Friday, November 21, 2014

The trouble with lies

I grew up believing my parents were married but separated and that my father worked in India. At some point, quite late on, my early teens I think, my mother told me in a roundabout way that, in fact, she had never been married. I was a naive child and had never thought to question the things I was told, a situation that I suspect today's children would find hard to believe.

Discovering that lie, which had been the basis of my life up till then, threw everything into doubt. The Indian doll allegedly from my father, the £5 note my mother said my father had sent for me when I passed my 11+, how could I see them as anything but fabrication put into place to help maintain the story?

But now I wonder.

Husband's family history research has shown that my father did indeed spend time in India so it is possible he brought home a doll for me. And he might have sent me a reward for my first academic success: he was a barrister after all; maybe he thought I had inherited his brains.

He might actually have thought about me once or twice in his lifetime, not as a nuisance that shouldn't have happened but as a child of his. Not enough to want to meet me but maybe a little more than one of his neatly filed and finished-with legal cases. I'll never know. He, my mother and my grandparents, the only people who could have told me, are dead.

That's the trouble with lies: they undermine truth.

6 comments:

Leslie: said...

On her death bed, my mother was in and out of reality and at one point, said directly to me, "Did you girls ever know that?" Well, I quickly said, "Know what, Mom?" But then her speech deteriorated to the point that she ended up taking it to her grave...so to speak. The secrets that parents keep can leave us hanging for the rest of our lives. I'm sorry neither of us ended up knowing the truth.

Shirley Davis said...

It is small in comparison but my mother was devastated to learn, after her mother's death, the reason she and my grandfather never celebrated their wedding anniversary - not openly. My mother, the eldest of three, was conceived before they had married. Trivial by today's standards but still a lie to hide the truth.
It is therefore strange that my mother is so intolerant of all young women today - they should learn to keep their knees closed!

Robyn Lee said...

Yes, that is the trouble with lies...the truth comes to light quite often no matter how much people try to keep it hidden. I know that from experience!

Katney said...

Hmmm. Not tellin'

It's not a lie--just not tellin'

Ole Phat Stu said...

If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember what you said! Nor to whom!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Your mother must have found it quite hard to keep the story going once you got older . It shows how much she loved you .