I'll try not to make this too long... i think I'm just looking for some validation that my feelings are normal...
Long story short: I decided to become a single mother by choice and went through anonymous donor insemination 14 years ago. Beautiful dd is now 13. The night before the final insemination I had sex with an old boyfriend, Bill, and up until the paternity test this past summer, I didn't know who her dad was. I never told her about him--she always thought the donor was her dad.
Bill always thought he was her father but he was fine with us not finding out--he never really wanted kids. He and I saw each other every few years and he always asked about her. I told him that I would tell dd about him--and get the paternity test--when I thought dd was ready--maybe age 16 or 17.
Truthfully, I thought he would make an awful father (immature, too much partying, selfish, etc.) and I didn't want him in her life.
Over the summer dd started asking questions about the donor and found that he had fathered two other kids through anonymous donor insemination (she found the donor sibling registry online) which would make them her half siblings. She wanted to contact them and I had to come clean with her at that point (this involved months of soul-searching before I made this decision) and we got the paternity test done.
Bill is her father and was thrilled to get to know her. He now says that he wishes we had found out right after she was born and that he had been in her life all along. He is now living with and engaged to a woman with three teenage daughters. The whole family has welcomed dd with open arms. She's visited them at their house 4 times and they've been here a few times. I really like all of them. Bill is still immature in some ways and dd seems as drawn to his girlfriend and her kids as she is to him--maybe more so. She loves the feeling of being part of a big, boisterous family--after having it be just the two of us for so long.
My emotions are all over the place...I feel guilt for keeping her from her father, though I think my reasons were pretty good, I feel happiness that these nice and nurturing people have embraced my daughter so warmly and willingly, I feel afraid that, if Bill should break up with this woman dd would be devastated, and I feel jealousy that dd is now part of a family that doesn't include me. The jealousy part has been hardest for me to identify.
When I dropped dd off on Christmas night (just for a few hours), their house was warm and cozy, with lots of laughter and merriment. I quickly excused myself, saying I was going home to clean up the mess and relax...but there was definitely a part of me that was accutely aware that I was not invited to this little party...if they had invited me to stay I would have declined...and I honestly don't want to hang out with these people....but knowing that I'm not wanted there is hard to take. It's just surreal that dd has this ready-made family that I'm not a part of.
Just identifying the feeling of jealousy in the past several days has made me feel better. Please tell me that this is normal...All single parents must deal with this when the ex has a new family, right?
I felt like my situation was so unique that nobody could possibly understand...but a friend of mine recently pointed out that most single parents deal with these feelings. My sister told me yesterday that she thinks I should talk to a therapist because I don't seem to be processing this well. I feel the need to talk about it a lot--that's really not like me...I usually process problems on my own and can be quite reticent. I think just knowing that my feelings are normal will help me tremendously...but I will consider seeing a therapist.
I would love to hear your experience in dealing with feelings of jealousy over your kids' "new" families...thanks for listening...sorry for rambling. I hope I've made sense...
PS: In the interest of brevity I've left out all the legal discussions that Bill and I have had--we're on the same page in that regard. My sister is named in my will as guardian and that will stay the same--Bill understands this. He will not pay child support and I don't expect him to....