Young woman stunned when she finds out her mom and dad held a dark secret

Lefty Graves
Brown EyesPhoto byHichem DahmanionUnsplash

** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as shared with me by a friend who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

I worked as a youth mentor for many years. It meant being on call 24 hours a day, seven days per week. It wasn’t unusual to receive a phone call in the middle of the night or a knock on the door by a troubled youth in the wee hours of the morning.

Usually, they just needed someone to listen to them. Often, they resolved their own problems by simply being allowed to vent and talk and work through their feelings. It took a lot of patience and self-control not to interrupt and give solutions, but sometimes, that was the best way to go about helping them. Just listen and allow them to come to their own decision.

One night I received a phone call from one young lady. She was 16 years old. She was in tears and asked me if she could have her mom bring her over to talk to me. It was getting late, and I had just put my own children to bed, but I agreed to allow her mom to bring her over.

When she arrived, her mom came in to make sure that it was really okay that she brought her by at a late hour. I assured her that it was fine, and she told me she would wait to hear back from her daughter and then return to pick her up.

After the mother left, the young woman and I sat down. Over tears, this young lady shared with me that her parents had had a turbulent marriage. For years everyone had asked this young lady why her last name was different than her older brother's last name. Her usual answer was that she had her mother's maiden name, and her brother had their dad's last name.

For most, this answer was sufficient; if it wasn’t, no one pressed the young girl over it. However, there was a dark secret that her mother and her dad held close to their hearts, and it wasn’t pretty. For several years her parents had been apart yet still married.

One of them was a drug addict and an alcoholic, and the other one didn’t want to deal with it. However, after a year of rehab, they were reunited and living together once again. This is when the mother found herself pregnant. Unfortunately, she didn’t know who the father of her baby was.

Although the couple stayed together and chose to parent her as a mom and dad, it became clear as time passed that the dad wasn’t this girl's biological father. To make matters worse, the mother didn’t know who was the true biological father.

Just before the girl entered high school, the parents had decided to tell her the truth before she took biology and realized how exceedingly rare it is for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown-eyed child. The girl was devastated.

As I listened to the young girl pour her heart out; my heart ached for her. She was very close to the man that she called dad. When she finished sharing the story with me, I asked her how her dad felt about the situation now that she knew.

She paused and burst into tears and told me that he had cried because he was afraid he would lose her. She had always felt very close to her dad and spoke very highly of him. He had been there at her birth and was always there for her. I reminded her that he had been there for all of that, that he surely loves her very much.

She never wanted to learn who her biological father was. She’s now grown and has children of her own who spend a lot of time with a great set of grandparents. Do you think the parents were right in waiting until she was beginning high school to tell her the truth? Or do you think that they should have told her the truth sooner, or not at all?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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