Author Topic: Not sure what to do  (Read 1610 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Psalti Boy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 842
Not sure what to do
« on: December 21, 2008, 07:48:14 AM »
Greetings all,

Forgive me for not posting in such a long time.  I have been struggling with several issues, one of which I would like your prayers and advice, especially if you have faced a similar situation.

My parents divorced when I was about 2 years old.  I never got to know my biological father but do remember one visit when he brought me some toys.  My mother refuses to talk about him at all.  Unfortunately she wants to take that part of her life to the grave with her, no matter how much hurt not knowing about him causes me.  My uncle, her brother will throw out bits of information if I push him, but I do admire and respect his loyalty to his sister.

Growing up we went to a church on the other side of town to avoid seeing him or his family.  When I got married, we were forced to also go to that far away church and have our kids baptized there.  Thus making it hard to get to church often.

While away in the military, I was talked into having my surname changed to that of my stepfather.  (Why didn't just adopt me sooner and avoid all the questions I had and not able to get answers to growing up?)  I recently was diagnosed with severe depression and a deep inner sadness.  The psychologist believes that growing up with all the lies and deception was the primary cause.

Last year I began to put together a family tree focused on the family I knew growing up as well as my wife's, not my father's.  But after some time I found out several things that finally led me to find his second wife and my two half sisters.  I also found out that he died in 1995. 

My dilemma is this; I really would like to know if my father was looking for me and was he somehow discouraged to do so.  The divorce took place in Florida, not New York, which makes me wonder if that was done to make it seem that we had moved there.  I'm somewhat reluctant to contact them, because I don't know if he ever told his new wife about me and his first marriage.  He probably did, because while doing my research I spoke to an office worker at the church who knew him as a very nice man.

So do I jump into their lives after all this time?  Especially now at Christmas?  In my heart I want to know more about my father.  I just don't want to disrupt his widow's and daughters' lives.

I welcome your advice.  Please pray for me a sinner.

I wish you all a very Blessed Nativity.

Psalti Boy

PS   I would like to apologize to anyone I may have offended or hurt in anyway by my actions or words.  I know I can be a pain most times, but I don't mean to be.  I pray that once I get my head screwed on tight enough, I should be a more pleasant person

« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 07:54:19 AM by Psalti Boy »

Offline Fr. George

  • formerly "Cleveland"
  • Administrator
  • Stratopedarches
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,234
  • May the Lord bless you and keep you always!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 08:26:16 AM »
Lord, have mercy on your servant!
"O Cross of Christ, all-holy, thrice-blessed, and life-giving, instrument of the mystical rites of Zion, the holy Altar for the service of our Great Archpriest, the blessing - the weapon - the strength of priests, our pride, our consolation, the light in our hearts, our mind, and our steps"
Met. Meletios of Nikopolis & Preveza, from his ordination.

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,383
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 08:31:32 AM »
Lord, turn not away Thy Face from Thy child.
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline FrChris

  • The Rodney Dangerfield of OC.net
  • Site Supporter
  • Taxiarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,252
  • Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 09:33:37 AM »
Lord have mercy, and guide Your servant!
"As the sparrow flees from a hawk, so the man seeking humility flees from an argument". St John Climacus

Offline Heorhij

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,576
    • Mississippi University for Women
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 10:16:01 AM »
Lord, have mercy!
Love never fails.

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 39,193
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 10:42:02 AM »
Greetings all,

Forgive me for not posting in such a long time.  I have been struggling with several issues, one of which I would like your prayers and advice, especially if you have faced a similar situation.

My parents divorced when I was about 2 years old.  I never got to know my biological father but do remember one visit when he brought me some toys.  My mother refuses to talk about him at all.  Unfortunately she wants to take that part of her life to the grave with her, no matter how much hurt not knowing about him causes me.  My uncle, her brother will throw out bits of information if I push him, but I do admire and respect his loyalty to his sister.

Growing up we went to a church on the other side of town to avoid seeing him or his family.  When I got married, we were forced to also go to that far away church and have our kids baptized there.  Thus making it hard to get to church often.

While away in the military, I was talked into having my surname changed to that of my stepfather.  (Why didn't just adopt me sooner and avoid all the questions I had and not able to get answers to growing up?)  I recently was diagnosed with severe depression and a deep inner sadness.  The psychologist believes that growing up with all the lies and deception was the primary cause.

Last year I began to put together a family tree focused on the family I knew growing up as well as my wife's, not my father's.  But after some time I found out several things that finally led me to find his second wife and my two half sisters.  I also found out that he died in 1995. 

My dilemma is this; I really would like to know if my father was looking for me and was he somehow discouraged to do so.  The divorce took place in Florida, not New York, which makes me wonder if that was done to make it seem that we had moved there.  I'm somewhat reluctant to contact them, because I don't know if he ever told his new wife about me and his first marriage.  He probably did, because while doing my research I spoke to an office worker at the church who knew him as a very nice man.

So do I jump into their lives after all this time?  Especially now at Christmas?  In my heart I want to know more about my father.  I just don't want to disrupt his widow's and daughters' lives.

I welcome your advice.  Please pray for me a sinner.

I wish you all a very Blessed Nativity.

Psalti Boy

PS   I would like to apologize to anyone I may have offended or hurt in anyway by my actions or words.  I know I can be a pain most times, but I don't mean to be.  I pray that once I get my head screwed on tight enough, I should be a more pleasant person



Lord have mercy, and guide your servant!

Psalti boy.  I would advise, because of the uncertainty of how your father's other family will react, NOT to contact them before Christmas, but soon afterwards if you wish.  That way if the reaction is bad, it won't become associated with Christmas, but if the reaction is good, it will.

I am sorry that he has passed on (was he also Orthodox?).  I don't have your situation, but I am (actually now, was) on the opposite side, and let me tell you that the Divorce court system does everything in its power, commesurate with mom's desire, to reduce you to nothing more than a support check, and reduce your children to nothing more than an economic burden.  Your case is a classic example of how fathers aren't as expendable as society would like.  (btw, there's a theological point of the Fatherhood of the Father in there).  Yes, there is a good chance the divorce was in Florida in order to eliminate your father (your mother would have had to had established residence there first to file there), and from what you say of your mother (especially about your wedding and name change, at an age when it is YOUR decision), her controlling is beyond control.  The situation for fathers in court is bad enough now, when your parents divorced I am sure your father faced a number of hurdles, possibly, given the description you gave, of being ordered not to contact you.

One of the wisest words I heard on the divorce mill is that the divorce is going to be as acrimoneous and abnoxious as the wife wants, and my case fit that rule. From what you say, I would think your father faced an even worse situation.

PM if you would like.  And in any case, Merry Christmas!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 10:47:31 AM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Psalti Boy

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 842
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 06:41:17 PM »

[/quote]

Psalti boy.  I would advise, because of the uncertainty of how your father's other family will react, NOT to contact them before Christmas, but soon afterwards if you wish.  That way if the reaction is bad, it won't become associated with Christmas, but if the reaction is good, it will.

I am sorry that he has passed on (was he also Orthodox?). 

Yes he was.

Yes, there is a good chance the divorce was in Florida in order to eliminate your father (your mother would have had to had established residence there first to file there),

We had relatives in Tarpon Springs so that was easy.  That's where I found the divorce decree.

PM if you would like.  And in any case, Merry Christmas!

Thank you.
PB
[/quote]
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 06:41:45 PM by Psalti Boy »

Offline Entscheidungsproblem

  • Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,495
    • Amsterdam Declaration 2002
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 07:29:09 PM »
Lord, have mercy!
As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS

Offline SolEX01

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,353
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Metropolis of New Jersey
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 09:38:42 PM »
Lord have mercy.

May the memory of Psalti Boy's father be eternal.

Amen!

Offline Ian Lazarus

  • The Main Man!
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,545
  • yIjah, Qey' 'oH!
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 11:35:43 PM »
Lord have mercy.
"For I am With thee, withersoever thou goest"

Joshua 1:9

Offline Órëlaurëa

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 520
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 06:44:14 PM »
Lord have mercy on his servant, and comfort and guide him.
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis.

órë: noun \"heart"\ (inner mind),   laurëa: adjective \"golden, like gold"\ http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/quenya.htm

Offline Riddikulus

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,788
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2008, 08:57:40 PM »
Lord, have mercy on your servant.
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline ytterbiumanalyst

  • Professor Emeritus, CSA
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,790
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2008, 10:43:16 PM »
Lord have mercy.
"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens

Offline stashko

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,998
  • Wonderworking Sitka Icon
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2008, 12:22:26 AM »
LORD HAVE MERCY,,AMEN AMEN...SmileyCentral.com" border="0
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline Trudy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • Lost in-Elegant Cogitations
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2008, 10:39:58 AM »
My dilemma is this; I really would like to know if my father was looking for me and was he somehow discouraged to do so.  The divorce took place in Florida, not New York, which makes me wonder if that was done to make it seem that we had moved there.  I'm somewhat reluctant to contact them, because I don't know if he ever told his new wife about me and his first marriage.  He probably did, because while doing my research I spoke to an office worker at the church who knew him as a very nice man.

So do I jump into their lives after all this time?  Especially now at Christmas?  In my heart I want to know more about my father.  I just don't want to disrupt his widow's and daughters' lives.

Here is my two cents worth.  While my family situation is not the same as yours, there is some understanding because my son's bio-dad died when he was 18 months old.  When I remarried, the bio-Dad's side of the family basically abandoned my son, especially the grandfather.  Thus I have some small understanding of your feelings of sorrow and loss.

May I suggest that you put together a New Year's letter to mail to your father's widow?  Tell her that you are doing a family tree, are seeking information about your father, and that you learned he had passed away in 1995.  Would she be willing to share a few stories about him via telephone, as long as it would not cause her undue grief and sadness.

If she agrees to a telephone call, when you call her be sensitive to her age and sorrow (which I am sure you would be anyway!), and ask her questions like: 1) What is your fondest memory of him?  2) What were some of his favorite things to do?  3) Did he have a favorite sports team, favorite food, favorite vacation spot?  You will learn alot by the way she answers the questions.  I would suspect with a good listening ear and open heart, you will be able to read between the lines to get a sense of their relationship.  If it seems like it was a good relationship, when you conclude the conversation (after about 15 to 30 minutes), ask her for permission to call again.  If she agrees, then do so in 3 to 4 weeks.  That gives her time to tell her daughters and pastor about the call and process her feelings.

Perhaps you could write a similar letter to the church office worker with a request to speak further with them  for input for your family genealogy. 

After the first contact you will have a better sense of how to proceed I suspect.

Of course, continue prayers to the Theotokos about this.  She is a mother and understands the needs of children to know about their parentage.  Perhaps her mother, St. Anna, would be another one to pray to for the same reason.

Listen to your heart.  God will guide you.

In Christ, Athanasia (Trudy)
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,868
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Not sure what to do
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2008, 08:04:29 PM »
Lord, have mercy!
Not all who wander are lost.