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Adopted teen tells dad she's 'not a replacement' for dead daughter

Adopted teen tells dad she's 'not a replacement' for dead daughter

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An argument between a father and his adopted daughter took a bad turn when he compared her to his dead biological daughter.

u/spacedinosaur1234 needed some advice so she asked Reddit:

AITA (am I the a-hole) for telling my dad I'm not a replacement daughter?

I (15F) was adopted 4 years ago by my dad (55M). I bounced around in foster care my entire life but he never technically fostered me- it's a long story I won't get into here. The point is, he adopted me and he was the first person I ever felt comfortable with. He's done a good job as a single dad and we fight but I love him very much.

He had a daughter before me, one who died when she was 9. She died almost a decade before I was adopted. I know my dad loved her a lot but he always says he loves me just as much.

We got into a fight the other day, which isn't super unusual. We were arguing about something beyond stupid, just my messy room. But then when I was walking away (to go clean it) I heard him mumble '[dead daughter] was never like this.'

I kinda lost my sh*t. I screamed at him, yelling that I was never a replacement for her and never would be. He told me I was being ungrateful and he saved my life. I told him he was selfish and putting his dead kid on a pedestal and maybe she wasn't actually all that great.

It's been two days. We haven't said a word to each other. I've heard him crying though. I feel bad but I also hate being a replacement for his daughter. It feels like I'll never be enough for him because I'm not her. But he's my dad and my favorite person in the world. AITA (am I the a-hole)?

Reddit users reassured her and offered suggestions on what to do.

VoyagerVII writes:

For what it's worth, I don't think he sees you as a replacement for his first daughter. I think he's bewildered, because his first daughter never got to be the age that you are now and so he has no experience with teenagers and felt helpless.

You'd be within your rights to just wait till he approaches you -- you're the kid, not the parent, and it's not your job to fix things like this. But if you can comfortably do anything to let him know that you still love him, even if it's as minimal as cracking him a faint smile if he catches your eye, it may help break the ice.

cdifl says:

NTA (not the a-hole), but you may need to have a serious talk with your dad. Losing a child is tremendously traumatizing and will affect any parent significantly. But he also shouldn't be comparing you to her, nor expecting you to be like her.

Having a talk with your dad may be a really good bonding experience. It's good you let him know you are not a replacement for his daughter, but maybe take some time to talk about who she was. She was an important part of your dad's life, and getting to know about her (and any other family members) will help you learn more about who your dad is as a person.

maccrogenoff writes:

NTA (Not the a-hole). I’m sorry that your father said such heartbreaking things to you. First, if the nine year old hadn’t died before she reached adolescence, she would have also acted like an adolescent.

Second, it makes me furious when people expect their children to feel grateful that they adopted them. You don’t owe him gratitude. He wanted a child; he didn’t do you a favor.

Reddit seemed to agree and there was a consensus of advice being given.

There are situations we can only understand if we've experienced similar ones but it seemed important for users to reassure OP that she's just a kid and it's ok for her not to know what to do. Nevertheless, she was given some good advice on how to move forward.

Sources: Reddit
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