“Papa was a rolling stone/Wherever he laid his hat was his home.” For many people those lyrics to The Temptations' classic was just something to dance to, but for me, it was everyday life. As I was growing up, it was no secret that my father was a bit of a ladies' man. I remember hearing my parents arguing about that “little miss spread ‘em” from down the street and how all the women that fell over themselves for him whenever he took me to the park. My father was the best dad to my brother, sister and I. And though he was definitely far from perfect in the husband department, for as many women as my father had around, I never once heard any talk of him having any other children.
I met Corey while I was on a girls' weekend in the Bahamas. My crew and I were getting some sun and sipping on some drinks when this caramel honey and his boys decided to surf. When the waves hit they were immediately wiped out and my friends and I were dying with laughter. That’s when Corey came over and struck up a conversation. Looking into his hazel eyes excited me and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better. We found out that we lived just a few hours apart in different states and promised to link up when we got back home.
We dated seriously for six months before the topic of meeting family came up. Since we had been talking of possibly moving in together, I thought it would be a great idea to see what my family thought of him. On a visit to my parents' home one weekend, I told them all about my new love and my dad suggested that we throw a BBQ so he can grill the new man in his daughter’s life. I was thrilled! Corey was was nervous, but excited; he had heard so much about my family that he felt like he practically knew them already. I assured him that he would fit right in and as we walked into the backyard I had no idea how right we would both be.
We cut through the crowd to my dad, who had his back to us; he was laughing his heart out until he turned around to shake Corey’s hand. He dropped his plate of ribs and his mouth to the floor. Corey could only manage one word: “Dad?” My confused family members and I echoed him. “Dad?!” Corey turned and ran out, my father hot on his heels and me left confused. That’s when my uncle came over and told all of us that my boyfriend Corey was my father’s son, my brother. I had been dating, screwing and loving my own flesh and blood for over 6 months and didn’t know it. Apparently, my uncle knew the whole time about my father’s other family which consisted of Corey, his two sisters and their hopelessly devoted mother. My mother’s heart broke and so did mine.
Fast forward to today and the healing process has been a long and still incomplete one. Obviously Corey and I had to cut our ties that day and the pain of losing him, but in a sense finding him, has been a daily rollercoaster. At the moment we don’t speak or see each other, which is hard, but something that Corey has requested and I respect that. I haven’t actually met my younger half sisters yet, but I have spoken to them a few times. My parents are getting divorced and my father and I are slowly trying to rebuild our relationship. As for me, therapy has been my safe place and one I needed after the trauma of my boyfriend/brother drama. I’m learning to trust again and maybe one day I’ll even love again—but please believe I’ll be getting a DNA test first.
-As told to Danielle Pointdujour
Got a story to tell? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org