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Anything your parents have let slip now you are an adult that you were oblivious to as a child?(317 Posts)
My dad said on the phone "oh, there's that mountain we climbed on the telly. You remember when I took you and your brother away for a holiday and mum stayed at home."
I didn't catch all of what mum said - but it was something to the effect that she wasn't best pleased to be reminded of the time they split up.
I had no idea - I just thought dad got more leave.
It turned out that DB was not a birthday present for me (albeit born 6 months later), after all, but an accident. He's 6.5 years younger.
I wasn't told, but read it.
I found out I have a uncles, aunts and cousins quite recently. My dm was adopted and her records were lost during the war so she has no idea who her df is. Her dm gave her away then gave away another ds 2 years later. She married at least twice, once a few months after giving away my dm and again a year or so after giving away her ds. There may be more children.
Her adopted family put her and her brother into a children's home when they were teenagers as the adopters died in a car crash and the rest of the family refused to take on the two teenagers as they weren't 'real' family. They were split up and put in homes at 14 years. This was in the early 50's.
I remember reading this thread when it first started and being shocked that so many people had siblings they didn't know about. Then I found out that I also have a half sibling about a year ago.
My Mum accidentally let it slip thinking that I already knew. She half apologised afterwards, but I don't think she got that it was a huge thing for me.
I still haven't really dealt with it as I have been rebuilding a relationship with my Dad so didn't want to bring up my sister who is out there somewhere yet.
This is an old one now, but when I was about 14, off sick from school and watching TV there was a program about people with learning disabilities. My mother came to sit next to me and asked how I would feel about having a relative with a similar issue.
I replied (pragmatically) that if you do then you do and there's no point worrying about it. Turns out my father had an older sister who was put into an institution when she was 15 and he was 12. My father hadn't seen her again and it was never talked about. When Dad told Mum about his sister he expected her to dump him over it.
It made sense as we lived in the same house that my father grew up in and he had the smallest bedroom. Obviously my aunt had the bigger room.
After my grandmother died my grandfather reintroduced my father to his sister and eventually we all met her. She didn't really understand the family relationship between us but she grew to be very fond of my parents who visited very regularly.
Aunt Mary died last year and she had 20 years of getting to know her brother again.
My great auntie gave away two children. I think their dad was abusive and I know her mum was not very nice. They weren't babies though I think they were 3 and 4. No one will tell me anything about it though. Can't get my head around willingly giving up children that age. She went on to have another child that she kept and is in contact with one of her adopted sons but the other doesn't want to know.
I'll change the exact dates on this but my mum's mum and dad met in January, married in the March and my mum was born in the April. My nan however maintains that he is her real dad.
My auntie (dad's sister) came to stay when I was about ten and I remember her crying a lot and mum and dad going 'shhhh' when I entered the room. Of course I knew something was up but Auntie would paste on a smile and assure me she was 'fine'. But I'd been brought up in a family where emotions were trivialised or denied, ('You're not depressed - you're just sulking!') so it wasn't anything odd. Then two of our local Catholic parish priests visited over a period of a week and kept asking Auntie questions.
When I was a teenager I asked mum if my Auntie was divorced but she always changed the subject. Eventually I lost interest. Then I found out from my cousins - her three children that my Auntie had been trying to get an annulment.
'But an annulment is a total denial of the marriage isn't it?' I said. 'I mean it denies you - all three of you.' My cousin looked uncomfortable.
'Yes and we all hated it. But our dad was sexually abusing L* and she went to mum and mum's reaction was to try and annul the marriage.'
I don't know the full story but Auntie didn't go to the police. Instead she tried (and failed) to annul her marriage. And yet when one of her daughters accidentally got pregnant age 17, the poor girl was Persona Non Gratis for a few years and any mention of her name met with a glare.
This nasty event is one of the reasons I am no longer Catholic.
Wow some amazing stories on here. I know its an old thread but a very interesting read.
I think mist if not all families have skeletons in the cupboard. Some of these stories are quite sad and some horrific. Thank God times have changed a not so many women feel forced into giving their babies away.
Before she had me, my mum had an abortion and a nose job (not at the same time).
I asked at 20 why my great aunt wasn't in my nan s wedding photos as they are the best of friends. Cue embarrassed looks as nan explained my great aunt had been engaged to my grandad, my nan had got pregnant by and then ran off with her sisters fiancé. even my mum didn't know. 50 years later it's all forgotten now.
My cousin at 38 recently found out she had a full brother in England, we live in Ireland. Turned out her DM and DF went to England for a while before she was born and before they were married, her DM had a baby boy and had him adopted such was the shame of being pregnant out of wedlock, and my gran would have hit the roof.
They subsequently came home got married and had her very shortly after. There is less than 2 years between them, they look like twins, their kids are very alike and he also looks like my brother.
Her DM died when she was two and her father left my DM to bring her up so the truth never came out.
Also, my little brother was an accident, but I have never told him and I don't know if my siblings know.
More recently, that my mother was emotionally but also physically abused by my grandmother and still is emotionally dependent on her.
And my dad's first sister died in childhood, and te sister born after her was given the same name. Creepy!
This is not really a secret but it's interesting.
Actually working back the dates I could have been a second honeymoon baby! That sounds more romantic.
My parents got married when my mum was 19 and my dad 21.
Mum told me when I was a teenager he had had to have a backstreet abortion at 16. She told me this after I got pregnant at 17 and had a miscarriage. Might have been more useful as a cautionary tale if she had told me earlier! Especially as I always was under the impression she was a virgin until she married my dad and they had a perfect, conventional marriage all her life and so I never felt I could discuss sex or relationships with her at all as she "would never get it".
When I was in my 20s I found out from my godmother that my dad had loads of affairs and he once had a fling with a married woman whose husband nearly punched his lights out. Found out from my uncle that my parents had actually got divorced (i assume due to all my fathers affairs and apparenty their "complicated" sex life ) and then remarried on the same date as their original wedding day. I thought it was all very Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton.
Took me a little longer to realize that my mum must have been pregnant with me at the time as their anniversary is April and I was born 2 weeks overdue in the following January! Always wondered if she only remarried him because of me. They have never been very happy together in my recollection as she never forgave the infidelities (HATES cheaters and cheating with a passion). But have remained married all in for approaching 50 years.
My mum didn't hold me for the first 6 months of my life. It was only the intervention of my dad, and GPs on both sides that stopped my mum being hospitalised with PND.
She had an abortion after I was born, because she couldn't cope with the idea of having another baby.
She had a miscarriage before she had my sister, and miscarried again before she married my stepdad. I never knew until recently.
I always thought I was an accident, my mum often mentions what she "could have done if she hadn't had me" - apparently I was planned and wanted, and my dad got chucked out of the navy, he didn't quit because I was born!
Apologies for thread hogging but I thought this was interesting. When my Mum was a teenager she found out she had a baby brother who died a few days after being born. He was the 4th DC. Another relative told Mum that my Nan contracted German Measles when pregnant, and had the baby survived, he would have been severely disabled. Mum was very young when this happened and says all she remembers is being told about a new baby, and her Mum returning with no baby. When my grandparents died, we looked for the birth and death certificates in their house but they weren't there, and apparently the baby was never mentioned afterwards, so all knowledge is based on vague memories and speculation. Very sad.
I found out a year ago that my Nanas birthday wasnt Christmas Day as we all
including her believed - it was Christmas Eve.
Also found out then that she had brothers and sisters and what her parents were called, and that she doesnt know who my dads dad is but suspects it was a chauffer (not of hers though), and that my ddad was in care for a bit in his youth.
I have just spent ages reading this thread, which has been going years. Some really sad stories and some really amazing ones too. Families are so complicated, aren't they? Even the ones that look so normal from the outside.
My nan told me a few years ago that she was never really in love with my Grandad. She claims he used to follow her around and sit on the wall outside her house, and she only said 'yes' to him because she was sick of him asking.
She regrets doing it because he wouldn't let them have any more DC after their PFB, My DF, was born Deaf. (probably through Rubella, and she won't accept that it can still happen now.)
Mums mum had 3 children by different men in the 1930's. Th eldest was brought up as grandma's brother by my GGM.
Found out my eldest brother was not my dad's by overhearing my DF refer to 'x's father'. I was about 11.
My DF had fathered a child with a married woman before marrying my mum, but the woman's husband made them move away to Australia. Dad revealed this in his last days.
I remembered something else. A few years ago my Mum told me she'd been called into the Headteacher's office when I was at Primary school, to discuss my 'attitude problem'. Apparently, there was an optional extra test that a few kids were selected to take, (doing so would secure more funding for school computers.) I was one of those kids, and I remember being asked by the Head "Do you want to sit this test, Error?" I replied, "No thanks, not really."
My Mum was fuming with the Head. She told the him not to ask such an obvious question if he didn't want an honest answer from me, and huffed out!
I was really proud of my Mum for that, as growing up I always had the impression she was a bit of a mousey character. I knew she stuck up for me because she's my Mum, but when she told me this story I truly began to realise she always had my back. She said she didn't want me to feel like I could never question authority.
Just thought I'd add that little triumphant story to balance out a lot of the desperately sad ones on this thread. All completely fascinating but such a shame for the posters that your families had to go through traumatic times. I'm especially about the ones where young women were forced into abortions or had to give up their babies because of the shame.
Until my parents got married when i was a toddler, my dad's family had no idea i existed. They found out at the wedding itself when i arrived. Apparently my nan cried her eyes out.
I never knew until I was an adult that my grandparents had spent twenty odd years separated and were only actually 'together' out of some strange convenience (haven't quite worked this part out). It only came out when my dad was mentioning decorating their bedrooms.
This one was mortifying and I never needed to know! Was helping my grandma sort out my Granadad's belongings when he passed away. Found his army medical papers. He had been treated for an sti My grandma was completely non-plussed and just muttered something about hussies abroad
Was there anything I was oblivious to as a child?
Nope, I was pretty much up to speed with all the affairs and mental health issues and rows and unhappiness from the age of about eight.
After my mum died I helped my dad sort out her clothes, at which point I found out she owned crotchless knickers Worst thing I probably wouldn't of noticed if dad hadn't said, "oh look, crotchless knickers"
My mum and dad had a rough patch when I was about 5/6. Dad went to canada for 3 weeks, but all I remember is him coming back with a My Little Pony for me. They sorted it as they are still together.
My great uncle (who I never met thankfully) tried to rape his youngest sister. He also killed a man whilst drink driving. He 'lost' his own father's Will, which lead twenty years of unsucessful legal action from my grandpa. He made my grandpa and his nephews and neices homeless. He was generally a very nasty piece of work.
Grandpa opened the champagne and was delighted when his younger brother died. I was shocked at the time, but only found out the worst details after I was about 20.
One great grandma was knocked up when she got married at 17. Another was illegitimate. My grandma has a secret half brother. My other grandparents were cousins.
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