Imagine the horror a mother-of-three would feel if she found out that her late husband was actually her biological father.
Valerie Spruill of Doylestown, Ohio, said that she only made the devastating discovery through a DNA test after her husband Percy had died, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
The 60-year-old woman who has three children and eight grandchildren says that she is now telling her story in an effort to find her other sibling from her father.
"It needs to be told, because children need to know where they come from," she said, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. "And I know it hurts, because I have been devastated by this."
Spruill had been raised by her grandparents from 3-months-old and at 9-year-old she found out that the man she thought was her father was actually her grandfather and that a woman named Christine, who had been identified as a "family friend," was actually her mother.
Spruill said that it was revealed to her until later that her mother, who died in 1984, was of three "night ladies" who testified in a 1980 trial of Summit County Probate Judge James Barbuto who was convicted of sex charges.
Her mother and father had got together when he was only 15-year-old and the number of children they had remains unclear, although she is aware of six brothers.
She said that she was never told who her real father was and Valerie later met and married Percy, who turned out to be her biological father. Percy was born in Mississippi and worked in Akron, Ohio as a truck driver and later as a parking-lot attendant. He passed away in 1998 at the age of 60,
For years Spruill had heard odd rumors about their relationship.
She told the paper that she finally learned the hard truth from an uncle not long after Percy's death. She said she confirmed the relationship with DNA testing after finding his hairs on a brush in their room.
Spruill does not know whether Percy knew he married his daughter, but she strongly believes he was aware of the rumors but was simply afraid to tell her.
Since the discovery, Valerie has been seeing a therapist to help her deal with the repercussions. She said she has endured many serious health problems that she believes were only brought on by the stress of discovering the longtime family secret.
She hopes that her story will help her reach siblings she didn't know existed.
"My biggest goal is to find them and let 'em know that [their mother] loved them, no matter what. And [to tell them], 'Thank God she gave you away like she did me, so you could have a beautiful life,'" she said.