Feeling confused, a bit angry, frustrated

Nothing to do with politics or our Utes, or even my love of bicycles and cooking.

No, roughly a year ago someone who I suspected might be my biological father was snooping around my LinkedIn profile. I was mad for a few days, but let it go, moved onto other things and tried to forget about it.

Today I was working on my FB business page, with an alias as page owner. Just don’t need personal stuff mixing with my business page. Anyway, on this alias page my bio father popped up as a recommended or suggested friend. I was less than pleased. I dug into his profile to verify it was him, and it was.

This butthole left my mom and me when I was 3 years old. I learned today that he remarried 1 week before my mom and dad did. To say that this whole thing has me a touch mad, more than a little confused, and very frustrated would put it mildly. I mean he’s had almost my entire life to at least attempt to be part of it in some form.

I have so many questions, and things that I want to say. At the same time I wonder is it worth it? Although him leaving my Mom and me would explain partially why I don’t get close to many people.

I’m just trying to work through thoughts.

I feel for you, man. Can’t possibly understand how you feel, that kind of abandonment runs as deep as it gets.

I know nothing here, but my hunch is this may be this guy’s biggest regret in life, otherwise there wouldn’t be repeated searching. Heartbreaking situation. If he’s similar to his offspring, I’d say he just might have turned out to be a smart, thoughtful person, with a massive regret that haunts him. (Your mom certainly had the far bigger impact, unquestionably.)

I have a hard time imagining what this guy was going through, to make that kind of decision. And the impact it’s had on you… thank you for leaning on us here.

Having been on the planet a long time, I’ve seen a few of these kinds of situations. Sometimes there is a reunion, sometimes even a (guarded) reconciliation. Sometimes not. Never easy. This is foundational stuff, this is bedrock.

The damage can’t be undone, but, on the other hand… maybe there’s a way to resolve a vicious puzzle, and realize it wasn’t you.

My coworker’s boyfriend has a similar predicament. His dad was on serious drugs. Heavy stuff, really intense emotions.

God speed, friend.

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A tough lesson for many of us to learn. Some hurts go deep and we can never know what the other guy is dealing with. Thanks for the lesson.

Life is good, people mess it up!

Thank you for the message. It’s an odd situation. The only real memory I have of my bio father is a good one. I’ve had my mom’s pov for, as long as I can remember. Perhaps he has changed, perhaps not, I don’t know. He hasn’t really reached out, but he’s been lurking. I did message him, but no response, yet. I suppose only time will tell. Frankly I don’t know what I’ll do or say, there are too many emotions in play.

I can say that I agree with you in that, only in retrospect, there are abandonment issues. I suppose when you’re a 3 y/o and suddenly someone is gone, you’re bound to feel something like that.

Thank you for the response and an outside perspective. It’s good to have different views.

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I can’t possibly understand how you feel and don’t have good answers for you. I will share a personal story that is maybe applicable, and it does have a religious slant to it, but I think there are principles in it that anyone regardless of personal belief can apply and it’ll work. So maybe this will be of help, maybe not and forgive me for that - I’m not trying to be preachy or whatever - just share something that helped me.

When I first started my first business I did a lot of work for a guy who is also a semi-prominent local politician. As you all know there is a lot of personal risk inherent in start-ups and this coupled with the beginning of the Great Recession had me in a very precarious position. During the course of this, this guy defrauded me out of a very very substantial amount of money which very nearly caused me to lose it all. The level of fraud put my family at very real danger and thus it became very bitter and personal.

To make matters worse, I had to see his stupid mug in the news at least once a week. Each time I would see or hear the guy all of those feelings of rage, anger and hatred came back just like the day he did what he did. And then I’d get further upset that I was letting this guy have control over my emotions and how it would basically ruin my day and I’d be back at square one again. I hated that without even trying he was robbing me of peace.

One day I read something I had read many many times before, how Jesus taught to pray for our enemies. I’d never paid much attention to that but it struck home this time that I needed to do that. My initial prayers were less than sincere, something along the lines of, “…bless him to not be such a big pile of human garbage…” But then I spent some time in my prayers trying to think of good attributes of him… obviously he had a wife and kids who loved him, he couldn’t be all bad. I tried to wish him well and wish him success and also wish that someday he’d realize all the harm he’d done me and, as I’d learned, many others. Regardless of his exterior appearance he couldn’t be happy with who he was.

He didn’t and hasn’t changed, but I did. The deep feelings of anger towards him went away and mostly today I just feel pity. I can’t say I love him or want to be friends with him at all, and I believe he is still the same old snake. But I’m no longer bitter and when I see him I feel just mild twinges of dislike - but nothing all consuming.

He is running for a prominent office right now, which means for the time being I get to see him just about every day and bike past his yard signs the entire ride (which is usually the place where I do my deep thinking and meditating). But it no longer interferes with any of that like it used to.

Granted, what he did to me in comparison to what your biological father did to you and your mom is many magnitudes different and less. But the principle I learned in that whole exercise is it lifted that burden from me and released me from his control. I believe that meditating and thinking positive thoughts of your enemies can achieve similar effect and help stop the person from continuing to victimize you.

I will say it was not an easy process at all, it took a lot of work to ‘forgive’ him of sorts - but I’m glad I did. I’m the type of person that forgiveness doesn’t come easy at a certain level - a level he passed in a big way. But were I not able to do that and remained in that same state of mind right now this political cycle would have been absolute hell for me.

Again, forgive me if I’m being insensitive to your pain. Not my intent at all, nor is it my intent to equate what you’ve been through with what is, on a relative scale to what you’ve dealt with, a trivial matter. This is just an attempt to help you get to a place where he can’t continue to harm you. If by some miracle you can get to that place then you’ll be able to rationally decide how to deal (or not deal) with him.

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Thank you @RockerUte it’s a good reminder. I’m not terribly religious, I’m Catholic just not a very good one. The lessons you mentioned are pretty much across the board with any group claiming to be Christian.

You haven’t been insensitive at all. I’m learning to deal with it. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized how many negative emotions I had towards this man. I guess he had been living rent free in my head without me realizing it. I talked to my Mom about it yesterday, she told me of a time he called out of the blue. Her response to him was along the lines of “just go away.” She didn’t sound mad, just tired, and perhaps felt a bit of pity for him. Maybe I need to learn a similar lesson, or take it to heart better.

Like you I do my best thinking out on the bike. I’m due to head out on a ride here soon, so perhaps I can get some of the negative energy out and clear my head some.

Thank you for the reminder. Not all good lessons come from the Bible, but from each other.

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life dealt you a tough hand, sorry about that.

From my perspective, you get to make the choice if a reunion ever happens. He doesn’t. It doesn’t sound like you’re ready yet. And you may never be ready. I think that’s perfectly acceptable.

A few years ago one of my relatives was pushed into contacting his birth mother. He was given up as a newborn in one of those hush-hush lets hide the pregnancy of this young teenage girl and make it go away situations. Since then his birth mom had married had a large family of her own and never disclosed to her current children that she’d had a child as a teenager. When he reached out to her, she unbelievably shut him out. She had no intention of revisiting the past. It was devastating to him, especially since he never intended to open the door in the first place.

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You’re definitely right, I don’t think I’m ready for a reunion. Frankly I’m not sure I ever will be. Although I would like his side of things. I just don’t know if I could do it face to face or over the phone/skype/zoom/whatever.

Someday perhaps. Mrs. CCU doesn’t quite understand my anger to my bio father. But she’s supportive of whatever I do.

I have so many questions, but the only one that really matters is “why”. As I stated earlier, I did message him, he just hasn’t responded. Perhaps I caught him off guard. The ball is now in his court. Now I just have to decide how I react. Hopefully it’s calmly, and in the spirit of forgiveness. Do I forgive him? I hope so. Do I forgive myself for being so bitter? I hope so. Do I move on from both? I hope so.

I hope that this makes sense. I’m just trying to work it out in my head.

I was probably a little too judgy in my previous post.

Clearly, there are many examples where reunions with birth parents are beautiful things and benefit both parties long term.

Several posters here have said some great things to help you process. And I am happy you received them well.

I will add one thing, forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. Forgiveness is for you, not really for the other party. You forgive him so you can move forward. And it sounds like you have done that. Reconciliation is different, you don’t have to do it for anyone. Just you if you ever care to, perhaps to close the loop.

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I’m not perfect. I am looking to get over my anger, confusion, and frustration. I’ve done ok with many things, but this one hit me harder than expected. I’m glad for UF.N to allow me to bounce ideas and help me calm down. Overall it’s mostly up to me to forgive, I learned long ago that it’s really for me, not the “other.” Now I need to figure out how. I’ve done it in regards to others, and it was an amazing feeling how much of a weight was off of me. Now, if I can do the same here.

Another discussion for another day, “how does forgiveness help you?” It’s an interesting process, and what it can do is amazing. It is not easy, but it is doable for everyone. Ok, I’ll stop before I get too far into philosophy, and metaphysics.

You all have given me much to think about, and to work on. Thank you.

Forgiveness is for you. Not the other party. That is why in Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus says “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” In effect, Jesus is saying, forgive forever. You are the recipient. In Luke 6:37 (NIV): Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Then back to Matthew 6:14-15: For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

But even in forgiveness, you do not need or have to place yourself in a position for continued abuse by the same party, you walk. I have my own stories on this, which is why I am sharing.

Just know that forgiveness is between you and God, no one else. You can share with the other party, but be clear, forgiveness is not reconciliation. It can be, but that is not the default.

A close friend of mine had to deal with an issue where she was adopted. I’m not sure the circumstances, but she sought out her birth mother. She wanted to understand what happened. She not only forgave her to her face, they became close friends! She calls her adopted mom, Mom, her bio-mom by her first name. But they do stuff together a lot, more than I would have ever expected. I’m blown away by how open Jane’s heart is, how understanding she it, how she processes information and emotions. I don’t think I could do it.

Not many folks can do that to be frank because we are conditioned from a very young age on rejection and in protecting what’s left, if you know what I mean. Also, excuse the scriptures, they guide me.

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I may not be actively religious, but I understand scriptural value. The lessons are there, if we are open to them. I’m not worried about the source, mostly the outcome. I already feel better after having my friends from UF.N help with different, forgotten, or (if I’m honest) ignored views or lessons.

I appreciate the help, especially since in comes in friendship and fellowship. One more reason to love UF.N.

I was adopted at birth by my wonderful parents. At 45 I was contacted by a biological half-sister and after confirming the biological connection, I met my biological mother (never married to father), biological father and biological half-sister. I had some health problems at the time and meeting them and getting some medical history proved helpful for me. The other thing I learned was that I was much better off from the adoption then I would have been had my bio-mother kept me. I learned through this experience that it was up to me to decide how much of relationship I would have with these people. You are not required to have a relationship with this man and I would simply tell him that you know where he is and if you ever decide to have a relationship you will contact him. Until then, don’t contact me. Don’t ask to be on my social media, etc.

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CCU might I suggest that forgiving him for what he did to you and your mom is a great gift you to give yourself ?

Forgiving someone allows you to move on with life doesn’t absolve them of their actions the harm did etc

There is a therapy technique for doing this board mail me if you want more info

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I agree with FlyfishingUte. It’s an opportunity to move on. A real gift to yourself. That’s how I would look at it.

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I can’t agree more with this. This is your experience. This is your decision. You can be selfish and do what’s right for you on your terms. You have the right to ask questions. And the right not to. Your choice to explore medical history. You likely will find peace and closure through forgiveness. But it will be hard. Talking to someone qualified for this type of work will be time well spent. It’s disheartening for him to lurk. In some ways, he’s controlling the (non) dialogue and forcing you to deal with it, in some ways victimizing you again.

We have 3 adopted kids and three are real physiological and neurological effects of abandonment, separation, and attachment. It can deep down affect relationships. Things can get heavy. Although different situations, it’s a big deal. People love you so draw on that strength.

I can only speak from my experiences and opinions, but it’s good you are talking it out and figuring out what’s best for you. Would have been better for you to have it on your own terms, but doing what is best for you now will be the gift you give yourself. And the choice now could be a different choice in the future.

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Yup, 100% on this ^ your relationship with him is 100% on your terms and only on your terms. He forfeited any say in the matter when he left and hopefully will respect that.

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No new insight here…my situation is marginally similar to yours. When I was 8 or so, my dad left my mom with 4 kids. By any practical measure, he was not a great guy. For the next 15 years or so, my mom did everything in her power to make us dislike him, and everything associated with him, particularly his family. It wasn’t until I got married that I realized what had been going on, when my wife one day asked “Why do you dislike your dad so much?”

I slowly came to the realization that much of what I “knew” about my dad was through my mom’s filter. To be honest, I felt pretty manipulated. I reconnected with my paternal grandmother, and feel like I am in a pretty good place with her now. She is still alive and kicking at 98 years, is sharp as can be mentally, and is greatly suffering due to Covid isolation in her care center - but that is a different story.

My mom died about 6 years ago. In the meantime, I have reconnected with my bio dad a little bit. He fully admits to being ridiculously selfish for 60+ years of his life, and is trying to be a more decent human being. He has real regrets about how he was, and also has regrets about how much bitterness was directed toward him by others.

We are not best buddies, I am pretty sure we never will be. But I can pick up the phone and talk to him occasionally to tell him about big events in the lives of my kids, get the real scoop with how his mom is doing, etc. The relationship is cordial. I assume it brings a bit of joy into his life. I don’t think about it as bringing joy into my life, but it just feels like the right thing to do. Forgiveness, in my opinion, brings tremendous healing powers. And, it doesn’t need to be associated with being best friends.

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Another account to add to this mosaic:

I had a girlfriend from HS look me up on Facebook 15 years ago, or so. She’d gotten pregnant with twins in college, apparently had a bad breakup with their father, and moved back to New Mexico to be a single parent, with a pretty caustic attitude toward their dad.

She & her early teenage kids moved back to SLC, we caught up, I took the boy flying, the daughter wanted to meet one of my sons, just tried to be a good friend & positive influence for these kids, staying in touch every few months.

One December day the daughter called me, her mom (my GF from HS) had passed away in her sleep, in her 40s. I immediately went to go comfort these kids as family drove up from New Mexico, and their biological dad flew into town. They gave him the coldest shoulder I’ve ever seen, he hung around for the funeral, I talked with him a little, tried to console him a bit, not just on the loss of his kid’s mom, but mostly on their complete rejection of him. No idea what happened, or what kind of guy he was back then - seemed like a reasonable person to me - but it was 25 foot cement wall between & he & his kids.

Over the next few months I tried to coax these 14 year olds into giving their biological dad another chance, but they were completely and very strongly opposed to any kind of reconciliation, the topic was hot enough I steered away from it. Over the years I’ve stayed in contact with the kids, and occasionally ask if they’ve talked with him, if there’s been any thawing in the relationship.

The dude has really tried, sent money for graduations, etc, but besides cashing the checks it’s been none, zip, nada on any kind of reconciliation, dialog, or anything. They absorbed their mom’s opinion and that was it.

Now they’re 28, and I think they’ve moved on, have just accepted life without parents, one has started a family, I get baby pictures, etc. Very tough situation, from the outside. No real idea how much the alienation from their father has impacted them.

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