It Happened To Me: the DNA test that killed dad

I bought a 23andme kit for me and dad. Now I blame myself every day for ruining a whole family.
By Anonymous

My parents were high school sweethearts. They started dating when they were both 16, and when my mom got pregnant four years later, my dad did “the right thing.” He dropped out of college (he was on path to medical school, it was his dream to become a doctor), married mom, and started working a desk job at my grandpa’s company.

My parents had three kids total: my older sisters, and me. Our childhoods were pretty normal. Dad worked while mom stayed at home. Dad was always very present in our lives; I and my sisters were always daddy’s gals and we were very attached to him.

I was particularly close to him — we had a really deep bond. When I was 13 I was diagnosed with leukemia and he never left my side. He held my hand during chemo sessions during the whole time and he consoled me when I had my first heartbreak and assured me that everything would be alright. He taught me how to drive, he walked me down the aisle three years ago when I married my husband, and told me that was one of the happiest days of his life.

My parents were happy — or at least I never saw them fighting or anything like that. My dad took my mom on date nights at least twice a week, he spoiled her a LOT and they seem really in love. In other words, my parents were the perfect couple, and everyone saw them as something flawless, an example of true love. It was something that he was very proud of.

I felt really bad when I lost my virginity to my ex-boyfriend and realized that I couldn’t ever have the same thing as my parents.

My dad’s mom died during birth and grandpa raised him as a single parent. He never remarried (or dated anyone after her death as far as I know). Grandpa refused to talk about grandma, it was very painful for him. He never met anyone from grandma’s side of the family and grandpa didn’t talk much about her.

The stupidest impulse buy of my life

In June I bought a 23andme kit for me and dad. I thought it would be cool to see if he had any relatives on grandma’s side for him to reconnect with. We did the tests together.

I found out that I had 2 half brothers with whom I share the same father.

We were honestly confused, I and dad didn’t understand how that could be. We thought it was a mistake.

When we told mom about this she froze, and started crying. We pressured her a bit more and that’s when she confessed about her 11-year-old affair with one of my dad’s friends. He used to be our neighbor and had been in the same class as dad and mom. I remember seeing him around when I was a kid — he was a close friend of the family.

Dad was in denial — he thought that it was a mistake. I and my sisters ended up doing a DNA test at a hospital.

Three days later the results arrived: no one matched with dad.

Dad is not our father.

For the first time in 30 years of my life, I saw my dad cry. Not a normal cry, but sobbing, like a kid. We tried to talk to him, but he got up, grabbed his keys and left.

We tried to call like a hundred times and he didn’t answer. My mom was having a panic attack, so my oldest sister took her to the hospital.


We didn’t hear from dad for three whole days. We searched for him everywhere. Eventually, my grandpa found him at the family fishing cabin.

He had hanged himself. He didn’t leave any notes or anything like that.




His funeral was another mess. My dad’s side of the family got into a fight with my mom’s side of the family, and my grandpa and uncles ended up kicking my mom out of the funeral.

It was a total disaster, and the first time I saw my grandpa crying as well. It was something I wish I hadn’t seen. He entered a really deep depression after that and barely speaks anymore.

After the funeral, neither I nor my sisters can look at mom anymore. We just can’t. I can’t look my sisters in the eye either.

I blame myself every day for suggesting that fucking stupid test.

Thanksgiving this year was the first time we didn’t celebrate as a family (in 33 years). Mom spends her days staring at a wall. Her side of the family is pressuring me and my sisters to reestablish contact but I just can’t. My sisters are also not speaking to her since the funeral.

I found out that I am pregnant last week. I and my husband have been trying for the last two years and still I am not even happy. I feel hopeless. I feel broken. Sometimes I start to think about dad and my heart feels like it is going to explode. I fucking miss him so much.