I JUST found this out

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, May 26, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm 34 years old. I've have struggled with debilitating depression for most of my life (thankfully under control now). I have a son who went through severe depression at the age of 10 and my daughter has severe anxiety and chronic depression.

    I knew my paternal grandfather was adopted. I always assumed he was adopted at birth and so we knew nothing about his family. In other conversation with my mom tonight I found out that my grandfather was adopted out of foster care. HIS father murdered his wife and their two other children, then killed himself. The only reason my grandfather survived is because he was next door at the neighbors. He was 2 1/2 at the time.

    Don't you think this might have been good information to know given our history????

    I never knew my paternal grandfather. He and my grandmother divorced when my dad was a kid. The man I called my grandfather was actually my dad's step-dad and he married my grandmother when my dad was a teenager (I think...he was a minor). My paternal grandfather died when I was 10 and I never met him. He was a heavy alcoholic..all kinds of issues. That I knew. Didn't know the other stuff. But, it's not like it was some big family secret cause he wasn't part of the family.

    It just blows me away that my mother never told me this. I'm waiting on my grandmother to call me back.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    And it never crossed her mind to share this with you?

    I'd think surely something would have happened that would have triggered a "thought".
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is - well , I don't know the word- I'm glad you finally learned the truth though. I guess the older generations liked to keep secrets more thatn we do. It sounds like an interesteing story and I hope this leads to forgiveness for your grandfather.

    I'm really interested in how this turns out now- keep us informed!

    Oh, the history of my family from generations ago is no light reading either.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I just got off the phone with my grandmother.

    My great-grandfather did not kill the children. He killed his wife, then himself. There were 4 children - my grandfather was the youngest - who were all adopted separately. My grandfather was 2 or younger when it happened and he was with 4 families before being adopted at around 4. The adoptive family never even knew his correct birthday - just that it was in April.

    Found out more stuff about my grandfather - that he was abusive, etc. My father was abusive. Both of them alcoholics and unable/unwilling to be a parent, spouse, whatever.

    But, I have the names of my great-grandparents, know what county they lived in and approximate year of death. I'm going to start digging. Since my grandfather was the youngest and he was born in 1915 or 1916, I doubt his siblings are still alive. It would be nice to have some kind of information because of my health issues which I just don't share with anyone else in my family....besides the mental health aspect.
  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I think we may be related. Your family sounds like mine. Then again, if that's so, then half of us on the board may be related.

    I have no info on my dad's side, because he was adopted. Mother's side....well....ya ever read my sig? That says it all.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Try the social security death index. You may find info on the g-grandparents and maybe even your grandfather's siblings.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Isn't family history amazing sometimes. Not necessarily that it is a secret or anything, just how some really big stuff doesn't seem to get passed down to the next generation.

    I fortunately didn't know my maternal grandfather. What little info I got from my grandmother the single time I asked about him was enough for me. He was sadistically abusive, an alcoholic, and schizphrenic to boot (maybe some other stuff mixed in). She left him when the youngest of their 7 kids was about 2 yrs old. Maybe before that even. I know it was bad enough that to this day my mother won't talk about him, except to say she was thrilled the day he died and was gone from this earth.

    And from what my grandmother relived in her mind while dying of cancer could give me nitemares if I let it.

    Yet I'm the only grandchild who knows. No one else bothered to ask my grandmother about their grandfather, and parents refused to talk.

    One aunt's first husband was a carbon copy of my grandfather. Another aunt was dumb enough to marry the brother.:faint:

    Cousins from those two families are so messed up it's not at all funny.:dissapointed:

    I have no wish to know anything else about my grandfather. May he rot in hades.

    Good luck with your search.

  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    My husband mother always told him that her own father was dead since she was a child, turns out he was in a psychiatric hospital and died AFTER DHs mother died!
    husband never knew his bio father-----
    THe man who married husband mother and adopted husband....he never knew his father, his mother was a prostitute and he ran away from home at 14. He always told husband he was an only child, BUT 15 YEARS after DHs dad died, we found thru soc sec that husband father did have a brother. Actually also looked identical to husband dad.

    My bio father also left home when he was grade 7...his family was very very poor, rural MN one room shack, he was youngest of many kids with many fathers....by 12 my dad was driving 18 wheelers over the road. He never did look back.
    My dad was psychotic and would do strange things, walk on all fours, bark like a dog, one time he shot the windows out of a bar cuz he was mad at someone inside. When my very young mother wanted to leave him with me (I was 3 baby brother was newborn, mom was 18) dad stalked her at gunpoint. for several years.
    Moms family was just as strange....moms parents lost a child to a tragic fire accident when mom was 8 and by the time mom was 14 her parents died and she was preg with me.
    Her next younger bro shot and killed his wife in front of his kids when I was a teen....right after I had left their house....moms older sis gave birth to her 3 youngest kids while she was living long term in a TB sanitarium.....and all the youngest 3 have fetal alcohol syndrome.

    Did the history matter?
    I supose it did, BUT, in addition...my husband was exposed to Agent Orange in Nam but we were told he wasn't until after our last child was born, and he showed signs of effects of that.....
    Our oldest difficult child is bipolar with serious panic attacks....her docs have blamed her schools handling of her issues for her disassociative states and panic attacks....so where is the worst blame gonna lay? Her bipolar is a very minor problem compared to her PTSD, panic and disassociation. Son has heterotopia, possibly from Agent Orange, but also possibly from either a terrible rampant flu at my place of employment while I was working in county nurseing home- or possibly from the multiple TB medications etc they required...and said were "safe" or who knows what?
    Was it my genes? husband genes? environmental? Was it related to husband time in Marines and his 13 years in Nam?
    and does it matter a lot? When we had oldest difficult child noone openly discussed the genetic componant to bipolar etc.....when we had easy child 2 years later it still was not discussed much how genetics relate to mental illness in children etc.
    Even when we had youngest son, it was not discussed much.....and he was not exactly planned anyway......
    Our county tried to convince me my oldest and youngest were how they are becuz I MUST have drank when preg......but- not one drop of alcohol touched my lips.....not even in other forms, I do not use mouthwash, do not take cold medications etc.....they tried to say I must have used some type of drug......I did smoke but I did not drink coffee or soda and I took NO medications....not even OTC. Not just becuz I was preg but becuz I simply did not ever take any medications or OTC for anything.....

    In generations past people did not openly discuss many health issues, not just mental illness but other illness was also not discussed much. It was not uncommon for even husbands and wives to not discuss health issues of any kind with each other in some families.

    Yes, history can be very helpful---- but, there can also be so many other factors that might cause things....
    History can help guide people but....sometimes people just cannot bring themself to talk about things....admit things.....sometimes they even do not remember.....I want to say it might be only since say the 80s or so where bio history was given such importance. Prior to that, it was simply far too akward, often considered rude, prying, embarrassing, socially incorrect.....and as a nurse in a nurseing home, I even had patients who would tell me it was rude to ask if anyone in their family ever had x or y when I was trying to take their hisotry for our records or when working with docs to decide on appropriate medications etc.
    Yes, it is great when you are blessed with a history.....but it is not uncommon or unusual to have secrets in histories.

    edit to add--
    my first husband, his mother did not even know she was adopted till she was almost 60 years old...first husband was diagnosis'ed with juvenile diabetes by age 4.
    My husband mother- her 2nd husband had ravaging cancer and he never told his wife......she found out when he DIED. (I did not know him, I cannot imagine how he could be dying and his wife not know? But......thats their story and they stuck to it) when my pop was dying approx 11 years ago? we knew he was dying----BUT the day before he died- he swore to my youngest bro and my mom that nope- he was not dying at all.....yeesh, stage 4 colon cancer spread to his liver and spine, semi comatose for weeks, he woke up long enough to promise my 11 yr old brother he was NOT dying. I was sitting with him at hospital the nite he tried to get his doctor to tell all of us he was "fine" and doctor kept saying but you are dying. BUT in my pops family, NOONE EVER admitted to illness of ANY kind. His own father suicided and it was only after he died that they found out his father was ill with cancer.
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Lisa, I know what you mean. When my grandmother was telling me about my grandfather and with what I know about my own father, plus what I've learned about my great-grandfather all I can think is 'the apple didn't fall far from the tree'.

    I would like to see if I can find any family members on that side though and see if there is anyone else in my family with similar health issues or if, as my mother says, 'who p!ssed in [my] gene pool'. :D

    Thanks for the tip, TM. Right now I'm looking at historical newspapers - I don't have the correct spelling of the surname and am seeing if I can find anything that might point me in the right direction.

    Looking at these papers makes me giggle. Like it was newsworthy in 1915 to write:

    Henry Wappner, of South Adams Street, who has been seriously ill, is so much improved that he is now able to sit up.

    - Or -

    John Mowers and J.P. Hout went to Kenton and Toledo today on business.

    tee hee hee
  10. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    LOL my local weekly paper STILL writes those kinds of things........
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    TM -

    If they died in or around 1917/1918, there wouldn't be a social security death index for them would there?
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather...yes they would be in there. I was just doing a search in that index because I was trying to find one of my crazier relatives to tell you about but didnt have the name right obviously and found my grandmother, grandfather, aunt, and someone I may have been named after...lol. Or at least I think they should be in there.

    Anyway my story. I have several odd ducks on my dads side that we really dont know too much about. Well one of them...one of his sisters...was ok for a long time...she was a nurse until she was going to work one day and her scarf got caught in the bus door and she was dragged under the bus for almost a block. She had a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and was never the same. She became a homeless bag lady. Evidently she was quite famous up in that area and was well known. She lived right outside the Boston area and when she died...Im thinking it was close to 1980...they had a big write-up in the paper about the Bag Lady of Woburn MA. I think I have the city right but maybe not. Its been so long now. I have to ask my Dad again. I thought her name was Norma but I cant find her on the death index.

    Then his other sister has had severe epilepsy all her life. Her name is Marilyn and she isnt there so I guess she is still alive...lol.

    He has a brother that was much younger than the rest of them but that isnt saying much now since most of them are in their 70s to mid 80s now. He is probably in his 60s. He seemed fine as a child but then seemed to regress completely when his oldest three brothers left to go fight in WWII. Its like he just withdrew into a shell and went backwards. I think there is a form of autism that does that. Im not sure how old he was then but he is also odd with dates and names. Even if he hadnt seen you in years, he could tell you your name, birthdate and how old you were now. I dont know if he can still do it though. I havent seen him in years and years. No one ever said if he ever had a diagnosis but they placed him in a state facility when he was about 12 or so and he has never been out since. When the homeless one was semi-sane she would go visit him and take him for visits but that wasnt often. I have often wished we had some more information on him but my dad has never pushed it and I dont feel I can push for it now at his age. If my dad wasnt so elderly I might be more pushy but what good would it do now? I dont think what happened was anyones fault but I think the older boys feel a bit guilty about their little brother. They have all been sending money to keep him clothed and cared for since they got home from WWII.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Social Security didn't begin until the mid-30's. I'm not sure I'm going to find them in the death index if they died over 10 years prior.

    I honestly can't believe that my grandmother didn't tell me about this. She loves to tell the bad things about people. Maybe it's because it's her children's grandfather? I don't know.

    We think my mom's little brother is dead. We've thought so for many years. He was undx'd something or other...in and out of prison...homeless...violent. When my mom's dad was dying and was making his burial arrangements, the guy at the funeral home ran my uncles ss# and it came back deceased. I'll have to look him up, too. I never knew him either.

    So, I do have it on both sides of the family.

    This just really floored me and...I don't know. I'm curious, I guess.