A child caught up in her Mother’s Tangled web
I am 50 years old and just found out.
I can relate to a few of these stories. So here goes mine in 1,000 characters or less. This is going to get complicated -bear with me.
I have always ‘felt’ like I did not fit in. My ‘sister’ is petite and I am not. I have different teeth. I have a different skin tone. However, I have known other families with children that are not all the same.
My first memory would be my mother’s friend that told me my step dad was not my father and I should ask her about it. I was around 10, 5th grade. We all used her current husbands last name in school (let us say, her current husband was Smith) a common practice in the 70’s of remarried Mothers with children of previous marriages. We had
I did ask my Mom and she told me in fact she had been 2x married before and me, 1 brother and 1 sister had a last name of Henry, while another brother was from a previous marriage and another sister was from the current marriage. I told her I would not go by someone else’s name any longer because that is not who I was. We then made the deal that when I started jr high school, in a new school district, I could then use my ‘real’ name.
Which I did. It does not end there. I also asked my Mother why I didn’t ever get to see my real Dad, she told me he lived in another state with his new family and did not care about us. Also, not true. I found out when I was 16 that Mr. Henry had been missing, presumed dead since I was 2. He robbed a bank and was never seen again. So for another 32 years I believed that to be true. It is not.
Mr. Henry did rob a bank and was missing, I tracked down a detective who was a rookie 30 years before and was going to have a body they found exhumed. I have spend thousands of hours tracking, responding, monitoring, questioning anyone I could about Mr. Henry. I was proud to have such a strong family name. I went to the other state to visit his ‘other’ family. But, it always nagged at me something did not feel right. I just do not fit in, I am so different. When I asked my mother on numerous occasions she would say, “you like like your Grandma Henry when she was young”, ‘why would you think that?”.
Last year a picture was taken of me with my ‘sister’ and it just hit me. So I talk my sister into a Secret dna test. I didn’t want to look like a fool if I was wrong. I was not wrong.
At first I thought my Mother did not know, I thought maybe I was switched at birth. Within 48 hours my Aunt confirmed my Mother knew and my real Father (O’brian) suspected I was his. He even tried to adopt me, I was told he hung around for a a couple years when we were kids, but my mother remarried soon after divorce number 2 and had yet another child with Smith.
I remember she ghosted the friend that told me to ask her when I was 10. My real Dad O’brian died when I was around 22, I never got to know him. I grew up without a Dad because she cheated on Henry with O’brian and thought playing me off as Henry’s child was best-it was really just best for her. O’brian never had any children of his own.
I was my maternal Grandmas favorite, I felt, and know I wonder if she knew and that’s why she treated me like that, out of pity. I always felt like my mother went out of her way for me over the other kids too, I am guessing also out of guilt and pity. I feel like a fool. I feel like I cannot face anyone from my childhood, friends, family. I feel like she has made me look like such a damn fool. I no longer do social media, I cannot ever talk about family with friends or in general at work when people ask an otherwise benign question. I am so angry, I have not spoken to her since. I moved to another state.
What am I to tell my children? I had a chance to have a father and she denied him and I of that so she didn’t look bad. Selfish, selfish act. I figured out a long time ago the time of woman she was in her younger years. None of our fathers - for 5 children- 4 different men- never stayed around because of her. All 4 men just stop coming around because of her games, and to let me think my Dad was a bank robber- who does that?