Home Degrees of Separation My father wrote me a letter saying that he wanted to cut...

My father wrote me a letter saying that he wanted to cut off all contact. News Jani

My father wrote me a letter saying that he wanted to cut off all contact.

,

I always had a close relationship with my father.

We shared many passions and interests – like gymnastics and writing – and she helped me believe that I could one day pursue my dream of becoming a published author.

But that all changed when a few days after Christmas in 2009, the year I got married, I woke up to a voicemail message from him. This will be etched in my mind forever.

By then my parents had been married for 40 years. I believed he was incredibly loyal. I could tell from his voice that something was wrong, but the last thing I expected him to tell me was that he was having an affair.

She did not give any details about who he is, how long their relationship has been going on or where he will be living. All he said was that he was going to leave his mother and be with another woman.

He went out that day.

I was 36 years old and my sister was 39 years old at that time. I thought my world had ended. My sister and I didn’t know where he had gone or if we would ever see him again.

Despite what he did, I loved him – and I was worried about him too. He said he would keep in touch, but his mobile was switched off and emails went unanswered. I felt abandoned and lost.

His departure hit Mom hard, so the next few months were spent rebuilding her. It was a huge shock that came out of the blue for everyone.

But as we started to think, we put together some pieces about his behavior. He spent days away from work with the woman he was having an affair with.

We later found out that it had been going on for about five years by the time he left.

I was sad that he didn’t want me and my sister to be a part of his wedding.

He has been living a double life for five years. His delusions made me think that everything I knew about him was a lie.

But despite what had happened, he was our father – so it was a relief when he finally called a few weeks after he left.

My sister and I wanted to know if he was okay and how to move on from what happened so that we could continue to have a good relationship with him.

Initially he said he wanted to bring his new partner to our first meeting – but at least at first we only got to meet him alone. Until then, he was an anchor in our family. The one I always went to if I had a problem. To which I looked.

After much persuasion, he agreed to meet us himself.

We asked a lot of questions and told him what we thought of what he had done. But it also laid the foundation for the beginning of a new phase in our new relationship.

The next few years saw us finding our way in the new landscape. We met my stepmom and tried to try.

But it was difficult. She was someone from his past that we had met before, but she introduced herself as a stranger. Any attempts we made to engage him in conversation were often met with one-word responses and we found it difficult to get to know him.

We began to get the impression that Dad couldn’t do anything on his own without being told, which was unlike the man we knew. The spontaneous phone calls became less frequent. We couldn’t just ‘drop in’ to see it. Meetings had to be arranged and it felt like we were in a stranger’s house.

They got married sometime after the divorce was finalized and told us about it after that. I would have loved to be there. I was very disappointed in the way he treated Mom, but I wanted him to be happy and hoped he would be with his new partner. So I was sad that he didn’t want me and my sister to be a part of it.

About three years after he left, my father and his new partner came to our house just before Christmas. My sister, her husband and my two nieces also came. We had a lovely afternoon, full of laughter and smiles, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. It felt like we had turned a corner.

A letter was a cold and calculated way to end our relationship.

But a few months later, my sister and I received a letter no child should ever receive from a parent. I couldn’t believe the words I was reading. The letter was typed but Dad signed his name at the end.

He said he was disappointed with us because of the way we treated his new wife. That we didn’t try to get to know him or develop a relationship with him, and we clearly weren’t able to move on from his affair.

He ended by saying that he didn’t regret being our father, that he loved us, but that he had decided that it was best for everyone to end our relationship.

I was completely blind. Our last meeting was beautiful. I thought we were making progress. While we struggled to forgive the betrayal, we really wanted to move on. Mom had started rebuilding her life. She was happy and enjoying her new found freedom.

After our initial shock, we became incredibly angry. He didn’t even have the decency to talk to us personally or give us a chance to say anything. A letter was a cold and calculated way to end our relationship.

We decided we weren’t going to just let it go away. We responded, telling her how we felt and that we wanted her to be a part of our lives. And we kept sending birthday and Christmas cards.

And to our surprise, we welcomed them in return. Each card was handwritten by her, signed with both their names. We hoped that this meant that his decision was not final. And that, in time, we can get back on track.

My sister and I became carers for her sister, our wonderful aunt. She loved him dearly but struggled to understand or come to terms with what he had done. We contacted her when she was close to passing so that she could reconcile with him. When dad and his wife came to visit her, we thought it was the beginning of our relationship being restored.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t have been more wrong. A few months after my aunt’s funeral, my sister and I received another letter from Dad. The content took my breath away.

This time he held nothing back and told us that he wanted nothing more to do with us. He said he could not forgive us for not attending his sister’s funeral, which we did. He helped us contact his friends and was involved in the organization of the event. We made sure that the celebrant spoke to him so that his words would be included in the service.

He then told us he loved us but ended by saying he never wanted to see or hear from us again.

Once my tears dried, everything felt clear. I had been surrounded by shame and embarrassment for so long because the man I had seen forever, didn’t want me. And I had wasted so much energy over the past few years hoping he wanted us back in his life.

Now that I know he doesn’t, I’m turned off. And while it’s incredibly sad, I can finally start to move on.


Degrees of separation

The series aims to provide a nuanced look at family separation.

Alienation is not one-size-fits-all, and we want to give voice to those who have been through it themselves.

If you have personally experienced alienation and would like to share your story, you can email [email protected] and/or [email protected] .

More: I haven’t seen my younger brother since my mother left me

More: How to know when it’s okay to make up with a family stranger.

MORE: What to do if a family member cuts you off

RELATED ARTICLES
Popular Kerala indie band 'When Chai Met Toast' will be performing at the Metaverse Music Concert this weekend. , Jab Chai...
Three Feng Shui Rules to Improve the Energy of Your Small Flat , Tables, cookers and beds are the most important pieces of furniture to...
Amid Siddharth Malhotra and Kiara Advani's marriage rumours, a look at their relationship timeline , Rumors are doing the rounds that actors Siddharth Malhotra and...
What is mast cell activation syndrome, an allergic condition that allows a woman to eat only nine foods? , A woman in the United States,...
More top Irish and international acts for 'Indie 23' in Mitchelstown , ...
Is it okay to swear at work? The Employment Tribunal said yes , Is swearing at work a big deal? (Photo: Getty)You've...

Most Popular

Fierce fire in the house, father along with 6 children died , Riyadh: Same family during house fire in Saudi Arabia 7 People including...
Union Budget 2023-24 | Opposition: Nothing for the poor, middle class; Benefit to one class only , The Congress and several opposition...
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gave the reason for resigning from the party post – Pakistan , Giving reasons for resigning from the party post, senior PML-N...
Warehouse full of tanks sparks debate in Belgium , Freddy Versluys doesn't like being called an arms dealer. But he has a large warehouse...
Shahid Khakan resigns from Mariam Bahawalpur Imran Teriyan case , Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says that he had resigned from the party post at the time...
Taiwan activates defense system after Chinese planes, ships cross key line , Taiwan scrambled fighter jets, put its navy on alert and activated missile systems...
Former Home Minister Sheikh Rasheed arrested , Rawalpindi: Former Home Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed was arrested. Rashid Shafiq, nephew of former interior minister and Awami Muslim...
In Ukraine, the former interior minister raided the houses of the billionaire , key pointsA Ukrainian billionaire's home has been raided as part of an...