Family Matters
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Secret sibling

So two weeks ago I found out that I have a half sister. Turns out that my dad had a baby with a woman a couple of years before he met my mum but he gave up his rights to her in order for the baby's step dad to adopt her. Twenty years later and this girl has turned up claiming to be his daughter. My dad told her that he did not want anything to do with her as he had his own family now, but a few days later the he changed his mind claiming that he feels guilty about the entire situation. 

The thing is, he kept this child a secret from my mum for 26 years, and to be honest they are now on the verge of splitting up because of it. My mum has basically come out and said it's either her of his daughter. 

A small part of me wants to get to know this girl, and I am genuinely sorry for what my father has done to her. But a bigger part of me cannot help but hate her for all of the trouble she has caused by turning up in my lives. She turned up at my dad's work place and told him she was his daughter, she has even said that she has been to my place of work before she even got in contact with him. She is craving a relationship with my entire family and my mum just can't accept that. I don't even know if I can accept that. I know a lot of why i am feeling this way is because I'm very close to my mother and not my father, but right now all I can think about is how this girl has ruined my family.. I know I'm being a cow but I can't help how I feel.

I can argue that I'm 22, and that if I want a relationship with her then it's my own choice, but I know that if I start anything with this girl then it's going to crush my mum. I'm certainly seeing my dad in a different light for giving up his baby, but he kept the fact that he's had any contact with my half sister secret for the past two weeks until my mum saw him talking to her on facebook. It turns out he's been texting her and talking on the phone to her for two weeks.

The more time that passes, the more conflicted I get on how I feel about this girl.

Any advice on how to deal with all of this?

Re: Secret sibling

  • I would suggest counselling for your mother. I can understand being incredibly angry that your father kept such a huge secret from her all these years, but blaming this poor girl and demanding everyone ignore her existence is not the right thing to do.

    If you want to meet your sister, do it. I would tell your mother it is unfair of her to expect you to give up a relationship with your sister because of her anger. 
  • I can't imagine why she wants a relationship with anyone in your family if you're all so freaking mean about it.
    puppylove2014catsareniice1CandaceLafleurVOR
  • befham said:
    So two weeks ago I found out that I have a half sister. Turns out that my dad had a baby with a woman a couple of years before he met my mum but he gave up his rights to her in order for the baby's step dad to adopt her. Twenty years later and this girl has turned up claiming to be his daughter. My dad told her that he did not want anything to do with her as he had his own family now, but a few days later the he changed his mind claiming that he feels guilty about the entire situation. 

    The thing is, he kept this child a secret from my mum for 26 years, and to be honest they are now on the verge of splitting up because of it. My mum has basically come out and said it's either her of his daughter. 

    A small part of me wants to get to know this girl, and I am genuinely sorry for what my father has done to her. But a bigger part of me cannot help but hate her for all of the trouble she has caused by turning up in my lives. She turned up at my dad's work place and told him she was his daughter, she has even said that she has been to my place of work before she even got in contact with him. She is craving a relationship with my entire family and my mum just can't accept that. I don't even know if I can accept that. I know a lot of why i am feeling this way is because I'm very close to my mother and not my father, but right now all I can think about is how this girl has ruined my family.. I know I'm being a cow but I can't help how I feel.

    I can argue that I'm 22, and that if I want a relationship with her then it's my own choice, but I know that if I start anything with this girl then it's going to crush my mum. I'm certainly seeing my dad in a different light for giving up his baby, but he kept the fact that he's had any contact with my half sister secret for the past two weeks until my mum saw him talking to her on facebook. It turns out he's been texting her and talking on the phone to her for two weeks.

    The more time that passes, the more conflicted I get on how I feel about this girl.

    Any advice on how to deal with all of this?
    Your mom is taking her anger out on the wrong person.  Your sister has done nothing wrong here except exist and have the very human desire to know her blood relatives.  

    You too need to take your anger out on the proper people, your father for keeping this secret and your mother for being cruel and she is the only one currently ruining your family.  She needs to come to terms with your father's past and his lies.  If that means talking to a professional about her feelings, than so be it.  
    puppylove2014OkapiFarmerVOR
  • OkapiFarmerOkapiFarmer member
    First Comment
    edited February 2015
    My husband was in a very similar situation as your secret sister. 

    His biological parents split either before, or right after he was born.  His biological father gave up all rights to him, and when he was around 5 years old, his mother married his step-father, who adopted him.  He was raised by his mother and adoptive father, who basically IS his father.  He had a happy childhood, and grew up with 2 half-sisters as one family....no bouncing back and forth between different households....just one big happy family. :-)

    When my husband was about 20...or thereabouts, he did meet his biological father, and all of his half-siblings from his biological father (who remarried).  One thing that might be a difference between my husband, and your secret sister, is that I don't think (although, I could be wrong) that my husband was kept as a secret from his biological father's family.  I think that they knew about him, despite not meeting him until much later. 

    Obviously, he is much closer to the sisters that he grew up with, but he does have a relationship with his biological father and his other half-siblings.  He visits them every few years (they live in another state), and he is friends with them on facebook.  If there are any ill feelings lingering from that side of the family, they are directed towards the demise of his mother's & father's relationship (and how/why it ended), and not towards my husband at all. 

    Getting angry over something is a natural, human response, but you always have control over what you do in your anger, and whether or not you hold on to it. 

    Your dad screwed up by not telling your mom the total truth about his past.  She has a right to be hurt, and she is understandably upset, and you can't make her stop being angry.  That's something that she has to decide to do.  She could probably benefit from seeing a therapist, either individually, or with her husband.  I understand that you love your mom, but it doesn't do you or her any good for you to get angry on her behalf.  You let her handle her battle, and her hurt.  You can be supportive, understanding, and loving, but getting angry or staying angry for her isn't healthy.  You have your own problems to work out with your dad, because he lied to you, too.  Again....you have control over what you do in your anger, and whether or not you hold on to it. 

    Okay....this is by far the most important part that you need to read:  DO NOT BE ANGRY WITH YOUR SISTER.  It is not her fault that she was born, or that she was abandoned, or that she was kept a secret from you guys.  It is understandable, that even if she had a perfect and happy childhood, that she would be curious about her biological father, and half-siblings.  My husband had a happy childhood, but he still had a desire to meet the other half of his family once he became an adult.  It's a natural curiosity. 

    The way that your father reacted, the way that your mother reacted, the situation as a whole....none of that is her fault.  She had no way of anticipating how anyone would react, or knowing what kind of turmoil it would cause anybody.  And quite frankly, the fact that there is turmoil at all isn't even her fault.  If you and your mother knew about her existence beforehand, then it wouldn't have been the great avalanche of shock and anger that it became - that is 100% your father's fault. 

    You are correct, you are an adult, and you can decide whether or not you have a relationship with your sister.  Your mother may be hurt by your relationship with her at first, but that is her choice.  Your mother has to be the one who is responsible for her own reactions to the situation, and she has to be responsible for her own emotions, and how she handles them.  Attending  counseling or therapy should make it easier for her to handle everything.  If nothing else, therapy would help your mother make sure that she is directing her punishment toward the right person.  Saying "me or your daughter" is foolish and cruel, because that's punishing the secret daughter when she hasn't done anything wrong.  The deed has been done....your sister has already been born, and none of that was her fault! 

    The thing that your mother needs to punish or work through or correct...or whatever...is the secrecy that your father was keeping.  If your mother is completely incapable of ever forgiving that transgression, then there isn't anything about the relationship that can be saved.  If your mother is eventually able to forgive your father, and they are able to work through their problems, then your mother doesn't have to build a relationship with your half-sister, but she certainly has no right to forbid anyone else from developing a relationship with her.  It doesn't matter what hang-ups or anger your mother decides to hold on to - your half-sister has no reason to be punished for your father's mistake, and your mother has no right to be the one to decide that punishment!

    With time, it will all get easier.  My recommendation is whatever you decide....move slowly, and carefully.  Take your time, and don't force anyone to accept anything.  Don't make any rash decisions....just take it one step at a time, and let everyone get comfortable with it in their own time.  If you do decide to proceed with a relationship with your sister, let her know the truth - that you and your mother were blindsided, and that you need time.  She needs to be respectful of your family's space, and the fact that any relationship will likely be built slowly.   
    Disneygeek77puppylove2014
  • It is normal for your mother to be upset and even misdirect her anger. This is all still brand new to her and she is hurt. Give her some time to sort through her emotions.
    You are grown and if you want a relationship with your sister, you can have one. Your mother has nothing to do with it. 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    TTC since September 2012
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