Establishing a relationship with my grandfather?
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20-10-2013, 02:27 AM
Establishing a relationship with my grandfather?
I really need some advice on this because I really don't know who else to turn to about this because I'm feeling conflicted. You need to know the backstory to know the whole situation. I'm 22 and my father died about six months ago. He had a lot of issues and he was also bipolar and he committed suicide. My parents separated when I 10 because of heavy drug use by both parents along with various other problems: alcoholism, prostitution, domestic violence. Needless to say me and my younger sisters witnessed all of this and when my mother took us to live with our grandmother we were very malnourished and dirty. My grandmother basically saved my life, because if it wasn't for her my mother never would have gotten clean of drugs and started to live a normal life.

This is my current issue, I've been having a lot of trouble dealing with my father's death. It was so sudden. I haven't really felt the desire over the last few months to talk to his side of the family very much. He had four older siblings and his two parents are still alive. When he was a child his parents divorced and his father took custody of his two oldest siblings and the my father (the youngest) and the other two youngest stayed with their mother. This split was a permanent one because I never met my father's two oldest siblings, but was very close with his other two siblings throughout my early childhood along with their children and my paternal grandmother. I was in another country when my father died and I couldn't go to the funeral and ever since I just haven't felt the desire to talk to my father's mother or his siblings. I don't know why, but maybe I just didn't feel ready.

This is the odd thing though. I've always been curious about my grandfather so I looked him up on the web and found his address and wrote him a letter. I included my number in the letter and he called me today and we talked for about ten minutes. He seems like a nice enough guy who regrets never taking the time to get to know his son or his grandchildren. But the reason I feel so conflicted is because I know his absence from my father's life caused a lot of problems for him. And I know my maternal grandmother who raised me will be very unhappy if she finds out I have had any contact with him. I'm curious about my grandfather but I feel like I'm betraying my grandmother, who has gone out of her way for me and my father's memory. I don't know if anyone else can offer a different perspective on meeting a long lost relative for the first time. I posted this story on another messageboard to get some advice and everyone called me crazy. Any real advice would be great, thank you.
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20-10-2013, 09:32 AM
RE: Establishing a relationship with my grandfather?
I think it would be ok. Everyone makes mistakes, and you say he seems to regret his. Though I wouldn't put it all on him (not saying you are, just thinking out loud), if your Grandma would be upset by you seeing him, it may be just as much her doing that grandpa couldn't be involved in his kids lives. I have to think he's not a monster, or he wouldn't have been allowed to keep the other kids.

It would be really too bad if your grandma wanted to try and keep you from having contact with him. If she does get upset, explain to her why you want to reconnect. Assure her that it it doesn't have anything to do with how you feel about her. Explain that you are still having a hard time dealing with the loss of your father, and really feel the need to connect with his family. Then take things slow.

I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope this all works out for you. Hug
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