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Can I trust my Dad?

Phil wrote:

My parents have been divorced for about 10 years and I live with my mom. Don't get me wrong I chose to. My parents shared me and my sister for a long time, every other week .

My dad has always been cruel to my sister and I, but yet he claims to want us. I've been in court rooms almost all my life. I'm 16 and my sister is 18 so it's over for her, but I've been forced to 17 counsellors.

I hadn't even heard from my dad for three years until last year. We started to write each other letters, but we went to court again and he brought them up. He plays games like that, every time we start to trust him. Any way this time he bought us a computer and has started to e-mail me. He used to do the things I liked about him with me.

Like fish and hunt. I would like to do those thing again, but I don't know if I can trust him ever again. I need your help. Can you give me some advice?

Dear Phil

You've clearly got a lot of unresolved issues, both of you; like you, I'd like to think that he deserves one more chance.

But I doubt it. Why?

Because so much of your letter is about material things; computers, fishing ... you have the rest of your life for them; you need him because he's your father, not for what he gives you. And you know that, of course you do - but you're avoiding the real issues. I don't blame you.

Ther is one piece of hope in all this. You say it's over for your sister ... it will be for you soon, too.

If you do decide to give him one more chance, remind him, repeatedly, that the time is approaching when you are completely free; it's up to him to make it work now - or he just might not get that chance again.

Good Luck; whatever you decide, don't make any promises, take it steady.

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