The other day my nephew, who just turned 6 last month, got caught telling a whopper to his grandparents. It all began because he wanted to remain in the car while someone ran in to grab a drink and snack while running errands.
“Well, Uncle Lary leaves me in the car!”
“Preston, when did he do this?” Obvious concern since they didn’t know the whole story.
“Oh, it was over the summer.” More concern about this small child having heatstroke from a closed car in the sun.
“Was Lary gone very long?”
“Oh, he went in to buy cigarettes and beer?!!” My lovely nephew found this factoid amusing and necessary to share.
It important to understand that I don’t smoke and I consume a six pack of good beer over the course of a year. This is when his maternal grandparents knew something was wrong. The beer part might have been believable since I did take Preston with me last year to the liquor store to buy a bottle of wine for my parent’s anniversary, but they knew it was game over when mentioning smoking!
Tall tales children tell can be amusing, those same tales in the hands of an adult can set in motion a series of events that can’t be recovered from. Sparing someone’s feelings about their outfit or the quality of their cooking are simple things, we do them every day. I’d even go as far as saying we leave out details of our routine lives because we don;t want to relive something that hurt.
There are things I kept from Whitney. Aspects of work that might have been better had I just shared them. You might go as far as me having lied about some details. Things that didn’t quite make sense, would have fit better together had she known. Ways I dealt with people, sometimes having to twist an arm harder than I should have to get something completed. But that was more about my embarrassment at those things than trusting her.
Do I think Whitney did the same? Sure! She is a non-confrontational person. It was easier for her to avoid the topics, rather than deal with the frustration and pain that came along with them. It ate at her. Then when she was forced to explain, she couldn’t.
The results in my experience is that, as Dr. House was so famous for stating, “Everybody Lies”, I can add to that directly by saying the omission of details, some big, others small, left a series of lives in waste. Friends who tried to help felt abused, disillusioned by the ignoring of their advice. Family was trapped by not understanding why things played out the way they did, and became angry for being left out.
Recently I went to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting while I was recouping at the hospital. Really just felt like being around people, my room was very lonely at times. They talk about making amends for the hurt we inflict on each other. Those lies we tell ourselves and each other reach long into eternity.