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would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 06:43 PM   #1
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would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

when haha posted www.findagrave.com in another thread i saw an option to search for the famous dead. out of morbid curiosity, i checked to see if my uncle was listed. i found him buried here along with judy garland, ed sullivan, john lennon, malcolm x et al. findagrave even has a picture of my uncle’s mausoleum crypt. but best of all, someone who already “left flowers” turns out to be my 2nd cousin and his entry included an email address.

though i am in regular contact with many and know most of my mom’s cousins (down to 2nd cousins-once-removed), i didn’t even know my father had family until he told me of them the last we spoke some 13 years ago. i’d made periodic contact with my father ever since i was a teen but he has never initiated contact with me in over 30 years. not a call, not a card. the last time i tried to find him i found only that he had moved without a fowarding address. i do not know if he is dead or alive.

being gay and not particularly partial to adoption (i’m not that responsible), it is unlikely that i will ever start my own family. still, i have always been family-oriented. so now that i have buried mom, i feel driven to find out if my dad is alive, if only to find out if i’m next.

through the haha-referenced website i contacted my newly found 2nd cousin and we have been emailing. we are both excited to have found each other. so far i have found seven 2nd cousins i never knew existed and two 1st cousins-once-removed. if my research is correct to date i might also have three 1st cousins, and 8 more 1st cousins-once-removed and i have no idea how many 2nd cousins out of all that. i feel like a little kid who has just discovered a cache of new friends.

i’m putting out word to these new found playmates that if anyone knows the whereabouts of my father, they should have him contact me. but so far it seems like none of this family ever even kept in touch with each other. i am hopeful but hesitant on pursuing this.

suppose i find my 80-year-old father alive and living a destitute life. do i suddenly become financially responsible? ordinarily i wouldn’t question it for a second. but he hasn’t called me in 30 years. not that he was a bad guy. i think he simply lived life the best he could, only his best maybe wasn’t so good. my brother suggests that if i even question how i feel about taking care of my father that i shouldn’t even look for him. though when we explored that further it seems his main concern was he doesn’t want more burden placed on him. he’s already got wife, three kids and two quickly aging inlaws.

emotionally i feel i would want to take care of dad if needed. morally i could argue either way. intellectually, boy, would that screw up my e.r. plans. though for now i’m just spinning my wheels; maybe he would not need my help. seems to be doing just fine without me for the last 30 years. still, i can’t help but to wonder, just what would i do?
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

The BIL lived that sort of life. The only reason that we found out that the BIL was in the hospital was that someone from the hospital tracked one of the other siblings down because the BIL went into a coma.

I suspect that if your biological father wanted to contact you, he have already.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

i'm sure you will figure out the right thing to do.

just don't do anything you regret and don't expect anything from him in return - given your relationship he may or may not show gratitude or remorse...give because it is the right thing for you...

if you expect nothing you're always pleasantly surprised right?

good luck with this!
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:22 PM   #4
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bssc
The BIL lived that sort of life. The only reason that we found out that the BIL was in the hospital was that someone from the hospital tracked one of the other siblings down because the BIL went into a coma.

I suspect that if your biological father wanted to contact you, he have already.
depression can be almost as debilitating as a coma. who would i be to fault someone almost in a coma?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bright eyed
i'm sure you will figure out the right thing to do.

just don't do anything you regret and don't expect anything from him in return - given your relationship he may or may not show gratitude or remorse...give because it is the right thing for you...

if you expect nothing you're always pleasantly surprised right?

good luck with this!
thanx. but my fear is that following my heart might lead to regret. certainly i don't expect anything in return. though i would like to know why he never contacted me. i don't require gratitude but i would like to know if he would rather have played the last 30 years differently if he could have. as to expectations, i wouldn't be expecting to get anything but a bill. that's the problem; i'm afraid i'll be surprised with that.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

No.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:47 PM   #6
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

don't let your father know you have any money, say you are mortgaged up the hilt, etc. you owe this man nothing as he was little more than a sperm donor. you sound like a really nice guy, problem with that is nice people are easier to take advantage of.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 07:57 PM   #7
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

I confess I don't understand the attraction of tracking down all these family members. I would feel no closer to these folks than I would to a complete stranger.

So, it will come as no surprise that I don't think you owe 'ol Dad anything. And, I think if you contact him, there's a good chance he might ask you for something. And, based on your previous posts here, I think you're a kindhearted guy who would want to help out (even if he didn't ask).

Why not find another person who wants companionship to befriend? Dad doesn't seem interested, which is no reflection on you--it's the way he is, evidently.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 08:50 PM   #8
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Absolutely. Maybe if he had been such a bad guy (as you say he wasn't) then I'd ignore him.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 09:04 PM   #9
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I confess I don't understand the attraction of tracking down all these family members. I would feel no closer to these folks than I would to a complete stranger.
Couldn't have said it better. That's exactly what I think about this situation.

The only thing you share with this man is some genes.

The reason people support their aging parents is because they have received emotional and/or financial support from them throughout their lives, and owe it to them. It doesn't sound to me like you owe this man the time of day.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 09:57 PM   #10
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

i completely understand the impulse to find blood relatives, especially after the death of a parent. just worried because this person sounds like such a nice guy and the "Father" not so much so.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 10:36 PM   #11
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

First... I had a dad who was not a good father... we were subject to child abuse all the time... but he was there for us and in his way 'loved' us.. and he did feed and house us...

Your father IMO (and that is what you asked).... is NOT a father... if you abandon someone for 30 years.. all you got (as someone else said) is genetic material in common..

I would not waste a dime on him no matter how destitute he was..

Good luck with all you new found cousins... hope they become a family that you search for...

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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 10:39 PM   #12
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
...

suppose i find my 80-year-old father alive and living a destitute life. do i suddenly become financially responsible? ordinarily i wouldn’t question it for a second. but he hasn’t called me in 30 years. not that he was a bad guy. i think he simply lived life the best he could, only his best maybe wasn’t so good.

...
lazygood4nothinbum,

I did not read any of the reply, but I read your post twice.

Any man or woman is able to produce a child. That does not make him or her the parent. A parent is one who raises you, through thick and thin, to the best of his or her ability. That's the only definition acceptable to me. So, the man who produced you, in my view, is not your father unless he was insane when he left you, and remains insane today.

Your story is very sad. Unfortunately, it's not unique, and applies equally to both men and women.

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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Good4, I wonder if some of this need? yearning? to find dad isn't part of the grieving process related to your loss of your mother. From reading some of your posts you seemed very close & devoted to her. You accept the reality of her passing. It seems that your dad "passed" 30 or so years ago, even *if* he is still alive. Maybe you never grieved that loss? I believe that the grief process sometimes refreshes old losses. Just some thoughts for you to consider...
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Would I support dad after 30 years of being ignored? No.

You said your dad lived life the best way he could. I think it's ok to love him, but that doesn't mean you have to like or respect him. Try to be content with that and move on.

I have read a few of your previous posts about family, and even though you have suffered loss, you are fortunate that so many people have loved you. Make more memories with the people that respect and love you now.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:02 PM   #15
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bssc
The BIL lived that sort of life. The only reason that we found out that the BIL was in the hospital was that someone from the hospital tracked one of the other siblings down because the BIL went into a coma.
bssc, what did you do about your bil? did you take over responsibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorklady
don't let your father know you have any money, say you are mortgaged up the hilt, etc. you owe this man nothing as he was little more than a sperm donor. you sound like a really nice guy, problem with that is nice people are easier to take advantage of.
he's gonna know i'm not working because i won't be able to tell him about any job i'm doing. i don't consider dad just a "sperm donor" rather i actually consider him to be my father. but interesting to get that angry point of view. i've never known dad to take advantage of anyone. just because he didn't have all that much to do with us doesn't mean he ever abused our relationship. i think he didn't participate much as a father because of his own psychological problems and so i don't hold that against him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
I confess I don't understand the attraction of tracking down all these family members. I would feel no closer to these folks than I would to a complete stranger.
my brother feels like you do in this. even about our father. and then i asked him what would be his reaction if dad suddenly appeared in the doorway. my brother hesitated.

family means a lot to me. two nights ago i had dinner with one cousin. tomorrow i am going to pridefest with another. i have always been more comfortable within my family than in the rest of the world. and with every family member i lose, i become less happy.

when i look back at my life i see from where i came and there are my parents. on my mother's side i know almost all the relatives and my mind settles quietly there. but then i think of my father's side and i don't know anyone. not even his father. so when i look at my past it is like riding along but then i suddenly fall off a cliff. i have all of this history on one side but on the other there is nothing.

and here i have the opportunity to maybe build a bridge where there is a gap. maybe it will lead nowhere. maybe i will find new friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo2
Absolutely. Maybe if he had been such a bad guy (as you say he wasn't) then I'd ignore him.
so you would take a chance on destroying your e.r. plans? i suppose if i had to go back to work at least i'd have all these new found relatives to help me get a better job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Want2retire
The reason people support their aging parents is because they have received emotional and/or financial support from them throughout their lives, and owe it to them. It doesn't sound to me like you owe this man the time of day.
so much for unconditional love. wouldn't my parents have taken care of me in my youth even if they received no payback. what if i was severly autistic or psychotic and unable to show my parents appreciation. would it have been ok for them to abandon me?

***clarification: dad was there for us until mom divorced him. though he wasn't a very involved father, he did take us to dude ranches for vacations, helped pay for summer camp, etc. though i didn't get much emotional support or conversation from the guy, he did not shrug his parental responsibilities and even continued paying child support until i was out of college. the guy was no deadbeat. just not very participatory in our lives.

because of that and because my stepfather was very involved in my life, i consider my dad to be my father though i consider my mother and my stepfather (the ol'man as i refer to him) to be my parents.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:13 PM   #16
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bram
Good4, I wonder if some of this need? yearning? to find dad isn't part of the grieving process related to your loss of your mother. From reading some of your posts you seemed very close & devoted to her. You accept the reality of her passing. It seems that your dad "passed" 30 or so years ago, even *if* he is still alive. Maybe you never grieved that loss? I believe that the grief process sometimes refreshes old losses. Just some thoughts for you to consider...
really interesting bram. i will give that a lot of thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI
Would I support dad after 30 years of being ignored? No...
Make more memories with the people that respect and love you now.
thanx. still, i'm pretty sure there's always room for more love.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:16 PM   #17
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
***clarification: dad was there for us until mom divorced him. though he wasn't a very involved father, he did take us to dude ranches for vacations, helped pay for summer camp, etc. though i didn't get much emotional support or conversation from the guy, he did not shrug his parental responsibilities and even continued paying child support until i was out of college. the guy was no deadbeat. just not very participatory in our lives.

because of that and because my stepfather was very involved in my life, i consider my dad to be my father though i consider my mother and my stepfather (the ol'man as i refer to him) to be my parents.
This is not the same picture painted in the original post.

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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:19 PM   #18
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam
This is not the same picture painted in the original post.
sorry, did not mean to mislead. i did say he hasn't initiated contact with me in the last 30 years. i'm 50 now. for about the first 16 years he did ok as far as that goes. but it was like when he divorced mom, he divorced me. and that just wasn't right.
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:22 PM   #19
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

I don't see any reason at all for you to mislead. But my reply and other people's replies were based on the original picture. And that was a totally different picture.

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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?
Old 03-09-2007, 11:25 PM   #20
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Re: would u support dad after he ignored you for 30 yrs?

I know I'm in the minority on this issue, but I just don't think the whole "ancestry" thing is at all important. "Parents" are the people who worried over you as you grow up, who helped you grow into the perrson you became. To me, when a child is adopted as an infant, it is clear that his only real parents are the ones loved and cared for him/her as they grew up. The "biological parents" are just not significant in any emotional sense.

But, then again, I don't "get" the whole business of being "proud" of your ethnic background, either. (Black pride, proud to be Irish, etc). To me, you can justifiably be proud only of things you have done, and things done by other's you've influenced positively (to include your kids).

And, in a point somewhat related to another comment inthis thread, I don't understand "gay pride," if in fact being homosexual is not a choice. "Brown-eyed pride" would make as much sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
so much for unconditional love. wouldn't my parents have taken care of me in my youth even if they received no payback. what if i was severly autistic or psychotic and unable to show my parents appreciation. would it have been ok for them to abandon me?
Nope. I think a parent has an obligation to see that their children are cared for, and to love them. No matter what. If they are incapable of this, then they should not be parents. On the other hand, a child has no choice but to be a child--and because he has no choice, I don't think it is logical to say a child has an obligation to love their parents. We hope they will love us, but sometimes they don't. Sometimes, being a loving parent means doing things that reduce your popularity with the progeny--that comes with the territory.
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