Major Identity Crisis Here
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20-07-2015, 12:14 PM
Major Identity Crisis Here
So, I brought my kids down to my dad's place on Saturday for a Papa sleepover. Wanted to give my wife a night off which she hasn't had since the new baby was born in May.

Anyway after the kids went to bed my dad and I had a few beers listened to some tunes and as usual he started getting into his customary diatribes against my mother. They were divorced in the mid 80s, I was born in '79 my brother in '81. I usually just take it with a grain of salt, no big deal. But this time Ol' Papa dropped a bomb on me.

He keeps up a friendship with the woman, now in her late 80s, who was our land lady in the apartment we all lived in back in the day. I guess he was over there in the last few months or so and she told him there may be reason to believe that my brother and I (but especially me) might not be his kids. Apparently my father was working nights during those years and according to the landlady, who is old but not senile, two of my dad's brothers used to pay my mother regular night time visits carrying brown bags from the liquor store, and with loud music on the stereo, etc. He also says the "arithmetic" about my mother's pregnancies with my brother and I always felt a little off to him, and that they tried to get pregnant with me for a while before it actually happened. He says he's willing to pay for it if I want to have genetic testing done; says as far as he's concerned it won't change our relationship one way or another.

So I don't know what the fuck to do here. I spent a good 10 minutes this morning as I was shaving for work, looking at my face closely in the mirror and noticing that I do indeed look a lot more like one of my uncles than I do my father. The family resemblance is undeniable, but could I say for sure which one of them is my father on looks alone? Nope.

My dad has a history of drinking. He also has PTSD from the Vietnam War, and beyond that he's always been just a little freakin' weird. This certainly wouldn't be the first conspiracy theory he's cooked up, and my inclination is to just write it off as him being creative while trying to piece together the reasons why he has bad relationships with most of his relatives. This could be the silver bullet to explain away all his difficulties with the two brothers of his in question. This suspicion, if confirmed, would do a lot more for HIM than it would for me.

But then I think, what if it's TRUE? What if I'm not who I think I am? Would it make a difference? Do I even want to know? What do I tell my kids? How do I confront my mother?

I admit it, there's a lot about my life I don't have figured out; but at age 36 most people probably figure they know for sure who their parents are, for better or worse.

What would you guys do if you were in my place?
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20-07-2015, 12:23 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
I can't even begin to imagine how you feel right now. But I would want to know. After all these years, NOW he brings it up? Why now? I just don't see his play here. But since he opened that can of worms, then maybe he is looking for closure, too. Once and for all, can he put this behind him and treat the members of his family accordingly? I would want to know.

Sorry you're going through this and can't blame you for choosing whatever path you choose.

Check out my now-defunct atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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20-07-2015, 12:27 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
Wow that's definitely a bomb your dad dropped on you. Hug

You are still the same person you were yesterday--that hasn't changed. I think right now things must be so raw and confusing. Before you make any decisions about who to talk to or what to say or do, I really think you need to give yourself some time to fully process everything. Then run through various courses of action, playing them out in your mind. I have no doubt you will figure out the best thing to do for you and your family.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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20-07-2015, 12:31 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
I think I might talk to that woman (the old landlady) myself before I do anything else.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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20-07-2015, 12:39 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
You don't have to act on this right away. Give it a bit of time to see if it really matters to you in the long run.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-07-2015, 12:39 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
Wow, that's a lot to handle, and a really tough call.
But now that you suspect something, not knowing may eat at you worse than knowing would.
But that's your call.
Besides, being a father to a child is so much more than being the sperm donor: remember to remind your father of that fact, regardless of whether you decide to find out or not.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Your faith is not evidence, your opinion is not fact, and your bias is not wisdom
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20-07-2015, 12:42 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
You are who you are. You're who you are because of the interactions you've had with other people. Granted - your genetics do influence how you react to stimuli and to social interactions - but largely you're more a product of your environment than a slave to your genetics.

You wouldn't be you if you'd been raised by wolves, no???

It's like religion, television, or comic books --- sure - it's interesting to know about your genetic makeup -- but at the end of the day it's pretty insignificant.

You make you -- not some long ago dead relative....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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20-07-2015, 12:43 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
Well now that there's some "question" as to my origin I don't see how I could possibly go through the rest of my life not knowing for sure. I think ultimately I need to understand where I came from. I mean he's the guy who raised me, he's the guy I'll call my father and my kids will call their grandfather no matter what the result, but I still need to KNOW. And of course, if we get a test and it comes back that it's not a match, that wouldn't tell me WHO actually sired me; just that it's not my dad. So I'd then have to approach my uncles and ask them to take tests, sending tsunami-like ripples through their families, marriages, etc. I'm sure my brother, who doesn't know about any of this yet, would then question his own origins too.

Then of course I can't deny that if the test comes back a match, and he is my biological father, I'm gonna be pretty damn pissed at him for all the conspiracy nonsense. I feel like I'd still want to know if there was any truth to the stories of the late night liaisons between my mother and uncles.

There's no way I can see that this doesn't end up being ugly one way or another.
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20-07-2015, 12:52 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
(20-07-2015 12:43 PM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  Well now that there's some "question" as to my origin I don't see how I could possibly go through the rest of my life not knowing for sure. I think ultimately I need to understand where I came from. I mean he's the guy who raised me, he's the guy I'll call my father and my kids will call their grandfather no matter what the result, but I still need to KNOW. And of course, if we get a test and it comes back that it's not a match, that wouldn't tell me WHO actually sired me; just that it's not my dad. So I'd then have to approach my uncles and ask them to take tests, sending tsunami-like ripples through their families, marriages, etc. I'm sure my brother, who doesn't know about any of this yet, would then question his own origins too.

Then of course I can't deny that if the test comes back a match, and he is my biological father, I'm gonna be pretty damn pissed at him for all the conspiracy nonsense. I feel like I'd still want to know if there was any truth to the stories of the late night liaisons between my mother and uncles.

There's no way I can see that this doesn't end up being ugly one way or another.

It's still the same gene pool, so you want to know because......it affects.... ?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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20-07-2015, 12:54 PM
RE: Major Identity Crisis Here
(20-07-2015 12:43 PM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  Well now that there's some "question" as to my origin I don't see how I could possibly go through the rest of my life not knowing for sure. I think ultimately I need to understand where I came from. I mean he's the guy who raised me, he's the guy I'll call my father and my kids will call their grandfather no matter what the result, but I still need to KNOW. And of course, if we get a test and it comes back that it's not a match, that wouldn't tell me WHO actually sired me; just that it's not my dad. So I'd then have to approach my uncles and ask them to take tests, sending tsunami-like ripples through their families, marriages, etc. I'm sure my brother, who doesn't know about any of this yet, would then question his own origins too.

Then of course I can't deny that if the test comes back a match, and he is my biological father, I'm gonna be pretty damn pissed at him for all the conspiracy nonsense. I feel like I'd still want to know if there was any truth to the stories of the late night liaisons between my mother and uncles.

There's no way I can see that this doesn't end up being ugly one way or another.

Questioning family about their ethical and moral behavior is always going to be dicey. If it were me, I think I might approach it this way:

Step 1) Approach the landlady and see if her story corroborates your dad's. If not, then you can probably dismiss the idea altogether. If not, on to step 2

Step 2) Do the genetic test, but do it with your brother. If you both come back a match, then at least one piece of this issue is laid to rest but how you proceed from here regarding the conduct of your family is up to you. Your parents did divorce and people make a lot of mistakes and who knows how this factored in, if at all. If either of you come back as unlikely to be his son, then proceed to step 3.

Step 3) Confront mom with the hearsay and the genetic test and ask her to be straightforward with you. You aren't here to judge so much as you (or your brother) are here to learn the truth. Mistakes happened (presumably mistakes) and you're not passing judgement on them as they are right now, but you need/want to know. Depending on her answers, maybe you approach your uncles alone, with your brother, or with your mom and your brother.

Step 4) Assuming your dad isn't your biological father and you've reason to believe your uncles are, see about genetic testing the two of them to see. Hopefully your mom is on board and so are they. If not, then you may be unable to receive any closure for the time being.





I'd want to know too (I was sired as a bastard offspring with half-siblings), but I have to admit that some of the things I learned were not what I expected. Primarily how my mom still views it (my conception and her relationship with my father). I expected some measure of guilt or acceptance of responsibility for me as a mistake and contributing to the near destruction of a family, but I learned I was intentional and not regretted (or the situation regretted). I mean, I am happy I was born but I have never been happy with the pain my birth caused. But I have come to accept it and it has also helped me build a better relationship with my half-siblings and their mother.

Good luck.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
-Rick
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