Just found out that my dad, with whom I just cut contact last Monday, has cancer

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 2
81 posts
Worker bee

This is a personal decision that no one on here can give you the “right” answer. If you don’t ever talk to him again and he dies would you care? Would you feel sad? Would you regret not trying to repair things with him? 


Those questions should give you your answer…..I say this because I also have a pos father and cut ties with him when I was 17. Him being diagnosed with lupus and his kidneys failing didn’t change anything in my heart and mind. The things he did to my mom, and me were past any thing someone should have to go through and while I have had people tell me I’m cold or heartless for my choice. At the end of the day it is your choice that you will have to live with. My father probably died years ago but I don’t care. I don’t love him and while I don’t loathe him I just have no feelings for him at all. In my mind he died when I moved out at 17.


on another note I’m sorry he said that to you, but that shows you his character. I walked away from my entire family and don’t regret it. One of the things that hurt me the most growing up was after my father “tested out his new paddle” (he would make and sell them to sick people) I ran to my grandmothers (across the street) my head was bleeding and right before I passed out I remember her saying “well J what did you do to make him so mad?” (If your wondering the answer it was come home late from dance so he had to wait in the car for me for 15 mins, so he was late for his show) I knew growing up that as soon as I could leave I would, and I did. I have never looked back and don’t regret it. Toxic people breed hate and that’s not something anyone needs in their life. I’m sorry for everything your going through and I hope you search your soul for what’s best for you and can make peace with your decision.   

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happiekrappie :  

Post # 3
34 posts
  • Wedding: April 2019 - Seattle, WA

Make sure it’s actually true.

My Fiance and I are both estranged from our moms and this is the kind of shit they’d come up with to get us to initiate contact and be drawn back in.

That said, remember what made you stop talking to him in the first place. That isn’t going to miraculously change because he’s sick (if he actually is).


I’m so sorry you’re going through this, I remember how hard it was at the beginning. 

Post # 4
3766 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

I imagine I will be in the minority, but if I were in this situation, I would remain no contact. Cancer is an awful disease, but it does not undo all of the years of abuse and torment and torture he has put everyone through. He is still not a good person, and were it not for this news, you wouldn’t question your decision not to speak to him anymore.

All that being said, I don’t think any decision you make here can be wrong. If you want to restart contact with him, that’s okay. If you choose not to, that’s also okay. If you try it and still find him too toxic, you can always cut contact again. These kinds of situations are very emotional and hard to navigate and there is no right or wrong way to handle things like this. Wishing you and your family strength and comfort, whatever your choice.

Post # 5
1129 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Just because you share blood with someone doesn’t give them an excuse to treat you like shit. 


Does him now now having cancer erase all of the shitty things he did to you? Or make them somehow okay?


He made his bed, and now he has to sleep in it. 

Post # 6
2707 posts
Sugar bee

I would focus on being there for your mother. Being sick doesn’t erase years of abuse and it doesn’t sound like he’s sorry or intends to change his ways at all. 

If he were to pass away, what would you want him to know? If anything I’d make sure that you’ve said your piece and that he understands where you stand. Even if you choose to be around him in order to support your mother, never apologize for standing up for her and yourself. If he won’t let it go and demands to be forgiven, then refuse to be around for it. 

Also I agree with a PP about verifying whether that’s true or not. The timing is awfully convenient. 

Post # 7
2884 posts
Sugar bee

In my mind, even if he does have cancer (it might be a guilt/manipulation tactic to try and force contact), it doesn’t change anything.  The reasons you cut him off are just as valid today as they were last week.  

Post # 8
1282 posts
Bumble bee

I agree with PP, happie. I have no tolerance for abuse of any kind toward humans or animals, and your dad JUST SAID that he thinks YOU being hit by your fiance is justifiable. His daughter! That is despicable, and he doesn’t deserve sympathy just because he finally gets to experience some serious pain in his life. If he cared about you so much that he neeeeeds to talk to you and have you in his life, then he wouldn’t ever justify your abuse. You can certainly send some kind of condolences in a letter or something, leave a message with your mother, whatever you feel like–but you do not need to have a relationship with an abuser just because he’s contracted a disease, nor do you need to feel guilty about putting your OWN mental health first. He has illustrated that he doesn’t care much for you, so YOU need to care for you. You got this, Bee; I know it. <3

Post # 9
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - City, State

For me cancer did not change the horrible person my grandfather was, he dismissed, ignored and was generally a terrible person towards me for years before he died. Him having lung cancer didn’t change how he’d behaved, I didn’t go to his funeral when he died and my dad didnt either (his son).  Neither of us regret this choice, he made the choice to behave like this when he was alive, the disease didn’t change those choices 

Post # 10
7320 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

FWIW, I did not have abusive parents, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. But while cancer is an awful disease, it doesn’t change who people ARE. If your father is an awful person, he is now an awful person with cancer. It will not change who he is or what he is. You went no contact for a reason, and cancer doesn’t change that reason. 

If you have things you MUST say, write a letter. Then sit on it for a week and rewrite it and then send it. And then be done. Please, don’t give him one last chance to hurt you before he goes.

Post # 13
3019 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

My husband has been no contact for two years, and he plans on it being indefinite. My only question to him was if something happened to his parents, would he be ok or would the guilt consume him? His response was that he won’t even attend their funerals. Sometimes it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie. Funny thing is, his mom was diagnosed with cancer and that’s what made him try to repair their relationship before things blew up two years ago. She turned into an optimistic saint through all of her treatments and surgeries, and once she was cancer free the mask came off and she was back to her usual negative and self centered, manipulative ways. 

I’d definitely question the validity of the situation too. Seems like awfully convenient timing, especially of someone with a history of emotional (and physical) abuse. 

Post # 14
6952 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I haven’t had this experience with a parent but when I cut someone out of my life, they are as good as dead to me anyway. I’m prepared to never see them again, never interact again. Maybe see you next lifetime, but this one is done. So, a diagnosis doesn’t change that, for me. If you have to completely sever contact with someone, it is not a decision taken lightly and it’s not negotiable.

I do have a close friend who has gone no contact with her abusive parents and she did not regret it- even when her step father was dying.

Your father punched your mother in the face not even three months ago. He is the same person today that he was then. Cancer or no.

And I agree with PP that that is IF he actually has cancer. I would assume he was lying and stick with the no contact.

Post # 15
1155 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

An abusive ass with cancer is still an abusive ass. It’s also possible he isn’t sick – there are many many manipulative people out there who use claims of cancer, illness, crisis to lure their audience / victims of abuse back in. 

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