Hot Potato Hard

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

This feels like a hot potato.

Let me back up.

Nearly a year ago I sent a message on 23 and Me: “Hi, my name is Shelly and you might be my aunt? It would have to be on my paternal side because I already know all my my aunts on my mom’s side…” 

See this piece for some more details.

Now, nearly a year later (official anniversary date is 3/21-3/22), I’m writing a story for a national outlet for people who have similar experiences. What resources are out there for them? Where can they turn to, especially if the parties involved have passed? I’m interviewing experts. Authors. Group leaders. Spokespeople. This particular story is not my own experience but I’m writing it as someone who has experienced this. It’s so hard. Emotionally taxing. So hard.

After the interviews I hold my head in my hands and re-group. This. This trauma/experience feels like a hot potato. These people sharing their experiences and advice are all in a similar boat: this life-changing thing happened to them and they are trying to help others that it has happened to as well. Kind of like lighting a lantern for others to go down a path where you’ve already tripped. Or, fallen down a ravine.

But, sometimes, I don’t want this. I am so grateful for the amazing people I’ve met along this journey (and they know I don’t discount them at all), but the hard parts are so, so hard. Gut wrenching hard. Hot potato that I want to throw back at God hard.

One day I know that I will tell my full story. With all of its torn edges and pain. Not the one where I wrap it up nice and tidy in a bow, but the one that really happened – the one that’ll make your heart ache. I’m not ready yet though, but I will be someday.

Until then, I will continue to share resources and tell the stories of others in a similar position. Because I’m so done with secrets and shadows.

Sometimes, I’m so tired of hot potato hard.

By Michelle Talsma Everson, March 2022