It has been long recognized and well-documented that I have a temper of the most destructive and terrifying kind. I try to keep a lid on that hurricane, and for the most part, I have managed to keep it in check. However, there are buttons that can be pushed that circumvent my Fail-Safe points, and immediately launch my nukes.
Do Not Pass Go; Do Not Collect $200.
The first set of buttons involve my children, like probably all the rest of the mothers in the world. No big news there.
The second however, is a very specific kind of circumstance that I found myself dealing with enough times growing up, it caused me to develop a type of temperamental allergy to it. It’s called “If I Can Convince Two People I’m Telling The Truth, Then It Doesn’t Matter If I Really Am Or Not” Game, and if exposed, I go postal.
So, this weekend, guess what happened to me? I got a taste of my old hated game, and I reacted exactly the way I always do. I attacked mercilessly. At the moment, I haven’t decided how much of this latest crap I’m going to share, but I think it would only be fair to at least try to give you a taste of what playing this crappy game feels like.
I will use a long ago true story to show you how this horrendous game is played, but everyone in the cast has apologized and been forgiven. Just so you know. Don’t be harsh..
“If I Can Convince Two People I’m Telling The Truth, Then It Doesn’t Matter If I Really Am Or Not” Game
“Picture a young me, with three small children, some still in diapers. We’re always strapped for money, so it is a rare privilege to spend any time out with the husband, but the stars line up, the month coughs up a rare quarterly extra paycheck, and finally, you’re getting a grown-up night.
You ask your family member who babysits for you on occasion if they would babysit, settle on an amount to pay him/her for babysitting (which you don’t mind, because they are poor too), and head off into your evening relatively stress free.
Somewhere during the entree, which is about 45 minutes in, another family member calls and is cursing you up and down, wanting to know what kind of s**t parents would drop their toddlers off without diapers at a poor relatives house, not answer any calls from him/her, and expect other members of the family to foot the diaper bill for us.
Since we had dropped off diaper bags, with diapers in them, and had received not one call from the babysitter, we were…perplexed. We headed to pick up the kids, date night obviously ruined. We go into the babysitter’s house, and we find the diaper bags suspiciously empty, an accusatory babysitter obviously trying to get us to leave asap, and an angry family member who is adamant about how much we now owe her.
After yelling, crying, and unraveling of lies, here is what really went on:
The babysitter had a smoking habit she was trying to hide from a husband who controlled their finances with an iron hand. When the children were dropped off, she contacted another family member about getting money for diapers, thinking that blaming me would be no big deal. She told the one family member who had no problems with confrontation, and confronted the shit out of everyone and everything. The babysitter panicked, threw away the diapers I brought, and tried desperately to convince everyone I was lying.
Me. My reputation was of little value, nor was my integrity worth as much as a stupid pack of cigarettes. And for a long time, because there were a whole set of people who believed the babysitter, it was instantly assumed I was the liar. The truth, by the time if finally did come out, vindicated nothing because no one was emotionally invested in the situation as much as I had been. And to rattle the cages just to prove how wronged I had been wouldn’t be appreciated by anyone. So, not trusting I’d get even the smallest apology, I let it alone for a long time. The damage of being lied about, lied to, and betrayed, though, has stayed with me a long time.”
I hate these types of lies, stupid, petty, tending to always be twisted around something rather innocuous and small. I have found myself involved in another one of these situations, and the nukes have launched, on-time, and as predictable as they always have been about people making my integrity disposable for selfish purposes. What started with me asking for permission to use a phone no longer in service, turned into yet another of these twister games. And now, at the end of all of this back and forth, where I have proven to be able to withstand blackmail, manipulation, peer pressure to settle, baffling with bullshit, deflections from the point, and guilt over upsetting the precious peace, I find myself again alone with the knowledge of what the truth really was, but also the only one who really cares that much about it. I can’t handle these kinds of games, and I don’t want to be able to play them well.
- There may be safety in numbers, but honesty doesn’t need them. You can convince a nation of people you’re telling the truth, but that makes no difference at all to the reality of whether it is actually the truth or it is a just a believable lie.
- Just because you don’t think your lie about someone else should be a big deal, you don’t know what that lie weighs in their life. Sometimes, a feather of a lie can crush the spirit of someone who just didn’t need that last little thing.
- There is no shame in being remorseful. In fact, no one can say they haven’t messed up big time.
- Trying to force-feed your lie into the face of the person you’re lying about will never get a good result, and you might find that your measly stupid little reason for lying in the first place wasn’t worth the headache it eventually will cost you.
- Nothing done in secret will remain in secret forever.
- Always try to remember, everyone values their reputations differently, and while you don’t mind gambling away some parts of yours, some of us worked hard to have the ones we ourselves can respect as well. Tread softly.
This has been a sad day for me, and I feel I’ve lost someone before I really had them back. But I left this nonsense behind when I left home, and I don’t want this kind of relationship back in my life again now. I value honesty so much because it was so rare in my childhood home, and I see, some things never change. To be in my life, you have to be able to tell what the truth is, no matter how little it really matters.