One of the most emotional experiences of my life occurred when I received the results of an ancestry.com DNA test. The entirety of my existence, my family lineage, were sent on a tailspin. So many things made sense. Yet feelings of anger, relief, betrayal, and satisfaction ping ponged throughout my body. It’s a turmoil people who know their biology never have to experience.
You look in the mirror and see a person, you see yourself, but who are you? It’s an identity crisis that sends many off their natural path. It’s an isolation that chains you to always wondering why security doesn’t grow like it does in others. It’s a root rotting in an outgrown space.
So many of us live our lives this way. Doesn’t matter what we were told by family or how deeply we are loved, that gnawing feeling never goes away. It’s no wonder why DNA tests have become so popular.
Although sex was taboo in our great-grandparents and grandparents day, they sure had a lot of it. And with random people. Husbands and wives cheated. They had children outside of marriages, but no one talked about it. It was swept under the rug, never to be spoken about again. They could take secrets to the grave then. But not anymore.
Our current society is demonstrating how important identity is for a sense of self. Parents in modern society should think twice before trying to conceal an aspect of another’s identity. Families can promote irrevocable damage for lying to children their entire lives. And isn’t that a fair response?
It’s not emotionally healthy to lie to a child. The adverse effects of being lied to manifest in very personal ways because we all have an intuitive nature that just knows. There is a bond with people who share the same genetics that isn’t there with someone who isn’t our biological parent.
That’s not to say love isn’t there, but that innate, indescribable knowing is at a miss. It’s better to know why than to live an entire life questioning yourself and the way you feel.
Just to be clear, it is not ok to make decisions about another’s identity in order to save yourself from feeling the consequences of your life choices. Lying does not protect children. It forms an unstable foundation that supports a false reality. One that will most certainly be shattered in the age of technology. The emotional pain that people go through when they realize they’ve been lied to their entire lives by the same people who claimed to love them is like blunt force trauma to the soul.
Adult children are feeling this across the globe. A well-cited woman named St. Clair describes the feeling as “the floor falling out from under her” when she found out her biological father wasn’t her real father. A friend and I discussed the feelings of abandonment felt when a biological parent doesn’t come and “find” us. I noted, however, that many Boomers have trouble navigating computers, so our feelings of abandonment might be self inflicted.
Yet these negative feelings are the way our bodies respond regardless of logic. For each trauma we experienced, emotionally or physically, our bodies keep the feelings stored in a memory bank. Each time there’s a perceived trigger, we feel the same sensations we did when the trauma was actually happening.
When my biological father popped up on my DNA match on Ancestry.com, I instantly wrote him a message. At that point I had looked for him on and off for about 9 years and had been on ancestry for 4 of them. After he didn’t respond I felt anger, sadness, betrayal, unworthiness, indifference, and probably a hundred other emotions.
However, I had an intuitive feeling that maybe this Boomer didn’t know how to navigate technology. Whether or not it was true, I held onto that thought until the negative emotions subsided, and I accepted knowing my DNA as good enough.
An entire year went by before I received a message back. Turns out my intuition was right. Although I had all that time to get over it, even though I felt I had released the need to know, the wave of feelings came rushing in all at once. But this time it was met with an unfamiliar sense of closure.
In the following months, I learned a lot about the other half of my genetics. Unknown medical information, unexplained patterns of behavior all in the light. Nature versus nurture is a real thing. The lost puzzle piece was found and I can finally put the gnawing feeling to rest.
From the perspective of a child growing up in secrets, it is far better to grieve together in honesty than to live a life of falsities. I would rather feel the initial shock with a solid foundation in. honesty than years of aftershock with raw emotions always boiling beneath the surface.
With quick DNA testing sites like 23andme and ancestry.com, life has found a way to bring ancestral secrets to light in order to heal generational trauma. Too many people have walked this earth living a lie. Too many have brought their secrets to the grave, leaving loved ones always guessing. Forcing people to forget. But this is a new age.
At the click of a button we can uncover generation of secrets. We can find the truth of our lives. The only questions is, are you ready to receive it?
Crystals for healing emotional trauma: