EMPATH. LONER. MUSICIAN.
My MPE journey actually began in 2013 when I decided to take a DNA test for ethnicity purposes. I had always known there was some European heritage. However, I was surprised to learn I am 52% European, 40% African (with 9 % being Afro Caribbean), 5% Asian, and 3 % Hispanic. I was shocked to learn of the Asian, Caribbean, and Hispanic heritage, but still I dismissed the results. I also failed to notice that two of my siblings with whom I grew up were showing as close relatives rather than brother and sister.
Shortly after I received my results, a distance cousin reached out to ask me how I was related to a man who was showing as my first cousin. My reply was I didn’t have a clue. I then went on with my life, and gave little thought to my results.
In 2016 after a major health crisis, and then the deaths of both my oldest brother and my husband, I was lost and looking for something to occupy my time as well as distract me from my deep grief, so I revisited my DNA results. I reached out to the man who was a first cousin match for me. We spoke on the phone, and once again I stated I couldn’t understand how we were related. It never dawned on me that if we were first cousins that meant our parents were siblings, and he was too kind to say it even though he knew what it meant.
I again chose to ignore my results until 2018 when my First Cousin DNA match reached out to ask if I had figured anything out about our relationship. He then blurted out our parents had to be siblings. Then the light bulb went off in my head, and I knew exactly what he was saying. I felt sick, and I remember thinking not my perfect mother. Suddenly the memories of my childhood came rushing in; never feeling like I belonged, overwhelming sadness, not looking like anyone in my family, and always feeling something was off about me. I was crushed. He told me he had two uncles, and that I looked very much like one of them.
He also said I looked very much like his mother and aunts. He sent me pictures of the man he believed was my biological father, and there I was. This is who I looked like. I could see me. My cousin also told me my BF had possibly fathered two children while he was stationed in Germany, and that I may have German half siblings. I spent months going through a box of documents that were his, and translating them from German to English. I was able to locate the two possible children, and begged them to take DNA tests. They both believed he was their father because their mothers had told them he was. However, the DNA results proved he was not. I felt terrible for them, and guilty I had caused them pain.
In 2019 I finally got the nerve to confront my then 89 year old mother when she came to visit from California. Little did I know when I asked the question that I would experience another shock. It turned out the man I believed to be my biological father was instead my uncle. His younger brother was my BF. My mother met him while working at a State Mental Hospital where he was a patient. All that played over and over in my head was I was conceived in a mental hospital. I felt like I was trapped in someone else’s nightmare.
My mom said she never knew for sure, and somehow that didn’t help.
I have always had this self loathing destructive side. I would look in the mirror and think how ugly I am. I often thought about suicide, and I would cut my arms to relieve the pressure in my head. I still struggle with finding something good about myself.
On a positive note, I do have a half brother, and we are building a relationship. I also have met 4 first cousins who have been very welcoming. Unfortunately, my BF never knew about me, and he died in 2016. My aunts have also passed, and my uncle, who I actually look like, died in 1992 by suicide. Knowing this, I can’t help but wonder if my suicidal tendencies come from him.
I have always self identified as black, although it was always apparent in my family growing up we were of mixed ethnicity. Both my maternal grandfather, and my newly discovered paternal grandmother are of European decent with both having blue eyes. My maternal grandmother was also multiracial. Discovering my ethnicity breakdown, led me down a another road of emotional turmoil. I’m still trying to figure out where I ethnically fit. At this point in time I choose to identify as mixed.
I have come a long way in my journey. I am no longer angry, and have forgiven my mother. I understand there are things that happened in her life that probably led her down this road. I think sometimes we forget our parents are human too.
I still can’t seem to find my place in either family, and feel I exist in a space somewhere between both worlds. I grieve for all that was lost, but am hopeful that in time I will find my place.