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to be feeling this way?

(52 Posts)
kaylasmum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:29:47

I have 5 dcs, my eldest 28yo dd and 26yo dd have a different father from the others. We met when i was 17 and he was 18. He was in this country studying to be a pilot. He was sponsored by the government and I always knew he'd have to go home one day.

We were together 4 years. The day he left was awful, we loved each other so much. We kept in touch for a few years but we both knew he would never be coming back to this country. Eventually we stopped all contact and I met another man who took my dcs on as his own. I told my dcs all about their natural father. My dd has always found it difficult and for years has wanted to find him. My dc did'nt seem too bothered.

Two days ago my dd called me and told me that she thought she had found her father on facebook, she asked me to look at his profile. It was him, it turns out he'd heard she was looking for him and he set up a facebook account so she could contact him.

He told her he loves her and has never stopped thinking about her. He is married with 3 dcs, One of them a little girl that he has named after my dd. My dd and ds are so happy to be in contact with him and I am very happy for them too but this has stirred up some deep buried feelings that I have. I am feeling really down and can't really explain why.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 14:33:12

Out of interest, why did you have 2 children with him if you knew there was no future in it? And more importantly, why couldn't he stay in touch with them after he went back? If he "never stopped thinking about her" why didn't he or you ever do anything about contact?

Maybe you're feeling down because you feel guilty about some of the choices you made?

kaylasmum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:41:33

I had no say in the matter, he had to go home as if he did'nt his family would have been held accountable. My dcs were unplanned, very irresponsible I know but these things happen. I was a single parent and was unable to make phone calls to Iraq, I relied on him to call me but eventually the calls stopped.

I don't feel guilty about the choices I made. What else could I do?

kaylasmum Wed 09-Jan-13 14:43:47

Oh and by the way I was'nt asking to be judged as a parent!

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 14:45:21

Letters, emails, contraception after the first unplanned pregnancy etc would spring to mind.
I'm not saying that you should feel guilty, just that I would in that situation.

Long absent fathers when traced by adult children usually say that kind of crap, "I love you and I've always thought about you"....not very much if you never bothered your arse to see them, talk to them or pay for them though. Why do adult children get sucked in by this?

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 14:46:14

And he named another child after an existing child? hmm Thats just creepy.

harryhausen Wed 09-Jan-13 14:47:55

Can you put a description on what kind of feelings you are having? It's hard to know how to respond otherwise. For instance, do you have still have feelings for him? Are you angry? Sad? Worried? What?

nickelbabe Wed 09-Jan-13 14:51:13

why didn't you get married?

CaptChaos Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:56

Kaylasmum you made your choices and you lived with them, no one is any different really, they just make different choices.

I understand how difficult it would have been for their father to contact them, given that Iraq was in a state of civil and foreign war for almost all of your elder DC's lives, for a lot of that time communications have been nigh on impossible due to sanctions etc.

YANBU to feel down about it all now. Maybe it would be a good idea to find a counselor to explore why you feel this way?

CailinDana Wed 09-Jan-13 14:53:03

I think Kobayashi is being a bit harsh but I agree with the essence of what (s)he's saying. It's a bit rich for a father not to contact his daughter for 28 years and then claim to love her and to have never stopped thinking about her. Iraq is far away and has been in turmoil for a long time but there is such a thing as a postal system and email. Even a phonecall once a year wouldn't have been too difficult I think.

I also echo what harry asked - how are you actually feeling?

I suspect the difficulty is that you've got almost 30 years of love, anger, passion, pain and everything that comes with life to process and deal with because you put it on ice when he left. Did you shut down emotionally when he left because you had two small children to look after?

It sounds a bit like you have romantic feelings for him in your op? I would be interested to know if you ever felt anger for him? And how you feel about your children being excited about talking to a man who effectively didn't keep up contact and, whilst he might not have been able to stay because his family would have been punished at the time, he really could have made some contact in the last five years. Also how you feel about your DH? I think it would be useful to put some labels to the big bag of feelings you've got about the last 30 years.

It must have been a difficult position to be in - society still wasn't that accepting of single parents and I seem to remember that 30 years ago was Iraq invasion so some people will have viewed you and your children as outsiders.

And CaptChaos is right some counselling might be a good idea.

I think most people whose dc have got in touch with an absent parent will feel all kinds of things, as it will stir up a lot of feelings you had pushed away over the years. You didn't choose to part from him, so you probably still feel some grief for the loss of an important relationship. You may (or may not) have some negative feelings about why he didn't stay in touch. And you may (or may not) feel odd that he was out there to be found when your daughter tried, when you had decided not to do anything similar yourself. And/or that your relationship with your daughter will be altered by her suddenly having another biological parent who claims to be besotted with her.

It's ok to be confused. It's a confusing situation to be in!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 09-Jan-13 15:52:33

I'm glad your ex finally enabled DD1 to find him, as she was looking for him. Hope it doesn't backfire - anyway, sticking to your title, YANBU to feel stirred up, a large part must be connected with a degree of anxiety about how things will pan out now for your 2 older DCs. I'd definitely consider some kind of counselling.

sooperdooper Wed 09-Jan-13 16:02:24

Wasn't there an option of you going with him?

sooperdooper Wed 09-Jan-13 16:03:12

Sorry, I don't mean to be judgemental, I just don't really understand why you didn't, seeing as you were happy & had 2 children together

5madthings Wed 09-Jan-13 16:06:43

Yanbu to feel conflicted/confused etc by this at all.

I have to say I find it very odd he named his new did after the did that you had together. Does his wife know their child is named after his dd who he has had no contact with and presumably never supported financially.

5madthings Wed 09-Jan-13 16:07:20

Not his new did, his new dd.

BattlingFanjos Wed 09-Jan-13 16:13:45

If the OP IS struggling with feelings of guilt and regret is is really productive to be judging her life choices at this late stage? She made her decisions (I as a stranger have no opinion on them) and has asked for advice on her feeling down.
Kobayashimaru you seem to be coming across very harsh, "did you mean to be so rude?" comes to mind.
CaptChaos however has very good advice.

Hope your DD manages to find the relationship she was looking for with her father. YANBU to feel this way, but yes counselling may be good to sound it out

maddening Wed 09-Jan-13 16:20:14

I think it is as you never finished it - he was taken away by circumstance.

If he had died for example you would not have stopped loving him but would have moved on - as you have in your situation but now he's is contact with the dc and it is stirring up feelings that you probably haven't consolidated. It doesn't mean you love him or that you don't love dh - you just have feelings you need to resolve

I agree counselling might help.

DSM Wed 09-Jan-13 16:36:39

The apostrophe goes between the n and the t.. E.g. Didn*'*t

Sorry it's really bugging me.

Moving on - I fail to believe he thought about his DC's all the time, and in 20odd years didn't bother to contact them at all. You couldn't call Iraq, but surely you could have posted a letter? Couldn't he have? Could he not have saved up enough money over 20 years for a visit?

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 16:39:19

Might be harsh, but I don't think its at all rude. You can't just say "sure what could I do" when you are talking about children, especially when there is plenty you could have done. OP's children have one parent who abandoned them entirely and another who takes no responsibility for the situation. It's them that will need the counselling.

KobayashiMaru Wed 09-Jan-13 16:40:31

And yes, she did ask for advice about her feeling down. It's not much use to ignore the glaringly obvious reasons for feeling down, is it?

kaylasmum Wed 09-Jan-13 19:09:30

kobayat - what gives you the idea that i have'nt taken responsibility for my actions. you do'nt know me or how i'm feeling. as for your suggestion of e-mails, i did'nt have any access to computers or know anything about them 25 years ago.

i did write letters, he showed me how to write his address in arabic. I lost the address. When i got married i changed my kids names and moved house. He told my dd today that he has been searching for her over the internet for years but was looking for her under her old surname, he also said he named his daughter after her because he wanted to hear her name. I don't find that creepy at all.

He seems genuinely happy to be in contact.

kaylasmum Wed 09-Jan-13 19:11:26

oh and DSM as far as him saving up to pay a visit, with all thats been going on in Iraq over the years that would'nt have been easy for him.

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