Question: Dear Luise: My 19 yr. old daughter just met her biological father for the first time since she was eight, and then when she was that age, it only lasted a day, and hadn’t seen him since she was one yr. This man was controlling, physically and seriously mentally abusive, and irresponsible towards me. I lived with him and his mother because I had gone through some turmoil at home, and got pregnant by him. I left him when my daughter was age 1, because at that point, the fighting had escalated to the point where he sat straddle on top of me on his mother’s bed, had his hands around my throat, and threatened to kill me if I ever left. (His family wouldn’t come let me out of the room, and didn’t believe anything I said happened). I left anyway and started my new life without him in it. He swore he would never pay child support. He paid a whopping 200 dollars total after we were divorced years later, (after I found a man that could help me with a lawyer) and now she’s 19. The problem that I am having is due to the fact that for years now, she has gone through some rough patches where she feels like she can’t relate to anyone. She’s gay, and she acts and looks just like her bio father…(he’s Hispanic with Apache blood, and has gay family members while I am Caucasian with German blood). Her skin, eyes and hair are dark, and she carries a different last name. So now since things aren’t going well between her adopted father (my ex-boyfriend who shared his last name with her) she wants to venture off and find her bio father. So my mother and I took her to see her/his cousin that lives near my mother. (This was the day before yesterday). They met and before you know it, her bio father is calling wanting to talk to her! He is text messaging her saying he loves “his baby girl.” (She text messaged back that she loves him very much and cannot wait to see him.) He’s coming to get her from work to spend time with her, and get this…SHE CALLS HIM DAD! It baffles me, because she doesn’t even call my husband, whom has been in her life since she was 6, Dad! I haven’t heard back from her since she spent the day with him yesterday, and I am torn up inside! All these years, he hasn’t done a THING for her, yet she’s just a “happy camper” around him now. I told her, all I want from him, is to acknowledge the abuse. I told her that she is not allowed to call that “person” dad because he doesn’t deserve it! I’m distraught! I’m baffled, bewildered, frustrated, and not in a very pleasant state of mind. I can’t sleep, and when I do I have nightmares. I know that it will take strength, time, patience, understanding, and love to get through this, but it hurts so bad to know that he and she will( 1.) Be able to relate to one-another very easily, and (2.) Start seeing each other on a regular basis – especially during Holidays! When I left him, it was hard for me to get up onto my own two feet as a single mom, but I DID IT! Now all of the struggles that I endured seems to be blowing in the wind at this point. I want her to see him for how he REALLY IS, and not some innocent by-stander! I hate that there’s nothing that I can do to make her understand what a monster this man really is/was, and how much turmoil he stirred up, and how hard it was for me to stand on my own two feet and support her. I am in tears. Please help me understand what I can do right now to help ease my pain. Thank you. L.
Answer: Dear L.: Please bring these issues over to my web-Forum: http://www.motherinlawsunite.com ASAP!
My take on this is that no matter how many concrete and unsavory facts you have about your ex-husband, this is not about you. It is about your daughter.
It’s going to be very hard to do but you need to back off and let her go. When you give her documentation of her dad’s inferiority you are invalidating her. She is related to him and part of her blood is his blood.
This is a situation of your having to go the extra mile for her greatest and highest good. At 19, she should be determining what that is, not you…and making her own mistakes, if that happens. She has decided she wants to fill in the blanks about her roots. Not with your data, no matter how accurate it is, but with her own perceptions…and experiences. Back her up. Blessings, Luise