Father threat­ens to dis­own son

The Sun Herald (Sunday) - - Television -

DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old, sin­gle male who re­cently grad­u­ated from col­lege. I re­ceived lots of con­grat­u­la­tions in per­son and by phone, text and so­cial me­dia.

One of them came from a woman my age named “Bree.” When I re­sponded, I didn’t re­call ever hav­ing friended her but learned she’s a cousin who lives back east. Ap­par­ently, her mother and my father are sib­lings. When I asked my father about it, he got very de­fen­sive and told me who­ever it was I spoke to is a com­plete and to­tal liar. Or­di­nar­ily, I might have agreed, but his re­ac­tion tells me there’s a lot more to this.

I want to find out more. Nei­ther of my par­ents will say a word about it, and I don’t know why. When I told them I plan to travel to the East

Coast and meet Bree,

I was told I may not be wel­comed back if I do! This makes me won­der what hor­ri­ble thing could have hap­pened that would make a father con­sider dis­own­ing his son.

Be­cause my father won’t share the truth with me, I am left with only this op­tion. Pur­sue this, find part of my fam­ily I never knew ex­isted and learn some­thing, but lose the fam­ily I have and re­gret it for­ever. Any in­sight? — Lost Cousin in Cal­i­for­nia

DEAR COUSIN: I can of­fer in­sight, but not a roadmap for how to pro­ceed. Fam­ily se­crets can be dev­as­tat­ing. That your father re­acted so strongly shows how threat­ened he is that you might un­cover some­thing he isn’t proud of.

As a col­lege grad­u­ate, I am sure you are fa­mil­iar with the myth about Pan­dora’s box. While you may not lose your father if you delve into this, you may find that when you do, your im­age of him may be shat­tered. If you re­ally feel you will “re­gret it for­ever” if you do, then make sure you are pre­pared for the pos­si­ble penalty.

JEANNE PHILLIPS

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