Jump to content

My estranged father died, so confusing....


Recommended Posts

I have an extremely complex, fragmented "family", which makes the fact that my estranged father (non biological) died suddenly in the night last night harder to deal with.


My brother (half brother) called me at 3am to say our father had had a heart attack, and then half an hour later called to say that he had died, despite all efforts to revive him. I hadn't spoken to my father for over a year.


I was born in 1969, my mother was 16 and she was sent to a home for unmarried mothers, having got pregnant by an older boy. As far as I know the plan was to have me adopted, but for some reason that didn't happen and I was brought home and passed off as her older sister's child, until she met my "father" when I was a little older. I have no memories of any of this and I grew up thinking he was my Dad until I was told the truth at 14 years old.


I think things were relatively ok, until I reached 7 when my mum suffered a difficult pregnancy, and lost a baby and a year later she went on to have my brother, after an equally difficult pregnancy...I remember a lot of stress, crying etc around those times. For a while when my brother was very small things were ok, and then I recall, from the age of around 10 or 11 a lot of anger, which increased over time. My mother had always been violent - I recall her beating me with my recorder (musical instrument) for being late home one time before the age of 10 and she had a viscious temper even then. My father was also a very "angry" man, quick to temper and did not suffer fools gladly....when things started to go wrong in their marriage, the violence increased and I recall the time between age 10 and when he left when I was nearly 14, being a time of fear and anxiety, never knowing when the next episode would take place. They were both physically violent and verbally abusive, and as well as hitting, kicking, hair pulling and at times pinching (the latter methods were more my mums style) there was name calling, I was regularly referred to as an imbecile and other terms of abuse. Getting visciously shouted at in front of friends or in public was also a regular occurrence and I have had friends say to me since in adult life that they used to get upset after witnessing these outbursts...Our family dog was also a punch bag for my parents and I can still recall the sound of my mothers slippered foot hitting his side and the noise of pain he made. He died of internal bleeding, and would leave a trail of blood from his penis as he walked around the house. The wretched life he must have led is painfull to recall. I can recall being very good at self comforting and would often lie in bed after an episode talking to myself and telling myself it would be ok.


My father left the home when I was almost 14, having had an affair and after a short period of time where things seemed better, naturally, my mother met someone new. My father had started a new life some 20 or so miles away and I dont recall seeing a lot of him at this time. It was also around this time that I learned that he was not my biological father and was told a few basic facts about the cirumstances of my birth.


The man that my mother met moved in almost immediately, bringing with him a load of porn which he proceeded to groom my brother with (I came home one day to find my brother in the living room, aged 7, with a deliberately playing hardcore porn video whilst my mother and her new man were bathing together upstairs). At every opportunity he would attempt to touch me or get me to touch him, and when I told my mother what he was doing her response was to blame me, and eventually (I think after I lost the plot following the porn incident described above) I was asked to leave as I was "spoiling things". I also told my father what was happening in our home and his response was to ask if I wanted him to go round there with a shotgun...my brother recently told me that he overheard our father telling friends that he was concerned he might be being abused (durrrrr, "might") but no action was ever taken. All the while after I moved out, my brother was being seriously sexually abused (and given what he has told me it is clear not only must she have known, she also was to some extent, participating) until she decided she had had enough of him (and had met someone new) and left, taking my brother but leaving the two children she had had with this man behind. They were taken into care 6 months later, aged 5 and 3. My mother didnt want to have them back and so they were adopted when they 7 and 5.


My relationship with my mother is another story, and neither my brother or her have now spoken to her for almost 10 years. She is now a counsellor, and works with children, believe it or not.


But this is about my Dad. Following the events described above I had a breakdown in my early 20s and found him to be completey unsupportive. By this time he had met his new wife and started a new, very wealthy life and clearly any reminders of the past were not welcome. I suffered from terrible depression and having written to him to tell him how his actions and inactions (and of course my mothers) had affected me he replied by telling me that my life was a never ending march of woe. His exact words. He would never acknowledge the seriousness of what had happened and therefore my relationship with him became something of a fake charade. He mellowed over time, and when I had my girls he became "Grandad" and this was perhaps the best time that our relationship had....I have some memories which I guess will serve me well in the time ahead. But there were scars, and plenty of them and as other events in my life happened (my marriage broke down and my mothers ex partner was eventually prosecuted and imprisoned for the abuse) I went to him for help and support on more than one occasion only to be disappointed. After my marriage ended I lost my job overnight and became effectively homeless I asked if I could stay with him and his wife until I got myself back on my feet (they had an enormous house), to be told no, that he felt that with our past difficulties it would be ill advised. I had no choice but to let my girls live with their Dad and stay with a friend until I found a new job and got sorted.


Having done just that, and got a flat albeit with the help of friends and other friends parents financial help and through having to share, I started to rebuild my life. Then I got ill. I had fibroids which caused excessive bleeding and ended up having to have emergency surgery two christmases ago. The last straw for me was the lack of support my father showed me...he reluctantly (with a sigh) collected me from hospital after my op and took me back to my flat, dumped my bags and said he had to go, as his wife had a singing lesson. I had no food in the flat, no money and it was nearly xmas. That was the last time I properly heard from him...all contact with my girls ceased and he sent birthday cards etc through their paternal grandmother and I would ocassionally try to arrange something to be told they were busy.


I recovered physically and then just concentrated on getting my life back together. I returned some money that he sent to the girls via another person, feeling that he had withdrawn from their life and that he could not just send money as a substitute and this resulted in a chain of emails......he said that my behaviour had prompted him and his wife to seek advice from a social worker friend and that I must feel great shame about the way my life had turned out...this hurt me on so many levels and I reacted with anger and asked him to stay away out of my life.


Since then, my girls have made me so happy by returning to live with me, and we have a new home and a new life. I emailed my father just a few months ago with our new address, and I got a "thank you" as a reply. Then last night he died. He was massively overweight and I suspected that a heart attack might be waiting in the wings. Just not this early, and at only 62.


My father wasnt an outwardly nasty person, although he had a bad temper which was notorious. He also had a great sense of humour and people warmed to him, but he wasnt a good dad to me and thats why I made my decision. I feel sad that even though I had resigned myself to the fact that our relationship was over, I think a small piece of my heart hoped that one day there may be a reconciliation. I feel guilt, and confusion. My brother has maintained a relationship with him and is there now, arranging the funeral and I feel guilty about that too. I have offered my support. I want to go to his funeral to say goodbye, but am scared that his wife wont want me there....


Any advice and opinions would be so gratefully received....

Link to comment

I am so sorry for everything you've endured. Your story is heartbreaking. I can tell you, you are a better person than I am for wanting to go. If you truly want to go to the funeral, then go. His wife would be nuts for causing a seen or anything at the funeral....but if she does, quickly say goodbye to him and leave.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...