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by Abigail Van Buren

Long Lost Father Is Found, but Then Quickly Lost Again

DEAR ABBY: I grew up not knowing who my biological father was. When I met him for the first time, I was 18. When we met, I felt I had found a piece of who I was. I loved him immediately, as if I had known him my whole life.

We talked and hung out for the next four months until I moved in with him to escape an abusive relationship. I was pregnant at the time and spent half my pregnancy living with him, my stepmother, half-brother and stepbrother. I moved back in with my mom a few months later.

Since then, my father has cut me off. I have been trying so hard to get him to talk to me. He hasn't met my son yet, rarely responds to my texts and never answers my calls. I have invited him to every birthday party, sent him cards for every holiday, begged him to see me and my son. It's been four years now, and I'm heartbroken.

I miss him so much. I feel like a piece of my heart has been ripped out. My grandmother told me that because my older half-sister left with her kids without saying goodbye to him, it broke his heart, and he is afraid I will do the same. What should I do? -- MISSING MY DAD IN NEW YORK

DEAR MISSING: Not knowing your father, it's hard to guess his reason for distancing himself from you and his grandchild. It does appear that he is punishing you for something. Could he have been hurt or angry that you chose to live with your mother rather than stay with him and your stepmother?

Because it has been four years, you may have to accept that this estrangement will be permanent and find a way to cope with the loss. If you have a religious adviser, start there.

Read more in: Family & Parenting