Anonymous asks:

I'm 21 and my parents got divorced when I was about 5. After a brief custody battle we moved an hour away from my dad and in with my stepdad. 

My biological dad hasn't contacted us since then; no cards, no presents, not even a message when my older brothers both had kids and got engaged to their partners or when I got into uni. 

Out of nowhere he's messaged my older brother asking to reconnect. Not me, not our oldest brother, just the middle child. 

We think it's because he didn't treat the eldest very well and he's old enough to remember it so he figures middle brother will be easier to talk to. 

I think he hasn't reached out to me because...i’m trans. I've been very public about this on Facebook and have visited his side of the family since coming out and they seem to kinda understand so I'm guessing he's heard through the grapevine that I'm trans. 

I can't help feeling that's why he hasn't reached out to me. And that if he does reach out, he'll be transphobic.

I haven't spoken to him in 15 years so I don’t know his views on stuff like that. I just feel like a huge disappointment. 

I'm trans, bi, overweight, autistic; I dropped out of uni due to depression, i’m single and haven't started a family, hell I'm only just moving out on my own. 

Even if we do reconnect- what if I just feel like a failure the whole time? 

What if he doesn't even want to reconnect with me at all and I have to watch myself be snubbed as my brother cultivates a relationship with our father? All because he's straight and is fulfilling all society's expectations by having children and a wife? 

 

Sex and relationship expert Jessica Leoni said: “Blimey, you are jumping to a lot of conclusions here - all of them negative and they all seem to revolve around your low self-esteem.

Agony Aunts on Female First

Agony Aunts on Female First

“Let’s start with your dad. Sorry to be brutal but I have very little time for him. He splits with your mother when he is the father of three young children and then abandons those children even though they are in relatively close proximity. That is pretty appalling behaviour. It does make me wonder why you or your brothers would want to reconnect with him anyway. Certainly if your middle brother does, the first thing your father should do is offer a huge apology for his utter selfishness.

“Let’s move on to the reconciliation. He has only targeted your middle brother - snubbing you and your elder brother. I am sure you are right and he is avoiding the oldest brother out of guilt over his appalling behaviour. If your middle brother is married with children it is understandable that he would want to see his grandchildren. Maybe this is a genuine attempt to make up for lost time and he really wants to be a decent father/grandfather after all these years.

“That leaves us with him not reaching out to you. You are right to be hurt - anyone would. But who’s to say that he is transphobic?  Maybe he fears rejection from you. He could just be old-fashioned and finds it easier to talk to his son. He may have heard about your depression from his side of the family and feel that he doesn’t want to add to your burdens. He probably has little understanding of all the emotional issues you have gone through in transitioning and feels ill-qualified to address the subject. It would be bewildering to lots of people but I suspect all you really want from him is his (belated) love and support. 

“If you really do want to reconnect with this man - and I am not sure he deserves your love but I think you are determined to see him - then I think the best way to go about it is through your middle brother. Explain that if your dad wants to see him, you would like to come too. Surely that would not be an issue for your brother? Maybe you will discover that your father has changed, is not transphobic and he can help you in what sounds like a really tough part of your life.

“I think you need to proactively address this issue and get in touch. Good luck but go in with realistic expectations and prepared to be disappointed.” 

Jessica is a sex and relationship expert for the dating site, IllicitEncounters.com 


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