DEAR ABBY: My mother became pregnant with me in 1965 when she was 20 and divorced from her husband. My father was a married man who knew about me, but made no effort to see me.
I know my mother believed he would leave his wife for her, and because I closely resemble him -- according to family members -- she must have felt terrible when I was growing up. I always felt she didn't love me as much as she loved my brothers.
I have grown up with a hole inside me where a dad was supposed to be. I have never felt worthy or deserving of anything in my life, and now my mother has cut me off from the family.
Should I try to see if my father wants to know me now? Maybe time has mellowed him. I feel like he is a great big unfinished spot in my life. What should I do? -- ALONE AND UNLOVED, MONROE, LA.
DEAR ALONE AND UNLOVED: Life has dealt you a difficult hand through no fault of your own. You are hurting right now, and that is why I'm urging you to talk to a counselor about what you have been through and how you feel about yourself BEFORE reaching out to your father. You deserve love and nurturing, but before you try to make contact it's important that you have more inner resources than you have now -- just in case he doesn't turn out to be the man you would like him to be. Contacting him through a third party might also be wise.