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Should I agree to meet up with dad? I'm 20.(42 Posts)
I'm not a mum, was googling and a mumsnet thread came up and I think getting 'mum's' advice would be really useful.
When I was 9, my Dad had a very messy affair with a 19 year old girl who at the time had a 4 year old son, he hid it for a while allowing our family life to get horrendously bad before one day packing up and leaving unannounced. He left it to my mum to explain and did not come and see us for over a week. When he saw us he made no effort to talk about anything but pretended everything was normal and got cross when I reacted confused and angry at him. After a few more 'meet ups' where he acted similarly, being very angry and talking with excitement about his new wife and family, he then disappeared without warning abroad for a few months.
He returned and again, expected me to get on with him fine and not ask questions or really react in any way other than a positive way. He became verbally and physically abusive as he got more frustrated I wasn't buying into his fantasy of me staying with him every other weekend. I was scared of him.Things deteriorated until it went to court and my dad was ruled to not have contact with me alone or any custody.
I spoke to him briefly via letter at 16 (I was really struggling with things and had some informal counselling with a teacher) and my dad explained his view of things, but mainly blamed my mum, saying she was making me hate my dad and stopping him see me. None of that is true in any way. He would send me photos and news about his other children, my half siblings, and expect me to be interested and couldn't understand how upsetting I found it. I cut contact.
I am now at University and really happy with my life, my dad is very much out of my life and not something I feel upset or hurt about on a day to day basis like I used to when I was in contact with him. It was a huge step to cut him out, and took a lot of confidence. For the last year I've thought of it as one of the best things I have done as it really has made a big difference to my happiness and outlook on life.
Now, today, I got an email from him stating forcefully he is coming to visit me (at uni) as we need to talk. This is after a year of no contact whatsoever. I feel angry he is using a tone in his email that I am like a child, someone he can boss about and scare into seeing him by using such an alarming tone. I am though, quite scared he is going to just turn up. I don't want him to ever be able to hurt me again.
Most of me doesn't want to see him, but a small part wants to hear what he has to say. I am really stable in life though and don't want to disrupt that, I'm scared of him and have in many ways heard all he has to say and come to the conclusion he has treated me badly and does not, right now, have a place in my life.
I'm close to my mum and siblings and will talk to them about it later.
Any advice though?
What they all said. Do not hesitate to contact the police if he continues to harrass or approaches you.
He's a bully and you do not have to do what he says.
Well done. You are more powerful than you know.
Oh and I talked to my tutor who was very supportive and said she will alert security and reassured me uni wouldn't give anyone, even if they say they are my father, details of where I live or my timetable etc. Also a number to ring in an situations I feel unsafe and need uni security to assist.
Thanks, again, for the replies.
My mum said similar to all you guys all mums must think on the same wonderful page!
I'm going to have a night to sleep on it and then reply tomorrow something along the lines of what weareeternal said. Basically just reapeating what I said before that I don't want to see him or have further contact and ask him to be respectful of my wishes.
Oh dear op, sorry to hear this. The tone doesn't sound like a loving father trying to patch things up with his daughter. No apology or concern shown for you. No love coming through, from what you've told us. Just self interest I'm afraid.
Do let him know you will not be meeting him, and that you don't want him to contact you. Weareeternal's letter suggestion is good, (but you could miss out second paragraph if you don't want to engage with him too much) and xales email is also good. Just direct and to the point.
The silly thing is, if he'd gone about this in a gentler way, been kinder and more fatherly about it, you would have heard him out and something could possibly have been salvaged between father and daughter. But his behaviour, and the fact he is frightening you, is unlikely to get him that result.
He probably does love you, and he probably does care, but sadly he doesn't know how to behave decently. He can't actually force you to have a relationship with him.
Perhaps he believes you have been misled into thinking bad stuff about him. But he's proving this bad stuff with every bullying message.
Totally agree with what everyone has said - the letter from weare sounds bang on.
Well articulated bunch that is exactly his motivation for this.
All I can add is that he is a selfish bully and you are a very level headed person who does not deserve this.
Sharing someone's DNA does not give you a god given right to have contact with them whenever you want it.
He has proved time and time again that he is only interested in seeing you for his own benefit, and doesn't care in the slightest about what you want or how you feel.
I am a big advocate for fathers being given as many chances as possible, but your father doesn't deserve the time of day from you.
You are clearly better off without him in your life.
I would reply with something along the lines of...
Dear [his full name]
Please do not waste your time coming to [your university] on X date as I will not be meeting with you under any circumstances.
In this past year I have been the happiest that I have ever been, and that is largely down to not having the stress, fear and anxiety caused by having you in my life.
I do not want any further contact with you, so please do not contact me again. This will be my last message to you.
Also any further contact with aggressive content will be forwarded to the police and marked as harassment.
He says he needs to hear what i have to say and have previously said in writing but to his face. This is about him trying to intimidate you, and make you somehow agree with his view of things, with absolutely no recognition or acknowledgement that his actions and behaviour are the reason he now no longer has any contact with you. That is something you do not need at all, at this stage in your life. Follow the advice given about telling him not to contact you, and speak to the police for advice/security on campus etc.
Email him back.
I don't want to meet you. I do not want emails from you. I do not want phone calls or texts from you.
Please respect my decision and do not contact me further. If you do I will have no option but to go to the police and have your contact recorded as harassment.
If he contacts you again go to the police.
He doesn't think he has to do what you request. Your feelings and wants are meaningless to him, just like they have been all these years. He is showing his aggressive nature.
He is not interested in you just what he wants.
I think he's kind of answered your first question now hasn't he.
I 2nd and 3rd getting in touch with the police.
I initially logged in to make a comment on your statement about how he may feel, that he had lost a child.
To my reading he didn't lose a child he chose not tto be in a relationship with you. I don't mean by leaving your Mum, but by expecting you as a 9 year old to understand and then by his his subsequent behaviour. He was the adult, he chose to be a bully to you.
For what it's worth and I don't mean to sound patronising on any level, you sound like a lovely girl, take action now to deal with this bully and have the lovely life you deserve.
Oh how horrible. Does he know where you live or is he coming onto campus?
I would speak to the university security team and let them know that you don't want to see him - it won't be the first time they'll have had to deal with a similar situation.
Also, I'd block him from your email address if that's possible and ring the non-urgent police line to ask for advice. Your personal tutor would be a good person to talk to (and/or your GP). The more people who know what's happening, the less vulnerable you will feel, I hope.
PS he has also stated he will be coming at a certain time and day, luckily I am away this weekend, but I am still concerned and feel very frightened and unsafe..
I have now had more threatening emails and really don't know what to do.
He says he needs to hear what i have to say and have previously said in writing but to his face.
He says I have demonised him and misunderstand.
I don't think there is much to misunderstand and his email really frightened me and caused me to have a panic attack.
I feel I don't owe him anything and do not want to see him, which potentially would cause me a lot of unhappiness and undo my work, for the sake of his needs.
Any more advice? Thanks.
Oops sent too early! I think having been in a situation similar to yours I think you should meet him.
It stops the 'what ifs' that haunt you
Meet him on the understanding that you are not looking to resurrect a relationship but just to hear what he has to say. But also tell him to be prepared that he has to listen to what you have to say too.
I found it quite empowering and now have a relationship (of sorts) with my dad. But it's on my terms and I will never let him push my buttons again!
I think that having been in asituation similar to you
Good for you for finding the courage to stand up to him. It took me a few more years....
Excellent, glad you got that one sorted. Now you can concentrate on having a great time at uni
Good for you!
You sound ace OP, enjoy uni.
Well done. I bet your mum and siblings are really proud of you.
I really wish I had been so sorted at 20!
You are a star well done, dignity, clarity and assertiveness - I could learn a lot. ditto
You are a star well done, dignity, clarity and assertiveness - I could learn a lot. Congratulations
Thanks for the replies. I knew all that in my head, just needed 18 other people to say it to me!
It is true, if I saw him it would be simply out of guilt and for his benefit only.
I replied saying I don't see any point in meeting up or wish to have a relationship with him and that if there is anything urgent he wants to let me know he has my email address. I also said I found the tone of his message unnecessarily forceful and forgetting that I am a 20 year old who can make their own choices.
I also talked to my mum and siblings so am no longer having doubts.
BOF, i have a mac so i use the mac mail programme. not sure how you'd do it in outlook, but you could try a similar method and see if it works.
- click on the message in your inbox
- click on 'message' menu (along top of screen)
- click on 'bounce'
short cut is shift +apple key + B
but be warned - this deletes the message from your mailbox and will send a bounce message to the sender. if you want to keep the message, forward it onto yourself before you bounce it.
it's fantastic! i've gotten rid of a few unwanted emails that way.
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