Father who prioritized terminally ill stepson rejected by his adult child after requesting financial support

Gillian Sisley

A man who recently lost his stepson to cancer, as well as finalizing a divorce with his wife, has come back around to his biological son to ask for financial and moral support. The now adult son has refused both of his father's requests, and has turned to Reddit to find out whether or not he was justified in doing so.

*This is a work of non-fiction sourced from social media discussion boards and verified experts/specialists.*

The author begins by explaining that he lost his mother to a long-term health issue when he was 10 years old, and that the cost of her treatment ended up depleting his parent's finances.

His family situation changed again not long after, as he details in his post:

“Dad started dating when I was 12 and he met Jane. After a few months he told me her son had a form of brain cancer and was very sick and that they were getting married and he would be helping to take care of her son. We went from two in a tiny two bedroom house to four in a tiny two bedroom house and me sharing with a terminally ill toddler I didn't know.”

As if being diagnosed with terminal cancer wasn't tough enough, the reality is that a cancer diagnosis in the United States comes with something called ‘financial toxicity’. This is a term that speaks directly to the financial distress cancer patients will have related to the out-of-pocket costs of their treatment

This shift in the author’s life was a huge change, and meant that a lot of his childhood was sacrificed:

“No friends over because noise bothered him. No space that was just mine. No extra money for celebrating birthdays and Christmas.”

As the author got older, his father became angrier with him for not helping to take care of Jane's son more. The author ultimately moved out at 17 right after he graduated, and then went to college. He didn't keep in touch with his father, but did hear several years later that his dad's stepson had passed away.

That said, the author just recently got married and his father reappeared unannounced into his life:

“He told me how he'd ended up divorced from Jane and how his stepson had died and he looked disappointed when he learned I knew. He told me how he'd been struggling a lot and how he was hoping I could help him out. I laughed in his face and told him he had some nerve.”

Though the father explained that he'd spent ‘a lot of money’ on private investigators to find his son, the author still wasn't having any of it, as he concludes:

“He wanted us to repair things but he also needed my help. I told him no way. He became angry and told me he was my dad and was always there for me and I owed him. I told him I owed him nothing. He told me at my age I should have grown more compassion.”

What do you think?

Should the author absolutely have more compassion for his father, considering he's literally lost everything from his wife, to his stepson, to his financial security?

Or does the author have absolutely no obligation to help out his father, especially since his father prioritized his second family over the well-being of his own biological child?

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