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65 yo man hires PI to find estranged daughter; considers reentering her life. AITA?

65 yo man hires PI to find estranged daughter; considers reentering her life. AITA?


When this man is concerned that he shouldn't reenter his daughter's life, he asks Reddit:

"WIBTA to contact my estranged daughter?"

I (65m) am estranged from my daughter (36f). I am completely at fault, her mother is a narcissist and I was brainwashed by my now ex wife (recently divorced her) into believing daughter was the problem but I've finally seen the light and realize my daughter was never the problem, it was my wife.

And stupidly I would go along to get along but I finally grew a pair and told her to go to hell.

I handled the estrangement very badly, I admit into trying to strong arm and bully my daughter back into the family (I won't lie it was to get my wife off my back, as I couldn't take her bullshit, but I've finally seen the light) I had to stop because daughter had attorney send cease and desist letter this was 3 years ago .

I wrongly resented her for the problems I had believed she caused but now realize it was my narcissistic ex wife all along and I feel horrible and want to make amends.

She moved away and I couldn't find her so I hired a PI, she's in the next state 3 hours away.

I want to be as noninvasive as possible, WIBTA if I leave a note with her doorman/concierge to give to her, stay at a nearby hotel for a few days letting her know I divorced her mother I would love to speak with her and make amends, and let her know where I'm staying with my contact info? AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

midnightrose77 writes:

YWBTA, if you left her a note. She's gone non-contact with you. That means no contact. Leave her alone. It doesn't matter that you've left your wife. It does not matter that you're no longer drinking the Kool-Aid.

Stop stalking her. If she finds out through friends or other people she knows and is in contact with that you have divorced and have finally woken up, then let her be the one to decide to contact you.

You. Do. Not. Get. To. Make. That. Choice. What you're doing with hiring a PI to find her could be seen as a violation of the cease and desist letter that the attorney sent you.

If you contact her, she could very easily get a personal protection order against you. She does not want you in her life right now. Leave her alone. You and your wife made her life a living hell. She needs to heal, and that does not mean including you in that healing process.

I am speaking of my own experience. I finally cut my narcissistic mother and enabling father off mid-november last year. They refused to accept the fact that I am a chronic pain patient who is trying to find answers and appropriate treatment for my chronic pain condition.

In addition to that, they accuse me of making up the reason why my gallbladder had to come out in 2021, which led to my chronic pain condition. For my own sanity, I had to go no contact. It is not conducive to healing, either physically or emotionally, to have someone in your life who is unsupportive.

You and your ex-wife emotionally abused your daughter for 29 years. At least that's my calculation based on your age. That is disgusting. You should be ashamed of making your daughter the scapegoat for that long.

I have all of the sympathy in the world for your daughter. Call off your private investigator. Do not make plans to go find your daughter. Leave her alone.

ellasaurusrex writes:

YWBTA. A MASSIVE ONE. I'm currently in the throes of supporting my husband and SIL while they go low contact with their mother. She has sent letters, Christmas gifts with a guilt trip card, manipulative texts, the works.

You know what they have accomplished? Pushing them further away. YOU don't get to decide it's time to reconcile. She does. Staying at a hotel and telling her you're there is both kind of creepy and manipulative (so is hiring a PI....).

There is so much that your daughter has been through and had to process, and you're continuing the manipulative behaviour to make yourself feel better. That's not how it works.

If you truly want to make amends, write a letter and take actual accountability for your actions and choices (ie, don't blame everyone else), and send it to her lawyer. Let her decide if she even wants to read it. And then accept her decision.

icyblueness writes:

YTA for this plan. You admit you handled this all badly… what have you done to work on the failings that lead you to act like that?

While you say “I was completely at fault,” you immediately throw the blame on your “narcissistic” ex, without really seeming to process that you were at best unkind and bullying to your daughter for, I presume, the entirety of her life. You’re still trying to force her back into contact with you. You do not understand the problem. GET THERAPY.

After this mess, the absolute worst thing you could do is basically stalk your daughter like you’re contemplating. I think it’s creepy you even hired a PI.

Your daughter may already know of your divorce, or she may not, and either way that fact alone is unlikely to make much difference because it WILL freak her out to receive a note making it clear you found her address and are in the area, three states away three years later. Think of that objectively: it’s the plot to a horror movie.

So, I’d say ditch the PI and talk to a therapist. See what a professional thinks of your reconnection plan. Do the work to understand why you acted that way, how it likely affected your daughter, and what you could do to try to actually make amends.

And if you do decide yo get in contact… send her an email. It’s much less alarming and it’s not that hard to find someone’s email address.

fixableprune writes:

YTA YTA YTA. You hired a PI to find her AFTER she hired an attorney to try to get you to leave her alone after you harassed her? And now you’re still not taking accountability for your behavior and blaming on your ex wife and her mother? Please leave your daughter alone and stop stalking her.

If she wants contact she will come to you. Said as someone currently in the process of getting an OP against my father as a result of the same kind of terrorizing bs, including him finding me and leaving me notes when I went through great lengths to hide my new state/address.

Doing stuff like that, OP, feels violating in ways I can not adequately describe. I can not say this strongly enough - seek therapy to cope with your feelings and respect that if it got to the point where your daughter involved an attorney she wants nothing to do with you.

You may “feel horrible and want to make amends” but I guarantee that is a you problem and from your daughters perspective will just be more of your never-ending drama that she does not want to have forced on her yet again.

Looks like OP is TA here. Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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