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Posting this as a skid not as a stepparent

collinanderson's picture

If you look at my blogs, I'm a soon to be stepparents, but i'm posting this as a skid.

My mom passed away when I was really young, and my dad got remarried. My dad's wife (refuse to acknowledge her as my stepmom) treated me like garbage and my dad allowed it. She basically made it her goal to make my life miserable, and my dad let it happen. I was called "useless, waste of space", she told me that I was never going to make something out of myself , I'm noting but a disappointment; all of this in my DAD'S home. He NEVER once stood for me, HIS SON. It wasn't like he didn't know what was happening because I would tell him, and all he would say "I'll handel it". Guess what? It continued until I was 17. When I graduated from highschool, I left and never went back. 

I worked hard in Univeristy, and 8 years later, I'm a pharmacist, and I own 2 pharmacies (I'm anything BUT a failure). I have not spoken to my dad since I left, he's tried to reach out  to me many times throughout the years, but I've never responded back (real childsh move, but I'm only human).

Last year, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away. I didn't contact him to give my condolences. Everytime I tried to dial his number or send him an e-mail, I would remember all the times his wife would blanatly call me "dumb", "lame", "worthless", "pathetic" (Sometimes in front of him and NOTING); I'd get angry and delete the e-mail or turn the phone off. Till this day I have no regrets for not attending her furneal, NONE what's so ever.  I was not glad that she passed, but I wasn't sad either. It did not matter to me. 

My older stepbrother(32) (who she LOVED ), is currently in prison for assaulting his girlfriend, and my younger half-sister(18) (also LOVED), is currently in rehab for  cocaine addiction. I know this is going to sound harsh and  insensitive, but I don't really care what happens to them. It's funny, the person who she put down on a DAILY basis, is the only one that is suscessful, and on his feet.

My fiancé knows all about my past, and he is very supportive. I recently recvied an e-mail from my dad titled "I'm sorry". It took me 3 days just to prepare myself.

"Dear Collin, 

I've spent years trying to reach you, but you don't respond to my e-mails, my facebook messages. Noting; I don't blame you though. I deserve it.  

You spent years tolerating being rediculed, and I was too weak to put a stop to it. You didn't deserve any of it. You deserved to be in a home that provided you with safe, love, and caring environment, but I was too weak to step up and provide it . I'm so sorry that I took you're pre-teen and teenage years from you(last words I said to him). Those years are the most important years in one's life, and you did not get to have that; I'm truly sorry. 

 I'm thankful that you have not blocked me on you facebook, apart of me wants to believe that you didn't so I could still see how you were doing throughout the years. I'm so proud of you, you've achieved so much at such a young age and I'm glad that you've found someone to spend the rest of your life with (I put it pictures on facebook when me and Bf got enaged). "Jason" seems like a really respectable man, and I'm sure the both of you will have a wonderful life together. You are everything BUT a failure. 

I think karma finally got me. I'm sure you felt alone in the house and look what happened? I'm all alone now. I am so sorry I could not be the dad you deserve. I really hope you respond back, but if you don't, again karma right? Still love you Kiddo and I'm always thinking about you.

Love Dad"

It is our week with the kids, and my fiancé been taking care of everything since I'm not functioning properly right now. 

For the first time in 8 years, I miss my dad

STaround's picture

I am not certain you miss your dad, or you miss the person you wanted your dad to be.   Is he writing now becuase he is lonely, and will he drop you like a hot potatoe when he meets his next GF or wife?  I would go slow.  He has shown you the person he is, and do not be surprised if that person returns. 

SteppedOut's picture

For me, it would have been more meaningful and believable if he would have reached out like that before he was alone and wallowing in self pity. 

What happens when he meets a woman that is "more important". 

The core of who someone is rarely changes, imho. 

I am happy and proud that you were able to "hold on to yourself" though the abuse during the time growing up with your stepmother and make a wonderful life for yourself. A lot of people aren't able to recover from that or it takes a long time and a lot of therapy. You are a strong intelligent and sounds like caring man. 

tog redux's picture

I think sometimes, some people are so trapped in a toxic situation that they don't see reality until they are out.  My DH knew BM was crazy, but it wasn't until he was out that he could fully see the depth of how she had abused and manipulated him.

SteppedOut's picture

I think the situation between your dh and his ex is different. This was OP's DAD. His only LIVING parent. He repeatedly didn't keep him SAFE FROM ABUSE. Because...he wanted a spouse. He allowed DAILY abuse to his child. 100% different. 

hereiam's picture

Your dad's wife is gone and cannot hurt you or come between you and your dad, anymore. Give him a chance. Take it slow, if you must, but there is a reason that you miss him.

notasm3's picture

Your Dad’s family sounds like a disfunctional sh*t pile that should avoided. The truth of the matter is that if you let him back in your life you are also letting the horrid step and half siblings in also. You know quite well that as a pharmacist you do not need a drug addict in your life. 

 Besides being weak - what kind of a man was your father?  Was he ever a man with a strong moral character and sense of integrity?  D

It’s best for you not to waste your time and energy hating him.  You can even forgive him if you so desire.  It of course is all up to you. Just  be aware that you are opening up a can of worms. 

If you do want to contact him and it sounds like you do - start very slow.  Having a conversation with him does not mean you have to fling open the doors and invite him back into your life.  A previous poster mentioned missed holidays - well those occasions could turn into nightmares. 

A close friend of mine had a mostly absentee father who was no where nearly as harmful as your Dad.  He wanted to reconnect with her when he was older. She saw him to visit but on occasion but he was not part of her life.  Not sure if he ever met her husband and son. When he died she said she felt nothing. And this is one of the sweetest most caring people ever. 

tog redux's picture

Go see your dad. Yes, it will be awkward at first and it will take time to build a relationship, but I think you will regret it if you don't.  That sounds like a sincere apology from a man who realizes he didn't protect you from his toxic wife and failed as a father. I'll bet the nasty stepkids have nothing to do with him anymore, or if they do, you don't have to have anything to do with them.

Give it a chance - but find a therapist to help you through it, too.

elkclan's picture

I dunno. This feels a bit like the letter you wish your dad had written, rather than one someone actually did. I could be wrong. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

... again, another poster who absolutely hated SM yet posts here on Steptalk.  I don't understand why you would post such 

elkclan's picture

it doesn't feel quite real... I could be totally wrong. It feels like a fantasy apology. The one he wished he had. 

Also - I am a step parent. Doing my best to avoid the pitfalls that my parents and step parents made and learning from what's good. 

I mean it's entirely possible I'm just jealous because no one in my family would ever write such a thing. They just double down.

ldvilen's picture

Hate to say, I got that sneaky suspicion too, but I know you can never really tell.  And, it may be genuine, but it is just that, like you, it sounded more like to-a-T what he wished for vs. real.  The structure and words used, such as the repeated use of ‘karma,’ also sounded more millennial-like than someone who would definitely be older.   But, again, not everyone needs to write a 100+ word essay in order to apologize.

Also, I’m troubled by how many posters mention something like, “Oh, dad will just leave you again for another woman!”  This sounds way too much like some sort of set-up.  Again, like a group of adultolescent SKs came up with the whole thing—that dad’s children are vastly superior to “another woman.”  None of them even seeing that this “woman” is dad’s wife and not just some nameless, insignificant, unimportant ho, deserving so or not.  Kind’a comes across like there is some kind of fraternity brother involvement.

And, the OP doesn’t take any responsibility whatsoever.  None.  Seemingly, SM got along great with a couple of other kids in the home, but he, for whatever reason, was singled out to be grossly and horribly and so unfairly treated by both SM and dad.  Makes me wonder, anyway.  Otherwise, I agree too that the OP should see a therapist to work things further through, if need be. 

Maybe it is all true and I’m being a big be.atch, but my BS-dar went up a little on this too!, just saying.  And, it’s not that some SMs can’t be total bitches, because just like any mom, they can.  It is just that—why would you come here and post that?

collinanderson's picture

That's why I'm on here. I'm having step problems too.

If your BS meter was going up, then why read the whole thing, and comment?

ldvilen's picture

 I read the whole thing to see if my BS meter continued to go up or down.  I commented because the subtitle to Steptalk is "Where Step- Parents come to vent."  Nonetheless, my apologies if I'm that far off.

collinanderson's picture

my dad's letter is true. It was sent my and created my him

StepUltimate's picture

Letting it go is freeing, because your resentments are hurting you most of all. It may force you to update your own self-concept or identity. Just because resentment can be a good motivator doesn't mean you can afford to live with it. I totally get why you bailed & cut them out of your life- I've done the same to my still-married bio-parents... for similar reasons as you, plus some others, and have zero judgement. However, tools that once served us well sometimes limit us later. Like training wheels on a bike; helpful then, not so much now.

I've got a lot of admiration for you and know you'll be sble to reconnect with your dad, at a pace that you're comfortable with (maybe not at 1st). Being honest with yourself and writing it out here was a good start.

Notup4it's picture

Holding a grudge only hurts yourself... it might even cause issue in your own relationship down the road. 

You have been away from him, and have become successful but clearly have not healed- so I would say give it a shot and see if it allows you to heal.

I would take it slow, and maybe get the assistance of a therapist as well. 

elkclan's picture

I posted that I don't think this is a real apology. But if I'm wrong - I apologise. However, if I'm wrong - this is also the kind of thing that can be triggering of old emotions and old wounds. Find a good therapist to help you approach this in the best way. Neither close the door nor fling it wide open. 

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

My mom married a violent, bitter, alcoholic. He would find every excuse to take away something I valued to punish me for having financially comfortable, loving parents. When I hit my teen years, my mom felt empowered enough to start up with minor physical abuse. I immediately went to live with my dad full time and experienced years of letters and phone calls dripping with guilt, that somehow it was my responsibility for my mother's happiness and fulfillment.

When my BS was 2, I thought our relationship had "healed". I received a call from my grandma, in tears, telling me I didn't have to give up my baby. That he needed to stay with his mom. Turns out my mom and her husband were trying, once again, to take something I valued as a punishment for walking away from their abuse 10 years before. I cut her out of my life for good and very very rarely regret it. 

Selfish, abusive, narcissists never change. If you choose to not answer, remember you are taking care of yourself and there is a 12 year old you deep inside celebrating that you have the power to not engage with someone who tried to break you.

SteppedOut's picture

Sometimes not forgiving or letting someone back in your life is keeping yourself safe.

The OP has moved on and made a great life for himself and his soon to be spouse and skid. This communication has left him feeling all out of sorts, sounds like he has had to partially disengage from his current family because of it, etc. What happens when dear old dad finds a new woman and starts treating him poorly to keep her happy? How much of a curve is that going to throw for OP? Is it worth taking the chance? 

As I said above, and agree with SonOfa, the core of who someone is rarely changes. 

elkclan's picture

I think you can have the kind of forgiveness that means you no longer dwell on it and have moved on - that doesn't mean opening yourself up for them to do it again... because yeah... people don't change that much. 

still learning's picture


No need to forgive and forget or accept an apology right now.  Nothing he can do will ever make what happened right and you are justified in never speaking to him again.  That being said, you can love and have a relationship w/your dad without condoning or accepting how he allowed you to be treated.

IF you decide you want to see him I'd say meet up with him but make it short and sweet, 20 mins tops for coffee, on your way to somewhere else.  See how you feel after that. 

He's saying sorry, not asking for forgiveness or asking that everything be forgotten and wiped away.  

Congratulations of your success in life and love.  


Thumper's picture

Collin---surround yourelf with people who love you. IF you feel in your gut the letter from your father will bring a larger circle of joy into your life then embrace it. IF you feel it will not...sit on the feeling for a little longer then decide what you want to do.

Just because people are related to kin by blood does not always mean we need them in our lives. Those time prove to be unhappy time WHEN you suck it up becaue "family is family"....So much drama and toxic junk NO one should put up with .


Hope it helps

pwoodlson's picture

I am very sorry to hear this. This breaks my heart. Many people make the mistake of allowing others to mistreat their kids. I go out of my way to be very good to my stepkids. In fact I believe I have a bond with them now that their mother and father do not have. They often come to me when they need advice or are having a hard time with something and they are uncomfortable telling their parents. They tell me they do not fear telling me things that they are very reluctant to tell their parents as I've been told by them that I am less judging and can view the situations from a more realistic normal view. I also see their bio parents shortcomings and selfishness that led to their divorce (including my SO's). He is not perfect and neither is his ex wife and I cannot blame his kids for that. Both of their parents can be very self centered, moody people.  I too grew up with a step parent (step father) who was not great to me. He wasn't the worst but definitely was far from great. He had a temper and would yell at me and critisize everything I did. He was also addicted to drugs. My mother is no longer married to him. I rarely speak to my mother anymore and that is one of the reasons. I often found my mother and him talking badly about me behind my back when I was just a kid for no good reason. This effected my self esteem. Funny thing is I grew up to be successful adult. He is still a drug addicted loser with no job living off his parents money in his 50s. I believe people on this board can be too critical sometimes. Thats not to say they don't have legtimate feelings however those feelings should be directed at their spouse and not their stepkids. When you marry someone you need to realize they have kids and that isn't going to change. You also should be respectful and nice to their kids. Now thats not to say anyone should tolerate stepkids being disrespectful. There were times when my SD was young that she threw things at me, including food and hard object like books, and said really cruel things for no reason other than I wasnt her mom. I would not tolerate that nor should I. I also have had to frequently correct my stepsons behavior as he always would interrupt adults regularly while talking and order them around to his control. I also would catch him lying and stealing frequently. These were all phases my Stepkids went though but it was important these behaviors were not tolerated, that they were corrected, and they were held accountable. I have learned a lot from having a not so great stepdad and have been very kind with my stepkids as a result. I believe people on here also misdirect their anger for their stepchidlren which should be redirected towards themselves and their spouse instead. My advice to you now is too surround yourself with people who love and care about you and continue to live your life the way you choose. Take care and be good to yourself and others.

notsobad's picture

When someon shows you who they really are, believe them.

Now you can take that either way. Your father showed you who he was years ago or he's showing you now.

Whatever you decide to do make sure that you are at peace with it. If you never see your father again, know that you won't berate yourself later. If you decide to see him, know that he may not have changed or that you may not want to forgive him.

Don't go see him if it's only to rub in his face how wrong he was. He knows that and you won't feel as vindicated as you think you might.

Don't not see him if it's only because you are holding tightly to anger. Let the anger go and ask yourself if this is a person you want or need in your life. If he's not, then don't go and let the anger go. Live your life full of love. You can do that and never see him again if he's only going to bring pain and anger back into your life.

collinanderson's picture

I wanted to thank you all for your comments. it gave a lot think about. This whole thing was brought up a lot of old wounds that I thought had healed, but turns out they aren't.  My Fiancé could tell I was struggling a bit with this, so he told me if I needed the day to myself, he would have no problems with that. He would spend the whole day with the skids, but that wasn't fair at all to him. Hanging out with my little buddy (ss10), can always bring a smile on my face, and ss9 was well behaved too (if you follow my blogs, we've been having some issues with him), but I'm really thankful that everything turned out great. 

Right now, Fiancé is making dinner and ss9 is helping him while ss10 and I are on the couch. Ss10 actually fell asleep while leaning into me. That brought a smile to face and he started calling me "dad C" today. I got really choked up when he said that. I had to exuse myself because I broke down. I treat my two ss's, how I should have been treated, with love and respect. 

I honestly don't know how to thank you all. This has been eating me up.. Thank you all so much! I really want to see my dad. I really do, but I'm afraid. I now, pretty lame right? A grown 26 year old man is scared to contact his father because he's afraid of getting hurt all over again, but that's unfortunately how it is. I thought I had gotten over my anger and hurt a long time ago. I clearly haven't, so I'm thinking about seeing my old therapist again.

As for my dad's aplogy, Believe me, HE wrote it. My dream aplogy from him would include him saying that he should have NEVER allowed his wife to treat me as such, and he should have kicked her out and started the divorce process the VERY next day.  As for me owning up to "my role", Believe me if I had done anything, I would have apologized ASAP. My dad was basically a drill sergeant when I was growing up, but he changed when he met his wife. His home, became a house for me, I was basically alone and abadoned, and I don't know why?, BUT I never acted out. Why would I? That probably would have made things a lot worse. I suffered in slience for YEARS and he allowed it. That hurt the most. 

notasm3's picture

For all of those who say "life is short go embrace the abusive father" I say "life is short don't waste it on aholes". 

I do think it is beneficial to let go of the bitterness.  One should not waste one's time hating and dwelling on the past.   But not holding a grudge does NOT mean that you let the person back in your life.  It just means that you no longer harbor animosity and bitterness.

A DNA connection to someone is MEANINGLESS - do not let that cloud your decision process.  Think of it this way - you have a DNA connection to your sh*t when you take a dump - there's no reason to keep it in your life.

StepUltimate's picture

I'm totally with you, and all who previously posted warnings that Dad may not have changed. My pollyanna-style post didn't consider the downside.

I recently reconnected with my parents, after avoiding them and going no-contact for 15+ years. My DH is supporting me and with my parents, it's okay being around them now beasuse old age has really mellowed them out (my dad is not the towering, strong, raging, scary, viking-looking warrior I thought he was when I was little), plus I bring our dog when I visit & the dog is so sweet my parents are distracted & happy.

However, each situation is different and being a pharmacist & business-owner, OP must exercise extreme caution about who to let into their life, especially given the toxic, addict step-sibs.

marblefawn's picture

Your fear is justified.

I am afraid of walking out of my parents' lives right now, and yet it has been weeks since I've communicated with them. I cannot stand more disappointment and BS from my narcissistic mother and weak father. I've had 50 years of it and that's enough for a lifetime.

If you decide to pursue a new relationship with your father, it can be as much or little as you want. You can have more say in the dynamic between you than you did as a child. You will be an adult with the support and security of your own family if he fails you this time. You'll have the benefit of 7 more years of life experience behind you so you'll be able to navigate a delicate relationship better. You will not be a child held captive in your father's house. And you have your history with him for reference to tell you when to duck and take cover if need be.

Walking out then was brave and smart of you. It hit a reset button that eventually gave you this second chance at a "new" relationship with your father -- a relationship that is on your terms. It may not work out, but maybe it will because by walking out, you commanded respect, you commanded he take notice of you. Nice work! I wish you luck.

AlwaysSmiling's picture

You are the only one who can determine what boundaries you have for the people in your life. Boundaries are important, especially with family. But you don't have to set them in stone. You can re-evaluate your life and determine if you can let some revisit the boundaries that you've set. Start small and go from there- maybe a text message, maybe a phone call, maybe a lunch, or maybe work your way to those steps, if you feel comfortable.

You are in a place now that you are in control, and that is a much different place than you were in as teenager. That is something that you should remind yourself of frequently. 

Rags's picture


Welcome, I hope that you find this to be a good place to vent, contribute and to pick up some advice from others who are  living the blended family adventure.

My condolences on your pain and on the loss of much of your childhood to a toxic step situation.  Your response to that tragedy speaks to your character and that  you are a man of honor.  You should be very proud of the man that  you are and what you have accomplished. 

From your dad's letter it is clear that he is proud of the man that you are and that he is clear that he failed you for many years.  I am extremely close to my parents and could only immagine what you have suffered through this estrangement.  Though he did not know how to address what  you were experiencing and did not have the courage to be the dad he should have been at the time, it did take a ton of courage to write that letter. 

Call him.  If only to tell him that you got his letter and that you love and have missed him too.  Foregiveness and moving forward will take time.   You are young.  And while you have time, your dad may not.  Make the steps to reconcile now so that you do not miss this opportunity to reconnect with your dad.  He reached out, all  you have to do to start healing yourself is to take his hand.  If you don't, there is no opportunity for healing.

Though not as estranged as  you are with your father, my wife comes from a background of poverty and has a gaggle of half sibs who have nearly zero chance of ever being viable adults.  All are on the ragged edge of poverty at all times and the youngest (my SIL) is a crook, swindler, POS of monumental proportions. My hope is that someone will find the testicular fortitude to press charges.    My wife is the eldest of 4. Her BioDad was killed in a single car intoxicated driving incident before my MIL knew she was pregnant with my wife.  DW was raised by her mom and her StepDad who was in the delivery room when she was born.

My bride is a mutant who went from being a single teen mom from THAT background to being a graduate degreed CPA with a very successful career.  We have a son (SS-26) that I am proud to have raised as my own.  He started out as my SS when his mom and I met when he was 15mos old (we married the week before he turned 2) and asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  We made that happen.

The thought of being estranged from my dad or from my son is painful. I cannot immagine how it feels to actually be in that situation. For either you or your dad.

I am happy that you have found a man  of character to spend your life with.  I hope that my son will some day find a man of character to spend his life with and that he can have his version of what his mom and I have (24 years and counting) and that his grandparents (my parents) have (56 and counting).  Making a life with someone who is your equity life partner, best friend and soul mate is amazing beyond description.

Please get out of your own way and make the leap to see where this reconciliation with your dad can go.  With your groom at your side I am confident that this has a chance to work out for the better.

Congratulations on your future nuptials.

Take care of you.

Sincere regards,


Booboobear's picture

this is such a happy ending, I only wish some day my stepdaughters will write a letter to DH and tell him how sorry they were for all the years of hatred and accusations of him and their SM(me) that were not true and for all the years that they ignored us and pretended that we did something wrong. and that they would start to spend time with us again and love us after all those years we raised them and loved them and put up with their mothers hatred and verbal abuse and false accusations.