You can find Part One: HERE
Trigger Warning for mention of violence.
I don’t really know where to start. What I’m about to tell you is just so awful. I’ve had almost three weeks to live with this information and while I’ve managed to keep the horror of it all down to a dull roar, the family secret I discovered is not something one gets used to.
My brain keeps shouting “NO!” at me and every time I reach into the knotted mess to find a thread, I find nothing but more knots.
I WANT to tell this story. This is one dark secret that needs to be brought into the light, so let me start with salad?
My last meal before the knowing was the most delicious salad. It was chock full of greens, beets, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. It also had oranges, fresh and dried and the most delicious lemony dressing. It was fresh and cheery! The Hubs and I had baked up a couple of chicken breasts and this meal was the perfect ending to a pretty great day. I ate my salad curled up on my couch, enjoying the Springtime sun shining through my window. I basked in it’s gentle warmth and felt…damn good. Content with my lot. I still had the taste of that salad on my tongue when I opened up my laptop, logged into my ancestry account and typed in my father’s name.
Now that I had his real name, I figured I’d finally get some information about that side of my family! I was excited! I still had to deal with why my parents changed our last name and why they lied about it but, my main focus had always been finding my Metis roots so the lying nonsense could wait.
Along with my father’s name I typed his birth date and birthplace, an obscure little hamlet in northern Alberta. Lots of possibilities came up and I checked each one out diligently coming up with a maybe in one person with the same last name, living in another hamlet near my father’s hometown. Could be a relative!
Nothing in birth records…nothing in death…oh! Maybe a marriage? I knew he’d been married before and the union had been annulled. I added the information to my file and continued on, coming upon a news clipping. I almost didn’t click the link because sometimes the news clippings are on another site that requires further payment. Maybe the secret played on my mind or maybe it was my intuition because I took a chance on that link and found full access to an old newspaper page!
Woot Woot! My lucky day.
I scrolled to the highlighted section and my heart thudded to a stop in my chest.
“Dangerous Escapee Recaptured” the headline stated.
My eyes alit on the five words highlighted so helpfully:
My father’s first name. My father’s middle name. My father’s last name. Murder. The obscure hamlet where my father was born.
I felt it in my body as my stomach clenched.
I jumped up and thrust my laptop at my Hubs whilst a long scream? moan? keening? of disgust escaped me.
“What!? What?!” he demanded, most startled by the noise I was making and my sudden pacing and hand wringing.
Bless his sweet heart to be so concerned about me instead of my OBVIOUS REQUEST TO READ WHAT I COULDN’T SPEAK ALOUD.
“Read it!!” I managed to force out between my clenched teeth.
“Oh!” I heard him say next. Then again with solemn understanding “Ooooh”
He continued on with the details and this is what I heard ” Mental hospital escapee. Implicated in double murder eight years ago. Extremely dangerous. Not guilty by reason of insanity. A mother. Her child. Beaten to death in their beds. “
Looks like I solved the name change mystery!
Disgust and outrage hit me first. Then realization after realization flooded in. ” I left my children with him!” My husband would later chuckle kindly at me about this and tell me ” YOU were left with him!” I went through every emotion and went off, in every direction. Words and feelings pouring out of me until thankfully, blissfully, the shock gently took over and I became numb.
I messaged both my kids and right away my daughter started researching. My Hubs did too and within minutes, MINUTES, they found me some more information. Including all my father’s court documents. Right there on the front page of The Google.
My man, my wonderful man found the final proof that evening: Court papers with my father’s real last name (mine too!) and the new one. The name I grew up under. Ooof.
There was one last surprise left for me to discover and this is the one that absolutely broke me. I had been emotional and teary yes, but this new fact had me sobbing and spitting with rage…
My father had raped the little girl too.