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Extended Family For the grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins of inmates.

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2015, 08:34 PM
jtm23 jtm23 is offline
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Default Bad "Daughter"?

Hi,

This is my first time using this site, but I feel very confused and decided to turn to something..

I have been brought up by my mother and step-father (who came into the picture when I was two - am twenty one now). I consider my step-father, dad. My biological dad, on learning of my mothers pregnancy when they were teenagers, literally left the country and went to Australia from New Zealand. Only six months later, he got another woman pregnant (yes, two woman pregnant at the same time - lovely). A few years down the track, he had three children with another woman. Then last year he had a baby with a new woman. I have five half siblings from him.

After "dad" left New Zealand, he has not once come back for a visit. I have seen him probably four or five times whilst growing up - all on my mothers initiative (and finances) to allow me to actually get to know my dad. It is appropriate to point out that also he very rarely (we are talking probably six times) in my entire life, bothered to give my mother child support of any kind for me.

He has what appears to be, a normal relationship with all of my half siblings in Australia. They are scattered. The next youngest after me (yes, the two foetuses at once brother), lived in Cairns his whole life until last year. Our father had been living in Brisbane, and for a little while Adelaide. Yet, he always made time to maintain a relationship with this brother despite the distance.. As for the others, they were all in Brisbane so he saw them regularly anyway. Of course as a child (and to a lesser extent now), that would always beg the question, "well what is so wrong with me..?". It's one thing to be a negligent, uninvolved father. It's quite another to decide not to have a relationship with only one out of six children I would have thought. This insecurity has caused me issues in life and I have tended to dwell upon it. The child he had last year for example he named Jesse. My name is Jess. What is that!? "Ah well I don't see the first Jess, may as well try again" ?? Omg. I can't even believe that.

Anyway, I digress. My real family (NZ family), have never said a bad word about my "father" when I was growing up, despite the many that could have come to mind! They let me figure him out for myself. Well I did that alright. The last time I saw him, he did not hide the fact he had a drug problem (heroin). He had a "screw authority" attitude - I am a law student, at the time I actually worked in the NZ legal system gaining experience in prosecuting the very person my "dad" is. Needless to say we have very little in common and I left that visit with little inclination to bother visiting again. I have, however, tried to maintain contact with my half siblings.

Recently I saw on Facebook that he has been charged with armed robbery. He is currently facing trial, with a sentence of 8 - 10 years if found guilty. Today I learned, one of the issues the Court is dealing with is whether to deport him to be tried in NZ. I have limited information as I only have contact with my younger siblings who tend not be told everything. That begs the question, what had he done in NZ that he would also need to be tried with? Hm.

The issue is this. I have got messages all day from my half siblings, very upset, saying there is a chance he will get transferred here. As upset as they were, it was implied that, ah well at least he will have someone in NZ to go and see him and make him feel better etc.

Well. No. Why should I take time out of my life to go and see a man who never did the same for me? I DON'T CARE IF HE IS IN TROUBLE - HE DID THIS NOT ME. That is how I feel. But now I just feel like a bad person for feeling this way! Maybe I should care? Maybe I should try and form a relationship through prison visits.. I don't know. I'm confused. The fact of the matter is, I couldn't even abandon my dog, let alone a child. I could never commit a crime such as what he has. I would never turn my life into a heroin dazed stupor. I am, and proud to say it, NOT REMOTELY LIKE HIM. How to explain to my half siblings who think he is wonderful, is an interesting thought though...

I believe in second chances and admittedly have a bit of "broken wing syndrome". But I am very concerned that he is a lost cause. Looking at it logically, getting involved with him after I told myself never again, may cause grounds for fresh disappointment. I'm not sure I could deal with that.

I feel guilty I suppose.

Thanks for listening to my rant.. I'm just interested to see if anyone has experienced something similar with their family and how they reacted..

- Jess
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2015, 08:58 PM
Shock1973 Shock1973 is offline
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Hi Jess,
My heart goes out to you. No, your not a bad daughter. It is not your fault your dad has a drug problem! You're doing all you should be doing. The younger kids don't see all the hurt he has caused you or they are over looking the stuff he has done to them. My son for the longest time thought his father was the greatest person until he found out why he was in prison. Now he hates him. I have tried to tell him that everyone makes mistakes some bigger than others.

I personally wouldn't go see him, but maybe that is what your need to let go of the hurt and anger! Its really a choice you can make. I wish I had all the answer for you.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:18 PM
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Never been anywhere close to your situation, but NO I wouldn't be going to see him.

MAYBE once, but not as often as I fear your sibs are thinking.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:08 PM
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Well, I'm an attorney in the US. My older brother is the felon. While I have had a relationship with him much of my life as a child, it wasn't that great. I don't have much of a relationship with him now.

So, here's what I can tell you; don't cut off your nose to spite your face. Leave things open - your sibs may want someplace to stay when they visit dear ol' dad. You do have the background to get them forms for visitation and the like, and it sounds like you have a bit more than a cursory relationship with them. You can help them put money on his books, get them regs for dealing with mail and the like.

As for you and Dad - that's a two way street. He'd not wanting to be a part of your life, and has in fact flaunted his illegality in your face, knowing that you're in law school, doing prosecution work. He obviously doesn't concern himself with your ethics or boundaries, and is currently of the mindset - take me as I am with all the crap that comes with it, but without any real benefit to you. So, fuck him for now. You have no obligation to visit him. You do not have to try to force a relationship on somebody who clearly doesn't want that relationship. He knows where you are, and if he gets to a point in sobriety where he wants to make contact, keep the door open. Be cautious, but keep the door open.

Remember, your sibs are all younger than you (even the one who was born shortly after you). They have a completely different context for everything. Respect that context. If they give you shit, then you can tell them they need to respect you in your context, in your journey. They can come visit dear ol' Dad, and you'll take them to dinner, or let them stay, depending on the extent of your relationship with them, but that does not necessitate any sort of contact with your dad on your part.

You're not a bad daughter. You're a person who has a father and you are dealing with your actual father, the one who raised you, with the obligation, respect, and love that an actual father deserves. Your dad is a sperm donor, and doesn't want to be bothered outside of that. Don't bother him. Doing that is respecting his desires, and your own needs. You don't owe him anything since you don't have a relationship with him.

It's hard, because society says, "oh, you should love your dad, you should visit him, do what you can for him." But that's not your context. Your context is the man who raised you is the person to whom you owe that duty. You owe the duty to the sperm donor and father of your siblings that you owe any other person who disrespects your ethics and boundaries and goals.

Don't fall into the trap of what you "should" do. He's defined your relationship. Respect that definition. Respect the definition of relationship he has with his other kids, but don't confuse their relationship with your obligation.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2015, 11:23 PM
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You owe him no consideration at all. Explaining that in a fashion the sibs understand will possibly be difficult, because their perspective is so different to yoursl

I had what might nicely be called an atrocious mother. The only thing I 'owed' her as she lingered through cancer was to give her morphine shots while she was in a coma (she wanted to die at home). That I would do for an animal that was suffering.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:51 PM
jtm23 jtm23 is offline
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Thanks you everyone

Yeah I try and maintain a relationship with my siblings, it's not their fault. But will stay clear from my dad. You're right, 'yourself'. I'll just let him sit in there with no one to visit him.. At the end of the day, he did this to himself.

Thanks again everyone, I do feel better.
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:18 PM
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Default We don't get to pick our family...

Jess-

Yes we have a variation of the name thing in my husband's family.

My father in law is Charles Franklin ______

My husband (oldest son) is Charles James ______

My husband's 1/2 brother (from wife #2) is Charles Franklin ______ Jr.

I guess one son named after him wasn't enough.

Here's the kicker. I named my son Charles and used my maiden name for his middle name. My father in law said didn't you think we had enough Charles' in this family. I told him he got to name his sons, I get to name mine.

(All names are fiction, the story and naming pattern are true.)
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:23 PM
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Freud would be proud of me and make a mint off my brothers. My younger brother married a woman with my first name. Of course, she took his last name, which is mine, too. At one point, my older brother was serious about a girl with my first name.

Since my name has some gender flexibility, I told them that the man I married would be changing his first name to my name, if it wasn't already that name, just to get back at the buttheads.

Holidays were a kick - though the secret to figuring out who Mom was talking to depended on what she was saying - if she said Yourself, do you want...? That was somebody else. If it was, Yourself, get me, do this, or I want...? she was addressing me.

And we suffer from the familial lack of originality. number five in the series is referred to as Quin, to distinguish him from a cousin with the same name. AND, in one generation, we have 4 people with the same first name, two with the same last name.

It's not just your family in that respect.

Last edited by yourself; 04-17-2015 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 04-17-2015, 02:41 PM
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There is no way that you are a bad daughter. Your biological father is apparently a bad person on numerous fronts, and all of his troubles are self-inflicted. Do what is best for you and your half siblings, and know that you are doing the right thing.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
Freud would be proud of me and make a mint off my brothers. My younger brother married a woman with my first name. Of course, she took his last name, which is mine, too. At one point, my older brother was serious about a girl with my first name.

Since my name has some gender flexibility, I told them that the man I married would be changing his first name to my name, if it wasn't already that name, just to get back at the buttheads.

Holidays were a kick - though the secret to figuring out who Mom was talking to depended on what she was saying - if she said Yourself, do you want...? That was somebody else. If it was, Yourself, get me, do this, or I want...? she was addressing me.

And we suffer from the familial lack of originality. number five in the series is referred to as Quin, to distinguish him from a cousin with the same name. AND, in one generation, we have 4 people with the same first name, two with the same last name.

It's not just your family in that respect.
Yourself-

I think you have my family beat.

Father in law is called Dad or Grandpa
My husband is Chuck
His 1/2 brother is Charlie
My son goes by Charles

It works out fine. But I know it hurt my dear husband when father in law named another son after himself and Jr. no less. It kinda feels like Dad didn't think he got the name right the first time.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:33 PM
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Hun, I know others have already said it but I feel I need to add my own bit.

What he is going to receive it called an *echo*. You owe him nothing, and I am so proud of you although I do not know you, because you have grown up to be a great adult without him. A taste of his own medicine will not go amiss here IMHO.
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Old 05-07-2015, 06:10 AM
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I am sorry you're going through this but please let me tell you how much good sharing your story (the the responses it provoked) has done. Remain focused on your path. Don't let the emotions of others misdirect your vision. They have come to you because you are stable and respectable. Maybe they wish their dad could be the same or maybe they wish they could be (I don't know). But you have managed beautifully. Don't let "should" and "obligation from sperm donation" change your direction. You can't save a drowning person who is drowning you.
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