DD's dad and I were together for a few years (before SI existed). Picture a tall, dark, handsome, smooth talker who cheated on me. After we found out I was pregnant, he wanted to do an abortion on me. I ended our relationship. I didn't go to the police since there was 0 proof of his threat. Due to my fear of him, I never went to court for cs. He is not on her birth certificate, has not offered to pay anything, has not tried to see her, etc.. Hell I don't even know if he knows her name. I do keep tabs on him to make sure he hasn't moved anywhere near us. He ended up marrying one of the OW.
When DD was born I read lots of parenting books and asked her dr, a child psych, my parents for advice on how to answer questions she may have. Over the years I have answered her questions in an age appropriate, non damaging way. She has always known that when she is old enough, ready, and if she wants to, I will take her to meet him. I was thinking more towards 17-18yrs old.
This is where I need help. She is at the age where she is trying to figure out who she is, what is her place in this world, and why her dad has chosen to not be in her life. It breaks my heart to see her cry. I reassure her, hugs, love, remind her that she has done nothing wrong to have him be this way. DD wants to meet him now on her terms. I've explained that if I reach out to him so she can meet him, he could say no, he could say yes, he could say yes and want visitation. That is where she is stuck. She doesn't want mandatory visitation. Neither do I. There are other people on his side of the family that I am ok with her meeting, but they do not know that she exists.
I would like to be able to push off her meeting him for a few years. DD's emotional/physical safety is my top priority. Has anyone been in this situation or know of someone who has? What helped reassure the child that one parent never meeting them, is not a reflection on themselves? I have tried 8 ways from Sunday to reassure her. She does have male role models (grandparents) and lots of love from me. I know every situation is different and there is no magic ball.
If anyone has any hugs or strength for my DD, I would greatly appreciate them.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 1:29 PM, April 7th (Monday)]
I wish I had words of wisdom for you.
Sometimes you have to inflict some pain to keep them safe.
Listen to your heart--it will know the right thing.
I don't know how old your daughter is. I think that plays an important part. If she is anything over 12, is she mature for her age? Is she open with you or a therapist with her feelings. I would be concerned that no matter how much she is hurting now, it could get worse depending on how sperm donor would deal with this.
You say that you have kept tabs on him. Can you tell if is has grown at all. What about his wife, would she cause even more problems? I would almost be tempted to have a therapist at the ready, then reach out to him first, with you, therapist and him meeting together to see how he reacts to what DD wants. After a meeting or two with the 3 of you, you could get a better read on the whole situation. If the therapist thinks it would be ok, and he is in agreement, then introduce DD to him. Again either in ofc with everyone together or at a neutral place.
If after the 3-way meeting you or the therapist does not think it would be a good idea or not safe to introduce DD now, then have a meeting with therapist, you and DD with the therapist explaining how it would not be good to meet him now. Whether not safe, etc. And determine when to revisit that issue. Your job is to protect her, so of course there will be pain, even if she meets him. But you just don't know where his head/heart is at these days.
I personally like having an impartial professional incase sperm donor causes problems later on regarding visitation etc. I also like that it gives both sides time to get emotions processed and under control. It will be very hard on you also.
They have a choice: they can live in my new world, or they can die in their old one." — Daenerys Targaryen
My bff and her H adopted their youngest child from China. She is 12 1/2 now and has been questioning why her bio's didn't want her. I am sure the questions are similar to your DD. The adoption community to very large and I am sure there are resources on the internet to help adoptive parents deal with these issues.
(((Jo and DD))) peace and comfort to you both.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
What have you told her about him? My mum told my 8 years younger sister all sorts of fairytale lies about the father she hadn't seen since she was 3. He was a monster.
She didn't know that at 18m he kidnapped her violently from my mum on the street - while he beat my mum to a pulp his crack whore GF snatched her out of the pram. I ran for my life. She was wearing the same nappy when the cops found her alone in his squalid crack house screaming her head off 3 days later.
She grew up thinking this guy would save her from our almost as monstrous mother. He OD'd when she was 10 and she has since learned the truth. She now knows the bullets she dodged. It doesn't make it any easier. She and I still mourn the father we never had even if we don't mourn the one we did have.
Depending on her age and what her IC says I do think she needs age appropriate truth. Otherwise she will come up with her own reasons, usually blaming herself.
Stay strong mamma - this must hurt you terribly but please know in your mind and in your heart that this is just self-discovery, not about you or her love for you.
No advice, just hugs.
"And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."
- Sarah McMane
She is 13. So throw the whole "joy" of puberty/hormone waves starting. I give her credit. When she gets a wave of angry, she does catch herself. Then she says, "Stupid hormones. I'm sorry, mom." We both chuckle.
I trust him as far as I can throw him. I don't know if his wife even knew she was the OW. I like the idea of a 3rd party/ic being there. Thank you for the idea of reaching out to adoptive parents and sharing your perspectives. I would never have thought of looking for help down that avenue.
I am no longer living in fear of him. If anything, he should be afraid because I take my role as a parent seriously. It's my honor and responsibility to keep her safe. If he hurt her, he would see a whole new side of me. She has a heart of gold and deserves an amazing dad.
I'm so sorry for you and your sister. That is awful.
DD knows -
I ended the relationship due to his words and actions. Also, that he wasn't the person I thought he was. She knows neutral things like what sport he likes, he lives 2hrs+ from us, and that he knows how to find me (I've lived in the same town my whole life). I told her not to put him on a pedestal. He is not perfect. No one is. Hopefully, he has spent these years working on himself, but there is no way for me to tell at this point. He has to earn her trust. I stress to her that she has every right to yell at him or accept his apology. Either way, I have her back. The fact that he knows what town we are in and chooses to not find her....hurts. I can't imagine that kind of pain. I can't tell her he threatened her life and is a giant ass.
[This message edited by SI Staff at 6:24 PM, April 7th (Monday)]
Check out the age of decision in your state. That's the age that kids get a voice in visitation.
Does he know you had and kept your daughter?
My DD22 is in your shoes. Baby daddy wanted he abortion, dd chose not to terminate and went on to have DGD(almost2), sperm donor is not on the birth certificate, pays nothing, knows where DD is and hasn't made the slightest effort. And after all the crap my kids went thru with visitation, DD is fine with it.
Sorry for the T/J....
Hugs to you both.
He didn't just want me to have an abortion.
He wanted to perform the abortion.
I can't tell her that. He does know she was born. When she was about a year old, I called asking him to sign away his rights, but he said, "nah...I don't feel like it."
[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:11 PM, April 7th (Monday)]
But here's another thing. He isn't listed anywhere, except in your mind, as the father. He has no legal standing at all right now. Of course, I'd check this out with a lawyer, but IF he decided to be a jackass and try to force visitation, custody, etc., with your daughter (yet another argument for NC until she is 18), then he is going to have to jump through some legal hoops. He's going to have to convince a judge to order a paternity test, and you can do some legal delaying of that. The test is going to have to be performed and perhaps in your state, your DDs age may allow her to petition the court that her right to privacy trumps his "right" to know if she is his daughter or not. And, if he goes through and gets a paternity test through, your next step, conveyed to him by your lawyer, is to file for retroactive child support, spousal support, and 1/2 of all of the extra doctors, sports activity, field trip, etc., bills that she has accrued in 13 years. Plus asking the court to assign her a child advocate to make sure that a teen aged girl who has never seen this strange, potentially dangerous man in her life, has a choice of how and when she meets with him, preferably under court-ordered supervision and no over nights.
I honestly think that 18 at a minimum is the age that she should search out her sperm donor if she feels the need. But if not, then there are potentially steps that you can take that would make his life hell if he decided to try to assert control.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
(((Jo & DD)))
I wish I had something more productive to say, but right now everything would come out with too much hate and anger for what you have been through.
I think that you are doing everything right to protect your precious DD. She is going to push because she doesn't understand, and I think the whole truth might be too much to bear right now. She might be frustrated at you for putting this off, but you're doing the right thing by trying to buy some time. I wish I could give you both a big hug. Let her know that any time Auntie Jrazz puts funny pictures of animals in SPF it is with her in mind. Every time.
Is DD's dad a doctor to want to perform an abortion?? Or was he (and please, I'm sorry for being graphic, I'm just confused) suggesting a coat hanger or a trip down the stairs?
Because while his very suggestion is abhorrent if he is a doctor he would know the medical procedure and it would be safe, and maybe he thought it wouldn't cost any money.
But if it's something else----just an excuse to be violent towards you then I'm not sure I'd ever want my child to meet that person.
My own father abandoned us when I was 5..or 6? Little enough..
he once told my mother that my brother (my "whole" brother) was a mistake and should have been aborted. He said the same thing 8 yrs later when my 1st half brother was born.
Neither of my brothers know he said this, as it would destroy them. It's one thing to be abandoned, that hurts like hell.
But to know that your parent actually wished you'd been killed before birth is an entirely different animal.
If your DD is to ever know this truth about her father, IC would be a must.
I'm so sorry you both are going through this.
DD is your precious gift, the one good thing her sperm donor did.
It sounds as if meeting this guy will only hurt her. How can he live up to the role of father? I hope she can find someone to speak to about it and I know you will be there for her no matter what.
is going to have to jump through some legal hoops
Jrazz - She loves your pics! SPF is her fav.
itainteasy - I'm so sorry about your father. What is wrong with people? He is not a dr. He is just a broken, giant ass.
Other members of that side of the family are wonderful (half siblings). I would love for her to never meet him, but the choice is up to her. The timing is not up to her. My goal is to push this off as long as possible, but explaining why I don't want her to meet him yet is tough. It's a fine line to answer her with a truthful, non emotionally damaging response. We have role played what he might say to push the blame off of him. She thinks he's a coward and has a lot of well deserved anger at him.
I'm hoping she will open up to an IC. The teen years are confusing and hard enough.
And I admit, when I first read this last night, I triggered hard.
I will give you some brief back story so you can understand my perspective.
My mother divorced my father when I was 2 years old. Through the mail.
He was a pedophile. She didn't realize this when she married him. During the 6 year marriage there were MAJOR red flags. Like, he was arrested for flashing children. Porn always. He cheated on her. She got pregnant with me in effort to try to "save" the marriage.
When I was just over a year old, she came home from work one day and he was in the bath tub with me. He had an erection. This is where it gets sketchy. She thought she saw me touching his penis. He denied it. Regardless, he was in tub with me with an erection, that is not disputed.
She took me from him, beat him with a pan and stabbed him with a fork. THe next day, he was on a bus from Md to Wa and I never saw him again. They divorced. She never pursued child support because she didn't want him to pursue visitation.
My grandmother told me when I was FIVE years old about him, in detail. I was far too young, clearly. I always carried the shame of who and what he was from the time I was 5 years old. That is a heavy burden for a child to carry.
He did remarry. He had another child, a girl, when I was 7. He would call my mom every so often to see how I was. I remember talking to him twice, until I was 15.
When I was 15, he was arrested for molesting his wife's nephews and went to prison. Then he tried contacting me, talking to me. I had a very difficult time with this. I asked him why he was in prison (I knew, I just wanted to hear it from him). He said he was a pedophile. He tried to explain his therapy (aversion and depo provera). He sent money occasionally.
When I had a child at 19 I stopped contact. Becoming a mother myself, scared me to continue contact. I did not contact him again until I was 34 when I needed medical information. He tried to remain in contact, but I could NOT handle it at all. My anxiety was too much.
I finally met my sister for the first time when I was 32. Her mother divorced him when he was in prison. We bonded instantly.
Last year (I was 36) he died of a drug overdose. My sister and I had to fly to Id since we were next of kin and take care of the arrangements. It was fucking hard. I had a lot of unresolved pain, hurt, anger, etc. And oddly, sadness. I'd never have a chance to talk to him. Guilt, because I never gave him a chance to apologize to me.
I found out last year too...that he suffered severe abuse as a child. It does NOT excuse what he was, but it explains in a way how he turned out the way he did.
Another big thing that I found out, he never abused my sister. Ever. She lived with him for 8 years and he never touched her. He was a caring and loving father to her. That...hurt me, because I never knew him that way.
The BIGGEST question of all, that I wanted to always know...
DID HE EVER LOVE ME. Sure, he'd told me he did, but he lied his entire life. Did he really love me or no?
When we were cleaning out his trailer, I found pictures he'd saved of me. Every picture he'd ever had of me (and my sister) he'd saved. In our own albums. I broke down and sobbed (I still tear up). To me, that was my answer right there. Yes...he did love me.
So after that long diatribe...
For your daughter...Though you've told her not to hold him up, I'll bet anything she's painted SOME picture in her mind over the years. Maybe she thinks he's changed. Or that when he meets her, he will fall in love with her as a father and want to make up for all those lost years.
The thing is, yes, you've told her to be prepared for him to say no, but...is she prepared for ACTUAL disappointment? Or if he says yes, meets her once, then disappears again, can she handle it? You know her, can she handle REJECTION? What if she realizes, he does not love her? That is going to hurt. Deeply and for a long time.
Does his wife even know he has a child? Will his wife even want her to be a part of their life?
If you open up this line of contact, it could be far more damaging at this age. It's one thing to be honest, it's another to cause damage and he could cause SERIOUS damage.
I understand the need at this age to KNOW. I've been there. Hell, I still AM, but mine isn't around to answer questions anymore, and I'm let to figure it out on my own, but can't. But knowing WHAT I know at such a young age, damaged me significantly. I don't think, even at 13 I would have been ready to know the details. Though your story isn't mine, it's somewhat similar.
In my opinion...I would have her wait. Protect her heart longer. Don't let him hurt her. Give her as much detail as you can without telling her he wanted her dead. Push for her to see the IC/Psych. But no, I would not let her reach out yet.
When you DO reach out, you need to do it first. Act as a buffer. Don't let her do it first. Try to mitigate some of that damage.
I'm so sorry you're even having to deal with this.
Your daughter deserves so much better. Thank goodness she has such an awesome Mom to look out for her and protect her.
Sending strength and thoughts of safety and peace as you work through all of this with her.
[This message edited by LosferWords at 3:11 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)]
I have had a similar situation. My XH is not my DS18 biodad.
Biodad is an NPD monster that threatened me, hurt me, stalked me and tried to kidnap DS. Not b/c he wanted DS but b/c he wanted to hurt me. There are many horrible details that led me to be awarded a permanent restraining order for me and DS when DS was 10mos old.
I didn't know what to say. I started dating my XH when DS was 2. DS doesn't remember anyone else being Dad. I was so scared of RB (rat bastard) that I never told DS about him. I'm still not sure that I should have. He found out inadvertently when he was 14. I was planning on telling him when he was 18. I figured at that point DS would be old enough to protect himself.
Well I had to have that conversation much earlier than I wanted. I explained to him that RB was a dangerous man in many ways. That I hadn't and wouldn't allow contact b/c I was concerned for his safety. I told him I was sorry if that upset him but his safety and well being was my primary responsibility.
I explained that I had firmly stopped contact with RB b/c of this. I didn't know if RB had tried or wanted to see him. It didn't matter it would have been a bad thing. I emphasized that it was my choice not necessarily that DS had been rejected by RB. Sometimes since we don't choose to be related to someone, we get stuck with shitty people biologically but we don't have to see them socially.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler