DEAR ABBY: I took a DNA test seven months ago. It came back that the man who raised me is not my biological father. My heart dropped, but I decided to meet my real dad. We have formed a relationship, mostly a good one, and I introduce him as my dad now. My problem is, we hardly know each other or how we react to things.
I had a hard week. My older sister was very rude to me, I had many college exams to take, and my best friend unexpectedly announced she had to go away for six months. I just wanted to run "home," but then I realized I no longer have a home to run to. My dad doesn't know I'm very clingy when I'm upset, so he was oblivious to my constant communications, and I'm sure it came off as annoying.
My mother and I don't get along these days because she hid this secret from me for 25 years. Also, I mostly just wanted to go over to his house because my three little siblings are there, and I actually feel like we're a family. What do you think, Abby? Am I too clingy? Is it understandable? How do I explain to him that I need to see them more? If he tells me no, how do I handle that? -- ADJUSTING IN OHIO
DEAR ADJUSTING: If you want a better relationship with your biological father, slow down and let him get to know you gradually. A way to accomplish this would be to mend fences with your mother, believe it or not. Yes, she should have told you about your biological father years ago, but she may have had reasons for not doing so. One of them may have been embarrassment.
You ask, "Am I being too clingy?" The answer is yes. You stand a better chance of building a solid relationship with your bio-dad, his wife and your half-siblings if you don't overwhelm them when you are feeling so needy. Your chances of finding the emotional support you need would be better if you talk with a counselor at the student health center at your college when you are as stressed as you are.