Seven months ago I did a DNA test. It turned out that the person who raised me was not my biological father. My heart sank, but I decided to meet my real father. We have developed a relationship, mostly good, and now I imagine him as my father. My problem is that we hardly know each other and how we react to things.
I’ve had a tough week. My older sister was very rude to me, I had a lot of college exams to take, and my best friend unexpectedly announced that she had to go away for six months. I just wanted to run “home”, but then I realized that I had nowhere else to run. My dad doesn’t know that I’m very clingy when I’m upset, so he didn’t pay attention to my constant communication, and I’m sure it was annoying.
My mom and I don’t get along now because she kept this secret from me for 25 years. Besides, I basically just wanted to go to his house because my three younger siblings are there and I really feel like we’re family. What do you think, Abby? Am I too clingy? This is clear? How can I explain to him that I need to see more of them? If he tells me no, how do I deal with it?
— Adaptation in Ohio
If you want to improve your relationship with your biological father, slow down and let him get to know you little by little. To achieve this, you need to build a relationship with your mother, believe it or not. Yes, she should have told you about your biological father years ago, but she may have had reasons not to. One of them could be embarrassment.
You ask: “Am I too intrusive?” The answer is yes. You are more likely to build strong relationships with your biological father, his wife, and your half-siblings if you don’t overburden them when you feel so needy. Your chances of finding the emotional support you need are better if you talk to a counselor at your college’s student health center when you’re under the same stress as you are.
Differences over money lead sisters to disagree
My sister and I inherited our mother’s apartment a few years ago. She wants to sell it; I do not. She relentlessly gave me nonsensical scenarios of what “could” happen to our heirs if we didn’t sell, to the point of threatening, “If we don’t sell it now, I don’t think I would want to.” sell.” I don’t even know what that means.
Since I was tired, I agreed to sell. The problem is, I don’t even like it at the moment. I’m not angry – I just hate the way she ranted about me. I don’t think I’ll ever want to talk to her again, and I’m sad about it. Any thoughts?
— Fraternal Disaster in California
It’s unfortunate (but not uncommon) when money drives a wedge between family members. When your sister began her ranting, you should have brought your lawyer into the negotiations. Since you wanted to keep the apartment, you could buy half of it, leaving you both what you wanted. If it’s not too late, think about it. As for never wanting to talk to your sister, I hope that in time your feelings will soften and the fences can be mended.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
This article originally appeared in Providence magazine: Dear Abby: A young man’s life is turned upside down by a revelation