Mon | Jun 14, 2021

I need my father

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

I AM 21 years old and I have been trying to get the attention of my father for five years. He is a well-known and well-loved person in the society. He is now married to a sophisticated lady who is also well loved in the society. She has many social advantages over my mother. When I see his photograph in the media, I am the 'chip off the old block'. Whenever I try to telephone him, he will not accept the call. My mother has no contact with him and my mother will not tell me what happened except to assure me that he is my father. She received no support from him.

I dearly would like to be accepted by my father. He has no other child to the best of my knowledge. I imagine how my life would be different if he had played a role in my upbringing. I am barely making two ends meet. I have a basic education.

I would like to have a chat with my father and ask him some questions about why he left my mother and why we cannot have a man-to-man talk. However, I am not getting anywhere and my mother is not anxious for me to be reunited with my father. What should I do, since I seem to have more questions than answers concerning my father?

A: Every child has a right to a name and you have a right to know your father. You want to have an identity and a relationship with your father. Therefore, it is proper for you to want to relate with your father.

However, you appear to have a hero-worship view of what this will mean to you. Even if you meet your father and talk to him, you might not get the answers to your questions. In addition, your mother has reservations and the reminiscences might be painful to her. This is not to negate your right to want to meet and talk with your father and desiring him to accept you. Just remember it could be a long, painful road ahead if he meets and talks to you.

It is sad that your father will not take your telephone calls. Sometimes men make mistakes in sexual relationships and they do not want any reminders about that episode in their lives.

Unfortunately, some so-called role models do not want to bear their responsibility of fatherhood. It could also mean that your father's wife does not know that he has a child and he does not know how to explain your existence.

Reassure your mother

What is clear is that your mother loves you and cared for you all these years. You need to make it abundantly clear to your mother that your desire to meet with your father does not mean you love her less or appreciate her less, or that she has not done a good job as a single parent. And you should desist from comparing your mother adversely to your father's wife.

I would also suggest that you should try to contact him by telephone or text, and if that does not work then write him a letter or send him an email if you have his address. In the correspondence, state why you want to meet him. Please make it clear that you are not looking for any financial support but just want an emotional and physical connection. Assure him that you do not want to perturb his marriage or cause any problems but that you want to be acknowledged by him. You could also make a surprise visit to his office.

However, if he still will not converse or get together with you, then you need to try and move on, as difficult as that might be. You might need a counsellor to help you resolve this issue in order to feel loved and have your self-esteem intact, in spite of your unfortunate situation of not being treated reasonably by your father.

All the best in the future.