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Advise the Copper on a major Dad issue PLZ


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I think it's a little cold toward her. I guess I feel like this was pretty hard for her to do too, and I'm sure she has her reasons for doing it. I thought the message from her was more about her reaching out and wanting to contact you, not him. I feel like that should be acknowledged one way or another.

 

I don't really know how not to be cold with her. I mean, I don't want to be her buddy. How would you rewrite it in a way that's not cold but also isn't like HEY LETS GET SOME BREWS YO.

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April-girl, we have a nearly identical back-story. The drugs, the abuse, and the abandonment. It's all there.   Here's how I did it.   My dad came back into my life by way of a random card made in his

Yeah! Screw people who may or may not just be reaching out in kindness to someone who is related to them!   It's pretty easy to make judgements about things that you have no involvement in other than

What ericka said. The intermediary is weird, so tell your whatever-she-is that your dad can contact you himself if he's interested, but I wouldn't slam the door.   He might be an ass, it might suck. I

Just a line added to what you have that's along the lines of "I appreciate your need to want to reach out, but you have to understand I'm reticent to opening up to this sort of situation before I figure out where I want to stand with my bio-dad."

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While I agree with Driver that this girl shouldn't be treated like **** and that his added line is nice, I don't think it's necessary and think what you wrote is just fine.

 

Whatever you end up going with, good luck. It's not gonna be easy no matter how it goes down.

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The only thing that sounded "cold" to me was the last sentence. I would change it to just say "My e-mail is __________." That puts the ball in her court to decide to tell your biodouche or not. :p

 

The secret stuff... I don't know. I don't think I will tell my Mom that I was contacted by her, or that I replied to her. If my father does indeed want to contact me, and does so, then I might tell her. I really have no idea how she will react. When I asked my sister how she thought Mom would react she said that it would "wreck her". But I'm not so sure. My Mom still has a lot of love for my real father, despite everything that happened between them. She also has a great well of forgiveness in her, more so than I think I have, really.

I agree. When I said don't keep it a secret, I meant if you do make contact with him, tell her. And even then, I would your tell mom before meeting up with him. Even though you're an adult and can do what you want, it would be a nice gesture to give her a heads up. It's something she'll just have to understand.

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I just don't understand why there's any sense of obligation towards this woman whatsoever ... but maybe that's just because I'm an ***hole. I keep forgetting to factor that in when giving people advice. (I'm sincere in that, actually not being a smartass for once)

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I'm a golden rule sort of guy-- if somebody is polite and doesn't have an agenda, I am polite in return until they prove to be an ***hole. It's possible to be polite, and not a pushover at the same time. I agree with you, Copper has no obligation-- I was just surprised that you called the girl a bitch with an agenda on pure assumption.

 

I don't buy into karma, I know too many douchenozzels with money and success to think karma exists,, but I do think that treating people the way you want to be treated is the best way to go. Why alienate somebody before knowing what value they may add to your life?

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Copper, whatever you do, don't be a dumbass and make snap decisions like ... Maker.

 

Kinda harsh, but that's cool. It was totally a snap decision on my part, but I won't apologize for it--if I were faced with the decision April is facing, that's where I would land. I can admit that I was hasty to pass judgment on this girl and I'd honestly be far more likely to give her the 'thanks, but no thanks" version, I would never actually tell a well-meaning person to 'get bent' as I originally posted (even if I might be thinking it). I know people make mistakes and I'm usually all about forgiveness, but I also have a no tolerance for people who treat their family like **** and then try to get another chance. I've been on the receiving side of that and it sucks.

 

I think April deserves far better, just as all of you do. If I come off as a dumbass in expressing that, I can live with it. This whole thread is filled with lots of great advice on how to handle this, almost all of it better than what I spat out. All that ultimately matters to me is that April knows I will back her on any decision she makes.

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So.

 

I've decided to reply to her. Here is my first draft:

 

Hello Amy,

 

I apologize for the late reply; I didn't even see this message until about a month after you sent it, and since then I have been mulling over how to respond to it. I have many questions but I don't really feel that you are the person I should be asking them to. You need to understand that I haven't heard from my bio-dad since I was four-years-old. So if, indeed, there is going to be any sort of communication between he and I then it needs to come directly from him. Feel free to pass on my email address to him. aprilvictoria@gmail.com

 

April Schultz

 

 

OR SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW WHAT DO YOU THINK??!?

 

Wow! You sure have a heavy load on your mind right now. I think that's a great response, though. I mean, you don't know the woman, so what more can you say to her?

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well wtf.

 

I went to reply today and guess what message I see on her message?

 

You cannot reply to this conversation. Either the recipient's account was disabled or its privacy settings don't allow replies.

 

She no longer has a picture up so I'm guessing she deleted her account.

 

WTF WTF

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  • 1 year later...

Copper,

 

Since her account is active again and you attempted to send the message previously, maybe send it again now. If nothing has changed since then well then it's still at that same point, the ball in your court point and the point where you decided to reach out. So you could now add a line saying you tried to send it last time but there was an issue with Facebook or whatever. Or whatever whatever don't send it and continue on as normal.

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The long period of her absense from facebook is raising a red flag with me. This Amy girl was raised by a man whom April's description makes clear was abusive, negligent, violent and an addict. Such people are prone to instability.

 

Copper, you are caught in a difficult position. Your decision to try to contact Amy is completely understandable. But take the best advice that someone with addiction and family disfunction issues can himself offer you: absent some kind of recovery: counselling, psychotherapy, 12 step programs or whatever, you MUST expect chaos, unpredictability and dysfunction from both Amy and Bob. This is not harsh judgement. This is the straight goods from someone with 14 years sobriety and all the experience with both addiction directly and the indirect impact these problems have on family systems that this experience entails. Worst case scenario is that Bob is still using, and Amy is an enabler in some way or another. DO NOT think you owe these people a place in your life. If you act out of such a sense of misplaced obligation, then you invite destructive chaos into your own personal situation and quite possibly contribute to the further enabling of the sickness.

 

What you must understand and accept is that Amy and/or Bob must earn and keep your trust fair and square. There is no need to be accusatory, stand-offish or confrontational from the outset. But I would recommend going slowly at first. Make sure that some kinds of long term positive changes - and my experience confirms their reality also - have occurred. Should you go through with this, do NOT ignore red flags that indicate imbalance and instability, such as chronic issues maintaining employment or the like. Keep them at arm's length until they have EARNED the privilege of deeper trust.

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