As one of nine siblings, Steve Lickteig always considered himself a member of a tight-knit family. But eventually, he found out a secret they kept from him for 18 years, which revealed that everything he thought he knew about his family was a lie. Not only are the people that Steve considered parents growing up actually his grandparents, but he found out that his sister Joanie is actually his biological mother.
Even more shockingly, Steve was basically the last in his small town to know about the family’s secret. So it makes sense that it’s taken him 15 years to start mending his relationship with his family members. Steve explains that he grew up catholic, so he thinks they were just trying to protect the family name by covering up his mom’s pregnancy.
Now, Steve is back in touch with his sister-slash-mom – she wants to be a grandparent his kids, and he does too, but they’re taking things one step at a time for now. Steve’s lesson learned? Secrets do more harm than good. “I feel liberated by knowing the truth… the secret keepers are carrying a burden, but the question is not so much whether they should share that secret, but when,” he notes.