Start Here: A Guide to "If You Only Knew"
Start here to read this memoir of family secrets and their undoing
Welcome to If You Only Knew: A Memoir of Family Secrets and Their Undoing, a serialized memoir I’m releasing a chapter at a time starting in January 2024.
Because this story is about the impact of lies on a family’s life, it's not an easy tale to tell. I wish my parents had told me the truth about my ancestry, but if they had, I wouldn’t be the person I’ve become. The fortifications built to contain the real story live inside me, whether or not I’d found a secret passageway into it. And because I like the person I’ve become, I don’t begrudge this story its right to exist.
Although my story has an unusual twist (you’ll have to read more to learn about that), it’s not an uncommon one. With the advent of consumer DNA testing, thousands of people are experiencing DNA surprises where they learn that they’re unrelated to one or both parents who raised them. Entire communities of NPE’s (a genealogical term for “non-paternal event“ commonly interpreted as “not parent expected”) have come together on social media and in person to find their way through the lies they were told.
I hope reading my story provides some hope and healing to all those struggling with knowing the truth.
Using this guide, you can follow the story as it progresses, or pick up where you’ve left off, so you don’t miss any of it.
Prologue in Four Parts
A series of four letters I wrote to my Mom with stuff I couldn't/wouldn't/didn't say to her when she was alive.