It’s a daggone shame. My situation was “I want to visit, but if you take me to court for child support, I’ll just quit my job”. I wanted my child to know her father so we had an agreement of alternate holidays, several summer / winter weeks, pretty much whenever he wanted. He never paid one dime of child support. He gave gifts for birthdays and holidays but that was pretty much it. After I began making pretty good money, I stopped asking for help with extra expenses like braces, school tuition. I never badmouthed him because of my own parental experience. See below. She’s 40 now and says I should have called his bluff. I didn’t have the energy. She has a warm, loving relationship with him now and it seems his conscience is alive and well after all. He does a lot for our handicapped grandson.
My mom was different, she felt, although the military mandated allotment payments, my dad’s character didn’t warrant him being around his kids. She wasn’t totally wrong but not right either because of the lengths that she went to, to keep our whereabouts unknown. Like letting the allotments go to her mother in another state, leaving us to believe he was doing nothing for us. I sought him out when I was of age. The first few years were rocky because of the propaganda and emotional blackmail but I kept trying to have a relationship with him. His character does leave a lot to be desired but I know why. Poor male role models. His dad was a rolling stone, to put it nicely. His mom was in a mental institution all of his life after birthing 13 children, my dad the youngest. His older, seriously-evangelical sisters raised him tough. His positive communication skills leave a lot to be desired. He also was a d-o-g, still is at 80+ or would be if he could. Just a few years ago, he was trying to hit on my girlfriends, even though he’s remarried to a woman my age and has a mistress younger than me. However, my opinion, my mom didn’t have the right to keep me and my siblings’ whereabouts unknown to him. She deprived us, particularly my brother, of a male influence in our lives. Until I understood myself better, it impacted my relationships.
My real point is this. Sub-consciously or not, your son needs you. It seems he knows since he did seek you out on his own. Trust me, that’s a huge step. It takes time, energy and great mental fortitude to break through the emotional blackmail and codependency issues. Just let him know that you’re there for him. He’ll be back around.
Kind regards, Terrie Williams