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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Young adult’s life turned upside down by revelation

by Abigail Van Buren | June 23, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

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, but we hardly know each other or how we react to things.

I had a hard week. My older sister was rude to me, I had 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 I realized I no longer have a home. My dad doesn’t know I’m 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 feel like we’re a family. Am I too clingy? How do I explain to him that I need to see them more? — 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 feel 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.

Dear Abby: My sister and I inherited our mother’s condo years ago. She wants to sell it; I do not. She has harangued me nonstop with scenarios of what “could” happen with our heirs if we don’t sell, threatening, “If we don’t sell it now, I don’t think I will want to sell.”

Because I was fed up, I agreed to sell, but now I don’t even like her. I’m not mad — I just abhor the way she harangued me. I don’t think I ever want to talk to her again, and I’m sad about that. — Sibling Disaster In California

Dear Sibling: It’s not uncommon for money to drive apart family members. When your sister started her harangue, you should have brought your lawyer into the negotiation. You could have purchased her half, leaving you both with what you wanted. If it’s not too late, give it some consideration. As to never wanting to talk to your sister, I hope with time your feelings will mellow and fences can be mended.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440,Los Angeles, CA 90069 or visit


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