Family secrets

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Tain, May 21, 2010.

  1. I'm kinda frazzled. I don't really know how to handle what I've been given, for once. I'm back home... I actually got back Monday. My father was visiting me... drove my car up to me and such, which was a nice gesture, but one that I really didn't want him to offer because of his age. While we were leaving the licensing office he randomly spoke during a lull in our conversation and said, "I have a story to tell you."

    To which I cheerfully replied, "Let's hear it" without any fucking clue of what he was about to lay on me.

    He said, "23 years old, a young Airman who just got out of the Air Force... had a wife and two kids. Came home one day to find all the clothes piled in the middle of the living room with a note that said, 'I knew you wouldn't leave, so I did.' "

    There was a long pause before he said something like, "So I didn't really have anything left to do about it. She disappeared. The family wouldn't tell me where she was."

    And I looked at him and said, "Wait a minute, you're telling me that--"

    "Yes. ... Yes."

    So that's it basically in a nutshell. That's how he dropped it on me that I have a half-sister and a half-brother who up until recently were missing, due to the fact that their mother told them that my father died in Vietnam. I've lived my whole life thinking that I was the only one, and believe it or not I more often than once wished that I had siblings. So it's a big deal to me even if they're "only half."

    I think I'm happy, but it makes me nervous at the same time. Unsettled is maybe a better word. I pretty much took it in stride and didn't really let it sink in much while my father was still around. But the more it sinks in, the more it seems to disturb me a bit. My grandparents' 70th anniversary is coming up, and they're doubling it up as a family reunion. My sister will be there, and she wants to meet me. She apparently saw me when I was a baby as well. It just trips me out.

    Like I said, I have no idea how to handle it. But I feel like I'm avoiding it rather than engaging it... perhaps because I have no idea how to engage it.
  2. Just engage it however is comfortable for you. There's no need for a "rushing into each other's arms" sort of meeting or anything like that. They could be more stoked to see you than you are to see them, since you said it unsettles you, which is perfectly understandable. All you can really do is find out about each other. Either you'll find you get along, have things in common, etc...or that you don't.

    I went through something like this before. It was more of a having half-siblings just show up at your house to stay for half the year. My parents seemed to forget to even mention them to me or even explain it after the fact. I'm still trying to sort it out. In the end we pretty much had absolutely ziltch in common. They were old enough to have children of their own and I got along with them, but just not them.

    This'll be a journey of discovery for both sides. There's no need to rush anything. Just head in as you see fit and at a pace that feels comfortable for you. If they live far away or something like that, then why not just swap emails? That might be more comfortable since you could control the pace of communication.
  3. It's really that simple, isn't it? I think I just needed to hear it. Real talk: thanks Amp. I think what was overwhelming me is that sense of family obligation, like I need to drop everything and try and make up for 25 years of not knowing them... but like you said, there's not really any need to.