Archive for June 23rd, 2008

Can’t please Dad

Monday, June 23rd, 2008


Q: Masters, during my childhood my father would always yell at me for everything and treat me differently from my two younger brothers. I was an excellent student and a star athlete, but he never congratulated me for any of my achievements. I just could not please him in any way. I am about to go off to college, on a full academic/athletic scholarship and all he will say is “good riddance”. I have recently heard a rumor that he is not really my father, that my mother had an affair. This would explain a lot, but I am not sure what to do with this information. Please help.

A: You are not this man’s biological child. He is punishing you for the indiscretion of your mother. Your mother never told you because your biological father has a family and would not be able to acknowledge you. She has been living in a “Hell” created by the guilt she feels and the unfairness she has watched you having to endure.

The man you have known as your father truly does not hate you. You represent to him a time where he was not in control and therefore, he figures, less of a man. If you feel comfortable with it, you need to let him know that you are aware of the facts and wish to forgive him for the way he has treated you. If it feels right to you, also tell him that you have always considered him your father even in light of the way he has treated you.

Your mother also needs to be told that you know about your father. If you have it in your heart, also forgive her for her lack of courage to tell you before this time. She desperately respects everything that you have done in your life and has been unable to make a big deal out of it because of her husband. She does love him and your two brothers – who, by the way, idolize you.

This may seem like a lot for an 18-year-old to deal with but you are very mature for your age and need to clean up this familial energy before you go off to school. You have an opportunity to bring the ghosts out of the closet and have everyone stop hiding behind guilt, anger, and revenge. Confronting your parents with your knowledge will clear the air and establish a new type of relationship among the three of you. This will make it easier for you to study without questions of relationships taking precedence over new subjects.