Tuesday, 16 June 2009

That was the sound of my jaw hitting the ground

I've just had a bombshell drop on me and I can't speak to anyone about it. Well, anyone that would be of any help. I feel like I'm about to burst into tears, and I'm angry, and it's IRRATIONAL for me to feel this way.

So I have this cousin in England called Carol. We've met her when she's come to Sydney a couple of times, first when I was in year 8 or 9, then once again a few years later. I'll be staying with her in London for a couple of nights.

With me so far?

See, I've never known how she was a cousin. I thought she was the daughter of Nonno's cousin or something.

Then I get a call from Uncle Dino a couple of minutes ago.

Him: Hi Sarah.
Me: Oh, hi.
Him: So, when are you going to England?
Me: 8th of July.
Him: So I here you'll be seeing Carol and all that?
Me: Yep, I'm staying with her for a couple of nights.
Him: OK. So, I should probably tell you that shortly before Nonno went into hospital for the last time he told me that Carol is his daughter.

So that was that huge thunk sound you heard earlier. It's where my jaw hit the ground, my head exploded, and my stomach began to heave.

Him: Yeah. He was married before and had Carol, but the marriage didn't last. Nunny (my grandma) knows about it but I think she didn't want anyone to know because you know how religious her family is, and didn't want them knowing Nonno was divorced. But I don't think she likes to think about it.
Me: OK.
Him: Apparently he used to send money to them all the time when she was younger and kept in contact.
Me: Yup.
Him: Carol just asked me the other day whether you know yet, and whether she should keep up the cousin thing when you're there, so I'll just tell her you know and it's fine.
Me: OK. This is so weird.
Him: Don't make such a big deal of it Sarah. It doesn't change anything.
Me: But you have a sister. Isn't that weird?
Him: It was when I first found out, but it doesn't really affect my life.
Me: OK.

But, and I know this is ridiculous, I'm not OK with this. I know it changes nothing, and doesn't affect me one bit, but I'm so affected by it! Let's put this into perspective.

Growing up, Nonno always told me that he was born in Scotland. Dundee to be exact. So I went around telling people that I was part Scottish, on top of all my other parts. Then, a few months before he died and we were filling out his Grandfather Memory Book, he tells me he was born in Northumberland. THAT'S ANOTHER BLOODY COUNTRY. And I was really annoyed to find out. I felt so ripped off, and angry that he had lied to me.

He was just lying about where he was born. He never mentioned having a whole other life before my grandma!

And that might sound like I just don't know about his life before Nan. No, unfortunately, I know too much about his early life. Hell, I even know who he lost his virginity to, and how it happened. I don't WANT to know that, but I do. But he doesn't tell me about a WHOLE OTHER FAMILY. He had a DAUGHTER! And he left her in another country. I know it was different back in those days. When people got divorced they stopped contact with their families (I've seen The Way We Were (Oh, Hubble!)). But... Yeah. I'm being stupid, I know. I'm making a big deal of something that doesn't mean anything in the scheme of things, it doesn't change who people were or are and it doesn't change relationships.

But, at the same time, it does. I wish I didn't know this. I was so close to Nonno, and I remember us having conversations about stuff like this.


Meanwhile, I just got off the phone to Nan. I'm not good at keeping secrets, we all know that. And I had a chat to her and we're having a good old chat about it. She never knew for certain. The one time she asked him about it he told her to mind her own business and other typical Nonno stuff. She was a bit confused about how Uncle Dino knew, and was surprised to hear that Nonno told him. Yeah. So weird. It's making my head spin a little.

In other news, I had my second lesson today. It sucked balls. I totally ran out of things to do. I just struggled to think of anything. Anyway, I've got year 8 tomorrow for the first time so we'll see how that goes.


Belinda said...

Oh Sarah... I can understand how you feel, to a degree. (I hate those people who are like 'omg, i know EXACTLY how you feel....').

About maybe 18 months ago i found out something similar (but slightly different) about my family. Shocked me hardcore. It feel really really disorientating for me. I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to think. It was explained to me as "something that doesn't change anything" but it changed a shitload of stuff. And explained stuff.

Its Bel from work, so if you wanna talk, lemme know :) like i said, i can understand, to a point.

Sarah said...

Thanks Bel. And the thing about it being "something that doesn't change anything"? That's what my uncle said and my grandma, and yes, it doesn't change anything, but at the exact same time, it changes everything. I don't know if I've conveyed that well enough. Like, I'm fine with it and accepting of it, but at the same time I am SO not OK with it and cannot wrap my mind around it.

Kelly said...

well fuck a duck. it's like a soap opera. being lied to sucks. and you were lied to. so now you're sucking the hairy balls of a dirty old hobo. ew. i know i don't make you feel better at all. but think of the juice it's adding to memoir of your life.