Here goes nothing and everything at once. A few months ago, thanks to DNA testing, I matched with one of my closest relatives on my father’s side. It’s not my half sister in case you were wondering..but turns out the gentleman I match with is my father’s first cousin..that makes us first cousin 1x removed. OF COURSE I messaged him immediately..but this time instead of going balls to the wall, I took a subtle approach and merely said we are a strong match and I am looking forward to seeing what our connection (liar liar pants on fire) …that approach like every other approach with my father’s family got me nowhere..Fast forward a couple of months…
I sent another message to this gentleman and yeah this time it was balls to the wall..my father is T, grandfather is H, grandmother is V..well this tactic caught his eye and he wrote me back. Actually he demanded to know where I got my information from and claimed not to have a cousin named K (my half sister) and nor did he have a relative with my name..fed up with being ignored, rejected and brushed off ..my snarky self messaged back..surprise it’s a girl.
After quite the bit of going back and forth my newfound cousin backed off ..realizing we are a strong DNA match and the fact that I look so so much like my father’s mother ..side rant here..did I mention I have subscription to newspapers.com? Greatest thing I have ever done hands down. Originally I typed in my grandmother’s name and nothing came up..then I typed in my grandfather’s name and what do I find..nothing less than my grandmother’s wedding announcement and photo from the July 15, 1933 Boston Globe and holy look alike Batman ..I am her twin. Do you know what it feels like to be almost 50 (at the time) and finally know who you look like? My eyes were looking back at me..my smile, my cheeks ..someone in this world looks like me at long last..to say the feeling is overwhelming is nothing shy of an understatement…oh and my grandmother was kind of a badass ..graduated from college in the 1920’s, taught school even though her husband (my grandfather) was a lawyer..ran for public office and won, active politically ..ok she was not kind of badass she was an OG BADASS.
Back to my new cousin..he called me not long after this concession of his ..and we talked for 2 hours. He told me a LOT about my family and the history and prominence of who they were ..including a Revolutionary War general who served with George Washington, a Civil War General, how our family came from England and settled here and spread out ..all very cool and interesting stuff. I learned my great grandfather whom this cousin is named after was a lawyer, a judge and a farmer and a prominent man in his own right..how my grandfather was brilliant trial lawyer and my grandfather’s brother was also a lawyer..both worked for insurance companies during the depression and made money..by the way my father also worked for insurance companies as a lawyer. He also told me a LOT about my grandparents..how my grandmother was a diabetic and lost her vision, how my grandfather was a man of few words..he told me a little about my father, and a result I no longer fear early onset Alzheimer’s . He told me a bit about my sister (the stuff said about my sister ..I alternately feel bad for her and like and you turn your nose up at me???? karma is a bitch sweetheart..and back to it explains a lot and everyone has their own story just be kind) we ended our conversation with the promise of having more in the future and the possibility I would visit him in the state he now lives in. Not bad ..considering he could not wrap his head around the fact that my father did what he did and I am a result..although he did admit my father was not faithful in his marriage long after I was born and his wife was well aware.
This cousin and I had another conversation ..actually 2 in the past few days and here is where I am struggling, pissed off and and sad all at once. The cousin is coming to visit New England in the next couple of weeks. He will start his journey by staying with my father’s wife ..I mentioned if he had time that I would like to meet him and asked if he had some pictures would he mind sharing them with me. He agreed to meet and me being me I said don’t go out of your way to come here I will drive to you and find a place closer to where C lives. He called me back the next day and said that we could not meet in or near the town C lives in ..I am guessing he told her about me..because I have never contacted her. SO we made arrangements to meet closer to me for lunch…anyhow here is the fun part..
We have established that he and I closely related. My DNA matches both my father’s parents families in every way possible..I look a bit like my and exactly like my grandmother..so he says to me have I considered that my mother may have been with other men.. EXCUSE ME???? BACK THE FUCK UP PAL…in order for him and I to be a match as strongly as we are he has to be a 1st cousin or half sibling to my father (because he does not match anyone on my mother’s side and we share the same amount of DNA with his other first cousins offspring) He can’t fathom why my dad did what he did or that he would allow a child to come about..well once again pal…it’s a girl.
So here is where I am at ..first of all ..I may not have had a good or even decent relationship with my mother..but she was MY MOTHER and don’t you dare slut shame her. My father was just as responsible for his actions as she was for hers..and how dare you try and discredit science to save the feelings of his wife or uphold the family reputation. Here is a clue buddy ..from everything you have told me..SHE KNEW. She knew he was cheating and she stayed and she had her reasons for staying with a man who cheated on her more than once. Chances are she knew about me and she didn’t care. My mother never told me what happened, how or where they met, or what happened when he obviously ended things between 1973 and 1974 (when life was hell in my house) she died when I was 16 ..she lied often about who he was and told me anything about him was none of my fucking business..but she was still my mother and she pined for a man she could never have..she paid her price in spades for what she did.
In all of this I had no choice. No one ever asked me would you like the DNA of these 2? I am tired of having to prove that yes indeed I am T’s daughter ..tired of tiptoeing around these people who (not this cousin..but my half sister , when he was alive my father and probably my stepmother) knew of my existence and chose and continue to choose to reject me .and for what? Are they afraid I will come in and ask for money or things? Honestly they can keep their money..the cousin said to me during our first conversation that my sister and stepmother are living very good lives spending the money my grandfather and father earned ..I hope they enjoy it and brings them joy..I don’t want their money. I used to want to know them..I used to want to comment with them but right now I am tired..I am tired of being the villain in this story. I did absolutely nothing wrong and yet it seems I am a problem..why is my father not the problem here? I acknowledge my mother was part of the problem because she was wrong in what she did ..but so was he. My mother did not get pregnant by drinking from the same cup as he did let’s be real.
Through the years I have always empathized with my stepmother ..always hoped the affair with my mother was a 1 time deal and T learned the error of his ways ..well if she knew and she clung to him for whatever reasons..maybe the financial payoff ..she is just as guilty as my mother and father were.
I am going to meet my cousin..it might very well be a 1 time occurrence ..but to sit in the same room with someone who knew my father well and is closely related to him will absolutely bring me some closure. I will not allow our conversation to focus on the negative ..not going to happen. He is going to accept me for who I am …his long lost relative who refuses to back down..so that said
No longer will I see myself as the victim in this scenario..never again will I take on the role of the villain because I am neither. I am the child created and thrown away ..I am the adult who survived and if my paternal relatives can’t see beyond their blinders then shame on them. They are missing an opportunity to have another person in their lives who will love them and get to know them with no strings attached ..but they have to make the next move not me.