Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation. — Edward R. Murrow
I had answers to some of the most basic, vital questions. I knew the identity of my biological mother: Margaret Michaels.
I knew the identity of my biological father (thanks to DNA): Jackson Summer.
As you know, I have never actually spoken to Margaret. The last “contact” I had with her was the self-bloated letter I received from her over 20 years ago. She has no desire to meet me or to even carry on a conversation via letter or e-mail. I have respected that. She never disclosed to anyone, including her mother, my biological father, or her siblings (4 of them) that she was ever pregnant. The only people in her “world” who knew she was pregnant and relinquished a child were the prison personnel (and presumably other inmates), social workers and hospital personnel. It is also possible that her stepfather knew. According to the story from the social worker (my non-identifying story), he was the one who turned Margaret in to the authorities, which resulted in her arrest.
So was it true that none of Margaret’s family came to visit her during her stay at the Greybar Inn? She was there for 3 1/2 years (sentenced to 10). If anyone came to see her during the first 3 months of her incarceration, they would have surely guessed she was pregnant (or she really liked the prison food). I guess they could have come to visit after December (she was arrested in September) and not known she was ever pregnant. That makes a little bit of sense. Margaret’s mother (my grandmother) was actually pregnant at the same time as Margaret (let’s get all the complicated details together, here). Remember this tidbit from my non-identifying story?
Baby Christopher is the 3-month old half brother.
Margaret’s mother (my maternal grandmother) gave birth to Baby Christopher (my uncle) about the same time that Margaret was arrested. And it was Baby Christopher’s father (Margaret’s stepfather) who turned Margaret in. Margaret’s mother was busy raising 4 young children while Margaret was out partying, getting pregnant and getting arrested. You follow?
Jackson Summer didn’t know Margaret was pregnant. Jackson claims he doesn’t even know who Margaret Michaels is. More likely, he doesn’t remember. There were drugs involved. Drugs can alter memories, for sure. But Jackson does remember Marion Michaels. His first love. He’s still in touch with her. Jackson even told Marion about me and our curious DNA match and about this mysterious Margaret person who has the same last name as Marion. According to Jackson, Marion was not able to provide any information that would be helpful to us.
If you’ll recall, I mentioned that I have been in touch with one of Margaret’s siblings. We even talked about getting together to meet and talk. I was hopeful that she could fill in some of the odd-shaped blanks hanging out there. She was very clear that Margaret did not want to discuss the matter and did not want to be involved in any contact with me. She also confirmed that their mother (my maternal grandmother) still did not know about me.
Well, our meeting has not happened (yet). Real life and busy schedules got in the way. In the meanwhile, I started this blog to help me sort through it all. My aunt read the blog. She expressed her disappointment with the information I was putting “out there” in the cyber-world for anyone to see (even though I’ve changed the names of the key players). We had an e-mail exchange about it. She asked me to “Please stop.”
And you know what’s ironic? Before the blog, this aunt had asked me to share the information I had discovered about my biological father through the DNA match. She wanted to know what I had learned about my biological father. I believed she was sympathetic to my plight and genuinely interested. Without hesitation I told her about the DNA match and gave details that Jackson had shared with me, in the hopes that sharing the information may lead to more sharing on her side of the family. Absolutely not. I’ve since asked my aunt specific questions about Margaret and their mother, and I’ve made a request for some specific health information that would aid me in making a decision about my future. She never answered any of my questions.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand that she owes me nothing. I’m beginning to see a pattern.
I think perhaps Margaret is “bullying” her siblings. Maybe not in a schoolyard, overt kind of way, but definitely subliminally. From what I can figure out, they are worried that the knowledge of my existence will “crush” their mother (my grandmother). What information exactly, I wonder, is going to crush my grandmother? The fact that Margaret had a child? No . . . that can’t be. Seriously, I haven’t lived the kind of life that can be deemed a disappointment to anyone, in my own humble opinion. It’s gotta be the 50 year old lie. That her daughter, Margaret, never told her she had a child. Surely, she knew that Margaret had been in prison. That “disappointment” had already been felt, processed, and dealt with. I would think. Perhaps there is more to the story that I don’t know. Margaret’s sibling wrote:
We do not know the circumstances leading to her pregnancy; it may have been quite traumatic.
She also mentioned several times that some of the information I’ve published wasn’t even true. What!? Not true? You mean the story that I know and live every day about my identity and how I came into this world is riddled with untruths, cover-ups, and lies? Imagine that. No seriously, why don’t you try to imagine that? I’ve lived this way my entire life.
So tell me something new. Like the truth. There are people that actually know the truth, but won’t tell me. Imagine that!
So here are some theories. These theories, of course, include questions or lead to more questions. They were either drummed up by me, or by friends and relatives of mine in an attempt to fill the odd-shaped holes. Anyone out there good at solving mysteries?
- Is Marian is somehow related to Margaret? A half-sister? Remember–they have the same last name, and Margaret never really knew her biological father. Her mother and father were separated and/or divorced (perhaps she wasn’t even married when she gave birth to Margaret at age 18!) when she was just an infant. Marian and Margaret grew up in the same town. Marian claims she knows nothing about Margaret or me. It is unclear whether Margaret knows Marian.
- It’s clear the story she gave the social workers about my biological father was not true. It could have been an outright lie to mislead, or she could have simply not known exactly who the father was, so she described several individuals.
- Why did Margaret’s stepfather “turn her in” and have her arrested? How and why was he involved to the degree of having her arrested? I have not mentioned this before, but Margaret’s stepfather was a well-known and recognizable figure in the community where they lived. He was probably in his late 30’s at the time of Margaret’s pregnancy and arrest–and his wife (Margaret’s mother) was pregnant and about to give birth). Did he know Margaret was pregnant? Perhaps he suspected she was pregnant and knew about the drugs and didn’t want Margaret to continue with the drugs while pregnant? I wish I could contact him. He passed away in 2006.
- Jackson says he was never arrested. So who was the man who was arrested with Margaret? Was that made up, too? I suppose that was something that Margaret could have told the social workers, but I assumed that they would have checked that fact–the arrest records would have been easy to find and confirm. If they knew his identity, wouldn’t he have to sign the relinquishment papers? Apparently not. The information I have simply states, “We have no information about your birthfather following his arrest.”
About “The Deed”
- How did Jackson and Margaret come to meet and get together? They lived in the same town, but went to different schools. Both were obviously exploring the counterculture of the 1960’s via drug use. They most likely knew some of the same people. Obviously, Jackson doesn’t remember knowing her, let alone having some sort of relationship with her (even if it was only a one night stand). Perhaps there was some sort of coincidental meeting “up North” when Margaret claims to have gone to San Francisco for a short time and Jackson was living and working up in Big Sur (hibernating up in the mountains to detox).
- Perhaps my aunt was right about there being some sort of traumatic experience that led to Margaret’s pregnancy. Rape? Yikes. I don’t even want to consider that. I don’t know Jackson very well (hardly at all, actually), but it just doesn’t add up. Of course, Margaret was most likely involved with more than one man (who was she talking about when she described my biological father to the social worker?). Perhaps there was a traumatic incident of some sort and Margaret thought I could possibly be the product of it, and she made up a good portion of the information to hide the awfulness?
I suppose that’s enough conjecture. Do you have any ideas?
The self is not something one finds, it is something one creates. ~Thomas Szasz, “Personal Conduct,” The Second Sin, 1973
Next up: Something interesting about Margaret.