TRIGGERS there may be triggers in this post. Please make sure you are safe and in a good place before you proceed.
There are only so many lies you can tell before the truth has to come out…
Definition of a lie- A type of deception in the form of an untruthful statement, especially with the intention to deceive others.
Definition of truth- Sincerity in action, character and utterance
As a child being abused you learn to lie. Not on purpose, not to purposefully deceive, but to protect the one person who needed protection… You.
You learn to say you are fine even when you are not. You learn to smile even when you don’t want to. You learn to keep secrets even when you should tell. Lying becomes a form of protection… like a warm blanket of comfort. Cover the wounds. Keep things going…
I was in my early teens… Daddy was away on business for a few days. I hated when he left because that would mean she could be horrifically abusive all day and night until he returned. I was always scared and on high alert when Daddy was away from the house.
This particular time was truly one of the worst. She had been intensely cruel and in her rage and sadistic systematic way of unjustified discipline she had threw a fork at my sibling. It missed his eye by millimeters. If he had blinked or moved just a bit, the fork, which left a pierced mark on his upper cheek would have hit him in the eye. The soul damaging ramifications of her years of abusive actions became more apparent when Daddy returned.
In a conversation over dinner the question is posed “What happened to your eye?” Daddy is asking my younger sibling. The entire family is present at the table. There is a moment of silence as the answer, the truth, chokes in my throat stifling my ability to breathe. I literally stop breathing and quickly start to disassociate from moment. Then I hear the answer… whispered from the mouth of my brother… “I fell”. The meal continues. Dinner is complete. It was at that moment that I realized my family had problems. We were liars and this type of cover up had been going on my entire life.
I’m not sure what makes that moment stand out for me. Perhaps the events of the night before (I will write about them later) were so overwhelming for me that I was a new person sitting there that day. Perhaps it was the hope that my sibling would be stronger than me and tell the truth and save us both from having to continue living in Mothers wrath. Perhaps it was that my last hope to be saved had just been played out and I knew it. Perhaps it was the realization that my sibling, like me, had learned to lie about his pain and fears and for some reason I felt responsible for that lesson.
I learned to lie to purposefully deceive right inside my own home. I learned to lie to others. The worst was that I learned to lie to myself: Smiling… even when I didn’t want to. Saying I was fine when I wasn’t. Hiding bruises and pain from others. Holding in my tears, even though I hurt. Thru healing I learned that holding in pain was damaging but equally as damaging was the lies. We were a family that consisted of false smiles, false stories, false airs, we were a public fake. My family wore makeup in the world. Many people saw my family and thought that we were the perfect family. We always smiled. The kids were the most well behaved. We were always seen together going out. We were always seen outside together cleaning up. We, the kids were polite and mannerly. We were actors in our own play.
Those are examples of some of the lies…
Then there is the truth…
My family was broken. Each of us was a piece of a bigger larger broken piece. I was a child. I deserved to be a child. I was being hurt often and deeply. I lived in daily fear that rattled the core of my soul. I wasn’t safe. I had to always be one step ahead of an adult deceptive mind… I was growing up in fear. There was fighting amongst the parents, there was yelling, there was throwing of things, there were beatings of children, there were mind games being played, there was fear, pain and hurt often.
My childhood was filled with abuse and redundancy of sadistic treatment that only encouraged lying to be the norm. My adulthood is now filled with moments of truth and being able to tell it.
It is a work in progress that I am learning to be able to say what my childhood is and was and…. its ok. I am not in that war anymore. I am an adult. I don’t have to lie anymore. The reality of what I went thru is my truth and I can own it and tell it.
The confusion of doing one thing and saying another or hiding one thing to protect another causes confusion and pain…. I don’t have to live in that confusion. That day at the dinner table, I started to see thru the fog. Trusting what my soul is telling me these days is an important step in my journey. As a child I learned to ignore and not trust my soul because everything around me dictated that my soul’s voice must be buried if I was going to be safe. It’s not easy… but I try every day to say a little more of my truth. To speak my truth! Not just about my childhood but also about the here and now. To speak truth about my feelings, my life, my experiences, and my place in my world feels so good. It’s very easy to go back to what was taught to us a child and there are days that I struggle with being comfortable doing this but I am making progress.
You don’t have to say a lot… but those first few words of truth can be so freeing…
So I ask … what is your truth? How do you feel today? (Breath the question in and let the answer flow out…)
My answer: Today I am a little tired. I feel happy nor sad… just content to be. I am being lazy and relaxing with myself and later, my kids.
What would your answer be?