An unreliable father leaves a guilty legacy – The Denver Post

Dear Amy: I grew up with a mother I could never trust to reliably “show up”.

She was an alcoholic until I was 7 years old, and she and my father sent me back and forth while she had relationships with various men.

He had a period of sobriety from when I was 7 to 13, and then he remarried and had two more children.

Once I went to college, I was no longer invited home, and this continued even after I was married.

I rarely called and was very busy with my half siblings. There was always an excuse why he couldn’t see me.

She would cancel at the last minute to see a friend or make it very difficult to establish solid plans. If I didn’t start the meeting, I would never see it.

Now my children are teenagers and they don’t know her at all.

Throughout her childhood, she never invited them. He never invites us to Christmas celebrations with my stepfather and my half siblings.

I feel like it’s been my job to try to maintain a relationship with her.

I often feel it as an added burden, with great guilt attached. Am I right to feel this way?

I’ve always wanted to have supportive and involved grandparents, but I really don’t know what is normal.

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