Forgive and move on and hopefully only good things come about. Everyone makes mistakes, even parents. Just don't beat yourself up for what happened. Good Luck!

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M.H.

answers from Milwaukee on

This is something that your father has deault with for all of these years, so I wouldn't suggest dropping everything that you are doing to fly out to his home. I first suggest you taking some time to process everything mentally before you proceed.

As your sister said this happened in the past. You can't change the past but you can change the future.

I would contact him and let him know that your received the letter. Please note most men are not very sentimental, but at times there are, especially when their daughter is involved.

So either he will be quite silent or start to tell you more. If his response is silence I would let him know that u would like to spend some time with him. You should speak with your husband to see the next time you can take a vacation. Plan to spend this time in the area your father lives in. Schedule activities with him, but also have some alternatives if he doesn't show.

Long story short, you can't change the past and often people want to have a positive relationship with us but we shut them out for one reason or another. Make the future brighter, your father may be a much better man than you ever thought he was. You and your children deserve to have a relationship with him if it is one that with make your life whole.

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

A. -
Life is too short to have regrets.
This is just an opinion - If YOU can live with leaving it alone - fine. If on the otherhand you need closure and/or answers - Go. Take your husband/family - for support - make a vacation out of it for the kids.

Questions - Why did you sister have a letter to YOU for the last five years and just has decided to give it to you now? If you visited Summers and Holidays growing up - why did he not attempt to explain his side during those years? Have you talked to your Mother about this letter?

You may find out he is exactly the person you have always thought and can let it rest - or you may develope a wonderful relationship with your Dad. Maybe you owe it to yourself to discover "who" he really is for yourself.

Best of luck with your decision.
My heart goes out to you.

C.
[email protected]____.com

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J.M.

answers from Sheboygan on

Really, it all comes down to how much you really want to repair the relationship you have with your father. And you need to realize that even though you now have this information, it may not make much of a difference in your relationship....it may be irreparably damaged due to what you were told while growing up. This is a sad, but very familiar situation for me. I grew up hearing that my father never wanted me or my brother, was a horrible person who dealt drugs and beat my mother. My step-father adopted me at age 11 (along with my older brother) and I didn't think about my bio-father again until I was 18 and his son from his second marriage contacted me telling me that my bio-father would like to speak with me. I went over to his house, full of what I felt was justifiable anger and hurt, to hear what he had to say.....and heard a completely different side of how things went down when he and my mother split up. I then went back to my mother and asked her straight out about what I was told, and began asking other people who were there and involved, so that I could get as much of the truth as possible. I love my bio-father, but our relationship is not one of a father/daughter, and probably never will be. I already have a dad, and though you can have two fathers, it is hard for me to see him in that aspect since he wasn't there as I was growing up. My kids call him Grandpa, and we see eachother, but the damage has been done.
Good luck to you with your decision, and I hope all works out for you!

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B.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

A similar situation happened to me personnelly. I feel and did talk to my parent about it. Go there and talk to him in person. Tell him the actions you made in your life were based on the information you had. Now that you know the truth you are sorry and may have done things differently.

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J.F.

answers from Rochester on

You and your father both deserve this closure. Go and see him, keep an open mind and heart, and just let things go where they go. You lost so many years with him, let this be a healing experience for you both; rather than dwell on time lost, look happily to the time yet to be had. Good luck and God Bless!

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D.L.

answers from Rapid City on

A. - go go go!!! Never let something like this "just lie under the rug because it happened in the past." Let your father know that you were always reacting off of what your mother had raised you to believe. Tell him that this letter has serviced and how much you regret the time wasted getting to know each other.

It is never to late to begin a new. I'm sure you and your father will be so much closer for it. I think YOU will feel better inside too. I come from a divorced family - it was a nasty divorce too and because I was old enough to remember, I enlightened my younger brothers on many things. Our father has passed on many many years ago but I still think it is important that they understand that Dad DID come to the house and try to see us but Mom would never let him in and he would be crying on the front door steps pleading with her to let him see us. I have since forgiven my mother for this and just last summer I told her how much it hurt me to hear her say such nasty things about him. It made us both cry when she said how sorry she was and that she should have never said those things to us kids.

Tell your father - hug him and let him know you want things to be different between the 2 of you.
God Bless!
D.

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C.M.

answers from Cedar Rapids on

I would say to talk to your dad in person. There will be alot to say between you and your dad. He needs to know that you just found out about the truth.

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J.L.

answers from Eau Claire on

You should if your able to go out there in person and talk with him. Your mom was one side of the story and you heard her side growning up, now you need to hear his side also. Don't be upset with your mom about things and don't be upset with yourself because of the way you acted. the past is the past, but make room for a good future and have a relationship with him if thats what this comes too.

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S.G.

answers from Rapid City on

I am curious on why you didn't recieve this letter that was written to you 5 years ago. I would take the letters and go see dad and let him know that you didn't get the letter until now. Talk about the misconseptions you grew up with and don't hold onto anger towards your mother for misleading you but be cautious as not to repeat it. It may take a bit to get use to changing your attitude towards your father because of the lack of trust all those years and the fear of being hurt, even though it wasn't by his doing.

As sad as it is, a lot of family seperations are caused by misunderstandings or underhanded behavior of others who cause trouble for whatever the reason. All you can do is start over and open yourself up to accept your father.

Good luck.

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M.W.

answers from St. Cloud on

I would definitely go see him. Just tell him how you feel and that you are sorry for how the past turned out. Then FORGET the past and concentrate on your future together! Your Dad is BACK!!! Enjoy him and tell him you love him. Let him meet his grandkids and just be thankful that God has brought the truth to you before it was too late. Sieze the day! Good luck~~

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C.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

Imagine if you were deprived of having a relationship with your own children. I think even a relationship at 32 is better than no relationship at all. I know my relationship with my father has been better as an adult than it ever was growing up. Go for it!
C.

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K.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think absolutely you need to talk to him - either via phone or in person. He reached out to you but whomever intercepted the letter prevented that contact.

I think for your own sake you need to understand your past... so you can make decisions about your relationships with both of your parents.

If roles were reversed and someone fed your child lies and you tried to explain but weren't allowed - wouldn't you like the chance to at least share your side?

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M.H.

answers from Rapid City on

I would not start off by going to see him in person, but I would spend some time praying, meditating, or whatever you believe in. Then, I would probably write him a letter, explaining that you never got the one he wrote you until very recently, and that you've been taking some time to process everything. Spell out your feelings toward him, and why you felt the way you did (believing lies you were told for example). Tell him that you'd like to build a relationship with him (assuming that is what you want) and give him the opportunity to let you know that he still wants to be a part of your life. That would be the time, in my opinion, to go and see him or for him to visit you.

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M.P.

answers from Minneapolis on

A.,

I think that you will not regret contacting your dad and at least giving him a chance to explain. It will also give you a chance to ask your questions. If you find that you do not want any more of a relationship than you have with him now - you have really lost nothing and maybe gained some closure.

I do believe that if you do nothing - you will always wonder "what if" and could regret that decision.

Good Luck and God Bless you!

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A.H.

answers from Omaha on

If you feel comfortable seeing your dad, then I would arrange to go visit him. There is still time to have a relationship with him even though he wasn't part of your childhood.
If you don't feel comfortable seeing him, then maybe you could start a pen pal type relationship and just converse via email or write actual letters.
Perhaps you should seek out a therapist, clergyperson or someone close to you that can help sort your feelings out. I wouldn't suggest ignoring having a relationship with your father and I would talk about what happened if it really bothers you other than that perhaps forgive and forget and just start building a fresh relationship if you can. Good luck!
A.

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J.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

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L.N.

answers from Dubuque on

My personal opinion is that you should be honest. Tell your dad that you were mislead and misinformed about him. That you just now were given the letter that he wrote you and you were blown away by the contents. If you are physicaly and emotionaly able to do this in person, I would suggest it. Your dad will understand that your behavior to him in the past was based on what you had been told since you were a small child. If you knew the truth things certainly would have been different. You can't change your past behavior but you can explain it and try to work on a relationship with your dad. Both you and your dad deserve a chance at a relationship. Talk to him, I know that you will both feel better afterwards. Good Luck

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C.J.

answers from St. Cloud on

Dear Dear A.,

GO GO GO! You owe it to yourself and your father to break down this wall of lies that was built by others around you. It sounds like you had a decent step-dad, but no one can replace a biological parent that wants to have a healthy relationship and it sounds like your dad really wants that, or at least he did at one time. You owe it to yourself and to him to give it another chance. Don't let this sit in the past - you will regret it in the future. Some day it will be too late. Please don't let that happen.

I can only imagine the flood of emotions that you have and will continue to have over this situation. Not only forgiving yourself, but forgiving those that lied to you as well. But FORGIVENESS is key to wholeness in all the relationships. I think your father will forgive you. I think he is a man that truly loves his child - you! You have kids - ask yourself, would you forgive them if one of your kids were in your situation? My guess is that you would. I think your father will do the same.

Be strong. You have support and love around you even if you don't feel it at times. You will be in my prayers. Please let me know how things turn out.

Living in God's grace,
C. J
[email protected]____.com

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P.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

At 42 I found my biological father after 35 years. It's a long and sordid story, but basically my mother had me scared to death of my father. I found him via an internet search and called him the same day. We spoke over the phone for approximately three months. My family (hubby and two sons) made a trip out to visit him in NJ. I'm so glad I found him and reconnected. I do not regret it one iota! He is not the man my mother had me believing he was. We haven't discussed his past or anything my mother said. We "began" our relationship the day I called him.

I wish you luck.

Pam

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M.T.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would go out there...if you don't, you will always wonder "What if". You have a right to have your questions answered and you would feel better explaining your emotional state and feelings toward him growing up. You need to get it off your chest...that will be the only way that you can move on and hopefully start having the type of relationship with him that could have been. However, if I was in your situation, I know that I would definitely have a discussion with my mom. Why? Good luck to you...I hope that this meeting brings you peace in your heart and allows you to heal the wounds that you've been carrying around for a long time. Your dad deserves this as well...

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C.H.

answers from Des Moines on

I would just second the advice of everyone else that you owe it to yourself and to him to explore a relationship with him. Having said that, your sister's actions seem very suspect to me - a 5 year old letter? Wanting to let it go? You need to do some digging with her to find out why she kept it from you, why she wants to let it go, etc. And why she is just now bringing it to you.

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K.C.

answers from Des Moines on

It's never too late to reconcile your differences. I'm sure I would feel awful too, thinking the wrong way about a parent for so long without knowing the real truth. If it were me, I would make that trip and be open about everything. If your Dad really loves you, which obviously he does, then he'll just be happy to be in your life again. If you're honest with him about all your feelings and everything you grew up thinking about him, then I'm sure he'll understand. That's the best solution for all your pain & guilt to go away. Good luck!

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A.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

My husband had a similar situation with his father. From a very young age, my husband was told how rotten his father was. They each assumed that the other didn't want them. My mother in law changed my husband's name a couple of times and it was nearly impossible for my father in law to find him. About 4 years ago, my husband googled him and they reunited. My father in law has been a wonderful part of our lives ever since. I do recommend a letter first because you then have an opportunity to respond to all the things that you are reading in the letter you received. You can tell him all the thoughts and feelings you have had and why you did the things you did. A letter is uninterrupted communication. You can really lay things out on the table. Then I do recommend calling him-make sure he got the letter. Let him respond and start your dialogue. Realize that it may not be a storybook ending, but if you don't reach out and at least try, how much regret would you live with?

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S.A.

answers from Milwaukee on

Life is too short. You have to do what makes you happy and will make you feel good. If you do not address your dad and leave it be like your sister wants, would you regret it? I would still want to talk with my mother about the whole situation and maybe with your sister to see why this note from your dad was kept from you for so long. Good luck to you and I hope you find peace with your situation!

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A.N.

answers from Milwaukee on

Hi A.,

I truly believe in the power of forgiveness. I understand the past is the past, but you have just found out your past is a lie or a partial truth. Between what your dad says and your mother says is the actual truth. There is nothing wrong with telling your dad that you want to start the relationship "anew". Give him a chance and if he truly becomes the wonderful father he thinks he can be, great. If more hurt and pain comes your way, you can always cut ties permanently. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance and doing it the way you feel most comfortable. If you want to fly out there, call him on the phone, that is your choice.

I know my response seems skeptical, but I've seen it with other women where the father will turn around and make the mother seem like the bad person and how he wanted to be there only to abandon them again as an adult or not be there for them. Not saying what your mom did was right. She should have kept her feelings about your father to herself and let you discover your father and assess situations with him with your own eyes. I know this is very hard to do, but every woman who's mom has done things this way has grown up well-adjusted whether they saw their father or not.

Good luck!

Angie

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