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to not tell DS about my family?

(15 Posts)
cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 13:39:11

Long Long Story....

DM and DF (although I reluctantly call him DF) were married and divorced when I was 2. During the divorce proceedings all sorts of allegations were levelled at my Mum - that she didnt feed me, that she beat me, that she locked me in cupboards - which couldn't be further from the truth. DF's parents were very controlling and this had been part of the reason for my parents separation. Turned out they had persuaded(?) my DF to say all of these things about my Mum and on the final day before the custody decision was made, my DF did the one good thing in his life and told the judge that he did not want custody of me and told my DM that it had been his parents lying about my Mum to essentially get custody through my DF.

Over the years I saw them fortnightly, as my Mum believed it was unfair to stop me from seeing them. My GP's were a constant feature in m life. My DF not so much so - depended if he had a girlfriend or not. From approx age 13 when he got married and had my half sister with his wife I had more to do with my DF and his new family. There has been fallouts over the years but nothing so major but I did always feel second best.

When I was approx 22 my DF's brother got in contact (He had gone missing when I was about 13) with me via facebook and I put him in contact with my grandparents. I was happy they had "found" him. It turned out he had leukemia and was quite poorly. Again I said I was happy they had found him, but I didnt really know him so would prefer they didnt get me involved (He had a history of stealing, fraud and alcohol abuse). There was an almighty row when they gave my number to him without my permission and he rang and spoke to me. We didnt speak for some time and all the while my DF (who had nothing to do with the row) didnt make contact with me either and hasn't since.

Eventually, my GP's and I got on civil speaking terms and I was informed my Nan had cancer. I spoke with her and had a lovely conversation with her and told her how much I loved her etc etc. Not long after I had a text from my Aunt saying my Nan wanted to see me and (from recollection) she was only asking because my Nan had requested it, vis a vis, it wasnt what the whole family wanted - only my Nan. I had had a whole year without any involvement with them and my life had been peaceful. I had decided I didnt want to risk being hurt yet again by them and said that whilst I respected her wishes, I couldnt put myself in that situation. I then received nasty messages about me not coming which I chose to ignore.

Approximately a month later, I received a letter in the post... My Nans death notice along with a letter from my Grandfather saying "You hurt my wife enough. At least you cannot hurt her anymore. Do not ever contact me again"

I was very upset as I had thought perhaps in that situation they may have had some dignity.

DS was born in Aug 2014. Approximately 5 months ago, I received a message from my half sister on facebook (I got married in 2012 so she must have sought me out as my surname is not the same), who would now be 12, saying that she misses me lots and telling me about her hobbies. we have had contact since approx 2011. I said that I am glad she is well but that I didnt know whether DF knew but to contact me when she was older. She said that DF did know and was happy for her to contact me.

I have since made my security on facebook as high as possible so all that can be seen are my profile and cover photos and neither of these are of my Son.

So... if you've got this far.... My dilemma is, when my DS asks when he is older about his family, do I even tell him they exist?

He has wonderful GP in my Mum and "Dad" (who has been in my life since I was 4) and doesnt want for a thing. I do not want him hurt by that family the way both me and my DM were hurt by them. (There are various things I have not detailed on here such as when DM and DF split up, DF sold everything in the house, including the carpets whilst DM stayed with her friend).

I do not want him hurt but I also do not want to hide them from him. I also don't want to hide his family history. I also (perhaps selfishly) do not want him searching them out.

Does anyone have any advice? AIBU to not tell DS about them?

littlejohnnydory Thu 13-Aug-15 14:02:45

You tell him the version of the truth that he is old enough to hear. "I haven't seen them for a long time" can be the start, foollowed by "They're niot very nice and I don't see them" as he gets older and more curious.

cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 14:27:58

The thing is littlejohnnydory he doesnt even have a need to ask about them, he doesnt even know they exist. Do I keep it that way?

SnapesCapes Thu 13-Aug-15 14:34:26

I think it shouldn't be a secret, nor something you're ashamed of. But nor do you have to parade it; if he asks, be honest (in an age appropriate way).

I was adopted at 10 and DS1 asked when I had DS2 in my tummy whose tummy I'd come from, asking if it was Grandma E (my adopted Mum). I explained that I came from another woman's tummy but that she wasn't a very good Mummy to me, so I went to live with Grandma and Grandad. DS1 is 9 now and has asked more questions occasionally, and each time I've given him as much truth as I think he can handle. But if he'd never asked I wouldn't have offered it. Children are very accepting of situations that would raise adults eyebrows.

haveabreakhaveakitkat Thu 13-Aug-15 14:36:38

If he asks now, a quick 'nan and grandad (or whatever he calls them) are your grandparents and they love you very much (etc)' and quickly change subject.

When he's older you can be more honest. 'We didn't get along very well' and try to explain without apportioning blame too much on either side. Adults just fall out sometimes.

He may want to get in contact with them when he's older so you should prepare yourself just in case.

cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 14:40:22

I just find it hard, and in fact commend my Mum, for letting me be in contact with them as a child when they had been the way they were with her. She is a better woman and mother than I am as I don't want him anywhere near them, or to know they exist, or them know he exists. I suppose it's just fierce protection. He gets nothing from them so there is never a need for him to know them. But I also don't want it to be a secret, because secrets are often discovered - take for example photos of me as a baby with DF in and not Dad. He will notice the difference surely.

goodnessgraciousgouda Thu 13-Aug-15 14:51:08

Well - with absolutely no disrespect to your mum - it wasn't exactly the best decision, as you have had an awful lot of stress and hurt from them throughout the years, which could have been avoided if she had kept you from them.

Can you just not mention them? And then give an answer as above if he specifically asks about them for some reason?

ollieplimsoles Thu 13-Aug-15 14:58:06

Tough situation op and I certainly know how you feel. I have a similar situation with my dad and that side of the family. His parents both died but I do not have a good relationship with my dad- he has three children with my step mum and never bothered before or after they were born.

I agree that you should not keep them a secret, however I would play them down as much as possible, just answer any questions quickly and move on. When he is old enough to really understand more about your relationship with them, I would tell him what happened in an unbiased way.

Sorry but your dad sounds like an utter shit.

ollieplimsoles Thu 13-Aug-15 14:59:28

Well - with absolutely no disrespect to your mum - it wasn't exactly the best decision, as you have had an awful lot of stress and hurt from them throughout the years, which could have been avoided if she had kept you from them.

This is the first thing I thought too. I will never understand parents who insist their children see poisonous family members who are clearly no good, just because 'they are your grandparents' I even extend it to fathers tbh.

cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 15:00:24

ollieplimsoles Sorry but your dad sounds like an utter shit. That's putting it politely!

He really has no reason to ask about them. If questions do arise, I will answer them age approrpiately.

littlejohnnydory Thu 13-Aug-15 15:06:27

He has no reason to at the moment but will sooner or later ask questions like "who's your daddy?", "where does he live?" "Who's your Grannie?", "Where's my Grandad"? My three year old is obsessed with who is related to whom at the moment. As he gets older he will ask more complicated questions. I would wait for the questions to come from him.

cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 15:10:14

littlejohnnydory I suppose you are right. If only I could just hide him from them.

cjt110 Thu 13-Aug-15 15:13:02

Ollie and goodness, she never insisted I saw them at all. I always saw them only if I wanted. She never discussed the issues with me until I was old enough to understand and then allowed me to make the decision myself as to whether I wanted to see them. It took me until I was about 18 to realise what they were like and even then, I still carried on a relationship with them.

Iforgottotellyou Thu 13-Aug-15 15:29:10

My eldest didn't find out I had a sister until she was about nine! It just never came up in conversation before then, and not something I felt I needed to announce as she's not part of our lives. She was surprised when she found out but not bothered when I said she was really nasty, which is why we dont see her.

LaLyra Thu 13-Aug-15 15:50:24

I wouldn't hide them from him because what happens if one of them contacts him one day? Better he knows from a young age in age appropriate ways that Grandad 'chose' to be your Daddy because your biological father wasn't very nice and you didn't see him. That way no one can ever surprise him and he always hears it from you first.

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