When I was growing up, I remember always asking a lot of questions. From the ordinary to the extraordinary, I’ve always considered myself to be a curious person with a quest to learn more. This is especially true in things about my family history. But the reason being is because so much was kept from me. My mother rarely spoke of her childhood, due to the fact that there were many traumatic events that occurred that she felt the need to hide. For her, hiding things was a defense mechanism that she used because she thought that it kept me safe. My father on the other hand shared stories, but many seemed like tall tales that left me often wondering the validity of their truths.
Fast forward to current time and now both my parents are gone. At 31 years of age I am a parent to three amazing children, and before them, I had a past—some I will share with them, and other things I will not. To be an open book takes incredible courage, but alas, there are still things that I am not sure that I will want them to know. Finally, now it’s my turn to mold my children’s future, and I understand why so many truths were hidden from me. Fear. Fear of judgement, fear of further probing, fear of continuous questioning. But basically a fear that the child will form an opinion about you based off of discovered knowledge. For my parents, specifically my mother, this equaled lying. Oddly enough, whether you were to ask me this question now, or if you had asked me ten years ago: what is my biggest pet peeve? I know that exact answer. Lying. I absolutely can’t stand to be lied to. Lying to your children damages them, causing harm to their impressionable minds once they become adults and discern the truth.
When we are small children, and enamored and in awe of our parents, they are often times are idols. I believed everything that came out of my parents’ mouths as a child. And I did so because why wouldn’t I, right? After all they were my parents and never would it occur that they would lie to me. As a parent, I know now that there are truths that we can share with our children, and things that we cannot. But when our children become adults, and parents just like we have, what then if they realize that some things are not what they seem? It doesn’t make them feel protected, but confused and/or angry, for not understanding why they were lied to in the first place. Sadly, I learned more about who my parents actually were in the time after they were both gone. Some things were good, other things have been bad, but all in all it has not made me love them any less. But for me, I wish they had known then that it would never have changed for a second the way I felt about them. Because in the end, it would have saved everyone a lot of trouble and heartache.
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