i am so glad I found this group. I cut ties with most of my extended family recently. My brother - will call him Bro#2 and I discovered in early December through the 23&me DNA test that our older deceased brother - Bro#1 - has a daughter we never knew about. We agonized over what to do with that information. Bro#1 died almost a year ago but his wife, grown daughter, and grown son are living. Bro#2 reached out to our newly discovered niece thinking that she might be a key to helping us discover who our adopted father’s parents were. That’s why we participated in DNA tests in the first place. We were shocked to discover Bro#1 fathered a child 2 years before his marriage to my sister-in-law. I was adamant that Bro#1’s family needed to know for several reasons. I grew up in a secret keeping family but recognized how wrong that was. I raised my children just the opposite and they thank me for it. Secrets make you sick. I also thought my niece and nephew might want to meet their half-sister. Also Bro#1 left a sizeable inheritance. My sister-in-law needed to contact her attorney with this information to see if any changes needed to be made to the will. I also contacted my new niece to try to learn more about her conception and birth. I also wanted to know if she had any intention of contacting the family. She knew Bro#1’s name and had read his obituary online. Bro#2 kept stalling for 2 months, so I finally took charge and said I am telling them whether you agree or not. He grudgingly agreed to a conference call with my sister-in-law. We do not all live in the same state. I had to decide whether to tell my SIL or my niece or my nephew. I tossed a coin and decided on SIL since she would be the one who would have to handle the legal part of it. Bro#2 and I were gentle in our delivery but she immediately attacked us. Mean, vile, hateful words aimed at how horrible my entire extended family was in general. Obviously airing long deep-seated revile and disrespect. Then my niece called me. Lather, rinse, repeat. Same vicious response with the statement that she never wanted to see any of us again. Then she sent a long hurtful email. She unfriended one of my daughter’s on Instagram, and my daughter cried for an entire day. Then followed by equally hurtful texts from SIL and niece. Then Bro#2 turned on me and blamed me for causing this family uproar. So two days later - after they saw the attorney and made necessary change to will - I start getting lame apology emails to which I replied that my intentions were honorable with no desire to hurt anyone but knowing that the truth was going to come out eventually - too many relatives in too many sides of the family all knew each other’s DNA results. I calmly but firmly told them they obviously have hated my entire family for a long time so I was making the decision to sever ties. More lame apologies. “I am sorry if I hurt your feelings BUT.....” followed by lots of excuses and continued accusations. Example: You should have told us first, you shouldn’t have contacted the half-sister, you should have told niece instead of sis-in-law, etc. I also told Bro#2 to get lost. Our relationship has been fragile and I had already cut off his wife who had always verbally abused me.
These have not been easy decisions, but I know they are the right ones. I need to protect myself and my children from any further harm. They showed their true colors and I fear they will do it again if another conflict arises in the future. I needed to tell them the truth about the unknown daughter. In this age of the transparent Internet, it is almost impossible to be opaque. I do, however, feel sad and wistful. I wish this had not happened but it did. I prayed to forgive them which I have. I do not hate them nor do I want to seek revenge. I truly doubt that they will ever offer a sincere apology with contrition so I hold out very little hope for a reconciliation. My husband, children, my deceased sister’s niece, and friends - who all told me the ethical thing to do was to tell the truth - are all lovingly supporting me. I am also seeking professional assistance from a therapist. I have been having trouble sleeping and eating.
I would appreciate any comments from any of you. Have any of you had a falling out because of DNA test results or because you revealed a secret that others wanted to stay buried?
Thanks and again I am glad I have found you all.