It would be easy to say that our families dysfunction started when these two people met, but the reality is that they came from their own dysfunction and then they found each other.
My Mother was adopted, with no paper trail of her birth parents, or medical history, she was told that she was bought on the grey market for $10K in 1948. Which would have been a huge amount of money at the time. Her adoptive Mother was German and six years older than her husband, she was unable to have children, her adoptive Father was Scottish he had a child from a previous marriage, but had no contact with that daughter.
My Father was the second first born to his mother and first to his Father or so we think. He later would be followed by 7 more siblings with his parents, then his Father had another 7 children with his wives niece. Yes, you read that correctly, he started a relationship with his then “niece” who at the time lived with his family, was only 14 years old.
It was my Father who discovered the betrayal, from what I’ve heard he didn’t take it well. At the time he blamed his cousin who was a child at 14 when it began, she never left him.
I cannot imagine the pain, the horror, the fear and devastation, my Grandmother must have felt when she found out. She had eight children with this man, had devoted her life to him and their children, she never learned to read or write, or speak English. What she did have was 8 hungry children! I amazed of this woman’s strength to divorce him, and face her life alone with her children. She survived by being resilient. She unfortunately out lived three of her sons, before she died at 72 from gall bladder cancer, but I think she really died of the consequences of a heart being broken so many times, that it could no longer go on. Even though at this time, I believe she was in a good place, enjoying her children, and Grandchildren, the damage had already been done.
My Grandfather would remain with her niece until he died at 95.