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Should I contact my half sister?

(32 Posts)
HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 12:04:31

About a year ago I found out I have a half sister, she is a few years younger than me and we actually grew up about five minutes away from each other.

I don't know if she knows I'm her half sister or not, we are friends on Facebook due to having a load of mutual friends (from growing up in the same place and from extended family) and I had assumed she was another cousin (there are lots) We were FB friends prior to me finding out who she is.

Her mum died a few years ago, and now she is pregnant, she has posted recently about how hard it is being pregnant and not having her mum to share it with or support her. She sounds so lost and alone sad and I've been wondering if I should contact her or not? Being pregnant, it might not be the best time to deal with a bolt from the blue (presuming she doesn't know about me)

I'm sorry if this sounds a bit muddled, I'm not sure how much info to put.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 12:12:04

My children have a half sister they never met, they are all children though. Every so often they speak about wanting to meet her, I am happy for them to meet, as it's their absent fathers child it is out of my hands.

Do you think other relatives would bundle in and cause problems, get upset etc if you tell her?

How did you find out your related?

Who do you mutually know and trust?

LulaPalooza Fri 07-Dec-12 12:13:28

How did you find out that she's your half sister?

I think you're being very kind and thoughtful but you'll need to tread carefully, particularly if she's feeling vulnerable. Perhaps a letter to start with? A proper letter, not an email or FB message.

Kaluki Fri 07-Dec-12 12:15:48

I think it depends on the circumstances. Does she think someone else is/was her Dad? Does she know your(her) Dad?
Very confusing but if you can help her through a difficult time then only good can come of it I think. You obviously have the best of intentions.
I have a half sibling out there somewhere - about my age - as a result of my Dad's affair when I was a baby. I would be thrilled if they came to find me but I haven't a clue how to find them or even if they know about me sad

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 12:16:48

Funny enough my half brother has recently been in touch. He found my sisters and I on Facebook.

I'd say go for it.

(If of course you are 100% certain that she is)

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 12:18:56

Ok I'll put the background, I might be some time grin

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 12:44:53

She is definitely my half sister, we have the same bio father, my mum had me very young and was not with bio father after she found out she was pregnant. Half sisters mum was married to bio father but they separated/divorced when she was very young. Bio father then married again and has children (grown up) with his 2nd/current wife.

I worked out who she was from little snippets of info here and there, (I'm a regular Nancy Drew grin ) and then I asked my mum and she was able to confirm. My mum didn't know about half sister as Bio father moved away shortly after he married.

I don't think it would cause much upset to other relatives, not the ones I care about anyway. I haven't contacted her before about this because

a) I didn't know if she had any inkling about me and I didn't want to upset her.

b) I don't handle rejection well at all.

c) My cousin (and hers) told me that Half Sister had told family that she didn't want any contact with them (her mum and dads split/divorce was acrimonious and there were custody issues. But that she is now in contact with some of them via FB. She and I live in the same town and they all live hundreds of miles away.

I have no intentions to drop any bombshells via Facebook! Or text/email.

Its kind of come to a head as an aunt posted a picture of me as a child a few months back and then the other day someone commented "thats not X (me) its Y (half sister)" to which people were commenting "no its definitely X" and HS even commented that she had done a double take but definitely wasn't her. So okay I'm letting my imagination run away with me here but I could picture her doing the hmm face grin

Phew! Hope you can follow that!

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 12:53:02

So she knows about the other half siblings and not you? Makes you wonder what he put the current wife through, he sounds a charmer hmm

Considering the latest post, I would get a third party to invite you both to the same place and talk, get to know her a little and discuss your intrigue about the picture comment, let it happen naturally.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 12:56:31

I'd still say just drop her a message. What's the point in going all round the houses. If she wants to know she will reply whether it's a facebook message or not.

Be prepared for her not to though and even if she does be prepared not to get along because you're strangers really.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 12:57:17

Mrs I had thought of using the photo comment as an ice breaker, I don't think there's anyone to act as a 3rd party though. The person who made the comment is one of the other half siblings! I don't think they know who I am either, they think I'm a cousin.

cozietoesie Fri 07-Dec-12 12:58:15

I've got some perspective on this (from confirming later in life that I had a half sister) and I'd recommend just a little caution in the circumstances. There's a tendency to go at it hot and heavy emotionally when disclosure is made - and that initial burst may not be capable of being maintained given, among other things, that you simply haven't got years of shared memories and people underpinning it.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't do it at some point but I'm wondering whether, if she's posting about the difficulty of her current position, she might feel let down if you couldn't maintain any initial emotional intensity - and whether you also might feel bad if you couldn't. Just because you're half sisters doesn't, after all, mean that you'll necessarily end up being bosom friends.

Might you consider ramping up the friendship on FB and support her that way? See how it goes?

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:04:35

So your a secret and only the children born of wedlock are acknowledged? What about this Aunt?

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:05:18

Clipped I'm not thinking that it would be easy or that there'd be a natural rapport. But because I can remember what it feels like to be pregnant and missing your mum (my mum still with us but was living far away) I feel that I can take the chance that she tells me to do one. At least then she would know I'm there if she needs/wants me.

It has also occurred to me that she knows about me but thinks I don't know about her iyswim?

It's all very Jeremy Kyle!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 13:08:01

Gosh, isn't it OP.

I have two half brothers on my mothers side and a half sister on my fathers side, so a bit the same over here.

Just do it OP, like you said, she sounds like she could do with sister. Nothing ventured and all that.

Whilst it probably is a sensitive issue for some, I never saw it like that when contacted on Facebook.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:10:25

Mrs I don't know if I'm a secret or not. But none of the siblings have publicly acknowledged me, or me them.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:13:19

That is your Dad's fault, what a wake he has left and put you all in awkward positions. This aunt knows you?

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:13:24

Clipped I also don't find FB an issue, tbh I would prefer to be contacted in a way that would give me time and opportunity to reflect (and delete) but I know others don't like it.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:15:25

With adopted people they often use a third party to explain and give the contacted person a chance to catch their breath.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:24:41

Ok this is where it gets all JK (IMO) as it looks so incestuous (?) written down. I was going to PM you MrsRJ but it seems unfair and rude to other posters who have taken the time to respond and try to help. And I can tell you're another Nancy Drew and you won't drop it grin

Deep breath ...

Ok so after I was born my mum began a relationship with someone else, this person is my Dad (legally adopted me) and they are very happy together 35 years later. They didn't have any DC of their own, so I've grown up as an only child. My Dad and my Bio Father are cousins, their mothers were sisters. So I was brought up as my Dads daughter, his parents are my DPGs, etc so I've always had basic contact with Bio Fathers family (but not him) and its kind of common here to call older relatives aunt/uncle. The aunt in question is biologically my aunt (Bio Fathers sister) but although I call her aunt I don't think of her as a "real" aunt. Does any of that make sense? Probably not blush

ClippedPhoenix Fri 07-Dec-12 13:26:44

I personally am not a facebook user but brother sent me a personal message. Nothing wrong with that.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:32:33

This is the problem there could be wider family fallout. So not fair on you children the choices the then adults made. Often when the truth outs the one telling the truth gets kicked in the teeth.

You need to get the three parents to put the truth out there and stop this lie so you have the chance to forge a relationship with your half siblings and they you.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:32:48

So to clarify, aunt knows me, who my real father is etc. There were lots of big family parties when I was young so that's where the photos would have come from.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:35:18

The adults have hidden the truth from your half siblings and that has to stop, they need to tell the truth if you do it will likely blow up in your face.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:37:52

Tbf my mum wasn't more than a child herself when she had me. When I was old enough my parents told me that I wasn't Dads Bio daughter, but that he had legally adopted me etc. They told me who my Bio dad is.

This sounds mean but I don't really have much interest in the other ones. And I don't think the Half Sister in question has contact with her Bio dad either, she talks a lot about her Step-dad (calls him Dad) and she has a half sibling that she's grown up with.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 13:43:49

They did what they did then, now they including your bio Dad need the truth to out to others, your Mum and Dad told you the truth your Bio Dad kept secrets, you don't have to bother with the others if you don't want to.

SweetMingePie Fri 07-Dec-12 13:43:50

Your life sounds as complex as mine!

I found my bio dad last year, it did not end well. Had several threads on here but had them deleted. I did however get in touch with with my half siblings, all younger the me. Some of them welcomed me with open arms, others not, which is fair enough, their choice.

I was the one who made contact, they did know about me though, which I think made a difference.

Like yourself I can't handle rejection well, and to be rejected by my bio dad did not leave me in a great place mentally.

So tread carefully op. if she already thinks you're related then finding out ow you are related might not be as hard on her. Good luck.

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 13:56:02

Thanks SweetMingePie I have no interest in Bio Father, I never have and I doubt that will ever change. I had no intentions of ever contacting any half siblings, but I think that because HS is vulnerable and sad that I might be feeling maternal towards her? I certainly can empathise with her. Also it feels like we do have things in common, grew up in same place, have mutual friends, similar family background etc. whereas I know practically nothing about the other ones.

I think I may send her a nice message just to ask how she's feeling with the pregnancy, and that I'm thinking about her. See what response I get.

It's also niggling away at me that no-one says anything because they think I don't know?

My main concern is that I don't upset HS esp when she's pg but really when would the right time be?

Boomeringue Fri 07-Dec-12 14:03:28

After some detective work,I discovered that I had 2 half sisters. I contacted them via e-mail,and meeting one of them was very emotional. We meet up now and again,but they live in the US. We aren't bosom-buddies,due to the distance geographically,but we're all glad to be in touch. I'd risk contacting hersmile

HalfSister Fri 07-Dec-12 14:07:11

Thanks Boomeringue I'm going to see what response I get from my very pleasant, but non revealing message.

I'll update if anything happens.

MrsjREwing Fri 07-Dec-12 22:41:57

Good luck.

SweetMingePie Sat 08-Dec-12 15:31:04

Sorry, wasn't suggesting you were wanting to meet your bio dad, was just saying I had met mine and as a result met my half sins. Was more focusing on the rejection bit for you.

Hope it goes well for you.

HollyBerryBush Sat 08-Dec-12 16:18:41

I think perhaps you sholuld ask yourself what you hope to gain from any relationship with your half sister. If you are looking to acquire a sister and havea romanticised ideal in your head of what a sister might be like - that quite probably might not happen. Or, re reading your initial post, you have an empathy because she is quite alone and perhaps you also have a romantic version in your head of creating a stable extended family life for her?

In reality, you are two people who have 50% of the same blood in your viens - but no common upbring or experiences. So you might get along like a house on fire, or you might not.

I think you might have to emotionally prepare yourself it may not pan out the way you would hope.

To put that in perspective my aunt died at a very young age leaving two small children. The father remarried and the SM didn't want contact with the old family (it was more complicated than taht but I wont bore you). Once everyone was dead who could object or stir things up my mother contacted her neices. It went well whilst Mum was alive, they were keen to hear bout their real sister, Mum was happy to talk about her and keep her memory alive. When my Mum died I let contact drift, my cousins just were not my sort of people. I had a romanticised ideal in my head when I was growing up of how close we would be, but they were too damaged by their upbringing to really get close to.

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