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Children of infidelity

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RedChaos posted 10/6/2013 16:10 PM

I'm a child of infidelity. No longer a child (I'm 31), but the damage it caused is just now coming to light. I didn't know, until a few short weeks ago, that my father isn't my biological father. Both of my parents kept this secret from me for my entire life, until my grandfather accidentally let it out in a conversation to me, thinking I already knew. My mom got pregnant with me while my dad was out to sea in the Navy, and apparently, as it's been revealed, my dad knew all along that I wasn't his, but he accepted and loved me anyway. My parents divorced when I was two, my mom moved with me and my brother all the way across the country, and I only got to see my dad every other summer. When I was 8, my dad got custody of my brother, but not me, because my mom wouldn't let him have custody of me (but she didn't want my brother because he was too hard to handle...) and I grew up hearing how horrible my dad was, and how he cheated on my mom, and gave her an STD, and how he made her drop out of college, and that he spanked me so hard my butt bruised when I was 2. Over and over, relentlessly, she railed against how horrible he was, and refused to let me be happy to hear from him or receive something in the mail from him. I wasn't allowed to talk about him, for fear of hearing yet another tirade against him. I hated her for it. I hated that she poisoned my relationship with him. All those nasty things she said about him never matched up to the man I grew up seeing every other year. Spending two months with. Those summers were relaxing. We'd go camping, and he'd teach me all kinds of things, and didn't make me go away so he could drink. He didn't talk bad about my mom, and he didn't ever try to hurt me. But she did. I asked so many times to go live with him, because I hated my mom getting drunk all of the time and telling me how much my dad sucked, and then later, as I got older, how much I sucked. I hated how she made me feel. I felt worthless. And I felt like my dad didn't want me, because no matter how many times I asked, I could never go live with him. And now, I have this news in my hands, that he isn't even my biological father, and he loved me anyway. He taught me anyway. He kept my mother's secret. He counseled me when I needed it. He loves me. Despite her mistake, he loves me. I love my dad very much. But I am very, very hurt. I'm angry at my mom. More angry than I've ever been. Angry that I let her make me feel worthless. Angry that I let her keep distance between my dad and I. Angry that I will likely never know who my real father is, or if I have other siblings, or nieces and nephews. I'm angry at my biological father for sleeping with my married mother. I'm angry that my mother made my dad seem like the worst person in the world, when all my life he's been nothing but loving, caring, and gracious with me, KNOWING I'm not even his. I'm hurt. I hate this.

Jrazz posted 10/6/2013 16:36 PM

Wow, RedChaos. That is an intense story.

I can't begin to imagine how hurt and betrayed you must feel.

As with many of us who have had our histories "rewritten" by someone who lied to our faces, it takes a while to get to a place of acceptance. You get to feel what you need to feel and say what you need to say right now. You have every right.

As someone who has the gift of objectivity to your situation, I'm just so proud of your dad, and I count you lucky to have someone like him in your life. We don't usually get to pick our family, we are just kindof stuck with them for better or worse sometimes.

Your dad sounds like an incredible human being. Life gets tangled and messed up sometimes, but having good hearted people who care about you around makes things a lot more bearable.

I'm so very sorry that you were denied a childhood free from pain and stress, but I'm so grateful that this man has been a rock for you the whole time. You have tomorrow and the rest of your life to share with him, and you know that he loves you unconditionally. We can't ever ask for more from the people in our lives.

Sending hugs and strength to you.

somanyyears posted 10/6/2013 16:36 PM



hearing you and understanding what finding out about a lifetime of lies is like.. I hate it too!


suposd2btheonly1 posted 10/6/2013 16:37 PM

Although that is a terrible, and I'm sure a devastating, thing to find out it shows what a great person your dad is. To love you and care so much about you in such a way, knowing all your mothers secrets and never trying to make her out to be a horrible person speaks highly of him on so many levels. The fact that he knew and not once spoke badly of her shows what a wonderful person he is. Even though you didn't get to spend much time with him while you were growing up its obvious that the times you did have were wonderful and molded you into a good person despite the ways your mother treated you. I'm so glad that you had somewhere to go and feel welcome, even if for a little bit, to get away from the negative energy at home.

I know that the anger you are feeling hurts to the core and that you have so many questions that may never be answered. I hope you can take comfort in knowing that even though he is not your biological father he is more of a Dad to you then a lot of fathers are to their own biological kids.

Im so sorry you had to find this out

anewday78 posted 10/6/2013 17:24 PM

I just cried reading your story, RedChaos. I'm so sorry about what you're going through. From your description of your mother, it sounds as if she had an undiagnosed mental illness - while it's no excuse for her actions, perhaps it can help put those actions into perspective and explain their root cause.
That said, moving forward you can't dwell on the past and the anger you hold for your mother. Instead, you owe it to yourself and the man you've always known to be your father to focus on the love and appreciation you have for the good people in your life. See a counselor to help you work through the anger and pain and try to let it go so you can spend your precious time loving the people who deserve your time and attention. Reach out to your dad and let him know just how special he is to you and how much you love him and admire him and do your best to make up for all that lost time by spending more time either with him (if you live near enough to each other) or talking to him.

Skan posted 10/6/2013 19:10 PM

Your dad sounds like an awesome man. As lucky as you are to have him in your life, remember, that you were and are a blessing to him as well. (((hugs)))

cantgetup posted 10/6/2013 20:43 PM

You are very lucky to have a man like that in your life. The recent revelation shouldn't change that. Try not to let it. If anything I hope it makes you feel more loved. He didn't have to do what he did. He did it with genuine love and care. Unfortunately something your mother couldn't do. I'm sure that cuts deep, but hopefully knowing what your dad did helps you through this.

RedChaos posted 10/6/2013 22:27 PM

I wish I were closer, emotionally, and by location, to my dad. I have contemplated moving back out west many times since I became an adult, because as you'd expect, my relationship with my mom is strained. I have carried a lot of resentment over the years towards her for the way she treated me, and the way she treated my brother (who she refuses to even acknowledge his existence these days. She hasn't seen him since he was 13, and she has no intention to ever see him again. He is 33 now.) My brother has fared far worse than I emotionally, and spiritually, from the damage she inflicted on us as children. I am getting closer to my dad as I get older, but not nearly as close as I'd prefer, but it's partially due to the distance (he lives in Oregon, I live in Florida), and partially because we both tend not to speak unless we have something important to say (people of few words). We do tell each other that we love each other, but we are both bad at reaching out and talking just to connect. It's always been that way. I am a lot like him, even though I'm not genetically his. THANK GOD. I am beyond thankful for the person he is, and how he's treated me, and I hold onto that today. But it doesn't stop how much I am angry at my mom. It doesn't stop the tears from flowing when my heart hurts because of how mean spirited she has been towards a man a thousand times better than she ever was. She's accused him of so much, but absolutely none of it matches up with the man I grew up knowing, and the man I know today. What it looks like, looking back, is she never wanted her secret to come out, and the only way she could see to do that was drive a wedge between my dad and I so we'd never have an opportunity to discuss it. Almost a year ago, I pushed my mom out of my life, for other reasons than this revelation (which I only learned a few weeks ago), and this is the second time I've walked away from her, and the toxicity she pours into my life. I have a 12 year old son who I am fiercely protective of, and I do NOT, under any circumstances, want him exposed to the same toxicity I was, and every time she gets close to letting that flow in front of him, I've pulled him away from her. I feel bad, as a mother, that my son wants to spend time with her, and he loves her, but I have to tell him no, and I can't tell him why (I WON'T tell him why. Maybe when he is an adult, if he asks, but I won't poison his childhood with the same bitter, angry speech about her, that she did about my father, no matter how much I want to.) But I know, in the end, I am making the best choice I can for him. He can reach out to her, on his own terms, when he is an adult, but by GOD he will not be poisoned by her while he is still a child. My child. He will not grow up broken.

My own marriage to his father was also tainted by infidelity, with his father cheating on me just 3 weeks after our son was born, and he continued to fool around and hide/destroy credit card bills and such to keep me from suspecting. For 8 years I kept hoping he'd change, that he'd come home after work like he said he would, or be home from a "couple drinks with the guys" in time for dinner like he promised. Or that I wouldn't find the credit card bill this month shredding in the waste bin. But I always did. I finally walked away in 2008. Best decision I ever made. My son to this day thinks I left his father "for no reason" because I wouldn't tell him why. And he holds a bit of a grudge sometimes when he wishes we were still together. But if that's the worst I have to deal with to keep from repeating my mother's mistake of bad-mouthing my dad, so be it. CHEATING SUCKS. God, it destroys so much. It took me 5 years to really recover from the emotional and self-esteem damage my ex-husband caused with cheating, and to really trust someone again. I can only imagine how hard it was for my dad to go through the same thing, and to see me, a constant reminder of my mom's betrayal.

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