I think most of us have heard this expression or variations on it. Others are "you don't want to go there" & "thats all in the past".
I've heard it many times from older relatives and then theres a quick change of subject. With some folks practice sensitivity, with others you got to hit them over the head with it.We have a family reunion every year & this coming reunion will be the first since we got the results of the DNA test on a direct male descendant from our paternal ancestor. The results we got sure proved we are not related to the line everyone kept saying we were. Now we go back to scratch as they say, but we at least know that old code saying from the Carolinas of they were Portugee was close to the truth,they were triracial. On my mamas side she found out the lady she thought was her mama wasn't when her mama & her mamas sister got in a fight & she & her older sister were told by her aunt that "She's not your mama & hes (her father) wasn't her sister's father." No one would tell her the story of her real mama (they always said shes dead, you got a good stepmama). My mom died (at 83) still wanting to know about her real mama. I promised her I would never stop looking for info on her. There are two aunts & an uncle from her side of the family who know what she wanted to know. I've asked them point blank & I still get the answer, your mama had a good stepmama forget that. I can understand that back in the 1930's such things were kept secret but I can't see now who its going to hurt. Someday I hope to go to mama's grave & say I found her for you & here is what you've always wanted to know. By the way my mama's sister was given all the info on her real father(he died & her mama married my mamas father). No big scandal there. People can be so selective about they'll tell you. I've been researching our family since my granny (Dad's mama)started telling us stories in the 1970's. It was so hard back then, you had to do all research by mail, by visiting courthouses & cemetaries & I still do. So everyone just keep on looking & asking & maybe you'll find out what your'e looking for. Good hunting to us all.