Fiction Series: Family secret: My dad is my mom's brother

Bassey BY
Part 5: Recently, my husband died of a drug overdose, and now my mom, Jena, shared a family secret -- Is he my uncle or what?

"The number of family secrets is just staggering."--Jill A. Davis.

Read part 4 here.

The truth, the pain

"The truth sets us free, but it first makes us miserable." - Sandra Wilson.

My mom's story continues:

"Pastor Joe shared a bombshell; John was an abandoned teenager adopted by my parents. The painful truth is that John raped me at fourteen.

My grandparents confirmed the family secret for the first time and casually stressed, 'all things can work together for good. It's a family matter.' I hated my grandparents' attitude until they passed away a decade ago."

"Rapists and their supporters always find meaningless excuses or blame others for their crimes. I hated all the adults who enabled John. He had money, power, and fame. My father and grandparents were ready to live well without a clear conscience. My mom seemed to lack power and a voice."

My thought: "A mother who delivered nine babies lacked power and a voice."

"My therapist suggested I share this secret with you before you had children, but I delayed it because I thought you were still too young to bear your father's burden. But I don't want to die with this secret. Your husband's death gave me a wake-up call to do so. I hope you don't blame me or hate yourself."

I made peace with myself. I was a child, and John was an adult and the brother I admired. I hated adults who didn't protect me. John had money, power, and fame and took my childhood away from me."

"No one asked me how I felt or what I wanted. My mother hated my father and divorced him afterward. Mrs. Green quietly divorced John and took over most of her empire. I moved in with John in a two-bedroom apartment he bought in NYC. He hired a maid to cook and clean up after us. After I had you, I went to a public high school and a state college to complete my education."

"After your first birthday, I started dating other men and neglected John for good. He paid for what he did, and after a few years, he lost the respect of everyone, including his three children. After living with him as husband and wife for eight years, I filed for divorce. And I married the love of my life, Kris, a year later, and he raised you and your two siblings."

I interrupted Jena:

Me: "Mom, did you live with him for eight years?"

Mom: "Silence."

"The truth sets us free, but it first makes us miserable." - Sandra Wilson.

Jena continued her story:

"As you can see, I'm living a good life today, and John is in a nursing home at the young age of seventy-two. The evil that men do lives after them. I'm sorry for this horrible confession. Honey, do you have any more questions?"

Me: "Why are you sharing this now?"

Mom: Silence.

Me: "Mom, is this true, or did you make it up? Why now, after a quarter of a century?"

Breast Cancer and More Secrets

"The number of family secrets is just staggering." --Jill A. Davis

She continued:

"It is my truth, and I am sharing it because I don't want to die with the secret. Your dad knows it's true. You can ask him if you wish to before he dies. Please go to the nursing home and ask him."

"But stop badmouthing rape survivors and defending NY rapists. Often, rape survivors are powerless to fight off powerful men and women. John did terrible things to me, Gigi, and his three children. Your dad is miserable today. 'The evil that men do lives after them.' Oh! You see him often. You can keep visiting him if you want. I wish your husband were alive to hear my story, but I am glad I decided to share it today. I'm free."

My thought: "How can I ever trust anyone again? My family's secret is distasteful and evil. I'm so angry and hateful."

Me: Crying. "Mom, I have a secret. I want to be free too. Freedom didn't die of natural causes but of a drug overdose. I lied because I was ashamed of our family's clean image."

We hugged and cried.

Mom: "No worries, I knew."

Me: "How did you know?

Mom: "There's nothing secret on Wall Street. But you don't tell each other. Your stepdad's uncle gave him a position he had no experience in, and after he got the job, everything about him was followed and digested. Drug use in his line of work is not a secret until you are caught or die."

"The truth sets us free, but it first makes us miserable." - Sandra Wilson.

Me: "OMG. I'm so ashamed."

Mom: "Don't. You cannot be ashamed of other people's mistakes. Focus on yours and mind your own business. Honey, is your drug use a problem?"

Me: "No, mom, I don't do drugs."

Mom: "Okay! If you do, get help today before you die; you will leave your three young children in state custody. They use children in state custody as a political football, and many foster homes are not the best place for young children."

Me: "Oh no, I don't do drugs. I wanted to file for divorce when I found out he was using them a few months before he died."

Mom: "Okay. Be wise and ask for help. Addiction is a treatable disease. Whitney Houston, a superstar, died because she chose not to ask for help. Stupid pride. No shame in asking for help and being alive."

Both of us: "Silence."

The last part continues next Sunday. See you then.

For you, readers:

Addiction is a treatable disease, and treatment works. Seek treatment if your drug use negatively affects your relationship, career, health, and pocketbook.

Please share your view below.
  • How do you feel about Jena and her daughter, Zita?
  • What would you do if you were Jena's parents?
  • Have you ever been betrayed by your best friend or spouse?

This story is a work of fiction and was first published on another website.

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