I've been toying about writing about some pretty big family secrets for quite a while now, but I finally feel ready to share.
My parents, particularly my mother, are very secretive. From a very young age I knew that my parents weren't the typical parents. They were loving enough, in their own way, but I figured out that they were strange. As a teenager I started to do some snooping around in my parents' room. I knew that they weren't coming 100% clean with me and I was just tired about it.
From a very young age I knew that I had an older half brother. My dad was married before he was married to my mother and his first wife died when his son was quite young. I had put together pieces of the story with the help of an older cousin and while we were at a family wedding she filled me in on the entire story. Apparently my dad fell in love with her family's nanny and they had to get married (if you know what I mean). His first wife fell ill when my brother was quite young and she passed away.
My dad immigrated to Canada to get over his broken heart and soon after met my mom and the rest was history.
I remember my dad telling me about my brother and that one day he would come to Canada to live with us. When I started kindergarten I would draw pictures of a family of four and my mom would tell my teacher that my brother was just in my imagination. One day after my bath, I think I was about four or five, I was blabbering on about my brother and my mom snapped at me, "He's not really your brother, he's adopted."
I learned from a young age that I wasn't allowed to talk to my mom about my brother. I didn't quite understand why, but I just knew at a young age that the topic was off limits.
I don't know why my brother never came to Canada. He was definitely young enough to be sponsored by my parents, but for some reason he stayed in the Philippines with my paternal grandmother. I've met him twice and both times I did not feel any warm fuzzy feelings from him. I know that he's incredibly jealous of the life I get to live here in Canada while he's the hidden child. The last time my parents visited family in the homeland there were photos of both my parents with my brother and his family and they were all smiling, but who knows.
Then comes my secret sister.
Oh yes, my dad isn't the only one with secrets.
My mother also has another daughter, but the details are a little more fuzzy. My mother has never come clean that I have another sibling, nor does she even acknowledge the fact that I am not her only child, but my dad does when we're not around my mom. My cousins on my mom's side and my mother's siblings even refer to my sister in conversation. They all seem to think that I have full knowledge of how this sister came about, but I really don't.
While I was doing my detective work as a teenager I discovered pictures and letters, particularly around the time when my sister had her first child. The photos were addressed to my mom as the grandmother. But that's all my digging got me.
Today I went over to my parents' house because my dad was going to help me change my burnt out headlight. When we were on our way to the store to get the parts my dad told me that he was building a house for my sister and that my brother's house was almost finished. My parents are also building a house for themselves! I made a crack to my dad that he must be glad that he doesn't have to worry about building a house for me since I have a good job. He thought that was funny, but he did say that if we needed help that he would be there for us. It was strange that the conversation was so nonchalant! It
was like we always talk about my siblings in regular conversation!
As I was driving home I was retelling the conversation to Mr. JB and we were trying to figure out the circumstances of my sister's birth. We figure that my mother was married and her first husband must've passed away (my mother swears that divorce doesn't exist in the Philippines, and I know that she would not have had a child out of wedlock, not in the late 60's/early 70's!). Perhaps both my parents came to Canada to help heal their broken hearts. They were married in the church after all, so it would make sense that they were both widows.
I know that I will never know the complete truth from my mother. She has spent my entire life lying to me -- don't worry, I've gone to therapy, I've sorted through these issues at length -- and I know that BIG part of her craziness is that she has to keep up living this way.
So where am I going with this? I have no idea. I so wish that I could ask and find out the complete truth, but I think that it would destroy my mother.
Perhaps if Mr. JB and I ever visit the Philippines, I will hear the entire truth. Maybe it will take actually asking my sister who the heck her father is to find out. I don't know. She's wanted to be my friend on Face.book and I've ignored her request. It's just too much for my brain. I don't want to pretend that it's all hunky dory over here!
Please pray for my crazy parents. They seem to need it.
p.s. I think it's funny that today of all days that O.prah introduced her half-sister to the world today. Mr. JB even said, you could be on that show JellyBelly! Ha ha!