Family Turned Upside Down
From the outside looking in, most family dynamics seem completely healthy and happy, but most know that everyone has their issues and problems that they need to hash out with one another. In some special situations, families that seem the most like they have it together are actually the ones that are crumbling the most. That was the case for this Reddit user and her family after she realized her father wasn’t even close to the man that she and her family thought he was.
A Business Opportunity Reveals Her Father’s Truth
This all started when a young woman, we’ll call her Tonya, was halfway through her senior year of college. Her father got a very impressive promotion at his job and would be opening the first plant in China for his company. He was in charge of the efforts concerning the set up of the plant’s infrastructure and ensuring that its initial operation went swimmingly, which was a very important responsibility and the benefits he received mirrored that: a sizable raise, business-class flights, and a penthouse while in China. Tonya’s family was overjoyed for him as he was close to retiring and, after 30 years of marriage, this project would allow him and Tonya’s mother to retire together comfortably and explore the world. Tonya’s younger sibling was about to go to college so her parents would have an “empty nest.”
Just as everything seemed to be coming together, there was a noticeable shift in how Tonya’s father interacted with his family. It was around Christmas time when Tonya’s father made a harrowing decision.
A Christmas For the Books
Tonya had just finished her college career, graduating in December, and was returning home to spend the holidays with her family. But when she arrived home, she found her mom in complete disarray. With red, wet eyes her mother motioned over to her husband, who was standing there with his bags packed. Completely shocked and caught off guard, Tonya and her family listened as her father told them that he no longer wanted to be with Tonya’s mother, and that he had actually been seeing someone else for quite sometime now. Tonya anxiously wondered what had caused this change in her father: was it the stress of the new position? The fact that he essentially had to pick up his life to move and work in a foreign country? Or, the most frightening of all the possible reasons, had he always been this way?
Regardless of her father’s reasoning, Tonya, her mother, and her younger brother were absolutely devastated and were left to pick up the pieces of their shattered family, thanks to their no good father. Rather than giving into the pain and stress of her now crumbling family, Tonya really came into her own. She picked up two jobs to help support her family and began to secretly slip her mother money. They lived in fear that her father would cut them off financially as well, which based off of his “new” personality was a definitely possibility. All three of the remaining family members began to go to therapy to repair the damage that had been done. It was there that the trio realized how abusive her father was, both verbally and financially. Just a few months later, things took another interesting turn.
Trying To Patch Things Up
By the spring, Tonya’s father apparently and unexpectedly had a “change of heart” that made him realize he’d made a huge mistake and now he had decided that he wanted to be back in the lives of his family. He tried to reach out to Tonya, her brother and her mother to try to make amends. Initially, Tonya was highly suspicious of her father and his true intentions, but she saw how much happier her mother was already (she used to always call Tonya’s dad her “soulmate”) and this made her feel more at ease with the situation.
Tonya’s father returned to their home for a “two week vacation” and convinced Tonya’s mom to come back with him to China to go on a “third honeymoon” and work things out between them. Meanwhile, Tonya and her brother would stay behind to focus on work and school. Before they left, Tonya’s father left an emergency phone number for her or her brother to call in case there was a serious situation back home, plus his boss’ email just in case they weren’t able to get in touch via phone. In addition to this, Tonya and her mother would have a weekly Skype chat to make sure everything was going well. A couple weeks passed and things seemed to be alright, up until one of Tonya and her mother’s regularly scheduled Skype calls.
When she answered Tonya’s mom was alone, with the same post-sob look on her face that she had when Tonya’s father first left the family. Already knowing something was seriously wrong and sure that her monster of a father had done something once again, Tonya asked what happened. The answer she received was somehow both shocking but not unexpected.
He Can’t Just Do That
Tonya’s mom couldn’t hold it together any longer. As soon as her firstborn gently asked, “What’s wrong?” she began crying uncontrollably. In between her sobs, she was able to tell her children where this day had gone so wrong. First he’d taken her to do the rounds with his higher ups, who had all said that they were happy Tonya’s mom and dad were “working it out” (which struck Tonya’s mom as odd to say the least). Then, as soon they got back to the penthouse, Tonya’s dad packed his bags and told her mom that he was leaving for Shanghai to be with his girlfriend for two weeks, and that he wanted her to be gone by the time he got back. Obviously livid, she asked how she was supposed to get home and he coldly replied, “I don’t care how, just make it happen.” He also left her with no food, no clean water or any means to get more.
Tonya’s mom was now at a loss, felt incredibly used, and was all by herself in a foreign country where she didn’t speak the language nor did she have nearly enough money to get home. Tonya was extremely frustrated and told her mom that she would find a way to get her home as soon as possible. As much as Tonya wanted to fly herself overseas to China and personally confront her dad along the way, she just didn’t have the funds to do it. While brainstorming possible ideas of how to get her mom back to the states, she devised a plan that would not only get her mother back safely, but also get back at her terrible father, though she didn’t understand the destruction her actions would cause until after the dust had settled.
After she heard her mother out and got her to calm down, Tonya began to spring her plan into action. Keeping in mind that her first priority was to get her mother back home safely, she grabbed the card her father had left her with his supervisor’s email on it. She began to write him a very professional email (thanks to her college business administration and creative writing experience) thoroughly explaining the situation and begged him to help get her mother home soon. Not one to waste opportunity, Tonya also outlined what exactly had happened between her father and the rest of the family, highlighting the fact that he was seeing someone else while in China and that he had used her mother to get in better with the executives of the company, once again casting her away with little regard for her emotions or safety. Tonya also promised that she would pay back this executive if he was able to help as soon as she possibly could.
Tonya eagerly awaited a response but much to her dismay, she never received one. However, she did get a phone call from her mother shortly after.
Home At Last
Tonya’s mother told her that within an hour of Tonya sending the email to her father’s boss, her mom had been contacted by the boss to confirm that everything was true. She told him all about how he abandoned them at Christmas, and how he’d not been in contact with them for a few months until he reached out and asked her to come on this trip. She explained how used she felt as well as the fact that she was now stuck in China. Within 24 hours of learning about this, the boss had Tonya’s mom on a flight back to the States and the family was reunited once again.
Tonya sent a final email to her father’s boss, thanking him for all of his help and again that she repay all the expenses it took to get her mother home. All he responded was, “It’s alright, thank you though.” He was a very generous man, paying for the flight and transportation out of his own pocket. Tonya believed that he probably felt embarrassed and also taken advantage of by Tonya’s father that he wanted to right the situation as fast as humanly possible, regardless if it came out of personal expenses or not.
When Tonya’s mom returned home, it sunk in for everyone the man they thought of as their father and husband was not the man they thought he was, and although devastated, they understood that the marriage, as well as the family they once had, were no more. Now with her father out of her life (hopefully for the final time), once again the family began to pick up the pieces and some rather drastic changes were made.
Changing For The Better
After taking some time to recover from the trauma Tonya’s father had caused the family, her mother worked up the courage to send Tonya’s father divorce papers and they were officially divorced within the year, much to Tonya’s mother’s satisfaction. In the process of this, the family had sold their childhood home in the north and moved down to Florida where they set out to begin their new lives. Both Tonya and her brother were following their dreams and expressing themselves for the first time in their lives, rather than adhering to the mold their stifling and corrupt father had created for them. Meanwhile, Tonya’s mom had found a new partner who constantly unconditionally supported her as she began working in her dream job, which is something that never would have happened with her ex-husband. Things were really turning around for the family and as time passed, Tonya started to think less and less about her father, that is until her mother brought up what had actually happened to her father after they stopped speaking with him.
Apparently, due to Tonya’s email and the ridiculousness of her mother’s situation with her father, his boss decided to take some very serious action. His boss began to think, “If [insert Tonya’s father’s name here] was lying about him and his wife just to hide the fact that he had a mistress, what else is he hiding?” An internal investigation was conducted and what was found was truly alarming.
Tonya found out that her father had TWO mistresses, both of which were subordinates within the company (which is obviously against company policies and extremely frowned upon) and he was also showering them with expensive gifts and vacations. While this was enough to get him severely demoted, this wasn’t the tip of the iceberg. So not only was he using his corporate power to coerce these employees into romantic relationships with him, but he was also STEALING money after he had just gotten a raise. Absolutely sinister.
There was also evidence found that may have proved he was embezzling money from the company during his time in China. So the company decided to take swift action.
Tonya’s father’s company decided that they would not charge him with a crime, however he was immediately demoted from his position and now ended up making much less than what he was making before he took the China job. His name had also been removed from the factory he had built and both of his mistresses were fired. Although he tried, Tonya’s father was never able to get another promotion due to his now tarnished reputation, and was eventually forced into an early retirement.
He tried to sue the company for unlawful termination, however the evidence against him was immense and he was unable to build a case for himself.
Now, he spends his time at home with no communication to his former family, mostly hated by the people who once loved him. He still sees himself as a victim, but everyone else knows the truth of the situation. Initially, Tonya did feel guilty as her email was only intended to humiliate her father, but after realizing all that he had done, she is confident that she did in fact do the right thing.
The moral of the story: No matter the situation, family comes first, and if you’re willing to take a risk and jeopardize the entirety of your family life, you better be ready to face the music.