Traveling Down The Rabbit Hole

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A couple of months ago I received a letter in the mail that made some, in my opinion, really outlandish claims. It was a letter that took quite a bit to digest because the information made sense but at the same time confused the hell out of me. The first person I talked to about this letter was my oldest daughter (23 y/o) because I was hoping she might help me make sense of it enough where I could have a talk with my wife that actually made sense. In the beginning of the letter the woman identified herself (I will refer to her as “ST) as the granddaughter of my biological mother (I will refer to her as JT). I was 2 sentences in to the letter and now I was a little pissed. Let me track back a few years and I will explain. I will assume from this point forward that y’all know I’m adopted. I located my biological mother back in 2002 and the short version was I was fed a boatload of bullshit that took me roughly 8 years to unravel. When I unraveled what I was able to find out I was able to find my biological father (died in 2004) which led me to tracking down his wife, which eventually led to me finding their children, and in 2009 I met a majority of them when attending my eldest daughter’s high school graduation in South Dakota where the biologicals also happened to live. Anyway, the long and the short of this is that my biological mother (JT) said without saying that she does not have time for me in her life and wishes that I will discontinue contact. Her wish was my command and I do not have contact with her nor have I met her yet because she has declined meeting me under any circumstances. Back to the beginning of the letter from ST. Granddaughter? This means that JT had children or at least one where she told me that after the “ordeal” with me that she never wanted any more children because she was heartbroken that she was forced to give me up for adoption since she was only 16 y/o at the time of my birth. Shall we go deeper into the rabbit hole?

ST went on to explain that she was the daughter of the youngest of two sons of JT. Dramatic pause please ………….. wait for it ………………. WTF did she just say???? Did she just say that my biological mother had two sons besides me? Unfuckingbelievable! Now ST had set the hook and was in the process of reeling me in, it was slow going because, as one might imagine, I was fighting the information a little bit because of my disbelief of what she was saying. I can’t help but reading on, pushing forward, looking for the next little surprise that she might have to offer. Here it comes, she didn’t ease into it at all, no cuddling and no foreplay, just jumped right into it. Apparently my biological mother is having some heath issues of some sort so ST was asked to come over to her house, because they live in the same town of Kingston Idaho, to help her do some cleaning. ST wasn’t there to help, she was there to do it herself because JT was in the hospital for a few days having tests done. While at JT’s house ST got to snooping around because she has never been in this house alone so she said it felt natural to look around a bit. ST had done some laundry and was in the process of hanging the dresses up in the closet when her hand bumped a large envelope. When she peeked to see what was in this stuffed envelope she saw pictures of her dad (RT), her uncle ( also JT), and another man she didn’t recognize (me). There were individual pictures of me while I was in the Air Force, individual pictures of her dad while he was in the Air Force that she had never seen, and one picture of her dad and myself together in our uniforms. She enclosed a copy of this picture. My first thoughts? Holy shit I met my half brother and neither of us even knew the relationship. ST had not made the connection at this point, it took her some time looking through letters that I had written to her over the years, 4 to be exact, none of which were ever answered. ST explained she was very stunned because grandma had some explaining to do. ST borrowed the envelope that afternoon knowing that grandma would not be home for a few days. She wanted to talk to her boyfriend of 4 years what he thought and if he had got the same impression from everything that was read, to include information about my adoption and so forth. He concluded the same thing, her grandmother was hiding all of this from the family for some reason. But, what was the reason? Why hide all of this for so many years? Why is it so important to keep this a secret? That information boys and girls may never be revealed.

After speaking with her boyfriend, ST spoke to her father in a very private setting. Her dad, RT, explained to her that it was ok to contact me since they had my phone number and address. So, she did contact me, she did write me the letter, and she did talk to her uncle as well. I reviewed what I knew about her dad. He was part of a select group of people that I hung around while I was stationed in New Mexico. He was on my “crew” but I knew all six of my crew pretty well because working with explosives you need to be able to know the “sides” of people and their moods as it helps to determine how they operate day to day. In fact, I knew ST as a young girl, I would guess she was 9 or 10 at the time, as well I knew his wife. Her dad and I had a weird relationship, we acted like siblings to one another, but were never really close by any means. We joked around well together and worked well together. As I read this letter I would pause to look at the picture she sent because I knew exactly when, where, and why the picture was taken. That in itself isn’t important, just had those flashback moments that in the end made me smile. After a very long talk with my wife the ultimate question was asked, she wanted to know what I was going to do. Well, first, I kissed her on the forehead, gathered up the letter, and headed out to my shop to be alone. I was mad. I was mad at a person who didn’t have the time for me to tell me she had two sons just a few years younger than me. I was mad that I wasn’t important enough to tell. I did allot of yelling at her in my shop, I called her things I don’t care to repeat here, and I cut up allot of wood that otherwise I would have used to make something nice. I worked thru my anger as the night passed. I would read the letter, stare in to the picture, read the letter some more, and then finally I folded the letter back up, replaced it into the envelope, closed up my shop, and went back up to the house since it was about 3 in the morning. I called her that day, I tried to be a cold hearted bastard and act as if I didn’t care, but it didn’t work because ST was so damn sweet to me. She knew she would be fucking my life up by sending the letter, but she knew she needed to tell me what she did for the sake of everyone involved, to include herself. She mentioned that she put all the papers back in her grandmothers closet and she isn’t any wiser that anything has transpired. St asked me if I was mad at her, I guess my tone was a little stressed, but I let her know I hold no anger for her because they were as clueless as I was. She mentioned how bizarre she thought it was that her grandmother would keep all this information about me but keep me a secret to all her family. All I could do at that time was agree with her.

Since then, I have spoken to ST and my two 1/2 brothers on a few occasions. I have not spoken to my biological mother. I have sat down and talked with my mother who finds everything I uncover over the years very interesting. Sadly, she has been able to provide zero help because she had parts of the same false information I began my journey with. But, she knows I am not family shopping. Any additional people brought into my life all have to understand I do have a life, that they also have a life, and just knowing all of this information is disruptive enough. Then a person has to process the lies, the deceit, the rabbit holes, and the sometimes high hopes which get deflated every so often. I don’t know if they will ever confront their mother with what they found out or with what I was able to tell them. Personally I don’t care. They will have to wrestle those demons on their own as I wrestle my demons on my own. I know what your thinking but I’m not really that selfish. As far as I am concerned I don’t have anything specific to say to my biological mother. If I never meet her in person I think I can live and die in comfort with my decision. It’s things like this in my life that demonstrate the exact reasons why I don’t trust too many people.

questioneverything

6 responses to “Traveling Down The Rabbit Hole

  1. Great post, Steven, with so many complicated emotions. How odd that you and your half brother served together in the military, and that your biological mother had all those pictures of you two. That has to be very difficult, both your biological mom wanting nothing to do with you, as well as knowing that she had two sons after she gave you up for adoption. It took courage for ST to contact you; maybe something good will come of it.

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    • I can truly say, when someone asks about my family, that it’s complicated. I appreciate Sara for contacting me and filling me in. That, in itself, dealing with the enigma which is me, is a challenge sometimes. But, I have a life that I live everyday and that is where my mind likes to stay.

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  2. Extraordinary, Steven. My life has been so simple and straightforward compared to yours. Sara’s a brave girl and I admire her for seeking answers to this mystery. But I can understand how disruptive and disconcerting these revelations and intrusions must be on your end. Fortunately, you have a rich, abundant life of your own, one that involves and satisfies you completely. I can only imagine the reason for your biological mother’s secrecy and strange behavior must be some deep-seated shame or guilt.

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  3. Hi Scorp. Remarkable to receive such a letter out of the blue. Since I’m a new reader, I didn’t know you were adopted. It’s sad (pathetic really) that your biological mother was so cold and declined to meet you at all, her loss. Getting a letter from JT’s granddaughter and finding out she had two more sons and after telling you she was too heartbroken at giving you up for adoption to have any more, yeah, that really bites! Incredible about the picture ST found, and good for her for sending it to you and writing to you, that took some bravery on her part. What a shock to find out you had served in the Air Force with your half-brother while neither of you ever knew about your relationship, and that you and RT even acted like siblings. Stunning to find that out. It’s puzzling that JT, on the one hand, kept all this in her closet, but on the other, totally rejected even meeting you. Don’t blame you for being angry, I’d sure be angry too. One way or another, that past was going to be revealed one day. I think ST had her heart in the right place. All this information is certainly like looking down a rabbit hole.

    Btw, I understand about complicated families. My siblings and I were sent to an orphanage and later divided up into different foster homes when my mother was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. My father frantically tried to find help with 6 young kids and a sick wife, asking her relatives who lived nearby and asking the church. The only help the church gave was just send them to an orphanage in the next county (as I adult I found out that parishes were being paid by the diocese back then to send kids to that orphanage, pictures of poor kids guaranteed $ to fill church coffers.) Of course, my dad didn’t know any of that. He thought the parish was going to send a woman to help while he was at work, but instead the priest called social services, and while my father was still at work, they came and took us to the orphanage. Once in the hands of social services, everything becomes complicated. The next betrayal happened when my dad then asked my mother’s family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a large Sicilian family, to take us in, even one to a family. My uncle told my father, just leave them there at the orphanage for now, we’ll help later. They never did, always had excuses. During those years, we never saw those relatives, not even our grandparents wrote or came to visit. They were ashamed of my mom’s mental illness and rejected her and her children. Just wanted you to know that from own my experience, I can truly understand about complicated families.

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    • My life, the soap opera, keeps things interesting. I have weighed the option of confronting my biological mother with this information. I have decided not to however because it would also affect the lives of others in what I am afraid would be a negative fashion. She has her reasons, I have learned to respect.

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