The decision to remove yourself from someone’s life is a powerful, and often final, act.
The process removes this person from your sphere of influence but also removes you from theirs.
Of course, not everyone is happy when they can’t continue to exert control over situations that are no longer within their power.
So how do you manage a situation when an outsider is attempting to force control after they’ve made it clear they want nothing to do with you?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) rowenaravenclaw0 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“WIBTA if I met daddy’s do over baby against his wishes?”
OP started with the background.
“I, (36 female) have never had a relationship with my dad.”
“The one time I met him he flat out told me that I am nothing more than a mistake he made at age 19.”
“He lived a very affluent life while I was raised in abject poverty, ( he never made financial contributions to my well-being).”
“Recently, his mother passed away.”
Then she explained the beginning of her current dilenma.
“I have no idea how she found out about me because he hid the fact that I existed from his entire family.”
“She left me, a not insubstantial amount of money in her will( now sitting in a college fund for my daughter).”
“This led several members of the family to question who I was and why she had left me money, forcing dad to confess.”
Everything was fine with OP , until…
“His do-over baby has contacted me and wants to fly over to meet.”
“They live in the UK and I live in the U.S. My dad has made it clear that he is against this because it will derail her college-bound path (she’s just turned 18).”
“I must admit I am curious as to what she’s like.”
Now she is left to wonder,
“Wibta if I met her despite dad’s objections.”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for some outside opinions.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some responses were very direct.
“NTA – Your dad sucks and his other child can do whatever she likes, she is 18 years old.”
“If it means she ends up resenting your dad for the way he treated you then that’ll be the bed he made.” ~ LEGOPASTA2
“NTA. You and your sister are adults, you can do whatever you want. Your sperm donor gets absolutely zero votes about anything to do with you and your life.” ~ Raptorscars
Others pointed out that OP didn’t need to worry about her father’s feelings.
“He doesn’t get to have an opinion.”
“Neither on her visiting you or about you in general.”
“You don’t need to have any contact with him at all or hear any of his crap.”
“At 18 your sister is legally able to do pretty much what she wants especially in the UK. Shes old enough to come to her own conclusions on who he is and how he’s let you both down.”
“This man is literally a stranger to you and has no right to speak of you at all considering he chose to have nothing to do with you from day one.”
“He can’t just stand up now with a bunch of misconceptions and chat sh*t about you. Meet your sister if that’s what you both want and show her how to be a success despite and in spite of him.”
“NTA.” ~ mortstheonlyboyineed
“You’re well over 18.”
“If you want to meet, you’re people.”
” ‘Dad’ isn’t a dad to you.”
“His objections mean nothing. How can someone who was never there object?”
“He’s got no horse in this race. His daughter wants to meet her half-sister.”
“There is a biological connection there, she’s curious.”
“It isn’t likely to mess with her college unless her Dad is so much of an AH that he’d take away her college fund over her meeting you.” ~ ArchyDWolf
There were personal stories.
“I learned at the age of 18 that I had a 12 year old sister.”
We finally met when I was 21. I love her. And I’m sad she wasn’t in my life sooner. I encourage you to meet her.”
“Our circumstances were different (my father strayed – but my parents are still married), but I felt a connection with her.”
“NTA” ~ keepitloki80
“I have a friend from high school (she was 16-17 at the time) who found out she had a sister in her 30’s.”
“She found out by chance when looking for a copy of her birth certificate.”
“She found a paper that showed her father had been divorced and had her sister.”
“She confronted the father and he told her the truth.”
“She contacted her sister and it went well, they have a good relationship. She found out she has a nephew.”
“This was like 20 years ago.” ~ Mariposa-2022
Commenters were very encouraging.
“Meet her… his A*Sumptions against you are his and his alone.”
“He’s probably scared that if one meets you the rest of the family will want to at some point as well since they missed out on 36 years of your life plus a husband and 2 kids they would probably love to know!”
“You deserve to know your new family and honestly it sounds like you’re amazing and he’s just mad that he’ll get more sh*t once he finds out you are nothing like he assumed.”
“Enjoy your visit!” ~ Acelley5
“Meet your sister.”
“She wants to meet you.”
“Your bio has no say in the matter.”
“I hope the meeting goes well and you two connect. I imagine she is angry at him for abandoning and denying you.”
“I met my older sisters when I was 18.”
“We never met for much the same reason without the money and I was the midlife crisis child. (My mother was 20 my father was in his 40’s). Good luck it’s a lot to deal with.” ~ bellaByrdie
“I think you should meet her.”
“I can’t imagine not being curious about a newfound sister.”
“She’s so much younger and so far away, I can’t see the harm.”
“Plus, I think it’s telling that your grandmother included you in her will—that’s already a clue that not everyone on your paternal side of the family wanted to keep you away.”
“She probably hoped this would be a way to connect you to her other children and grandchildren—and it’s working!” ~ overseas-mango
Though some of the responses did encourage caution.
“You’re both adults and it won’t tank your relationship because he yanked it himself. He has no say whatsoever.”
“Just be cautious as she might be sniffing for $.” ~ cryinoverwangxian
“But I’m cynical of why she wants to meet you.”
“After you were given a good sum of money and family is up on arms about it—be ready for an 18 year old to have a lot of ideas and thoughts to share with you.”
“They’re also young enough to ask/demand for things adults who have had time to mature into adulthood wouldn’t.”
“Based off what your father thinks you are, he can’t have put anything good about you into her head too.”
“Meet her if you like but I do hope you you don’t get blindsided if this introduction goes south. But I do sincerely hope she just wants to begin beholding a sisterly bond with you.” ~ PettyHonestThrowaway
Commenters also pointed out the fear that could be motivating her Father.
“Your father sperm donor does not want you to meet his ‘do-over daughter’ because he fears that you will tell her the truth about the part that he has NOT played in your life;”
“He abandoned you and your mother, left you to grow up in poverty and called you a ‘mistake.’ “
“He fears that your half-sister will then realize exactly what a selfish AH he is and may then start to wonder if he’ll treat HER the way he treated YOU if he decides someday that he doesn’t want to be HER father either:”
” ‘If it happened to OP, it could happen to me!’ He fears that this knowledge will irreparably change his relationship with Do-Over Daughter, and not for the better. And he will be right!”
“Since both you and your half-sister want to meet, go ahead and do so. Your sperm donor father can do nothing to stop you!” ~ Marzipan-Shepherdess
OP did return for some final thoughts.
“For those of you asking why my dad thinks that meeting me will derail her college plans because he assumes he knows what my life looks like.”
“He thinks that it’s a irl episode of cops and that I will either get her arrested or convince her college is a waste of time. neither of which is true.”
“Wow this blew up, thanks for all the upvotes kind internet strangers.”
Stepping away from someone can be a healing experience, it can be a selfish experience.
The removal of yourself from the life of someone else can be all sorts of things, but what it cannot do is give you more control over that person.
Whether you agree with someone or not, once you have severed ties with them, those strings are no longer yours to pull.
Be wary of anyone who tries.