It’s no big news that most of us have kept a secret at one point or another! There are plenty of reasons why we do it. Perhaps for privacy or protection’s sake; maybe it’s the fear of being judged, or even to preserve a relationship – whatever it is, hiding the so-called skeletons is not always a good idea.
Take this family, for instance. The parents had agreed not to disclose the fact that their children were donor-conceived and, as a result, went 5 years without speaking to one of their daughters.
Parents never told their children that they were donor-conceived
Image credits: Adam Greig (not the actual photo)
Woman does a secret DNA test and discovers that her dad isn’t actually hers, which results in her estranging herself from the whole family
Image credits: Mike Mozart (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Askar Abayev (not the actual photo)
Image source: GeneticConfusionThro
“AITA for telling my sister it’s her own fault she’s alienated from the family?” – this web user took to one of Reddit’s most judgmental communities, asking its members if she’s indeed a jerk for holding her sibling responsible for estranging herself from the whole family over secret DNA test results. The post managed to garner over 11K upvotes as well as 1.2K comments discussing this delicate matter.
Everybody knows that family is one of the most valuable things there is in life. You get emotional support and a sense of belonging, share a bunch of rad memories, experience unconditional love — you name it.
However, nothing is perfect, and even the most seemingly healthy bonds can experience downfalls. When it comes to parents per se, the majority of us view them as these divine beings that can do no wrong, so whenever a lie gets uncovered, there’s a chance that it will erode an incredibly vital element: trust.
Yes, perhaps pondering the need to lay all the cards out on the table about your kids’ origin stories or deciding how and when you should disclose the fact that they’re adopted (or, like in this story’s case – donor-conceived) is a delicate matter that needs a careful approach. Each family has its own way of tackling such situations; however, it’s nonetheless crucial to understand the risks of keeping this information from your offspring. Yet if we were to talk about this story in particular, what happened to the author’s sister is solely her responsibility!
Blasting the family for robbing her of the last several years that she decided to go no-contact without explaining anything to anyone, not even her siblings, is a very extreme measure, the consequences of which could’ve been avoided if she had only brought up the odd DNA test results to her folks and not disappeared completely off the radar.
Of course, the parents are also at fault for not disclosing the donor conception sooner – but I think we can all agree that the original poster was not, in fact, a jerk for telling her sister that she’s the one responsible for alienating herself from the family.
5 years later, she learns the truth and blasts her family for robbing her of that time but gets shut down by her sibling
Image credits: Dương Nhân (not the actual photo)
Considering the sensitive nature of the subject, Bored Panda decided to reach out to a psychotherapist, Juna Brookes, for additional insight and commentary. First things first, we pondered if it’s ever OK to keep a secret, to which Juna said: “Yes, and we do it often. Human beings do not ever prefer talking about something that they are not proud of or something which could potentially make them feel bad about themselves.”
We then wondered about our expert’s opinion on parents not disclosing to their children that they were donor-conceived/adopted: “I think it would be wise for the parents to disclose that information at the right time at the round circle of the family, even though the outcome might be challenging to start with for all parties.”
BP also invited Juna to share her take on the author’s sister who decided to cut off her entire family over the DNA test results: “She could have some time and space to think and reflect, but hiding from her feelings and keeping the family in the unknown was not a wise move for her and not fair to others.”
Last but certainly not least, the woman added: “People can withdraw, be angry, scared, hide, or run away, and these are their natural defense mechanisms, but if people learn to communicate clearly as adults to each other, they can avoid a lot of pain and hurt caused.”
Anywho, now that we’ve discussed the story, what is your take on the whole situation?