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Please tell me what to do.(16 Posts)
I would really appreciate all the help I can get with this as it's been ruining my relationship with my Mum and brother for almost 4 years. Apologise for length but it's messy (just like my head).
So about 5 years ago I found out my Dad wasn't my 'real Dad'...my real Dad was someone whom DM had had a very quick relationship with (aged 19) and fallen pregnant. When I came along he decided he didn't want anything to do with me (or DM). DM has assured me that she told real Dad he could come visit me anytime he wanted, door was always open etc, and I believe her. He never did.
My Mum eventually meets my other Dad (hereafter DF, the one who brought me up more or less) and has DB when I'm 5 y.o. DF doesn't treat me any differently to DB can I add, although this isn't necessarily a good thing as DB would agree he's not (nor ever was) the best DF in the world, pretty awful at times, always there financially but never once did he hug us, ask us how school went etc etc, put us down constantly. He basically worked, came home for dinner, then drank all night, went out at weekends. Was violent at times towards both me and DM.
DM and DF divorce when I'm 14/15 (quelle surprise) which I'm not going to lie, I was over the moon about as I hated living with him (remember at this point I had no idea he wasn't my biological father). DF moves to London (where he still resides, remarried). DB and myself as teenagers went to visit maybe twice a year.
Fast forward to the very recent past, I find out about 'real Dad' (in a nutshell, someone from real dad's family found me on Facebook and contacted me, assuming that I knew!!).
Here comes the problem: After acquainting myself with an entire family I didn't know I had, I agreed to meet up with real Dad (with DM present). Alcoholic mess, looked like he were about 70 as opposed to mid 40s. Things didn't work out and he passed away a couple of years after that (liver failure). The rest of his family (aunties, uncles, and most importantly grandparents I didn't know I had) still want me in their lives. DM can't accept this - according to her they all knew I existed and did nothing about it for 24 years (again I believe her as I've asked 'new family' and they admit it, although say it was because they didn't want to disturb my life?). The only ones from my new family who claim they didn't know I existed until I was in my teens, are my paternal grandparents, the rest knew I existed as a newborn.
Since real Dad passed away I've tried to get to know my new family, this was the hardest decision of my life as DM, DB and many other members of my maternal family weren't keen at all (they're convinced I was only contacted by other family as a last ditch attempt to save real Dad, give him a new lease of life maybe, they obv knew he was very unwell).
People are always telling me I'm too soft but I believe everyone deserves a second chance so I have been visiting new family over the last couple of years, they are a really lovely bunch of people. Unfortunately it's eating away at DM and DB as they don't think they deserve a chance, given that they knew me all those years and did nothing about it. They have begged me not to take DD (3) near them. DM and I aren't speaking as she hates the fact that I'm in contact with them.
Please help me, should I be loyal to DM and maternal family and just tell the others I can't have a relationship? Or do DM, DB etc need to let me go? It seems so shitty that I'm the one in torment over it all, given that I was the innocent child.
I know this is complicated so I will elaborate upon anything asked, thank you.
Please forgive me if this is a bit brutal, but the only person who has a right to make a decision about who you see is you. Yes, your mum and db might not like it, and may be concerned about you getting hurt, but you are an adult, capable of making rational decisions about who you do and don't want/need in your life and they need to back off and let you do as you see fit.
Easier said than done, though, especially if they are "punishing" you (by not speaking etc) for going against their wishes. Pretty controlling behaviour, really. Have you tried speaking to your mum about her behaviour? (Again, I know, easier said than done).
Good luck with it all. You don't deserve to be in this situation and it's not fair of your dm and db to put you in it.
My personal opinion is that you should do what you think is right for you and your family because that will always be the decision you can defend. Who you have a relationship with is down to you, not those approved by your DM or DB or even those in your 'new' family. But you have to go in with eyes wide open and judge as you find, not seeing what you want to see or being romantic about anything.
Everyone in the story has let you down in some way or another. I don't think anyone is really covered in enough glory to warrant your unthinking loyalty.
Its your life and your decision. Your Mum is understandable raw about this subject but the past has to be put aside. If your paternal family are good people and you are happy that is all that matters.
You need to reassure your Mum and brother that noone can take their place but this is a part of your life and this is what you want. There is no reason it should have any affect on your relationship with them
You are the only person who can make that choice...nobody has the right to take that away from you. Your DM is probably trying to 'protect' you in her own way. At the end of the day, shes had to you herself for X years, she probably doesn't want to suddenly have to share you!!!
Just think of it like this..... would you regret NOT seeing the other half of of your family?....
Hope you are ok. Good luck and please don't worry about what other people think.
Thanks everyone, you're all completely right, it's down to my own decision, it's just that I've been doing it 'my way' for the last coup,e of years and it's still as raw to DM as it was at the beginning.
For what it's worth I can totally see her point; she did all the hard work for x number of years and now this new family has cone swanning in and reaps all the benefits of a brand new granddaughter and great-granddaughter.
The only thing that bothers me about my other family is that they live a good hours drive away and it's always me going to see them.
And as a footnote, DF couldn't give a toss either way.
I think that your dm is being very controlling. By not speaking to you she is effectively punishing you, (and your dd) and attempting to manipulate you into ceasing contact with your family.
Everyone makes mistakes, and does stuff they regret ( in your fathers family's case not contacting you sooner, in you dms case exposing you to an abusive man for far too long) no-one is perfect, I expect you're mum feels that the apple never falls far from the tree, and as your df was a twunt his family are too, but as your dfs family are trying to make amends I think its worth trying to build a relationship with them. It might fail, but equally it might not. Do prepare yourself, and not build up hopes of a rosy family though as it might not end up that way.
Your DM may have done all the hard work but, being realistic about it, when it comes to choosing family (fathers) for you, her instincts have not always been spot on & she's made some big mistakes. You probably need to drive that good hour a few more times and ask her what specifically bothers her about you talking to the other members of your biological father's family. Does she think they'll hurt you in some way? Is she jealous of the attention they're getting? Does she think you like them better than you like her? Find out what it is specifically and then you might be able to resolve it.
Follow your heart on this one as I believe you will regret it if you make a decision based on what your dm or db want. By all means be discreet and sensitive around them but you have the right to get to know your new family. Good luck hope all works out for you x
Everything that quietlysuggests says so elequently .
Yes, do what feels right for you. If your mum makes a fuss, just keep repeating 'I'm sorry you feel that way, you are my mum and I love you, but I'm doing what's right for me and DD.' and change the subject. It's basically up to her to get over it and stop acting like a twat, she has no right to try and forbid you to see these people.
quietlysuggests I think you have hit the nail on the head and were I to show your post to my Mum I think she'd break down in tears to have someone put into words like that.
Can I just point out, I love my Mum more than anything...she brought DB and myself up practically on her own and did a fantastic job of it (in that we're both happy and healthy individuals). I understand my OP maybe portrayed her in a bad light but I have got to see things from her point if view also, despite me being an adult and capable of doing things for myself.
Thank you all so much for the advice, I feel a lot better having spoken to people from an un-biased/non family-sided point of view
Gosh, how hard for you OP. But I agree with others about you should do what is best for you. If you want to find out about the other side of your family and spend time with them, I think you should feel free to do that.
I also agree with who said maybe, over time, you could discuss this more with your mother. I think your mum should be trying to understand your feelings and support you - as you say you are the innocent in all this. My guess is probably frightened of your feelings and what they bring up for her, as she may be repressing some of her own ...
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