Once my parents left, my questions resurfaced with a vengeance. Maybe, I thought, the test was simply wrong. I had been planning to export my raw data and import it into a different platform anyway in order to increase my potential hits.
Right. My hits.
So what I didn’t get into the last time we “spoke” was the fact that these genetics platforms not only tell you your regional breakdowns, but they also tell you which of their other users are genetically matched to you (their usernames, anyway).
I have 131.
What was equally interesting was the fact that I already had at least two people in my “1st– 2nd cousin” predicted range. I had no idea who these people were. None of the usernames included last names that were familiar.
So I imported my raw data into FamilyTreeDNA (otherwise known as FTDNA, for short), to see what it had to say for itself. It ended up being under $30 to transfer in my data and gain full access to their platform. I had opened the faucet. I wanted to know.
This time, I was less surprised, better numbed.
I paused on finished writing this for about 2 weeks. It’s now August 2nd.
A lot has happened since I left this post. Almost too much. I mean, I’m grateful for the progress, but in this kind of situation, progress often comes with pain. It did.
I’ll get to that later.
It’s hard writing this, believe it or not. I mean, it’s good to do it, necessary, even. It forces me to bear witness to my own pain, and to work through it. To not just bottle it all up, as I’m usually prone to doing. It makes me pause, re-live, experience, and reflect on what all has happened and what it all means for me. That said, what it means for me changes all the time as I get new information, as I let the new and old information meld and settle. Marinade and blend. It changes me and my vantage point. It’s exciting at times, prickly at others, incredibly fear inducing much of the time, and certainly gut wrenching at others.
I’m usually not much of an open book. I’ve shown pieces of me to different people, but due to a lifetime of internalized stabbings to the back, I tend to leave my more vulnerable aspects to myself for safe keeping. Trust is sometimes freely given, but rarely is it a skeleton key to all of my doors. More often it’s a key to a rental to select rooms on my property, with supervised visits.
This isn’t easy.
What’s even less easy is the fact that re-hashing what has been means digging it up first, unpacking it. That of course requires finding it first, and making room for its existence again in my present life. I have to move everything else aside, sometimes even clean that up first so I have a place to put all of this once I’ve located where I’ve safely stowed it away.
Add to that the fact that my memory likes to hide things from itself. Usually it’s the harder things to feel, although sometimes it’s just memories hidden in mass, possibly out of my mind’s laziness or even inability to discern the difference.
But there are certain things that are so core to our being that I’m not sure we can ever truly and fully hide from ourselves. Things that drive us. Things we know we’ll be coming back to, because we need to, even if we couldn’t at the time.
This search for my full roots is one of them. For this, my memory couldn’t dig a grave deep enough. And so I exhume, bear witness, and raise what was.
Then, with it again, move on.
There is so much to catch you up on, especially when every day I’d been learning more. I’ll do my best to put a hold on moving forward until I can catch you up to me, and catch me up to me, fully.