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Contacting long-lost half-brother

(6 Posts)
Springroll76 Fri 07-Mar-14 03:52:18

Hi

My parents divorced when I was a baby, so I've never met my father, although he would write to me occasionally. I was told about his subsequent remarriage and that he had two sons, and I remember being shown a photo of them by my Mum. I've found the elder one on facebook and would like to get in contact as he's my half-brother, but I'm not sure how to go about it in the right way? I don't even know if he knows about me, or if he does if he is interested.

Things are a bit complicated in that my mother left my father as he was abusive towards her. I have no interest in knowing my father (last thing I found out about him he'd been convicted of a not-very-nice crime). However, I've always thought that whatever happened between my parents, it's not really anything to do with the children, and it would be nice to know my half-brothers. I was raised as an only child, so I really like the idea of siblings (though I'm aware at this point in life there's no way to a true sibling relationship). I obviously have no idea how my half-brother feels towards our father, and whether he would want to hear from his father's daughter if that makes sense. And I don't want to freak him out if he doesn't know about me. I also don't want to upset my Mum, she's been happy that I've not been in contact with my father for a long time.

A few years ago I did add the younger brother as a friend on Facebook but never contacted him or sent him a message as I was just too scared and didn't have a clue how to go about it, and he's since deactivated his account. I have no idea what to do for the best, but I don't want to get to the end of my life without having made an effort to get to know my half-siblings, but I don't want to cause unnecessary upset if it's better left alone.

If anyone could offer some advice I would be so grateful.

Thank you!
Susan

Caitlyn2014 Fri 07-Mar-14 04:35:05

Just do it. I was contacted by half siblings, 3 of them all born to different mums during my parents marriage, we also have a (birth)father who dabbled in crime. Here's out its panned out.

Sister 2 who instigated the search and found all of us really isn't on board due to the terrible problems it caused in her family, and the betrayal she felt towards the wonderful man who had brought her up. Sadly he died within months of her finding me and subsequently getting in touch with our birth father who I had chosen to not have anything to do with decades earlier. He was however always on the periphery of my life like a ghost. As for my sister, we really are just facebook friends, we have a family page, and that's about it really. That's said though, she really was not in the right place emotionally to begin with, her granny had made a death bed confession about who her father was and that started off a search that she really wasn't ready for in real terms.

Sister 1 - we have had many happy hours together but after a while it became complicated. I realised she's an alcoholic and I cant cope with her. Sadly the situation that unfolded after she had been found made her alcoholism worse. I also have a situation in my life that means I have enough to think about around the clock and I just couldn't take her alcoholism on. I spoke with the family section of AA and did try to live with it albeit from a great distance for a couple of years but eventually I just had to protect me and mine and leave things be.

My brother - I have a brother. A brother, a fab wee brother, a real brother. We are family in every sense of the word. We lives thousands of miles from each other but we manage to get together every few months. My husband is a brick and makes it possible. We are both very sad the way things turned out with the girls and part of sister 2's problem is that her mum and my brothers mum were pregnant at the same time - there's 3 months between them. It was a great shock to my sister to realize she wasn't the result of some great love story but in her words - something sordid and dysfunctional.

My mum is long dead, and my beloved (step) dad is the only man I will ever want as my dad, my mum wouldn't have minded me being with my siblings because she was that type of woman - lovely, and my (step) dad has supported me through the minefield that unfolded at times. He just used to say I don't want you getting hurt. He likes my new family and is happy I have someone else to love me - my brother. I had been quite on my own in the world apart from my husband and children till my brother came along and it worked out the way it has.

As for my sisters, of course we are sad the way things have turned out but we know we did all we can to keep things going, and my brother is still in phone contact with sister 1. He also has a brother with a drink problem so kind of had a head start on me with how to deal with it. I jut cant.

My sister from my mum and birth dad has a troubled life and has not had anything to do with the new siblings. And my other half brother and sister from my birth dad and step mum will not have anything to do with them either because they don't want to upset their mum.

My birth father has made contact with one of his children, sister 2 who started the search. Our birth father made a trip to our home country to see her. He also saw my brother on his next trip about a year later, for an hour, and my brother has no need to see him or have contact with him again which is a good job really because I doubt any would be forthcoming - my step mum has not really coped with the whole things which is strange considering she thought it was ok when it was just a rumour the children existed and it had been my mum it had happened to. But of course now its in her back yard so to speak - mmmhhmmmm
And just to clarify - our birth father lives many time zones away from where it all started, and I live between both places.

So that's it really. Im glad we all know of each other and the lovely children and grandchildren from each other but at the same time there is an amount of sadness due to how things have worked out with our sisters. If you can cope with whatever may unfold if you contact your brother then go ahead - but if not then I would say don't do it.

hth smile

redmapleleaves Fri 07-Mar-14 07:14:55

Hi, I would say just do it too.

I'd always hoped my father would be in touch, at latest with a letter after he died. When he wasn't I thought I'd get more active to track down his life/that part of my life, which involved six months in another country. I hadn't meant to meet halfsiblings, and that happened more by chance, but in the end it was so amazing to meet my half brother, who had never known about me, who is only 9 months younger. Despite a massive cultural difference we look alike, we value the same things, I think we could have been good friends.

I couldn't cope with the emotional aftermath and so having met once didn't keep the relationship up. We are facebook friends. But I couldn't cope with meeting the other half siblings, partly because I feel jealous. BUT it was an incredibly healing experience spending 6 months off piste in this other country learning the language, living life there, and then meeting my half brother. It put something to rest I didn't want hanging over me unlived.

Get yourself support. I think I thought it would all tie up nicely in a bow, and for me this wasn't what felt right in the end. But lots of things in life can't be expressed in words, and the power of this for me was as powerful as being broody before we had kids. Good luck.

cozietoesie Fri 07-Mar-14 07:21:41

I'd do it to lay to rest any uncertainty - but just don't hope for too much from it. I've done it and there was nothing really there. A few words on paper couldn't substitute for the years of growing up with someone and a shared history.

I'm glad that the matter was resolved for me but I have no interest in continuing the relationship now that we've met and talked. Go into it with no great expectations and it would work better for all concerned, I think.

Springroll76 Fri 07-Mar-14 12:41:47

Thank you so much for your replies and sharing your experiences. It's interesting that everyone seems to say 'do it', even though the outcome may not be great. I think you're right. I'd hate to get to the end of my life and regret not trying.

How did you approach your half-sibling and make initial contact? I don't know whether to send a Facebook friend request, but this time actually send a message as well, something like 'you don't know me but I think we're related?' It's so tricky, I'm scared of getting the wording wrong and mucking it up.

Thank you!

Caitlyn2014 Fri 07-Mar-14 13:11:22

Well sister 2, who's the youngest, started the search but she had names to go on and somehow she found her way to my (step) dad. She phoned him, it was very easy to get his number as he's in the public eye, just said she was looking for so and so. He refused to give her my details and said I will tell her when she is next in the Uk. Two months later he did and I went on line and saw the ads she had placed all over the internet and to be honest I was angry. She had even named my mum in them and it angered me because at the time for her death my mum had been married to my (step) dad for 25 years. Anyway I made peace with her and said pls remove all the messages, the next day I went to check that she had and that's when I found one solitary message she'd forgotten about and there to my shock was reply from someone else posted about 3 hours previously saying - I am also looking for these people. It was sister number one who is about 3 years younger than me, I know now I'd had an inkling about her because I immediately answered her message with your words - you don't know me but I think we are related, and if we are, then you are also related to the person who's post you answered. I then asked her if she had been born in certain part of England I'd stayed in as a child and she said yes. And that was it. We then all exchanged round robin emails and I said - I think we have a brother and I think he is named after our father. It was so strange how it all came to me and it showed me very clearly that no matter how you think you are whispering in front of children - you are never whispering quietly enough.

Anyway about a year later I was in the UK and sister 2 called me and said where are you, can you get home soon, because our brother is calling you in a little while. I almost fainted to be honest. He had done an internet search on the spur of the moment, placed an ad somewhere, and because it tied up with names in a data base she was sent a message from the data base saying take a look at this - she did and saw enough to call my brother and say - I think we are related.

To cut a long story short I was in the Uk with my son at a clinic in England and within about a week my husband had organized holiday cottages next door to where I was staying and everyone was invited with their families to stay. I had met sister 1 by this time and I can just remember my brother pulling up outside in his car and me flying out the door yelling. What a weekend we had. We are the image of each other, we even share mannerisms even though we were brought up apart. I can recall my husband and my brothers wife spending a lot of that week in tears it was so emotional, and I'll never forget the words my husband said to all of us that night at dinner.

Sister 2 did not come but funny enough I was making dinner about 2 months later and looked out of the window and there sitting in a car outside the house was someone the image of me and my 'full' sister from my mum and birth father. I realized who it had to be and I shot our the door and that was it. She had driven 4 hours on the spur of the moment to see me because I was leaving the Uk about 2 weeks later,
and after a cuppa and a blether she got back in her car and drove 4 hours home. We do see each other sometimes when I'm in the UK but none of us have ever been to her house, we meet at a pub or in Tesco café, and her eldest son will not meet us though her other children do. The boys loyalty is to the lovely man who brought his mum up, his granddad, and that's the way it should be. We simply don't exist and neither does our birth father.

My brother and his family visit me abroad often, and I visit them, they are very much part of my life and my families life. I will forever be grateful to sister 2, she made all of this happen and all I can hope for is that one day she feels she can be on board with us, and that our other sister recovers from her addiction and can be with us as well.

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