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Who's Your Daddy?

My father rejected me but I am still surviving and thriving without him. Who had the most disappointing experience with their father?  This was actually a topic of conversation a few years ago with girlfriends at a New Year's Day party.  

I won't give the details of my friend's experiences with their fathers, but I will share with you a story about mine.

My Father

My father didn't know I existed.  I always thought about what he would look like, what traits did I get from him, and if I looked anything like him. I would often dream of him storming into town and saving me from the environment I was living in.  Of course, I had the typical dreams and hopes that I imagine most children who haven't met their parents would have.  That my father would be someone in a position of power and/or was rich and that he would solve all of my problems.  However, what I wanted most of all was for him to love me.   Isn't that how it is supposed to work?  Aren't you supposed to love and respect your own flesh and blood?  I can't even imagine a single second or situation when I wouldn't love my children.
Father Where Art Thou?

In 1994, I met my birth mother for the first time at the age of twenty-four.  You can read my article about my birth mother, Judy, HERE.  I had a free plane ticket that I needed to use before it expired so I decided it was time to track down my birth parents. 

Not knowing who your parents are leaves an empty feeling inside of you.  I always felt like a piece of me was missing.  When I made up my mind to get in contact with them, I was simply seeking a connection.  I wasn't looking for lifelong commitments from them, after all, they didn't know me.  However, I had hoped that we would be able to get to know each other and then possibly have an ongoing relationship as they are my parents.  Was that asking for too much?bareMinerals

Finding My Father

In 1994, I was working for an international hotel company at the time and making over $40K, I had a house and a car.  Thankfully, I was financially stable.  So, I wasn't seeking financial reparations or holding any expectations for an inheritance.

Unfortunately, Google didn't exist in 1994, so I had to search for my mother's phone number by going through online phone listings.   I knew her name, and I figured she might have relatives still living in my hometown of Havana, IL.  So I searched for phone numbers with her last name.  I was able to find a phone number and I called it.  I don't remember the lady's name that answered the phone – my mother's cousin possibly – but I explained that I was looking for my mother, Judy, who gave birth to me when she was 19 years old.  The lady was happy to give me her phone number where Judy was living in Lincoln, NB, and wished me luck.

My Birth Mother Judy

I learned from Judy, that she had a relationship with my father when they both were in college. She is Caucasian and my dad is African American. I am probably using the term “relationship” loosely.  Pretty sure they just met at a party and hooked up a couple of times.  After all, it was college.  My mother told me that my dad was engaged during the time the two of them had a “relationship.”  She didn't want to ruin his future or tie herself to him with a child. (Side note:  I believe that every father deserves to know they have a child.)

Judy informed me that my father's name is Leroy.  She was able to get my father's contact information by searching the phone numbers of people with his name in the town she remembered him being from, Peoria, IL.

Autumn Murray Baby Photo

Autumn Murray Baby Photo

Surprise, It's A Girl!

Judy called Leroy to tell him he had a 24-year-old daughter living in Atlanta.  She refreshed his memory about how they met and the year they met and he believed her.  According to Judy, she said he wasn't upset or angry about not knowing about my existence.  Just kind of accepted the situation matter of factly.  Judy then told him that she would be giving his contact information to me and that I would be getting in touch.

I waited a few days before calling Leroy. This whole situation was a lot to take in.  I remember calling him on Saturday afternoon after pouring myself a glass of wine to calm my nerves and to be mentally prepared for whatever happened on the phone call.  To my surprise, Leroy answered my call and was very cordial.  He said that he didn't know about me until Judy called him with the news a few days prior.  (Surprise!  You have a 24-year-old daughter!)

He asked me questions about my life and I asked him questions about his.  I remember he liked to talk about himself, A LOT.  I definitely did not get that characteristic from him as I do not like to talk about myself at all.  I prefer to write about myself (this website is a prime example).  In writing, you can always go back and edit whereas you can't take back spoken words.  

Our relationship seemed to be going well.  We would talk 2-3 times a month and most of the time I initiated the calls.   After about 3-4 months of talking on the phone, he said he would like to come to visit me in Atlanta.  After my experience with visiting my mother in Lincoln, NB (which will be listed in detail in another post as I stated above), I didn't want to visit him in Peoria, IL – I wanted to be on my home turf.

My father Leroy


Strike 1 for Leroy

We talked on the phone and set a date for him to come to Atlanta.  The weekend he was supposed to come he called the day before he was supposed to arrive and said that his car broke down and he wouldn't be able to make the drive.  Perfectly understandable, right?

Strike 2 for Leroy

We set another date for him to visit me in Atlanta about two months later. We continued to talk over the phone during the two months.  Then, the weekend he was supposed to make the drive to Atlanta he called on the day that he was supposed to arrive and said that he couldn't make it as he was not able to get his hair done. Yes, you read that correctly  – he canceled because he couldn't get his hair done.  He had some type of process in his hair, possibly a jerry curl.  

Obviously, this was very odd, but I still gave him the benefit of the doubt.  Could it possibly be that he was just nervous about meeting me?

Strike 3 for Leroy

We continued to talk on the phone and set yet another date for him to come to Atlanta.  We decided he would come the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so we could spend the holiday together.  Since I had never met him and wanted to make sure he wouldn't bring me any harm, I took precautions and asked my friend Rodney (who is now my husband) to meet us at a restaurant and sit a few tables over.  I had planned to give him a signal if things were not going well and I wanted to leave.

Wednesday:  No call from Leroy and no sign of Leroy.  I called his mother which I had talked to a few times after Leroy gave me her phone number and she said that Leroy left for Atlanta earlier that morning.

Thursday:  No call from Leroy and no sign of Leroy.  I was beginning to get scared something had happened to him.  Rodney invited me over to his brother's house where his family was gathering for Thanksgiving since my plans had been ruined.

Friday:  No call from Leroy and no sign of Leroy.  I called his mother and she said she still hadn't heard from him.

Saturday:  No call from Leroy and no sign of Leroy.  I called his mother and she said that she had talked to him and that he was in Atlanta and will be getting in touch with me soon.

Sunday:  At 3:15 in the afternoon I receive a call from Leroy.  I know that he is in Atlanta because the location he was calling from showed up on my caller id.  At this point, I was beyond pissed off at him.  However, I was curious as to what he had to say for himself.  He informed me that he was heading back to Peoria soon and if I wanted to meet him I should come to the gas station where he was calling from.  I asked him when did he get into town and where had he been?  He told me he met a young woman at Caribou Coffee when he arrived in town and he spent the weekend with her.  My head literally exploded.  However, I was never disrespectful to him nor did I raise my voice.  I simply said to him, thank you for acknowledging me as your daughter.  This weekend proves that it just wasn't meant for us to have a relationship with each other.  I then told him not to call me anymore and to have a safe ride home.

Verdict:  Leroy is Out 

My father tried to call me a few times throughout the following year.  Thanks to caller id I didn't bother answering his calls.  One time, he called from a friend's phone and I picked up because I didn't recognize the caller.  His friend tried to convince me to talk to him, but I declined.  I changed my telephone number after receiving that call.

The following Thanksgiving, I received the note below from Leroy that squashed any dreams I might have had of connecting with him in the future.  During the months I was talking to Leroy over the phone, we had sent each other pictures.  He sent the note below asking me to return the pictures that he sent to me in addition to a stack of pictures of me that I had sent to him.   Petty, right?

Goodbye Father

The pictures my father gave me of him, I didn't send back.  I have them in a photo album along with a few letters that he sent.  I even kept the envelopes he sent the photos and letters in and have that in the photo album as well.  At least I have something of his to show to my children.

The pictures he returned to me, I sent them to his mother to keep.  Possibly, just possibly he regrets how he treated me.  I thought one day he might want to have something to remind him of a daughter he never met.

In all of my personal posts, I want to share how to help stop or at least prevent child abuse.  Details below. 

What is child abuse? 

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failure to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.

If you see signs of abuse with anyone you know, or are a victim of child abuse, get help right away.

For more information, to seek help, or find out how to help abused children click here:  Childhelp.


The Childhelp organization was founded in 1959 by Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Federson.  The organization's focus is on child abuse prevention and treatment.

Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States. It’s a terrible epidemic that we organizations like Childhelp are dedicated to putting an end to.  In order to end child abuse, increasing awareness of the issue itself is key.

We hope you enjoyed Simply Amazing Living's “My father Rejected Me” post.



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25 Comments. Leave new

  • This was very interesting to read

  • Thank you for sharing this story! God bless you for staying strong through your experiences.

  • My father was adopted, and while his journey to locate his birth parents was different from your, he often expressed the feeling of a part of himself missing. After finding them, he maintained a relationship for a while, but was eventually cut off for being a black sheep. It was very difficult for my sister and I, who were also cut off from them for being his daughters. I am sorry you went through this, but it is better to know than not to know I guess.

  • I’m sorry about your experience. I’m sure it’s shaped your own view of your own role as a parent. We can’t control others, but we can choose to do our best ourselves.

  • Wow, thanks for sharing your story Autumn. You even kept your dad’s note so well and I see he has a very good writing. I am really touched at your story and wonder if you will change you mind to meet him again. I also love to listen to how you first met your mom story.

  • It is sad that you had such an experience, hopefully it had not so much negative effect. But now you know how you dont want to be

  • I know this must have been hard to share, as we as women always feel like we need a father figure. I am sorry you went through but I am sure it has made you a stronger woman.

  • Wow, I can somewhat relate but you are so strong to share something so personal. Thank you sorry doing so, maybe I should call my dad.

  • Oh wow. Thank you for sharing this emotional story with us. You are very brave and strong.

  • It was an motional and inspiring read for me. The way you write up on your personal experience is phenomenal

    Really admire your courage and what you have gone through.

  • I am sorry that happened to you. But thank God that you have the strength and courage to share this story. You are such a strong individual. I admire that you were able to put this experience into writing.

  • Thank you for sharing this, sorry to hear that you had this difficult experience. Your story resonated with me so much. I was also rejected by my father. My parents divorced before I was born. My sisters and I visited our father on weekends, and after a few years went by, we began to see him less and less. My mother moved us to another state and we never saw him again afterwards. My father didn’t believe I was his, I even got a DNA test to make sure, and I found out he really is my biological father.
    Long story short, later on in adulthood he made attempts to contact my sisters and I, but mainly my oldest sister. I felt deep down that we were forced to take our mother’s side, and we never got a chance to hear his side.
    I reached out to him by social media, and we exchanged numbers. In the beginning, it was great. I thanked God for reuniting us again, and that I finally had my father in my life. I was never loved or accepted by my mother, I figured well at least I will have a relationship with my dad. I was wrong.
    After a couple of months, I noticed my dad began to make excuses to not speak to me. But, when I look back, I realized he dominated the conversations, and sometimes literally didn’t even allow me to get a word in. But his excuses ranged from, being too busy working on his house, then his car, then he claimed he was sick from the heat in Florida and could not speak on the phone. I wanted to speak to him after there was a shooting in my neighborhood. A bullet hole almost went through a wall in my home, I thought surely he would speak to me then, he just responded, “I put you in God’s hands”, and a few other pleasantries, and “take care” He made many promises of having me over to come visit, and helping me study for school since I was in the process of changing careers, and that he was so happy I was in his life. But these words were all empty.
    A few months went by, and he claimed he ,”hasn’t heard from me” and I brought up the all the excuses he has made to not speak to me and just said “oh well that’s true” I tried calling again after this, and he just rushed me off of the phone.
    I figured I would still try to keep in contact, and reach out saying hello, and he never responded again. And that was it.

    It hurts to be rejected by your father. He rejected me when I was a child, and again in adulthood. He wasn’t in my life because he didn’t want to be. I’ve learned to move on now. At least I got closure. I was neglected and emotionally abused by my mother, I am sure I would have been in an even worse state if my father was involved in my life. I think it was for good. It’s better to have no father, than the negative influence of a toxic father.
    Just because your father doesn’t or cannot love you, doesn’t mean you are not worthy of love and just because your father doesn’t want to be apart of your life, doesn’t mean something is inherently wrong with you. It’s his choice.
    I am still wounded, but at least there is no more “guessing or wondering” or “what ifs” I can move on and focus on healing.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story as well. It definitely hurts to be rejected by any parent at any point in life.

      I agree it is better to have no involvement with a toxic other. I was also abused and neglected by my mother and given up for adoption after some people noticed the bruises and burns on my body.

      Wishing you continued growth in your healing process. I am a work in progress as well.


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