This is a topic that pisses. me. off.
Second, (or third or fourth…) spouses that encourage a person to abandon their children in favor of the new spouse and the new children. Frankly, anyone who does this is an asshole of the first degree. (That might just be the only time I’ve ever used a curse word here!) It makes me that mad! The spouse who waltzes in and alienates a person from their children, and the person who lets it happen are both guilty. It is nearly always about money. No gold digger wants the rich guy’s older kids to get anything right?
This is unfortunately, a rather common problem. It happened to me. It’s happened to other people I know. It happens to rich and famous people. It’s happened throughout history.
Up until I was 8, my dad was my only parent. Even though my mom had custody of me, my dad was my parent. He doted over me, paid attention to me, and knew all about me. I loved my dad. My mom was cold and disinterested, so I was just happy to have one parent who loved me.
When I was 8, my dad married a mail order bride. Yes, in the early 80’s, there were literally catalogs for foreign women who could be “penpals.” My dad wrote to this woman for a while, went to meet her–where she was living in poverty in a house with her child and six other people–and went back to marry her. She did not speak English. He did not speak Spanish. They couldn’t have a conversation and they knew nothing about each other. Frankly, I don’t think this woman in her situation was thinking “oh, I really want to marry a nice American guy for love.” I think she was thinking “hey, if I join this catalog, maybe I can marry a rich American guy and get out of poverty!” And my dad? I’ll bet he pointed out, (through the interpreter he hired,) that he had a very good job, a nice home in a nice area…and an elderly millionaire mother who was going to leave him an inheritance. I’m sure of it. He talked about it a lot to me.
Until then, my dad picked me up for visits every Friday night until Sunday night. After that, the visits rapidly declined. When I did go for my visit, he wife would yell and scream until I was gone. She physically assaulted him more than once. He finally gave up on seeing me. Instead, he raised her son and they had a daughter together. It was like I’d never existed. I started seeing him only at Christmas. Then, not for years at a time. If I called, his wife would rage and go crazy saying I was disturbing their family. Sometimes he’d finally see me and apologize, but nothing changed. He started getting mad if I called on his birthday or father’s day because it would make his wife bully him and he didn’t want to bother with me.
When my grandmother died, I actually DID care about her and not the money that my dad was waiting for. No one told me she died. In fact, my mother found out through gossip and came home and told me. I called my dad and he was pissed that I’d found out. I was allowed to go to her funeral, but his wife glowered the whole time and he ignored me. Someone asked me how I knew the family. I replied that I WAS the family. My dad’s sister finally took me under her wing and let me sit with her. A cousin drove me to the grave site while my dad traveled in the family limo with his “family” that no longer included me.
It only got worse and worse over the years. My dad eventually told me he wished I’d never been born because when he saw me his wife got mad and he just wanted his new life where I didn’t exist. I was told I couldn’t come over on holidays until they’d had family dinner. Over and over and over, he told me he new family was his family and I was not. I never did figure out what I was. What was I if not family? His replacement daughter looked down on me and treated me like a leper and refused to talk to me. His wife had taught her that I was trash, (something my dad told me while making fun of the fact that I was growing up in poverty with my mother.) I was not part of the family.
I always thought that was weird, that my dad would be snobbish against me. The only difference between me as his older daughter and his other younger daughter was that he used his money to give her everything she needed and wanted while he ignored me. I lived in poverty because I no longer had a father…and yet he looked down on me because I lived in poverty.
My dad was a real loser for letting this happen. What kind of person can discard a child that they supposedly once loved? He was not innocent, no matter what his wife’s role. However, his wife was sociopathic in her selfishness. How dare she insist that my dad raise HER child from another man while throwing his own away? What sick person thinks like that? What level of greed and entitlement? I cannot imagine loving a man and asking him to throw away his children. I cannot imagine asking a man to raise my children as his own but delete his own children from his life.
And yet this is extremely common. People can be very greedy, and narcissist, and sociopathic gold diggers will cruelly eliminate anyone who might stand in the way of their getting some money. They manipulate and marry for money. They are strategic and they have a plan. Do they know how to love? I doubt it.
My dad died last year and his wife tried to keep me from seeing him during his last week in Hospice. I find out through the grapevine that he was there. She deleted me from the funeral service and I was not mentioned at all. A church worker apologized afterward saying she didn’t know I existed. Of course, I got nothing. No pictures, no memories, not one of my dad’s favorite books, not one of my dad’s hats. Nothing. Oddly enough, I was the daughter who was like my dad in many ways. I followed his lead for music, books, movies, travel, hobbies and more. His other daughter was different. He even told me I was like a younger female version of him. I guess I’d tried to get him to like me by copying him in many ways. Except…I have a heart and a conscience.
Me? I just wanted a dad. Some inheritance would have helped since I live paycheck to paycheck and fall short every month, but I really just wanted a dad. Instead, my dad discarded me to please his money grubbing wife. My childhood and emotional well-being were sacrificed so his wife’s son and their daughter could be taken care of. Yeah, those two are fine. My much younger half sister doesn’t struggle to survive financially like I do. She got something from her dad–emotional support, a father, a standard of not letting men hurt her, and a nice chunk of money. She also followed her mother’s gold digging footsteps. It sickens me that people will use others as a way to get rich, but they are financially comfortable while I stress daily. That part must be nice.
And it’s not just me. In fact, my story is small compared to the stories of people I know or celebrities I read about. I have an uncle whose millionaire father left everything to a second wife and her kids. Now, unrelated kids have all their family heirlooms and history, (and money.) Our whole family talked about how cheated he was–even my dad who turned around and did the same thing to me.
I’ve read about it with celebrities frequently. I remember when Casey Kasem was dying, his older children were angry that his newest wife wouldn’t let them see their father. Glen Campbell’s older children said the same about their father’s latest wife. Yesterday, I read that Jerry Lewis ignored his six older children and left everything to a second wife and child. John Lennon infamously did the same to his oldest son. He adored his second son and threw away the first. So many sad stories. So many children, (and later adult children,) traumatized by the realization that their parents thought they were disposable. So much damage. So many hours of therapy. So many adults entering bad relationships because they never grew confident and secure in the love of their parents. So many people throwing away their children and depriving their children of memories, heirlooms, relationships, and more.
None of these people who make the choice to discard their original families for new ones are innocent. However, I can only imagine the black hearts of newer spouses that push for these dysfunctional situations just to keep themselves safe and wealthy. Maybe some of these abandoning dads were afraid of their wives, but they still made the choices to delete their CHILDREN out of their lives and raise others instead. Shameful.
These gold digging evil step mothers aren’t just depriving children of fathers and inheritance, but they are literally destroying lives. The lifelong effects of having a father abandon a child are severe, and are especially bad for girls. While there are always exceptions, the statistics for fatherless daughters are depressing. They are more likely to get pregnant as teenagers, marry abusers, get divorced, live in poverty, and worse. They don’t have a good male role model to show them what a good husband should look like.
I am actually pro-divorce when it is needed. I don’t fault anyone who divorces an abuser, and I don’t think kids should grow up in sick homes. However, I also think parents who abandon their children are scummy. In some cases, it is for the best, but in many cases, an innocent child is traumatized. It’s especially bad when the child is replaced with a new child who is then spoiled. It just makes the abandoned child feel unlovable and undeserving of being treated well. It makes them internalize the idea that maybe their father didn’t love them for a reason, because obviously, daddy can love the new child. The consequences and the hardships for the abandoned child weigh them down and make it harder to achieve success in life due to everything from lack of role models, lack of support and poverty.
Every time I read about a celebrity who treats their original children so cruelly, I hurt for the abandoned child because I know how it feels. I’m not sure there can be any worse type of human that one who discards a child or the one who pushes them to do it.