My father has not once contacted me since the day in July 2007 that my stepmother told me to never call them again. I thought he would, but he never has. Not even when Lynn killed herself. My stepmother is strange; I do not talk badly about people, even those who hate me. All I will say is that she not only disowned me and my sister Lynn but she also disowned her own blood son and daughter.
My stepsister told me that she spoke to my father (her stepfather) after Lynn died; she said my Dad cried. But still I have not heard from him.
So, either my stepmother has “bewitched” him somehow or … well, I don’t know what, but he still has not contacted me at all.
They had pretty much abandoned us when we were growing up. I found him (through a friend of my ex-husband’s who was able to access his address somehow back before the Internet). When I wrote to him at age nineteen, I thought he would ignore my letter. Instead, he responded and we actually tried to build a relationship over the next 25 years. It was strained, though, and we never did get close or “cuddly.” It felt weird calling him “Dad.” Still, I was shocked when Betty told me she considered me “dead” and to never call again; and I have been surprised ever since then that my Dad has never once tried to call or contact me at all.
Today someone asked whether I think my Dad and my stepmother had anything to do with my sister’s suicide. In short, I do, because it was their abandonment and neglect (and a couple negative interactions between them when Lynn was an adult) that attributed to my poor sister’s very low self-esteem and self-confidence. She struggled with poverty all her life yet she did not want to ask people for anything; she did not want to burden them. I am the same way.
Once, when things were very bad financially, Lynn asked our Dad for a little money to get a used car so that she would have transportation to go to work; she never expected or wanted anything fancy, only something that wouldn’t break down. He and my stepmother told her “No” in no uncertain terms, even though she had never asked for anything from them before and he and my stepmother are well-off. Furthermore, they had never paid thousands in child support while we were growing up (back before the Internet it was much harder to make fathers pay).
So, I do blame them as far as they were a significant reason why my little sister suffered terribly all her life; my mother is the one I blame most, though.
I am not a vindictive person; for the most part I have forgiven the people who have hated or mistreated me. I am only sharing this bit partly as a matter of record so that I can go back and perhaps include this in a memoir someday, and partly because the lady’s question earlier today has drawn me into a reflective mood.
Painting: “Alyonushka” (1881) by Viktor Mikhailovich Vasnetsov