After 15 Years My Dad Finds Me on Facebook

[This post originally appeared on the author's site at]  

Whether it’s a presentation or a coaching session, I start by asking what is your first

experience of a network? Many of us respond by stating our family and rightfully so. Our

family is the first support system we are exposed to at a tender age. Regardless of the

measure of normalcy, or lack thereof, we gain our knowledge, experiences and values

from our family to carry us forward in life.


The power of social media is a tool that can be used for positive or negative when it

comes to bringing people together. Many of us follow classmates, colleagues and family

online because we are extremely busy and the distance between us. I, like many of us,

share our thoughts and milestones in our personal and professional lives. However, I

would have never have thought about social media lining up my family the way it has in

a reasonable time.


Although my parents never married, I was fortunate to live with both of them at different

times in my life. I resided with my dad in Atlanta from the age of 12 to 17. In 2000,

immediately after graduating high school I moved to Houston for college and other

personal reasons. I remember shaking to make the phone call just to tell him that I’m

not coming back. I had no reason to. I was accepted to one of three colleges and he

was against me attending that specific school since it was three hours away. I let him

get the last word. Click. It was for the best.


The summer of 2006, I stepped into work, jumped on MySpace to kill some time and I

see a message stating, “Hi, I’m your sister!” I was shocked! I’ve always known about my

younger sister, I just didn’t know how to go about the situation. When I did live in Atlanta

we were on opposite sides of town and both of us were too young to make viable

attempts. There was no social media to bridge the gap. I often wonder even if we

couldn’t meet as teenagers we at least could have been friends on Facebook and

followed each other without our parents knowing. I can laugh now because she’s the

one that told me to join Facebook so I can easily keep up with high school friends and

classmates. It’s been nine years; my sister and I speak and visit regularly. More

importantly, we have grown and accomplished so much together during our separate



I’m in my second year of business and I’m in a crazy good place in life where I’m getting

stronger on the uphill climb. Crazy because no day is ever the same and it’s good that I

have come to terms with that. I’m in a sensitive space where items are not a 100%

stable and at any moment one decision, one client; one person can disrupt my



I had just wrapped up an interview with Lamar & Ronnie Tyler

from and I was heading to meet a friend. I checked

Facebook and noticed a message from my dad. Wait! What? I was so flustered. I didn’t

know if I should respond, call or carry on with my day. I didn’t believe it was him, the

message was in short hand and he said, “love u.” Never have I heard such words from

this man. I went on with my day, but remained distracted by this message. I had so

many negative scenarios going on in my head I literally drove myself crazy and went to

sleep. The next morning I prayed, made the phone call and was prepared for an intense

workout once he pissed me off. I was pleasantly surprised on the smoothness of our

conversation. I did my best to sum up 15 years in 15 minutes. Somehow those 15

minutes were vastly sufficient. I informed him of my relationship with my sister. Yes, she

found me online. We speak often, she just graduated and I’m in Atlanta every year. I

wanted him to feel the pain, yet be alleviated by the fact that my sister and I have a



Towards the end of the call my dad apologized. This old school Cameroon/African man

apologized! This speaks volumes as to what could be. I should apologize. I’m willing to

apologize for my part. Honestly, I think something is wrong, but I don’t know what. I’m

guarded; yet willing to rekindle this relationship with my dad. I have spent years and

thousands of dollars in therapy just to understand you got to let that hurt go. I don’t

know what is to come, but at least we got the conversation started on Facebook.


Michelle Ngome is an author of Network, Navigate & Nurture: The Equation to Strategic

Networking, host of the podcast Networking With Michelle and a Networking Coach. For more

information visit