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long lost father(12 Posts)
I was just wondering if anyone has any advice or has been through a similar situation? I am a 28 yr old single mum of one boy, and last week, 25 years after he left and went home to Iraq, i found my father on Facebook!
I will briefly explain the background story. My mother and father met when she was 17 and he was 18. He was in our town training to be a pilot, and had been sponsored by the government for 4 years. Anyway, they fell in love and had me, then my brother a year and a half later. He had to go home in 1986, as if he had stayed his family in Iraq would have been punished severely. I was only 2 and a half and my brother was 10 months.
When i was 4 my mother met and married a great man and he took over the role of our father, although we always knew who our "real" father was. Although my step dad has been a brilliant dad to us, over the years i have experienced a lot of pain wondering about my father and where he was, if he was even alive. I tried a few ways to find him but was never very hopeful because of the turmoil in Iraq. I have lived my life feeling like a huge part of me is missing and wondering about that half of my heritage. I used to fantasise about meeting my father and running into his arms.
And now, the current situation is that i have found him on Facebook and we are in contact most days and have even spoke on the phone. I am incredibly happy to have found him, and feel so lucky, but am also feeling unbelievably sad about all the time we lost. He has explained to me what happened during these missing years and i believe him. He has also suffered greatly without us. I feel like i love him so much already and desperately want to cuddle him, i am not even a cuddly person.
I know that people have their opinions but please, no criticising of my mother or father's decisions. We all make mistakes but we have to deal in the here and now. All i want is some words of advice on this incredibly complex subject.
One last wee bit of info i feel may be relevant, i have Borderline Personality Disorder and my son has just been diagnosed with ADHD and will be tested for Autism in the future. So to say i am in turmoil may be an understatement!
I think your mother has also posted here
I have personal experience of this, and when I met my father 21 years after he left my mother, it was a horrendous let down. We might be related but his politics are alien to me and I don't respect him. I'd say: slow it down, and stay calm.
Yeah she has. I know why people are wary about this and i know it could go wrong, but for some reason i just feel so strongly towards him. Did you feel like this? I also feel ashamed that i haven't lived a better life, but he does not mind and still loves me.
I know i need to calm down and be rational, but sometimes hat is really hard for me to do. I end to jump straight into things and be over-enthusiastic.
Do you mind me asking, where is your father from?
He's British, she's European, they had a bitter divorce and he remarried soon after. You should not feel ashamed of your life; it's what's made you who you are. I think it's natural to be excited but I think you need to meet him in person and spend some time with him before making any mental commitments. What do you want out of the relationship long-term?
I know, it's just because he is muslim and i have done a lot of very un-muslim things! But he obviously knows i have been brought up in Britain so that is my culture.
That is a good question, i don't actually know what kind of future we can have, as he has a wife and three young children, and his wife does not know about us. We have discussed possibly meeting in Turkey, but not sure how quickly that can happen.
I want him in my life somehow, but i know that is virtually impossible. But i should just be happy knowing he is alive and safe, and has thought of us. I think that is what is causing some of my pain, knowing i will never have him in the father daughter capacity that i wish for. I feel like i miss him, how can i miss someone i have not seen for 25 years.
You've probably done the same 'un-Muslim' things your mother had done when they fell in love, so don't feel so bad. I don't really think anyone who hasn't been raised by their father can have the father-daughter relationship you are craving, and you need to realise that. You miss what you have seen other people have from their fathers, which is natural, and hurts, but can't be changed. Try to get to know him as an adult. Meeting in Turkey sounds like a great opportunity and I'm sure he'll enhance your life if your expectations aren't too high
Yeah, and that he did while he was here! Thanks for your good, honest advice. I will try to stay adult about things, and hopefully that will help.
Best of luck, really
Hope some other people will come along with advice soon.
I really wouldn't worry too much about the un-muslim thing OP. You wouldn't think it but Iraq has been a relatively secular place for a long time - back in the 80s and 90s even more so.
A lot of countries bordering Iraq have been and continue to be Islamic states, but Iraq has hsitorically been much more secular.
What about the 'un-muslim' things your biological father has done?
The Iraqi government of the time may have sponsored hm training in the UK to become a pilot and he may, or may not, have been required to return to his home country on completion of his studies, but it's highly unlikely he would have been unable to return to the UK had he been so inclined.
Has he paid maintenance for you/your db at any time since he left the UK? Did he stay in contact with your dm and, if not, are you aware of whether he made any enquiries from time to time as to your welfare and wellbeing? Has he attempted to find you since you came of age?
Or did he simply marry an Iraqi/Muslim woman in accordance with his dps' wishes and, throughout the intervening years, has given very little thought to the woman and dc he left behind, let alone reveal their existence to his family, his dw, and his subsequent dc who are your biological half siblings?
Yeah, it's just that my father is quite strong in his faith it would seem, but he has said not to worry, and that he is proud of me.
As for him returning to us after left, i think this would have been highly difficult considering the turmoil the country has been in. He has told me he tried to get a visa in the 90's, but was refused. He was not able to fly when he first got home for 3 years because of the war, and again at another point for 15 years.
I have read that there were major problems with phone lines and internet and that at times it would have been impossible for someone in Iraq to contact Britain. He still remembers the phone number we had 25 years ago, and the last time he called was 1991 and my auntie answered and told him my mum had re married and had moved on. He says he was thinking about trying to come back, but obviously this discouraged him.
He did not marry and have children until 10 years ago. He has said he was searching for me since 2009 on Facebook, but was using my mother's maiden name, but i was given my step dad's surname. I genuinely believe that he suffered over the years and missed us greatly. I don't want to go into too much detail but in the conversations we have had, his pain and regret are very apparent. I forgive him.
I know people are sceptical, but i can't imagine what he has to gain from being in contact with us, other than to have us back in his life. He has not paid maintenance, but again, i don't know how easy this would have been. I don't want his money though, i just want my dad.
Got an update for people here. My father had paid for me and my brother to go to Turkey to meet him. We leave in 3 weeks and he was supposed to be coming over from Iraq for a few days to meet us and spend some time. Unfortunately, since the last time i posted, his contact has dwindled and we only hear from him every few weeks. He has informed us he cannot come to Turkey becuase of work, but has said he will send us some money. I have asked when he thinks we will meet, awaiting a reply. So, seems the negative people may have had a point
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