T Nation

A Whole Other Family


So, I'm a bastard child. The dude that knocked my mom up lived 10 minutes away in another town my whole childhood. Mom said she left him when she got pregnant because he was an alcoholic.

Now I'm getting older and seeing people around me having babies. I see the way the dad's are. I don't get how that motherfucker could not care he had a kid living so close, but not want anything to do with me. It never used to bother me. I've known since I was really young. But, lately I've been thinking more and more about it. Dude has three other kids now. I've creeped out on FaceBook. I'm definitely the best looking one. So, that's good.

I'd like to get in touch with him. Pretty much just to get his side of the story. But, I don't know how to go about this. I could get my mom to arrange it, but for some reason I'd rather leave her out of it. I don't even know if it's a good idea, or if I should just leave it along.

I guess I want to know if anyone else has dealt with something like this? Long lost relatives, or whatever. What was it like to contact them? Was it worth it?


I have a similar situation. IMO, move on, you aren't going to find any real answers. All you will get is a big web of "he said/she said," not worth it, and even if you do get answers don't expect to have a Brady Bunch family, there is a reason you don't have it now so it isn't going to magically appear this many years later. Good luck with whatever you decide.


I guess what I am getting at is:

People do the best they can for the most part, and even if they don't, they will try to say that they did. You aren't going to find the real truth 99% of the time. The best thing you can do is to learn from their mistakes and don't repeat them with your kids/loved ones.


No way am I looking for a "Brady Bunch" family. I guess...I don't know, it would be kind of interesting to know where I get some shit from? Know what I mean? Definitely no expecting to form any type of relationship with this guy or his family. Just get together with the guy for a beer or something...more for personal closure more than anything.


Does his other family know about you?


Bring a bottle of single malt scotch and cigars. He's your dad, that doesn't change.


I don't know if they know about me. The dude does for sure. His aunt worked with my grandma for a few years and always asked about me, but I don't know if his kids know.


Meet him. You're always gonna wonder if you don't. If you do find out he was just worthless then you'll have to get over it just like you have so far. Best of luck man, that's not easy.


I don't know if I can view it like this though. Same with the kids. They are technically my half siblings, but I don't know if I would ever consider them as such on a personal level. Just like the sister I grew up with is technically my half sister, but that doesn't make sense to me on a personal level.

Dude's my biological father. He is not my dad.


Wasn't meaning you were looking for a Brady Bunch family, just meant that you should expect nothing more than what you already have, I guess...



Ya gotta do it. If you don't it will eat at you. You most likely not like what you see, what you hear and will walk away with more questions than you will ever have answers for, but you have to do it.

If you don't, then you will never have closure.

I think you're going into it with the right mindset. Some people are looking for that 'brady bunch' experience, and are always let down. I have had many people in my life, friends, family etc that have dealt with what you are dealing with. It ain't easy, but may be cathartic.

You should approach it with some clear goals in mind. Such as what is your reason for approaching him/them, to get it off your chest, to confront him as to his behavior, to re-connect....something like that. Then let the meeting satisfy those goals, ya'know? This is a logical approach, and can help to remove some of the emotion.

It was mentioned in here that our parents 'did the best they could'. Maybe thats the truth, I don't know. In this day and age, there are so many avenues for education, or resources that our parents could have utilized, it is easy (for me) to see that they are selfish and don't fucking care.

I don't know if this helps, but this is one Hippie's suggestion.

luck to you my friend~


Bear in mind this meeting has the chance of greatly changing the lives of everyone involved, his, his kids, your's and your mom's. I have known a handful of people who met with their biological parent or parent. None of them said it brought any answers and just complicated already complicated emotions and lives. I think in each case the new 'relationships' fizzled away within a year. Basically, your genes say you are related but your experiences will not match.

I would ignore the guy and go on with life. He has how many years to contact you and did not? He might just resent you for complicating his life (again).

Like you said, he's not your dad.


Sorry, I should have been more sensitive with my words, I was using them interchangeably.


This is why it hasn't really been something I've thought about until more recently. I've been told that he and his parents always had an open invitation to see me. Never did though. If he had no interest then why should I? But, they were relatively young. He's had time to grow up and may have.

If I do decide to contact him, it would be as discretely as possible, just in case I am the "dirty little secret" in his family.


No, need to apologize friend-o. Some people do think that way.


If he was an alcoholic theres your answer.

I say try and meet him.

I don't have any personal experience with this kind of thing but I've read about and heard about instances like this. It seems to me people are glad when they do meet the person. Even if you will never have a brady bunch family you will meet a man who is all too human instead of some vaguely sinister mystery. A human is much easier to forgive and let go of than a mystery.


I like this way of viewing the situation.

Thanks to everyone for coming in and offering up advice on my little personal dilemma. Appreciate it.


I would even hesitate to use the word "Father"....more like "donor".

I feel for you, but don't expect anything. It may be that if you appeared and the family does not know about it, could shake the hell out of his existing life...which he totally deserves!


definitely meet him with no expectations.

some people are weak or addicted and time flies while they think things will resolve without their contribution.

it usually turns out that your life would have been worse if he were around during your formative years. at this point in your life you are a fully formed person who cannot be changed permanently by a negative experience with a parent.

he is related to you. you have traits in common. you have a whole side of yourself you know nothing about. when you have children they have those traits also. it's good to know about things like genetic precursors, ect.

family doesn't always mean sunshine and rainbows. it is just a factor of being alive and human.

you have questions and deserve answers, even if they come in the form of simple observation. watch him in his environment. give him a chance to state his case. if your half siblings want to establish a connection you set the boundaries of the relationship. it could be something like holiday phone calls or emails.

i am speaking from experience, btw. it was a situation of parents divorcing but estrangement is complicated and hurtful. it is horrible that so many people never think twice about what they are really doing to their children and themselves. he lost out, too. he needs to see that and apologize.

it may take a while to resolve the past issues or it may happen quickly. you never know. life is strange. often enough something is bothering you and an answer drops in your lap because you are ready to handle whatever happens as long as you finally end the wondering.

i feel we are always in search of balance and having questions like this in your background makes it difficult to feel settled.


No experience with the situation, but I think you're on the right track with a discrete meeting. Meet the guy, ask him the questions you feel you need to know, but don't let the answers that you may hear change your life. Best advice I can give is if/when you end up in the situation he was in when, do what he couldn't do and take responsibility for your actions. Maybe he'll never find out about it, but at least you'll know then that you two don't really have all that much in common.

Many apologies if any of that crossed a line or anything.