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Could use some advice...


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  #1  
April 10th, 2006, 06:50 AM
ericalaurel's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hi everyone,

Well, I don't start too many threads in this forum, but with my dysfunctional family I really should...lol. I need to ask your opinions about my father. Let's just put it this way...he is an *****. He was abusive to my mother and me when I was little, and they divorced when I was four. Well, when I would go to see him during visitation he was still verbally abusive and terrified me-it got to the point that I would throw a fit when he came to get me so that I wouldn't have to be alone with him. I won't go into details, but as you can tell he was a bad person.

Now, with age and a new wife/family, he has become a better person. He, from what I can tell, was a good father/husband to my half-sisters and my step-mom (aren't they the lucky ones ). We talked a few years ago, and I tried to reconnect with him. He admitted he was a bad father to me and was sorry. I tried to keep in touch with him, but he would never call me or write me-so eventually I gave up on trying to keep the lines of communication open. It wasn't very fair that they effort was one-way, kwim?

So, he actually did come to my wedding (which really surprised me). When I got pregnant I considered calling him to tell him the news...but something inside of me just couldn't. I don't know if any of you know what I mean when I say this, but all of the memories of my own childhood came rusing back to me when I was pregnant...painful memories I thought I had healed from (I went through many years of counseling to deal with those issues). So...I never told him. Something about the thought of him even being in the same room as my daughter made me angry enough to kill him. Sorry...but it did. I want so badly to protect Lanie from anything that might hurt or disappoint her, and he was nothing but a dissapointment to me.

Anyway, he (and the rest of my family) live in a small town where people talk. I am sure he's heard about Lanie by now, but I have not heard from him. The question I have for you all is...should I make the effort to let him know about her? I am a firm believer that even though he's a grandparent, he doesn't have "rights" to her, per se. What would you all do if you were in my situation? Part of me doesn't want her to know of him, because I don't want her to wonder why her grandpa doesn't want to see her (I can't count on him to make an effort with her, since he never did with me). My step-dad is a wonderful man, and just ADORES Lanie (he couldn't stop holding her this weekend). He is all the grandpa she needs. However, I am feeling sort of guilty about this. I just wanted to know what you all thought. Do you think his knowledge of her would make our relationship better, to the point that we could start to build a positive relationship? Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer, and I apologize about the length of this post!

Take care, and thank you again,
Erica
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  #2  
April 10th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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Great big hugs, Erica. I'm going to think about this for a bit - you know me, always over-analyzing . But I do want to say whatever you decide you don't have to feel guilty!!! Your father's past & present actions have put him in this position. It would be different if he was all sorry and worked hard at rebuilding a relationship with you, but since he's not even doing that you should have a clear conscious. I'm happy to hear your step-father is such a great grandpa to Lanie. My step-grandmother was the best grandma in the world and she never treated me any different from her biological grandkids. In my heart, she WAS my grandma. Bella is stirring so I gotta go.
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  #3  
April 10th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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My husband's father has not been in his life for the past 10-11 years. He did come to our wedding (1997) and he calls on his birthday every year. His parents divorce was final about a month before our wedding and tensions were very high at that point. He was a very cruel and abusive person. But, in his eyes... he has done nothing wrong.

Anyway, when we adopted Hannah... we did not call him or notify him. He found out through the grapevine and he finally told us that he was not interested in having a black grandchild. She is hispanic, not black... but what if she were it is none of his concern!!

I got pregnant with Emily soon after Hannah's adoption. I did extend the curteousy of calling him from the hospital and when I got home. He did not respond to us. I mailed him a birth announcement... nothing. I quit trying. We ran into him one time before she was born. That is how he found out I was pregnant. He saw Hannah that day. But, not since then. He has not to this day... laid eyes on Emily and she is 2.

They are both better off with out him. You have to decide as we did, are you willing to deal with him... his temper and unpredictable personality?
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  #4  
April 10th, 2006, 12:50 PM
carolinagirl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
My step-dad is a wonderful man, and just ADORES Lanie (he couldn't stop holding her this weekend). He is all the grandpa she needs.[/b]
This statement says it all, IMHO. Sounds to me that allowing him (your bio dad) back into your life would only cause more pain, than pleasure. Sure, people can change but I am also a firm believer in "too little, too late". He can't undo the past anymore than you can - you didn't have a choice as a child, however as an adult you do. You know better than anyone how he made you feel growing up and unless you want to re-live those feelings thru your daughter I wouldn't allow him back into your life. Don't you think that he would have made some type of effort by now if he truly cared. No matter the amount of time that has passed between a parent & child - if they truly love them they wouldn't allow something as silly as an excuse to stand in their way of meeting their grandchild.

I wish you the best of luck hon, I know this isn't an easy decision but don't make up your mind based on quilt either. (((HUGS)))

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  #5  
April 10th, 2006, 02:22 PM
MrsCalhoun's Avatar Ryan Lover
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to me it's the same as having a father and having a dad. A father is someone who passes the genes, a dad is the person who will love u, take care of u, and be there for u when u need them. Same can go for a grandparent. My biological grandmother passed away b4 i was born, so my step grandma has been all i have ever known. She has never treated me or my sibsas anything other than her flesh and blood grandchildren. whether or not u decide to tell him about lanie, is a choice ur going to have to make. do i think it will help ur relatonship...not really,but letting him know can't hurt. He will have to deal with what he has done, and how he would react to the baby news. NOthing forces u to maintain a relationship after telling him. Good Luck sweetie.
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  #6  
April 10th, 2006, 04:12 PM
ericalaurel's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you all for the kind responses. I think carolinagirl made a good point which I hadn't thought about too much recently-if I relived all of these events while I was pregnant, seeing Lanie interact with him would only bring them to the surface again, and much, much worse than before. I guess things are better left just the way they are. I am happy with my life now (even though money is so very tight)--but we have family that loves us, and he is a distant memory. If he had been there for me he would have earned the right to get to know Lanie, but he hasn't, and he knows that. So...I guess I will just leave things the way they are. I am not going to risk my mental stability just so he will be happy!!! I guess the biggest thing is that a part of me felt like I was being a bad person by cutting him out of her life, but deep down I believe I am doing the right thing. I just wanted to ask for objective opinions-this has been such an issue for so long that I have difficulty stepping away and looking at it objectively at all.

Thank you all again,
Erica
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