‘The shock and surprise of learning my family is not my family at all’

Jan 19, 2020
This community writer always felt on the outer with her family, but a recent DNA test revealed why. Source: Getty Images

Have you ever had a feeling that you don’t belong where you are and just don’t fit in with your family? You know the saying ‘men are from Mars and women from Venus’? Well with that in mind my family must be from Uranus!

I had abusive parents and no matter what I did it was never good enough for either of them. My brothers and sisters were the same, extremely violent and in my opinion really bad people. I have the scars to prove it, literally.

I had long felt that I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I worried that as my parents had been so violent I would be the same with my own children and made my partner aware of my background when we got together.

I needn’t have worried as I never laid a hand on our children. When I did raise my voice it was so rare that it was all that ever needed to be done.

I’d always felt my family were such snobs. It seemed to me they enjoyed putting anyone and everyone they could down, even there so-called friends and work associates. They may have millions of dollars, but I doubt any of them are truly happy.

Since our parents died years ago, I have little or no contact with any of them today.

Last year I sent away for a DNA kit to finally know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who I am and where I came from. The kit arrived and it sat on the breakfast bar for more than a month before my partner said, “Do it!” No matter the outcome, we would deal with it together.

Well I did the swab and sent it off thinking ‘Well that won’t be back for a couple of months’ and settled back to my routine. Imagine my surprise when in less than two weeks my results had been returned.

I had always been told that I was mixed race with ‘black blood from the islands’. Guess what? I have no black blood and I have no blood-related siblings in Australia, according to the test results. In fact, I have no siblings at all.

The results advised that I have distant cousins in Great Britain and some have made contact with me. I couldn’t be happier. I now know that all those years ago when I was a child somehow they were given me as their own.

I have checked and I was not adopted. The only explanation is that as a toddler in hospital, I was swapped with another baby. Friends have suggested I investigate further however, I have decided not to do that.

I hope my brothers and sisters see this article and will know that I know all their little secrets. I am not their family.

My partner and I have told our children and they are relieved. They too never felt like they fit in at any so-called ‘family get-together’.

We are all looking forward to getting to know real family.

Do you have a story to share with Starts at 60? We want to publish it. Sign up as a contributor and submit your stories to Starts at 60. Stories written by over-60s go into the draw for some great weekly prizes. You can also join the Starts at 60 Bloggers Club on Facebook to talk to other writers in the Starts at 60 community and learn more about how to write for Starts at 60.

Stories that matter, delivered straight to your inbox

Sign up to our daily newsletter for more great stories

Have you ever taken a DNA test to find out more about your family heritage?

Please sign in to post a comment.
Retrieving conversation…
Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up