Do you ever wonder how a parent can deny the existence of their own child?

(37 Posts)
lottieandmia Thu 28-Mar-13 11:27:12

And walk away from them totally, never wondering how they are, where they are or even what they look like?

I think it's really hard to understand how anyone could happily do this. My youngest daughter has never met her father. He ran off when I was pregnant and refused to even talk to me about her. He denies that she's his to his family and anyone else. Strangely his family do believe that she's his and contact me now and then to see how she is.

When dd was a baby I thought, naively perhaps, that it would be ok that she won't ever know her real dad. But now she's nearly 4 she's started saying things like 'I want to have a dad' and I feel bad because I made the choice to have a relationship with him in the first place iyswim. I hope she doesn't try to look for him when she grows up as I fear she'll be disappointed with what she finds.

queenofthepirates Thu 28-Mar-13 18:42:15

I wonder that too... my DD's father has never seen her, never found out whether I went through with the pregnancy... nothing.... I assume it's because he doesn't want the responsibility and TBH, it's better that way. It means I can parent without stress from him.

It's a shame but absent fathers by choice miss out on amazing children and everything that goes with it, it's our jobs as mothers to ensure they are loved enough for two.

Svrider Thu 28-Mar-13 18:45:01

Could you get his family more involved?
I'm sorry you and your dd are in this position
You shouldn't feel guilty tho

MySonIsMyWorld Thu 28-Mar-13 19:41:09

I wonder this all the time, now ex ds has been in and out of ds life since he was 4 weeks old, I threw him out 7 weeks ago because he punched through the tv infront of ds who not even 2 yet, and he hasn't seen him/asked how he is or nothing.... he a fucking twat and I don't understand why he hasn't fought for us!!

girliefriend Thu 28-Mar-13 19:44:23

yes I wonder this about my dds dad all the time. I don't know with him whether it is just that he doesn't believe she is his or just doesn't care sad

It is his loss but also it is a loss for my dd, she would love a dad and really struggles with not having one at times. She definately goes through phases where this matters more than others and I try to just support her through it. I tell her it is sad and it's o.kay for her to feel upset/confused/angry etc.

I think its important to try and be as honest as poss but also to try and be positive about the situation you are in. For example she gets mummy all to herself.

InNeedOfBrandy Thu 28-Mar-13 19:48:54

It's really hard isn't it, ds hasn't seen his dad since 4 months old (although does speak to him regularly on the phone, he doesn't live in this country) and every now and again gets really really upset. The last time was after christmas and he woke up crying his heart out for him sad

Beckett3 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:54:53

I sometimes wonder how my situation will play out, I have 3 children with my stbexh and am pregnant with no.4. He was the one to suggest no.4 but left when I was 3 months pregnant. He now doesn't want anything to do with this baby, yes I realise things may change in the future, but I doubt it. How do I one day explain to this child that yes, that's your daddy taking your brother and sisters out but no you can't go? Do I even tell them who their daddy is?

IntheFrame Thu 28-Mar-13 22:56:24

Same boat.
Mine left after 8 yeas when I was pregnant as I was ruining "his" life. Did explain that aborting my potential first child at 33 might ruin mine but he wasn't convinced. Not seen him since.

I feel a bit two ways about it. One side of me knows he was actually an OK bloke and that I am really disappointed his son will miss out (and maybe that he is missing out too). The other side thinks we have it easy because it is so black and white. No missed visits, let downs,worry about maintenance etc.

I am amazed that he has no interest. He was a middle class, intelligent, kind partner and I really can't understand him (and his family) having no interest at all. I don't really miss anything TBH as I have plenty of friends, family etc but I am confused as to his reasoning.

HerrenaHarridan Thu 28-Mar-13 23:51:46

Well I think I can comfort you all by sharing so,

I have never met my dad, never seen a pic or anything I could walk past him in the street an I would nt know.

I did, as a kid regularly say I wanted him, I vividly remember crying loudly AT my mum about wishing he was around. I also vividly remember that for all the tears etc I didn't actually feel anything real or specific about it because I didn't know what I was missing.

He faked his own death to avoid the responsibility of me, I wouldn't even know to this day if the Csa hadn't found him and DNA tested us. I was 15 when I found this out and for me he died that day.
I have zero desire to go looking for him, even since having dc myself.

I could of had him added to my birth certificate, I didn't

My mum was my everything, she was more than enough. She had literally nothing materially to give me as she left care pregnant and lost what little she had in a fire before i was a year. It really didn't matter, she devoted herself to me and i owe her everything i am. She is an incredible woman who I have the utmost respect for.

I used to be pretty angry with my 'dad' but not any more, I don't feel anything for him anymore, in fact until I read this thread I can't remember the last time I thought about him.

smile Hope that helps

Lighthousekeeping Thu 28-Mar-13 23:55:54

What about the ones who walk out when you are in your twenties and 15 years later have never met their grandson who looks just like him? sad it's unbelievable really.

kingbeat23 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:52:29

Herrena you don't know how much that helps.

Exdp is not allowed to see us, has to keep away but court of law. I struggle with this daily.

There was a point where she was saying she didn't have a dad, that my dad was her dad as well (hm, odd, but sort of has a point I guess) but we talked through it recently and I showed her a picture of him. For all the fear and dread of that conversation, it took 2 seconds and she looked and then asked if she could watch telly. Hasn't asked about him or wanted to see his picture since!!!!

I try and let her speak freely about it but deep down I'm happy he isn't bothered.

lottieandmia Fri 29-Mar-13 11:17:44

Some very sad experiences here sad thanks for sharing them. Faked his own death Herrena? shock honestly words fail me.

I suppose none of us will ever know or understand how another person's mind actually works. My dd's dad is a very selfish man. He really believes that the world spins for his exclusive benefit - he should be able to do and say exactly what he wants and everyone else's needs come way down the list after his. I don't believe he would be able to give my dd anything. I suppose my regret is that her father wasn't someone else! As for his family, they live abroad. At least they have some concern about the fact she actually exists. He is furious that they know about her and after they had contacted me to ask about her he sent me abusive and threatening emails.

HerrenaHarridan Fri 29-Mar-13 21:08:03

Pleased to help smile

Your dc can't have different fathers and be who they are don't feel guilty for giving them life.

We all have our crosses to bear in life, it makes us strong and gives us depth of character, every one (including our precious kids) must suffer sometimes or become an insufferable brat!

Stop looking at other families and thinking you've failed because your doing it by yourself, it's not as cut and dried as that.
I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would manage as a single mum,
I didn't feel cowed into staying in an abusive relationship (and teaching my dd to expect that from future partners)
I had seen my mum do a better job as a single mum than the majority of couples bother to do

I'm waffling now but I think what I'm trying to get to is being a single parent is harder on you than on the kids.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 21:44:51

why oh why o why do people keep calling them absent 'parents' feckless 'fathers' or 'mothers?'

These people are NOT PARENTS. they have no right or HONOUR to be called such.

PARENT/MOTHER/FATHER/MUM/DAD is NOT a label, its a verb, its a privelage, and the utmost homour anyone could have.

PLEASE stop calling them dads/fathers/mums/mothers.

they are reckless sperm donors or breeders or anything BUT a parent.....and breathe.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 21:46:25

As far as DCs concerned, there was a man but thats all he was, and as lonely and longing as I am, id rather be on my own this way with DC ANYTIME.

lottieandmia Fri 29-Mar-13 22:08:52

marjproops - I completely agree they are not actually parents. There definitely are advantages to being a lone parent - I get to decide everything. He wouldn't be able to give meaningful input. I think I feel sad for my daughter because her sisters have a father who is involved, who pays child maintenance and takes an interest in her.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 22:33:09

glad you agree, OP, sometimes i think im just Uber-sensitive.Its sad for your daughter, of course it is, OP, in an ideal world wed all be happy families, complete mum dad and kids families. but its not an ideal world and people are not perfect.

I feel angry at 'abandoners' (another word for them) but also sad, theyll never know what it is to love and be loved by a child, the greatest love there is.

DCs asked me ONCE 'do i have a daddy' and I wont lie, i wont sugar coat it, but for now i say 'its okay, you and me are family, we're a team'. i explain that 1 of my sibs is a single parent too and i say some kids have mums, some have dads, and thats better than having no one at all.

seriously, i get boiling mad when the term parent is used in sucha frivolous way, like on the news eg, baby P, the childs mother....er...no, not mother, the childs abuser.

same with 'birth' and 'biological' 'parents' too. no, a parent is the one who loves/nurtures/brings up the child.

btw, your daughter is lucky to get the attention from your other daughters dad.

perplexedpirate Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:42

I haven't seen my biological father (and I'll call him what I like, thanks) since I was three. I heard on the grapevine that he has 3 more daughters and is a raging alcoholic and not a very nice man. Lovely. I always knew I wasn't missing out on much.
I've never wanted to see him, couldn't care less.
I've said before, but you really don't miss what you've never had.

marjproops Fri 29-Mar-13 22:52:02

perplex of course, thats totally up to you.

i jsut think sometimes people may say that as they long to have known/know someone as a parent.

eg- id love to have a husband, and say, Im MRS Husbandsname, i have ahUsband. (if that makes any sense).confused.

BikeRunSki Fri 29-Mar-13 22:58:16

I work with someone who has not seen his (now adult) son for 20ish years I believe, but not through want of trying. He rarely talks about it, but usually tells people that he has not DC, to stop an y further questions. I was briefly his line manager and he did open up to me a bit. I understood then why he would deny having a child.

Meglet Fri 29-Mar-13 23:05:27

Well, I'm glad XP isn't around anymore as he was pretty bloody awful. But I do wonder how often he thinks about the dc's. They wouldn't know him if they saw him in the street and I doubt he would recognise 6yo DS these days, he has never known DD apart from when she was 6 months old.

He had endless chances to buck his ideas up and stay together as a family but he couldn't do it.

ATouchOfStuffing Fri 29-Mar-13 23:19:26

Yes, I also wonder how often/if they ever really think about their kids. I can't imagine they can with any clarity as they don't know what they are missing. Ex hasn't seen DD since she was 6mo and has only asked for one pic of her since moving in with his new g.f. I do always think he has no idea how much he is missing out on, but I doubt he ever will to be honest. These people just don't think like that.

DD is only 19mo and calls my dad Papa which is a bit embarrassing - he looks pretty young and I have given up explaining to people in restaurants etc that we are not a couple blush Any advice on how to sort that out <poster above with same issue? -Too lazy and tired to scroll up, sorry!> She also gets very upset when he walks out of the room, which she used to do to me as well, and I worry this is some attachment to males thing (he visits about once a month).

RedHelenB Sat 30-Mar-13 09:08:43

Beckett -I had a similar situation with no.3. Out of interest did he go off with someone else? After a year I put my foot down & said all three or none having explained to dds that it's only fair to their beloved sibling & it worked & he now sees all 3. BUT I have to say the relationship isn't overly strong!!

Bike - in this day & age there is no excuse not to see your child, courts are very sympathetic to the right of a child to see BOTH parents & I could never say I had no kids when I did so maybe take some of what he is saying with a pinch of salt!!

betterthanever Sat 30-Mar-13 09:18:04

In a lot of cases the truth of the OP's question is that they `make stuff up' and rewrite history. They have to live with themselves every day and so they have to do that, as the truth isn't very nice or acceptable to society.
As Red says, courts are very pro two parents so no excuse.
And then if it suits later down the line and they want to see their child or give you some sh*t they rewrite history again. Just make sure you know your own truth, don't dwell on any of it and enjoy your life, they sure has hell make sure they are doing what they want to do at all times.

lottieandmia Sun 31-Mar-13 16:33:01

Yes, very true about rewriting history. He wrote me an email saying he didn't believe she was his - he knows full well that she is his.

Last night I was talking with my parents about tracing him for child maintenance via the CSA. He is working in the UK again and I am pretty sure I know where. My parents were of the opinion that if I don't want him to see dd and given his past violent tendencies, I should leave well alone and not contact him in any way, even via the CSA as it could open a can of worms.

Have you all decided to leave child maintenance?

MrsTomHardy Sun 31-Mar-13 16:44:03

My eldest Ds's dad walked away from them 10 years ago, they were about 4 and 6 at the time. He hasn't seen them since!

He poked ds2 on Facebook a couple of years ago so I sent a short sharp MSG telling him to fuck off! Then we all blocked him!
And I did go to Csa, thank god just before he disappeared although he pays a pittance!

Snowme Fri 05-Apr-13 01:54:31

I left the children's father when our newborn was just 4 weeks old. He's spent a total of around 4 weeks probably with his father since he was born.

My eldest child however has a bond with her father. Although neither have heard or seen him for over a year now.

I'd like to think he has cut all contact with them because he's hurting so much that he can't see them regularly (he lives 200 miles away) so it's easier to deal with that hurt if he just abandons them emotionally altogether.

I'd like to think that ...

But in reality, he isn't a compassionate man, he is mostly unemotional anyway, he never wanted children (with me, at least), I 'ruined his life' by having them. It was a quite intense DV relationship. So my answer at least, would be that I think he denies their existence because he just simply doesn't care about them. They are dead to him. He ought as well to be dead to them. Yet the courts still think children benefit from a relationship with their father regardless that the father wants no relationship with them.

fergoose Fri 05-Apr-13 10:22:19

My ex was a doting father for 14 years - then he just walked, and apart from a few days last autumn refuses to see his own daughter, it has been 15 months now. Daughter is heartbroken, I have tried contacting him begging him to at least speak to her - all is ignored. I am terrified what the long term effects will be for my daughter, not to mention how the heck she is going to get through her GCSEs this year. She quite wrongly blames herself. And meanwhile his lovely new girlfriend has started an online hate campaign against me accusing me of child abuse because I am 'stopping' my daughter seeing her father apparently - you couldn't make it up could you.

I cannot comprehend how any parent could ignore their child - I wouldn't be able to breathe, let alone function, if I didn't have my daughter in my life. Maybe bit melodramatic, but you know. Every instinct as a parent is to love & protect isn't it?

HerrenaHarridan Fri 05-Apr-13 11:01:02

Yes fergoose I totally agree.

I stopped allowing ex to visit baby after he smashed my window, emotional abuse is one thing, smashing up my house is another.

He has bail conditions not to approach me so I cannot supervise contact and he cannot be trusted to have unsupervised contact (having 3 times endangered dds life and being a heavy pot smoker)

I contacted family mediation (the day after smashed window) and passed on details to him via family. They contacted him, no response. He spent weeks trying to intimidate and manipulate me (through my mum shock) and after 13 weeks finally contacted family mediation. He then tried to guilt me into arranging contact for her 1st birthday as he had left it too late for Fmc to organise in time.

I didn't and my justification was
If I was in his position I would have been standing outside the office of Fmc when they opened and would have done literally anything to get back to her.

He had since had 5 sessions of contact (2hrs once a week) been twenty mins late for 2 and ended on 15 mins early.

shockshockshockshockshockshockshock

HerrenaHarridan Fri 05-Apr-13 11:02:08

Gosh sorry for the essay it's all a bit raw for me at the moment. sad

fergoose Fri 05-Apr-13 11:39:24

herrena - that is awful sad

Not surprised it is still raw. He doesn't deserve to be a parent if that is how he behaves.

lottieandmia Fri 05-Apr-13 11:39:28

fergoose - words fail me I can't imagine how anyone could be so cruel - your poor dd. Herrena, my dd's 'father' is also a heavy pot smoker and was also violent towards me and was always getting into fights. I look back and just can't understand why I wanted to be with him, but then I was unwell at the time.

fergoose Fri 05-Apr-13 11:46:22

Words fail me every day too! I keep thinking he has had a breakdown - but quite frankly that isn't a good enough excuse. As for the hatred I have had from his OW who he met online on a very dodgy site, well I can't even begin to tell you.

Initially when he left my daughter didn't want to see him as she was so disgusted with his behaviour, but instead of making the effort to keep contact going he just gave up and vanished.

He told me himself the ow is a nightmare, he sobbed about what he has done, grass isn't greener, how he was so sorry - and then he vanished again, and nothing since. I even 'spoke' to the ow and told her, begged her actually, to get him to contact his daughter - and still radio silence from him. And still the charmer of an ow continues to accuse me of abusing my own daughter. You couldn't make it up could you?

I really, really wish my own life was not like a very poor EastEnders script - it wasn't meant to be like this sad

lottieandmia Fri 05-Apr-13 11:53:00

It does sound as if he's had a breakdown but as you say that is no excuse. For a parent to knowingly cause pain to their child is totally indefensible.

fergoose Fri 05-Apr-13 12:04:13

Oh I know - and sadly my daughter is not alone. I just can't comprehend why anyone willfully would ever want to cause anyone any upset - it just doesn't compute does it.

I have more than enough love of 2 parents for my daughter - his loss. And everyone who struggles on their own, I find me and my daughter are very close - I am way over protective I admit, I had the smashed windows and threats too when she was tiny so I totally understand that fear. But for all the struggle and loneliness & being skint etc, it has been worth every single minute. Being a parent is an utter privilege I reckon - and I am very proud of her and so very grateful for her. Sod him.

i often wonder especially now im a mum, my dad left me at 10 weeks and ignored ny existence in favour of his older children from a previous relationship and the younger ones he had whilst cheating on my mum. But know what it is his loss i am happy and pretty normal my mum did just great on her own, so dont worry one brilliant mum is more than enough xsmile

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Apr-13 12:36:18

Slightly different, but my mum turned her back on me after an argument shortly after I left home. I was 18. 20 years later, all those years with no contact. She even walked past me on the street days before I emigrated (yes, she knew I was doing so) as if she didn't know me.

But she never really wanted me, so I guess she mentally walked away shortly after my birth.

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