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Author: eachna Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 681  
Subject: Re: Dilemma Date: 4/17/2002 5:23 PM
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Hi Ishtar.

You'll recognize me from the CC board. I have some comments from your daughter's perspective.

I was raised without my father, also, in a situation that was nearly identical to yours (except he's on my BC).

I met my father for the first time when I was 16. It was another 8-10 years before we really developed a close relationship, even after that. I've talked to him *ALOT* about what you'd call his "side" of things -- why he wasn't around, how he felt when my mother contacted him, etc. At no point does he make any excuses for his behavior, but, he has mentioned that my mom approached him about money a few times over the years and talked about what it was like for him.

He wasn't financially stable at the time and didn't *have* any money to send (not that he could tell, anyway). He was like any number of people with poor financial skills that come to these boards -- he spent what he earned. By the time he *was* in financial shape, I was close to graduating high school, where it became "too little too late" to my mom.

Since my dad didn't have any spare money, was in a rotten personal situation, and knew that he and my mom couldn't have any sort of deeper relationship than wanting to throttle each other, he was pretty miserable about being approached for money. It may have been a "fair" request, but, it left him feeling really guilty and upset. (I'm sure there's folk out there thinking he deserved it).

I think anything that would feed that feeling is counter-productive to Chandra's benefit. From the way you've talked about her in the past, she's a smart kid. Some random time in the future when her dad wakes up, she'll only be smarter. *If* her dad is a walking waste of bio-mass, she'll figure that out on her own. If it's more that he's immature and not right for *you*, it's not fair to *her* to do things that might push him away even more.

I ended up closer to my dad than my mom, because my mom used my dad as a weapon against me. While, I don't think you're directly doing that, you could be heading down that slippery slope, and you want to be REALLY careful about that.

Write him letters. Tell him what a wonderful kid she is. But, leave out the "you're missing out" parts and the "here's how upset I felt about asking you for money" parts. Keep the letters to him *about* Chandra, and leave it at that. That's my personal opinion, anyway.

If it helps you feel better, write the really nasty and guilt-inducing letters and then set them aside, don't mail them. <heh>. I do that sometimes with people when I'm angry or hurt by their actions.

Gwen
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