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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I could really use some advice on this! I would like to make a decision asap one way or another.
Quick context:

My daughter is 17. I left her Father when she was 4 weeks old( moved 2 miles away) when I found out he was doing serious drugs and had cheated on me during pregnancy. I thought he would get his act together and want to see his child at some point and contact us. Because of the drugs, my Father advised not to file for child support as he may want visitation which he would get and if he was still using, not the person or environment for a child to be around, so I never did. We lived in poverty until only 3 years ago when I finally got a stable, decent paying job. We stayed in town she has always had a close relationship to my Parents, my Dad being the male figure in her life.

I have spoken with my daughter now 17, about him 2 or 3 times keeping everything vague. I did not tell her about the drug usage..not wanting to paint a negative image in her mind about her Father who shes never even met.

So, 15 1/2 years pass, not a single phone call, not a single card, no child support. I decide to find him and make contact to see if he was still using and if he ever wanted a relationship with his daughter and to file for support.
I found his Mothers information, could not find his. Contacted her who I had met once when she was born.
She was a very kind person, excited about having a grandchild. I was very surprised to hear that after all these years, she was in complete denial about what was so obvious: that her son wanted nothing to do with his daughter. She even blamed me for him choosing not to be a part of his daughters life and was angry with me, not her son. She said that I 'wouldn't let him' see her for the last 15 years. I couldn't believe the absurdity. I told her quite the opposite was true. I always wanted him to come in and be Dad, be a part of her life. You don't need an invitation to contact your own child. I reminded her that even if what she was saying were true, and I never wanted him to be involved, legally I wouldn't have been able to keep him away if i wanted to. She wouldn't hear it. She was in complete denial about the truth even 15 years later.

So I tracked him down (he had moved 7 hours away across country) and spoke to him over the phone for the first time. I did not tell him I was finally filing for child support. I didn't call to point fingers or even ask why he had abandoned her. I wanted to 'welcome' him, nudge him...to be a part of her life if he was no longer using drugs and if he wanted to. I just wanted to know moving forward, if he wanted to meet his daughter and develop a relationship with her.
He said he no longer did drugs. Obviously, I didn't know if that was true or not. Without me even mentioning it, he brings the subject up almost immediately and tries to excuse his actions saying he tried looking for me to make contact, couldn't find me or my Parents online. Right. ( im easy to find & he knew my Parents going to their house many times, they never changed addresses) I interrupted him and ignored the lame as it gets excuse, just thinking how he has no idea what his actions have put us all through all these years. Mainly of course, my daughter growing up without a Father.

We spoke twice over the next 4 months and texted a few times. I only asked one thing: if he wanted to meet her, to get involved. I was willing to even fly us up to him. His answer was always the same . 'Yes absolutely', yet over those 4 months, he never even asked anything about her. Literally the only thing he asked about her in that time was 'is she gorgeous'. Not even curious about his own child. And I was always the one messaging him, not the other way around. Each time, I only asked one thing. The same thing. 'do you want to have a relationship with your child? what are your plans? how can we make this happen?' He took no action, no plans were made to get to know her, meet her... he didn't even talk about making plans down the road. The old adage ' actions, not words'...

Last year, after being in contact with him for 4 months, I got a call. He passed away. They did not know why yet as it had just happened. My guess is drugs. Heavy usage over the years would do it for a 40 year old. But that's just a guess.

I have yet to tell my daughter he passed away and feel I should asap. I would like ( if it is the right thing to do) to tell her about her Grandmother and establish a relationship between them .

My only hesitation is:

- This Grandmother hates me, blaming me for her son's decision to abandon his child. If they get to know one another, that anger and those feelings she has, would be expressed to my daughter and my daughter ( who suffers from low self esteem and depression) may not see things accurately, believe that misinformation as preposterous as it is, and agree with the Grandmother, that I never 'let him' see her.
You can imagine how destructive that would be for her after what she has already gone through her whole life and how that would make her feel. Never having a Dad, not even having a 'strained relationship' with him as some kids do with Dads that leave them, always feeling different than the other kids, embarrassed, never being able to say that word 'Dad'. Knowing all your life your Father abandoned you, now you will never even get to meet him and all of this, is your Mother's fault.
Aside from the Grandmothers blinded feelings, there would be no hesitation. She seemed like a warm, loving person.

So I'm not sure what to do, I've exhausted myself thinking about it...
Should I initiate a relationship between them? Tell my daughter about her? I have to be very careful making this decision.

Any input is appreciated! Thank you!
 

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I was on the flip side of your decision. I stayed. The drug usage got worse. HE left. My oldest endured hell on earth until he was 18 years old thanks to his father and my XMIL because I didn’t leave immediately. (Religious guilt is a major b.)
I say tell your daughter the whole truth. Her father was a drug addict and wanted nothing to do with either of you because he was too selfish to get his head out of his own behind. Period. It had nothing to do with her or her worth as a person; some people just suck and that’s that. His stupid choices led him to an early death. His mother made him and she’s the last person I’d have around my child. Cut her off. Use the legal system if you have to. Done and dusted.
You DO need to see what you can get out of his estate or SS for your daughter, if anything. Believe me, if you don’t take it, his peach of a mother sure will. And that’s money you and your daughter can use for her education.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your message. I'm sorry you and your kids went through that. I cant imagine what that did to you guys, but I think you're right in being direct with my daughter about everything. I will tell her about her Grandmother as well and how she feels about me.
As far as the benefits and savings he may have had, I have spent hours trying to get the death certificate, many phone calls to court houses and attorneys etc...you have to have a document showing you were 'domestic partners' even though he is listed on my daughters birth certificate, and I cant apply for his SS Benefits that my daughter is entitled to without the certificate. Going in circles. My only option would be to contact his Mother who is in charge of everything which would probably motivate her to contact my daughter. On the flip side, she may be planning to contact my daughter when she turns 18 and Im not 'in charge' of her anymore so I might as well.
 
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