I have a confession.
It’s been 770 days since I’ve written anything here. It’s dusty here. I’ve neglected this space. There are many, many reasons for this. Some of them good. Many of them excuses. The excuses are easier to write about, because everyone has excuses. The real reasons are more of a challenge to write about because they’re, well, real. Real pain. Real heartache. Real life. Real shit.
There is plenty of time for all of that later though. Let’s not do that today. I’ve got something else on my brain. I did something recently, that I’ve been talking about doing for a couple of years. In fact, I started thinking about doing it not that long after my last post in this space.
I got a DNA test done.
I received the results of said DNA test this week, and although I knew the possibilities, (thus the test), I have been having a hard time wrapping my head around them.
In a nutshell, the person who I have thought was my dad for the past 45 years, is not, in fact, my dad. This means that not only do I have a whole family that I am related to that I have never met, but I also have a whole family that I have thought I was related to that I am not. My grandparents that I took care of until the end of their lives? Yeah, not my grandparents. My sister that I grew up with? She’s now my half-sister. My half-siblings that I grew up with? Not related. Cousins, aunts & uncles, family reunions. It’s partially mind-bending and partially hysterical. My sister used to tease me when we were kids, telling me I was adopted, or that I was someone else’s kid because my coloring was so far off from the rest of the kids in the family. She’s not laughing now that she knows she wasn’t that far off, although the test results change nothing about the way we feel about each other. At least not the way that I feel.
These results change everything and nothing at the same time. My relationships don’t change. If I loved you and was close to you before I opened the results, I love you now. If you were hanging off the edges of my family picture previously, I don’t suddenly feel the need to pull you into it. It hasn’t changed my relationships a bit.
My ethnic makeup has changed. I thought I was Irish, and I have suddenly become Hispanic. I guess I should have known. I do love enchiladas and margaritas with a passion. This means I am now a double minority. Go figure. Again, this doesn’t bother me in any way, although my kids are a bit upset that they didn’t learn about this before they incurred a ton of college debt. Surely there would have been better grant opportunities available had they only known.
What has been difficult is realizing that the things I went through as a child were completely unnecessary. Although unchangeable, it has reopened wounds that I believed were long ago healed. I can’t remember the last time I cried about my childhood, but I have cried rivers in the past two days. Rivers.
I know that with a bit of time, I will be able to put all of this information into the proper framework that will allow me to move forward without having a box of tissue at the ready, but for now, I’m just letting the news settle in.