Part 2 - Am I overreacting to hearing that my paternal grandparents didn't even know about me?(1 Post)
This is part 2 of my first question - would be great if you read the first question first.
Here is my side of the story with regards to my father:
I only have 3 of my own actual eyewitness accounts of him. Everything else is what someone else told me and through someone else’s perception. My father has never even had a conversation with me, doesn’t have a picture of me, and has never hugged me.
He babysat me once when I was 4. Not sure for how long. Objectively speaking it was fine. I mean he was sitting there in the room with me keeping an eye on me but he didn't talk to me or play with me but he didn’t leave me alone. He smoked some cigarettes and had a beer. I remember that there was a lot of smoke. I definitely remember the smoke. I was too young to know if he drank enough to get drunk or if it was just one beer to relax.
Unfortunately, I had asthma and the smoke made me go to hospital. I have really bad asthma and even smelling the smoke off someone's clothes can aggravate my asthma. I don’t know if my mother told him if I had asthma or not. This was also back in the early 90s where people probably didn't know they had to open windows etc. less safety around smoking.
When I was 5, he moved to a different town 8 hours away. My mother drove me to go see him. My father's apartment was nearly completely empty. Just a bed, one chair and one TV. There were no toys or anything for a 5 year old to do (my mother didn't bring any either) so I played on my father's Nintendo game the entire time. After what felt like a few hours my father took it off me. He said he was teaching me to share. He wasn't mean or anything he just put it away. Then my mother berated him for what felt like like 5 hours. I remember her saying ‘that’s not going to teach her to share’.
No contact from him at all until I was 10. No letters, no phone calls, no birthday cards, nothing.
He came to visit me when I was 10. At this point it was a complete shock to me and I was stunned. Like who is this strange man coming into my house saying he's my dad etc. My mother didn’t even tell me ahead of time that he was coming. I was a shy kid and I hid in the bedroom the whole time. My mother then berated him for expecting me to be excited to see him as he had never been around and was a stranger to me. He was married at this time and had 2 kids that I didn’t know about. I remember seeing his wife’s name on the ONE birthday card I ever got from him.
If my father would have stayed persistent and kept going he probably could have pushed through my shock and I might have warmed up to him. He should have started with letters so I had time to process. He could have chosen to stick with it and decided to try but he didn’t.
No contact from him at all until I was 18. No letters, no phone calls, no birthday cards, nothing.
He asked my mother for my phone number when I was 18. I was just completely stunned. I needed help and time processing this news. Of course my mother wouldn’t do that because she hated him and my mother just sat there with a disgusted look on her face. I said no but maybe I shouldn’t have. It just sounded like such a deadbeat dad thing to do - wait until the kid is 18 and you’re off the hook for child support or raising the child. I was also afraid that what my mother told me. I was afraid that he really was an unstable drug addict and I would be inviting trouble into my life. I didn’t feel old enough or mature enough to cope with trouble if it came. I also didn’t know what to say or where to start. He said that he felt bad that he didn’t participate in raising me but the question is did he feel bad for 18 years or just for a few minutes?
Here is what my aunt told me:
My aunt said that my father would climb up the side of the house into my mother's bedroom to see her. He never took the front door.
She also said that she thought it was stupid that my mother didn't know how to get pregnant.
She said my father was dating my mom's friend Pat first and Pat was quite the little party animal and got pregnant but didn't know who the father was. My childhood friend could have been my half-sister but no one ever found out and just assumed not because she looks nothing like me. The family is not willing to discuss the matter with me.
My aunt said that when my mother got pregnant my father told her to get an abortion and when she wasn’t interested in doing that he broke up with her. She said he did drugs and smoked and drank. She said that when he tried to come back it was always the same.
Here is what my father's friend told me:
My father’s friend went to the same secondary school as he did and lived with my father for a period of 5 years in a rented house. He was a welder and my father was a tiler.
He said that my parents were dating and by the time I was born they had nothing to do with each other. He said my father said that my maternal grandparents (who babysat me while my mom was at work) wanted to raise me. He lived with my father for a period of 5 years before he moved to the other city. He said he lost touch with my father but last time he spoke to him 5 years ago my father was running a company and lost 3-4 houses to different women.
He said my father had been with a lot of women and potentially got 50-50 custody of the children with his ex-wife.
Here's what my mother told me:
My mother can’t talk about what actually happened without getting really angry and swearing etc. She told me that he was an alcoholic, a drug addict, and that he would have been abusive.
She said he lied to her and played mind games with her. She said she didn’t find out about the drugs until after she got pregnant. She told me that he didn’t want me and wanted me to have been aborted.
She told my husband that she didn’t want anything to do with him and that she hates him and didn’t want me to know him.
My mother said he would call her from time to time. His wife left him because of alcohol. The thing is I didn’t hear the conversations on the phone - only what my mother told me afterwards.
The problem is my mother has been awful to me as well. When I was 15 she screamed at me saying that I was a mistake. She also has a tendency to over exaggerate, black and white thinking and catastrophize.
My mother said that she didn’t know how to get pregnant and she didn’t find out about the drugs until after she was pregnant. I find this hard to believe because my aunt grew up in the same house and knew how to get pregnant and this was in the 1980s there would have been sex ed in the high school. Also, if he was a drug addict how could he have held a job and apartment for 5 years?
She can’t seem to tell me what kinds of drugs they were. She said he lied to her and cheated on her as well. But she can’t seem to name the woman she thinks he cheated with and what he lied about. She said he lied about his last name but clearly he didn’t as I spoke to his friend.
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