I recently received Facebook friend requests from two different women, along with messages. The first woman hails from my hometown. She also sent me a message via Ancestry.com. She states that we are closely related. When I checked my Ancestry “Relationships” tab, I found out she may be my half-sister via my father. The second woman is my new half-sister’s sister-in-law. The sister-in-law blew up my inbox with repeated messages, calls, and photos. I did not respond. She proceeded to contact my Facebook friends and asked for my contact information and for them to persuade me to call her.
I am a 55-year-old gay man with a husband. My father may not have been the worst father, but he was definitely verbally and emotionally abusive. He got better as he mellowed with age, but we were never the closest family. He has been dead now for eight years. My mother is 88 and lives close to me. I do not want her to know about this, as it would make her even more bitter and hurt her feelings unnecessarily. My sister is in agreement and has no desire to reach out to this woman. My brother may want to know, as he is very family-oriented. It’s not like I have great stories to share with this woman and truthfully, I don’t really want to revisit the past. It was difficult enough. I feel for her, but what are my obligations here?