Just Because You CAN, Doesn't Always Mean You SHOULD
Lets talks DNA testing.

"Spit Kits"
There is alot that they don't tell you before you decide to take a DNA test.
For a meer hundred bucks you get a cool pie chart and can go, with a smile on your face, from lederhosen to a kilt and happily dance off the screen.
What they don't warn you of is that in one click of a mouse, you can be detroyed.
You can find that you are no longer "you", the person in the mirror is a stranger and you are indeed a tree with no roots.
They don't warn of the devastation, emotional destruction, psychological turmoil that can follow.
Your life can be destroyed. For a meer hundred bucks.

Is this the DNA companies fault? No. It is not.
But those little "spit" tubes should come with a serious warning label.
Why should they care when they are making a buck off poor,unsuspecting schumcks like me?
I wanted, at 56 years old, to know the truth.
I wanted a cool little ethniciity estimate and a pie chart that would tell me WHAT AND WHO I am.
Those cute little DNA Matches?
What if you are looking at a page full of strangers instead?
I, like MANY people, got much more that I bargined for.

Support groups are popping up all over the place.Therapists, psychologists and mental health clinics have a whole new catagory of patient and they are showing up in droves.
DNA testing is not new. AT HOME, mail in, widely available, affordable,commerical "spit kits" are.
Talk shows are now filled with distraught,exploited people who's DNA Nightmare stories of personal destruction make ratings soar.
Genealogy/DNA company sponsored TV shows of happy,joyful reunions of people who are thrilled that they have new "sisters", "brothers",new "1/2 siblings" or travel to Austrailia to meet their Grandfather they just found out about. The DNA test companies paint a rosie, happy picture of smiliing people reuniting joyfully with relatives they never knew they had or knew exsisted.
How exciting?!
No. To most of us it is personally destructive!
Do they warn you that the results may destroy you or your family members, both known and unknown? That you may be left crying for a month straight, barely able to function as you realize you are not YOU after all?
No. They do not.
Does anyone warn you that you will feel like you have buried those you loved most in this world, all over again when you find out that the people who raised you are not related to you at all and the rest lied to your face?
Or that 40 years of genealogy research (FORTY!) may all be based on the wrong families.
That your genealogy website is now redundant.
You can delete it and start over, delete it and quit or leave the wrong info there in disgust to confuse future researchers.
The boxes of genealogy records, carefully researched and collected birth certificates, death records, family photos that you searched painstakingly for, do not have any roll in your family tree at all.
Ive done 40 years of genealogy work for someone else.
Youre welcome. That the Mayflower Certificate on your wall, the DAR heritage, that picture you proudly hung on the wall of your GG Greandfather, a Civil War Soldier, that you honor every single Memorial Day, does not belong to you and now leaves a blank,
faded spot on the living room wall as a daily reminder ( not that you need one) that you have lost what you thought was your familiy. That your cousins are NOT your real cousins or where you've always considered "Home" is NOT the HOME of YOUR Ancestors and you have no connection to, lets say,Talladega, Alabama, at all.
That those you loved most in your life and were taught to trust the most, lied to you. Lied to your face to protect a dirty little secret that they took to their graves to save face for themselves.
To hell with you.
Is this just one experience of one person? Is this a fluke, one in a million result that only happens to "THOSE" kinds of people from"THOSE" kinds of families?
Do you think, arrogantly, "That would NEVER happen in MY family!"?
I hate to break it to you, there are THOUSANDS of unsuspecting, devastated and now damaged people experiencing very painful outcomes.
They are from all walks of life, all religions, all ethnic, socio economic backgrounds from all over the world.
From good, respectable, hard working,intelligent, decent families.Public figures, celebrities, the TV news anchor on your local channel maybe. To the drug dealers, prostitutes and crackheads on the corner and everyone inbetween who dares to take a DNA test.
Am I rambling?
I AM venting.
And telling the truth.( What a fresh, new idea apparently.)
I'm warning you because those huge for profit only companines won't.
I hope, if you decide to do a DNA test, that your big suprise is to find that you're 2% Azkenazi Jewish, or 1% Sub-Saharan African, 9% Italian that you had no idea helped make you, YOU.
And the only research you have to do is where the Iberian Pennisula actually is or what countries make up Scandanavia.

So file this line away.

"Just because you CAN, doesn't always mean you SHOULD."
That having been said, I still feel that the horrible truth is better than a great lie.

So with a whole new, empty, family tree and a page full of strangers, I no longer have any genealogical data too be proud of. I have nothing to share with you.
No pedigree charts, no surname lists, no family photos that I have any connection to.
Only meaningless data and stories of 81 years of liars, cheaters and dirty little secrets.
So I am deleting years of work and research and leaving this here instead.
I am deleting those that I loved most in world.
They aren't mine on my genetic tree.

To Wadie Hampton Townsend (1907-1977) of Talladega, Alabama
( My lifelong grandpa, best friend, playmate,gaurdian angel, father,mentor, role model and confidant)
You will always be "mine" in my heart.
It only proves you were even MORE of a saint than anyone knew.

Terryl Whitaker
©Copyright 2019
All Rights Reserved.

Photo Title: " Talking with an Old Friend"
©2019 Tyler J. Pilon