Your family is weird. Like, world-class wacky. You know this deep in your gut. This is a thread where you can testify to that fact and have your friends here on Qt3 make sympathetic noises.
My “surprise family” story is this:
My wife found out that she had an older brother when she was 28. Her mother relayed that she had an affair with a doctor at the hospital where she had worked as a “candy striper” back in the 1960s. Her parents (my wife’s grandparents) were pretty crappy people and they sent my mother-in-law off to live with an aunt half the country away rather than have it be known that their 17-year-old daughter had been knocked up. When she gave birth, the doctor took the kid off and gave it to a couple that wanted to adopt… for a not insubstantial under-the-table fee.
Pretty standard story for the time.
When my wife found, out she hired a detective agency who contacted her half-brother and asked him if he was interested in connecting with his biological family, and he said yes. Everyone is good friends. Happy ending.
The interesting part of this story is about ethnicity. My mother-in-law was sent off to live with her aunt in New Mexico near the Texas border. When the adoptive parents took custody of the child, they had little or no information about the kid other than the mother was white.
However, my half-brother-in-law was brownish. Given the area and the circumstances, the adoptive parents came to the obvious conclusion that the kid was half-Mexican. They were good people and they made sure that their adoptive son grew up embracing his half-heritage. They encouraged him to learn Spanish (not a stretch, given the area) and to take pride in his Mexican-American status.
That worked well – as the son of a white Air Force family and a proud Mexican-American he prospered. He also ended up marrying a Mexican-American woman from an old, proud family that could trace their ancestry back to Spanish settlers.
The punchline is this: It turns out that the doctor that knocked up my mother-in-law is Iranian. The real kick in the nuts for my half-brother-in-law wasn’t that he found out he was adopted (he grew up with two also-adopted siblings), or that he had half-siblings that wanted to connect, or even that his biological mother wanted to connect… it’s that his entire ethnic identity that he was so proud of was wrong (pretty big blow to his wife’s family too).
Well, I can’t top that one, but…
I have an older brother…let’s call him Gary, because that’s his name…He’s about 3 years older than me, and we shared a bedroom growing up. I swear all of the following are true…
In order for him to go to sleep at night, he’d lay on his back with his head on his pillow, but he HAD to slide his left hand inside the pillow case and under the pillow and cup his head. THEN, he HAD to slide his right hand completely under the pillow and cup his left hand and head. Finally, he would then shake his head from side to side until he fell asleep.
When we would be on a car trip, we’d both sit in the back seat. He would bounce his back against the seat and bounce off the entire trip.
He would make jelly sandwiches…NOT peanut butter and jelly, but just plain grape jelly sandwiches…and dip them in milk.
He put ketchup on ice cream…Swear…to…God.
My late grandmother on my father’s side was the matriarch of the family and ruled with an iron fist (think a Jewish Circe) - one word from Grandma Fanny and you would be cut off from the rest of the family completely.
When I was about `16 or 17 my mother had an accident with the stove that left her with minor burns, but she did have to spend a week in the hospital. Grandma Fanny’s birthday was during that week, and she sent my mother a note asking how she could have the nerve to not remember. My mother sent back a note saying, in effect, fuck you.
At that point we were completely ostracized. One day my father announced we were going to see his sister, my aunt Annette - a woman who’s name had never been mentioned in my presence up to this point.
Turns out she too had been banished for a number of sins, mainly living in sin. Worse, the guy she had been living with for many years was Italian. I had the sense that Annette and Mario were the bohemians of the family. Not only was he Italian (and not Jewish, or course) but an artist. Plus they had a pet monkey (cappuchin, if I remember right).
I enjoyed my visits with Annette and Mario for about a year, until my mother and grandmother made peace, and I never saw them again.
You topped it.
My mom also found out, at a much older age, that she had step siblings. Her father had married and had several kids before he divorced/left his first wife (details are a bit murky) and married my grandmother. Keep in mind here that my grandfather and grandmother both grew up and met in Kentucky. After they married, they moved around a lot, as he worked for the railroad and went where they told him. My mother was born in Illinois, and by the time she was in high school, had attended 9 different schools. Anyhow, they eventually moved to Wisconsin, where my mom met my dad.
Fast forward about 55 years, after my parents had retired and moved to northern Wisconsin, and my mom finds out about her step siblings…only to find out that one of them had lived for the last 50 years in the next town over from where my parents had retired to, but had passed away about 2 years before my mom became aware of him, so never got to meet him. What are the odds that two step siblings, completely unaware of each other, would both be born in different states, move several times to different states, and end up with literally walking distance of each other in yet still another state?
I always joke that I have five grandfathers.
My father’s first wife died, and he later married my mother. I have a bunch of half-brothers and sisters from my father’s first marriage, and we would still visit my father’s first wife’s parents, whom I also called grandma and grandpa. So I had my father’s parents and his first wife’s parents as “grandparents.”
Weirder though is on my mother’s side. Her father died in a car accident a little bit before I was born. So he was my biological grandfather growing up, but I never knew him (my grandmother had divorced him long before that). The grandfather I knew was the one who had remarried my grandmother - he was “grandpa.”
Except about 10 years ago, when she was around 65, my mother found out that her supposed biological father wasn’t her biological father. It was another guy (then like 85 years old) from the town where I grew up. So he was my actual biological grandfather, unbeknownst to me the entire time.
Funny thing is, I delivered a newspaper to him and his family for years when I was growing up, not knowing who he was in relation to me.
My mom also discovered a “surprise family” in the last few years.
She is Guatemalan, from a very large upper-middle-class family in that country. Her father was a traveling pharmacist with a local shop he eventually ran with the help of his children; he’d go out into the mountain regions for weeks or months at a time to delivery medicine and instruction to the villages there.
Well, it turns out that during those trips, he sired a rather significant second family. At least one. At this point, we all kinda figure more than one.
In his elderly days a few years ago, after his wife (my grandmother) had died, he finally came clean about the whole thing, which just about broke his already fragile relationship with my mom, who’d never much cared for her constantly absent dad to begin with.
But the family steeled themselves and went off to meet their set of three extra half-siblings. In a sense, I think they actually found some kind of healing it. The eldest son of the main family, my uncle Meme, had died suddenly of a heart attack in the early 90s, and had until that point been the emotional heart of the whole family, looking out for “Los Hermanitos” (the siblings) in my grandfather’s stead for most of their lives and acting as a mediator of conflicts and successor to the pharmacy business. Worse yet, his widow never really stayed close with the rest of the family. The family never really recovered from the loss, but finding three new half-siblings to joint the surviving five certainly helped.
So now I’ve got even more uncles and aunts than I ever knew about on that side.
Since the entire set of siblings (half- and otherwise) exclusively refer to each other via nicknames, this is all extremely confusing for me, and to this day, I don’t know most of their legal names :)
How about my family are scumbags? My brother had my senile mother sign over executorship of her will from me to him. When she died he took everything she owned and hasn’t called me since. Years ago. Whenever I think of it I need to take anxiety meds. Like now.
I can beat that. My aunt did it to my grandmother while my grandmother was still alive, by having her execute a power of attorney. My aunt then promptly drained my grandmother’s bank accounts and spent it all at casinos and drinking sessions (along with staying at expensive hotels only 50 miles from home, because why not).
That not being enough, she then dumped her in a nursing home, sold all her assets, and just kept the money from that.
My family isn’t really that nutso; the main “nutso” aspect would be that my dad has seventeen brothers and sisters, all from the same parents. Most of them are married, most have kids, most have grandkids, etc. This makes that side of my family extremely large. When I married, my wife entered somewhere north of 100 on the family tree, just from my welo and wela.
On my wife’s side, there’s more complication. Her mom got pregnant with her while in high school. It was, of course, scandalous to her grandmother, given the generation she came from. Her grandparents met with the guy’s parents, and it was decided that he wasn’t going to be involved, really, since it was a casual thing, they weren’t even really dating. Her grandmother otherwise hid her mom largely from the family. Most of the family found out that her mother was pregnant more or less the day before she was born.
Her biodad was never in the picture; in fact, they more or less lost track of him, other than vaguely hearing that they lived in x city in y state. However, in her mid-20s, she decided she wanted to find him. The internet was coming around at that time, so we found his name in the phone book generally in the area where he was supposed to be living. She didn’t want to just out and out ask, though - she was terrified. We realized that his 25th high school reunion would be coming up fairly soon, so a friend and I wrote a script pretending to be from an alumni committee, and gave him a call, wherein we confirmed it was indeed him. After that, things proceeded on a more rational footing, she contacted him, we headed over and met him and his parents, yada yada yada.
They still don’t have a fantastic relationship. But she’s quite close with those grandparents now, which is great since we lost her mom’s parents, who she ended up adoring. The one juicy bit we found out was that shortly after she was born, he told his parents that she’d been given up for adoption - hence why they never attempted to establish contact later. They bitterly regret that, and now hold a grudge against their son, which is too bad; he was young and dumb and scared. I suppose he could’ve fessed up earlier in life, but things have a tendency to slip away, and lies can end up being easier to maintain in some aspects.
My mom always said she only wanted two kids. There were seven of us. We were all born in about a ten year period. We all got together recently over the summer and someone pulled out the wedding album from my mom’s marriage to my dad and someone else noticed that there were NOT nine months between the wedding and my oldest brother’s birthday. My brother, the second oldest, pointed out the obvious: he was the only planned birth in our entire family.
In the first year my great-aunt was married, her older sister (my grandmother, who I’ve called “the worst human being that I’ve met personally”) fucked her husband, mostly (as the story was passed on to me) as a show of dominance.
Two of my mom’s relatives were second cousins on both sides (or something like that).
Hey, my grandmother did that to her sister too! Then, when her sister died, my grandmother somehow got her family bible (family deaths in my family basically become a free-for-all, with the first people who are able to get to the house taking everything of value), but denies having it, basically as an additional fuck you to her sister’s kids, who really would like to have it.
I have two brothers, identifical twins. Both rather agnostic through out life, although we all went to church regularly for my mom.
In law school he married a girl who is also an identifical twin and became something of a born again Christian.
Still a nice guy, but we’ve grown apart (I actually have a strong relationship with my other brother these days) and it’s mostly due to his wife’s insecurities (she is very need and he likes playing the roll of knight in shining armor).
Anyways, since the birth of our first daughter, things have been growing more distant. His wife has been doing everything possible to avoid us (not to hard, we live in PA, they live in Indiana), but two years ago, my mother was butchered in South Carolina during routine surgery, and we all made plans to visit her at least once. It turns out, our visit with my mom in the hospital overlapped slightly with my brother and his wife, and after learning about it, my brother suddenly realized they needed to take an earlier flight home.
Well, my wife would have none of that. They hadn’t met their niece yet, so we moved up our travel plans a few hours and drove down to North Carolina (where my mom was recovering from the blotched surgery) as fast as we could. My 2 year old was great (thank God for YouTube) and my wife only took one break.
We got there early and were able to meet up with them at the hospital. My brother was delighted. His wife less so.
Anyway, since that time, my brother has been able to his niece’s once before, when he had to do training in DC. He didn’t tell his wife.
We aren’t sure what the situation is or why it’s going on. We don’t want to press it in cause its a sore subject though.
As for my other brother, he married an older woman who is a bit pushy, but otherwise pretty nice. They love sending presents and card to their nieces, and we do see him when he comes down to DC for training, but he doesn’t make a secret of it.
Both are federal employees which is why they have traveled to DC.
They should just “arrange” to be at her house when she dies. Of whatever cause…
Being scumbags, yeah, got those in my family.
I got a cousin around my age. I met him when I was 10. He had never seen a helium balloon before and I still remember him staring at one all day while walking through the park. He grew up in Commie China. This is the days when they proudly said eggs were available to eat (because they weren’t before).
Anyway my cousin we called “Fattie”. To this day I do not know his real name. He eventually moved to the USA where he’s been working in a kitchen the last god-knows how many years. He saved up and pays for a house with his older brother and the older brother’s wife.
Anyway the older brother is a jerk and always has been. They always treat him badly. Even fatty’s mother. They always make him do stuff for them. We suspect it’s because he is illegitimate, since the father wasn’t even in China at the time he was born. This is what they do, they treat the illegitimate kid worse out of guilt. Actually, same thing with my father now that I think about it, but that’s another story.
Okay let me get on with it, the point is Fatty is a nice guy. One day the wife accuses him of beating her (he apparently did not) and gets him arrested. They were gonna deport him. My grandparents had to spend a lot of money on lawyers to get him out. From what I understand the wife did that so they could take the whole house and sell it.
On my dad’s (Louisianan) side, I had a cousin who relentlessly bullied and abused me when we were younger; he was older by a couple of years and much bigger and physically stronger. It was genuinely very painful and frightening at times, and I developed a bit of a Stockholm syndrome about it, since I stayed with my grandparents down in Louisiana every summer from 2nd grade to 6th grade, and he was the only other relation around my age who was there, so he almost always was around, anyway.
Anyway, he was a motherfucking cunt and I hated him with every fiber of my being. He eventually grew up and married a woman and had a kid while working a dead-end job as a fry cook after barely stumbling out of high school. Family encouraged us to reconcile. I refused.
Grandparents died, and he inherited the house, because he didn’t have any money or responsibility. He immediately wrecked it to shit, destroying generations of familial memories. His wife eventually left and took full custody of their daughter. He turned to posting a bunch of depressed redpiller memes about women and how they will always hurt you on Facebook and doing a fuckload of meth.
He turned my grandparent’s house into a shitty drug den dump for him and all of his wasted meth buddies. Eventually, some of them kidnapped and murdered a girl ten years their junior, and my cousin helped cover it up. He’s currently in jail for accessory while the trial preps. I hope they put that sack of shit away for life. Girl was 19 years old, and apparently alive for days before they butchered her and dumped her body in the woods.
Well, that took a turn for the worse.