I Am Vindicated and My daughter is No Longer Anyone’s Secret

Carol Burt
9 min readJun 19, 2021
Photo by Mindy Olson P on Unsplash

This is one of those stories that won’t come easy. It’s genuinely one where I’ll have to “sit down and open a vein.” It’s very personal, and maybe I should not speak publicly about it, but I need to, and since I’ve gotten older, I have no desire to hide any part of my life. Because, through it all, I know I did the best I could.

A lot of things happen as a result of people looking back into their ancestry. There haven’t been too many unexpected revelations in my family’s case, although we discovered a few surprising facts buried 100 years or more in the past. However, things can happen when someone gets the truth about one’s ancestry. Because of the way DNA testing works to find relatives, buried secrets can finally be discovered. Most of these revelations are old stories from the far past. But more recent secrets get revealed, too. And that’s a beautiful benefit of tracing one’s roots. No one’s ancestry should be kept secret from them.

The truth is that I was something of a wild child in my thirties, and I had an extra-marital affair when I was 33. I’m certainly not proud to say that. It just happened. It wasn’t sex for me — although that was part of it for sure. It was love. Big love. Giant romance. It made me crazy, and it made me not only forsake my husband at the time but my career, too. I lost standing in a community where I was in a prominent position.

But, of course, as the woman, I took the brunt of the rumors and scandal. My reputation was forever soiled. He paid nothing, and I had the baby while he probably fished or played golf. I was alone.

I didn’t care at the time that my marriage had ended. I only cared about one thing: this man and the way I felt when I was with him. It was, oh, I can’t describe it. Good. I’m sure now it was infatuation. But back then, he was my heart, and I melded myself into him at the expense of everything else. I could not think. I did not care. I made a damn fool of myself. I tore my life apart until only pieces remained.

Before I can tell the rest of this story, I have to say that it seems a lifetime ago, and I am now happily married. I’ve been happily and gratefully married to the best man I know for 24 years. I met my husband long after the affair ended, and my heart kinda’ said…

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Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.