Keeping My Story A SecretSaying "I am a product of a rape" is something I've said only once to another person. Saying it online without any association to me isn't so scary.
I found out who my biological father was when I was 7 years old. I was asking more and more questions about when I was born that my mother finally said what happened to her. Before it was always, "he left" or "it's just you and me and no one else" so I didn't think it was weird not to grow up without a father until kids at school kept asking me where mine was and I didn't have the answer. Once I found out I really didn't know what to think. I knew "rape" had to have been bad because mom cried when she told me, and dictionary said something about sex so it must have been bad. After that, I pretended that nothing had changed, and it really hadn't, except I now had an answer that I felt ashamed to tell anyone. So I always said that my parents divorced when I was an infant and I never saw my father. That kept everyone quiet except for my own mind.
I struggle often with knowing about my biological origins. It effects me as microaggressions. Listening and telling childhood stories with friends is difficult. Recalling family ancestry is even more difficult, especially since I thought I knew my heritage but now there's half of me that is unknown, and heritage is very important to my family. I'm simply known as the "mystery baby" in my family, with extended family members assuming I'm the daughter of my mother's first husband or a love affair gone sour, but no one says anything to me.
My mother has always told me that she loved me. That I was a gift from God, borne out of a horrible event but a blessing none the less. She told me that she always wanted a little girl that she could love and that God works in mysterious ways. Only once did she recall my origins in anger. I was a pre-teen, acting up on purpose, and in a fit of anger she said "you're more like him than me." She apologized immediately and cried for hours. She's never said anything remotely like that again. However, those words cut me to the core, and they still hurt. After decades, they still hurt. Despite all the loving things she's told me for years, those words I hold onto because it's a part of me I cannot erase nor can I accept.
All my life I've strived to achieve success and be the best in my family. As if I earned more degrees and more money than anyone else in my family, then I will know I am worthy and there is nothing about me that is bad. But in doing so, I act as if I have a chip on my shoulder and I do. A big one.
I've shared this with one other person, my fiance. With everyone else, I keep up the lie. I don't know any other way.