'My grandfather became my father after he raped my mother at gunpoint'

An Australian woman finds out she and her mother shared the same father after a horrific family secret was revealed in a two-page letter sent to her from her estranged mother.

A young Jodi with her father and her grandfather who sexually abused her mother from a young age

An Australian woman finds out she and her mother shared the same father after a horrific family secret was revealed in a two-page letter sent to her from her estranged mother.

Jodi Cahill’s life changed drastically when she received a letter from her estranged mother four years ago.

In that letter, her mother told her that they shared the same father. She wrote:

"Jodi, you and I share the same father. From a very young age I suffered abuse of every kind from our father. The night I was brutally raped and fell pregnant I will remember for the rest of my life."

The 38-year-old Australian said:  'I was so in shock and disgusted. That night I tried to jump off a bridge. I didn't know what to do with it [the news].'

Cahill discovered that her mother had been raped by her own father at gunpoint after years of abuse.

This revelation helped Cahill understand the unloving way her mother had treated her throughout childhood. She left her to be raised by her divorced grandmother and once threatened to come and kill her with a gun.

Cahill explained: ‘I just thought she was always mental and the way she treated me, I just couldn’t understand any of it.

‘It must have been horrific for her every day to look at me as a reminder. Everything makes sense now.’

Following her mother's confession, Ms Cahill's life took a dwonhill for the worse as she threw herself into her work running her charity organisation instead of dealing with her issues.

But soon she stopped eating and started to lose weight, and eventually she was diagnosed with anorexia.

Ms Cahill's anorexia got so bad that she ended up in The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

However, Cahill is now in recovery and says she is determined not to be that person consumed by an eating disorder.

But having to deal with the trauma of her birth story makes recovery that much harder, she says.

She acknowledges she has a long way to go – and hopes that by sharing her story she will encourage others to get help and beat the condition along with her.

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