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#385264 - 02/11/12 08:03 AM How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers)
ksequoia Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 92
Loc: NYC
Suggestions are welcome:

Last year, after digging through the internet, I found my sister's son. His mother and her brother were from my father's previous marriage. I was not allowed to know them, let alone ask questions about them. It was heartbreaking to find that both my half-sister and half-brother had died before I could reach them.
The son I found did not know I existed, so they apparently didn't talk about dad either, and for good reason I suppose...

My dad molested my other half-sister from my mom's former marriage. It is possible that he did it as well to my dad's daughter, who's son I have reconnected too. This young man told be his mom would break down in tears whenever "dad" was brought up in conversation.

My dad molested me (Sandusky style) when I was a very young kid in the shower. It is then theoretically possible he did the same to his older son. My half-brother molested the same half-sister (from mom) that my dad did. This action got him sent away for good - back to his own mother and step-father.
This half brother also teased another half sister (from another former marriage of my mothers) because she was crippled from polio and in a leg brace.

Here is my dilemma:

I want to tell my new found nephew (he's 47) about his grandfather and uncle. I want to tell him what was done to my half sisters, as well as the possibility of it happening to his mother (hence the tears). My relationship with my nephew is new and fresh, but I want it to be an open and honest relationship. I don't tap dance on egg shells anymore.

My half-brother (the teaser and molester) married three times, I've discovered, and had a son by the first. The last wife won't talk to me, as though I were at fault somehow, and I cannot find the other two or his son. The one wife I found is very bitter.

My deceased half-sister's husband won't answer my invitations to connect.

I have built resentment towards my two other half-sisters, the ones I'm closest too, though they were victimized by my deceased half-brother. I feel they should have known I would want to know him (and his sister)one day. Maybe they thought they were protecting me.

I want to tell my nephew my view on why his mother always cried when dad was mentioned, and that his uncle was an awful teenager to his step sisters.

BTW, if you haven't already guessed, my family have made an art out of marriage and divorce. Mom-6, Dad-3, Brother-3, Sister-3, Me-holding on to ONE.

Should I just come out with my feelings and the facts as I know them to my nephew? The option is to stay semi-connected through email, where we basically talk about the weather and niceties and pleasantries. Right now I'm fuming at my eldest sister, though pushing 70, very crippled all her life, teased as a child (I'm sure by more that just my brother) that she did not step up to the plate on my behalf.

But that is what a family rife with secrets does. It shuts down and hopes everything will go away so everyone can just forget.

I've been longing for my half-brother and half-sister my entire life. I've found them. They're both dead. I don't want to lose my nephew over this, but I feel he has the right to know.

Looking forward to June in Connecticut to talk this out on our retreat.

Ideas?

Thanks,

K-


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#385266 - 02/11/12 08:35 AM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: ksequoia]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: ksequoia
...I want to tell my new found nephew (he's 47) about his grandfather and uncle. I want to tell him what was done to my half sisters, as well as the possibility of it happening to his mother (hence the tears). My relationship with my nephew is new and fresh, but I want it to be an open and honest relationship. I don't tap dance on egg shells anymore.


all in one breath?

how does he see this relationship with you?

what role does he see that you play in his life or will/could if you two grow close?

what if he is a survivor and at a different stage?

i see a lot of of questions. smile personally, i'd start with baby steps and only talk about "one's personal experiences" to see where that conversation leads.

he may ask for the details of rest of the family, right? he is 47, so maybe he is already enlightened enough to put many pieces together himself and won't be asking further details.... i don't know, there are many possible outcomes i think.

_________________________
Jeff

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#385270 - 02/11/12 09:27 AM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: westchesterguy]
ksequoia Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 92
Loc: NYC
We started emailing each other last April. I sent a letter to his mother's address (my deceased sister) - asked the post office to forward it. Her husband gave the letter to him. He emailed me with "Are you my mother's father?"

From there I explained who I was, and we were both wowed to learn of each other.

From April to September, he shared truncated facts about his and his mother's lives, but little on his uncle, my half brother. He sent me photos, and I did the same. It was strange that we both had an identical photo of my father's wedding portrait with his grandmother.

He sent me a box of items that were my brother's. Military records, awards and medals, personal letters from girlfriends, wives, and his mother. School records going back to high school. He'd been holding these things from when his mother passed on. Some of the letters were very personal, and I got a good idea of how my brother lived his life - though there remain many gaping holes.

Then he began to shut down, not completely. He could not continue with his mom's story as he was approaching bad times in his mom's adult life (business failures, cancer). I have yet to hear the rest of his version of her story.

In December I met him. I flew from New York to Los Angeles for this sole purpose. I gave him copies of vital records on his mother, uncle, and grandparents. Birth, Marriage, Divorce, Death records. He in turn gave me more personal items of my brother's, some alluding to a son having been born to his first wife. Dinner was pleasant. We sat in awe of each other. I received nothing personal of his mother's. She wasn't even mentioned. He had said in earlier emails that he and she were extremely close, and that he misses her every day.

So, at this point, we are no longer strangers, but after our meeting, he seems to have pulled away. Maybe I had already pulled off scabs, unintentionally.

I'm sure he reviewed everything he gave me, document wise, so my future questions pertaining to this or that should not come as a surprise.

BTW, he's a public figure, an actor (working) in Hollywood. I wouldn't care if he were the LA County dog catcher. I am not interested, per se, in his professional life or his connections. I just want him to be my nephew. He may feel he has to protect himself, and is still unsure of my motives. We don't discuss his films. I bought them all, and mentioned one - him giving a great performance - and he just said "Thank you." This was a clear indication that his professional life and our relationship will remain separate.

He has the eyes of my father, which is a nice but unpleasant at the same time because of what my dad did. He's as handsome as the day is long. He's shared with me about his girlfriend and her daughter, but at a minimum.

I've just printed out his grandparent's genealogy records - people he did not know well or not at all, and within these documents lay many unanswered questions. I emailed him today to ask for his new address to mail this and will wait for his reply.

He very well may be just taking a break from all the info I've been giving him on his family. I do so want to discuss the nefarious side of his grandfather and uncle. I pray he was not victimized as well. He seems to be a "happy" fellow, but below the gloss I know the rivers of pain run deep.

I just need to learn some patience.

Thanks for your reply/questions.

K.-


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#385272 - 02/11/12 09:37 AM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: westchesterguy]
blacken Offline
Chatroom Moderator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 1241
Loc: Northern Ohio
OK, I guess the question is,....What benefit would ur nephew gain from this knowledge? Just because there are secretes, doesnt mean he wants to know them. Is there a point to shaking his view of his family? If his kids are in harms way, then I would inform him to hopeful protect the children. otherwise, I wouldn't unless he inquires first.
I have a nephew who doesnt know his grandfather was a child molester. But since he is dead & no future threat, I just don't c a benefit.


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#385274 - 02/11/12 09:42 AM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: ksequoia]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: ksequoia
...He may feel he has to protect himself, and is still unsure of my motives...


an unusual circumstance for certain, but yes, that might be more of a reason to give it all time.

_________________________
Jeff

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#385275 - 02/11/12 09:49 AM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: blacken]
ksequoia Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 92
Loc: NYC
Does he not have the right to know why his mother always broke down in tears when the subject of her (our) father is brought up?

Does he not have the right to know why his uncle was sent out of our home at age 14 - shuttled back and forth between families?

Perhaps he doesn't want to know and is good with that. I have no intention of blurting all this out, but he just might ask for the details one day.

Hence my post.

The benefit would be a greater understanding of the psycho-dynamics of our family. Just because I need to know what made people tick, doesn't mean he does.

He has no kids, but parents his gf's daughter like a dad.

As long as we keep secrets, we remain sick.

K.-



Edited by ksequoia (02/11/12 09:54 AM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#385332 - 02/11/12 03:26 PM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: ksequoia]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
K.,

I guess my question for you would be, why do you want to share this?

You ask, "does he not have the right to know why....?"

I suppose I would say, there is no right involved. He now has the opportunity to ask if he chooses to.

However, it sounds for your posts that you really want to tell him these things. Why?

It's certainly possible for the relationship to be open and honest without sharing everything. We all omit info when we talk to each other. That's not dishonest, it's just picking and choosing what to say.

It's also not "keeping secrets." You're obviously past that point. There's a range of honest from keeping secrets to over confronting.

Maybe some other questions to ask: Why did you reconnect? Was it just to talk about the detritus of the past or to build a future relationship? The new is probably the more important and valuable thing. Maybe it's best that it not be tainted by the past, which has no relevance to it.

I hope this is helpful,

Danny


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#385337 - 02/11/12 04:16 PM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: DannyT]
ksequoia Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/16/11
Posts: 92
Loc: NYC
Hi Danny: Thanks for your reply:

I've been searching for family, near and afar, for 20 months - or when I got sober. I've made wonderful connections. and most of these folks don't need to learn of the dirt. Pointless.

My nephew is different. He wondered openly about his mother's pain and her refusal to talk of or speak to our dad. Is this not a loaded statement - where I can provide some insight?

I will tactfully ask him specifically what he wants to know and the level of detail will be up to him.

My brother's 3rd wife just today offered me the opportunity to explain some of his alcoholic and abusive behavior. That apple didn't fall far from the tree. She says she does not know much of his childhood, and welcomed me to fill in the blanks. She offered info on what she knew about him. Baby steps on this one.

Much of my brothers life was a mystery, and I asked her to help me heal with the time frame they were together, 1981-86 and again before his death in 1991. I will be pulling punches somewhat, as I don't want to freak her out. She may have had a child with my brother and I do not want to jeopardize a future friendship with this young person.

Last year she sent me on a goose chase. Today she was welcoming.
The goose chase, however, caught me a big goose - my sister's son.

I can say my dad and my brother had adult issues with children, as they both drank heavily. This very well may sum it all up, and let their imaginations run. Of course, they may ask for details, which I can honestly answer if they really want to know.

My focus is, as always, on my recovery. I need to talk about the bad things to others in recovery - here and in other rooms. It has come as a surprise how not-unique I am. The men with lots of years in recovery listen patiently and identify with the feelings. I cherish them. I also learned that my nephew hasn't had a drink in over 8 years. Don't know if he is or was in a program. If he is and has a good foundation in step work, he'll understand why I feel compelled to dump this.

In 12-step lingo - I've been working my 4th and 5th to the best of my ability, having been stuck there for many months. The fears and resentments are getting surface-scratched.

Since I am a protective sort of fellow, I will not cause pain to my nephew. I don't need another amends to make.

Thanks,

K.-


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#385339 - 02/11/12 04:32 PM Re: How to I tell my long lost nephew.... (Triggers) [Re: ksequoia]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
K,

Glad my note wasn't offensive. They were fairly probing questions. Sounds like you've got a good handle on what you're trying to accomplish. I'm happy for you that you have all these interesting new people in your life.

It sure sounds like you're on the right track with them. Loving kindness is always a good approach.

It happens our situations are somewhat similar in that I have a nephew and niece who never knew their grandfather (my sister's and my abuser). She would rather that they not know about his awfulness. Watching them grow up, I'm glad they don't know. The ugliness casts a shadow. And now, I prefer that they not know either. They know the good of my dad (what little they know of him). And that's right, too. After all he wasn't their abuser, and he is their grandfather. Why not have there be some pride in some of the family toward the good while the others know the bad: both are true.

Best wishes,

Danny



Edited by DannyT (02/11/12 04:33 PM)

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