Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What they don't know & Other lies we tell

cigI will not deny the fact that I lie on occasion.  I try to make myself feel better at night by rationalizing my motives.  Typically my lies are to protect people.  Sure, the person in question is often myself, but that is not the point.  My point, if I even have one, is that lies do serve a purpose.  The infamous "they" that I would like to track down and tie to a kitchen chair, say "the truth shall set you free".   I am not sure people are paying attention to who needs to be set free when they actually tell the truth though.

I lie to my kids. " Honey, Incredible Pizza is not open right now", when in fact, this is just my way of getting out of having to take them to the indoor carnival of hell.  Of course they are open; they are open all the time, even in the middle of the night while I have nightmares about going there.

I lie to my friends.  I know I know.  If I can't be honest with them, then what can I expect in return.  Well frankly, I do not want to know if those jeans make me look fat!  I don't tell my friends what I think they want to hear, I tell them things that make them feel good about themselves.

I lie to my clients (not you though:).  Don't worry!  I can spin this in my favor too.  I would much rather under promise and over deliver so this is really not lying but setting the right expectation.

I lie to myself, about a lot of things.  Denial manifests itself in many forms; my mother being my current affliction.  I knew she was sick even before the phone call.  Looking back, all the signs pointed to a place I did not want to visit again.  When she was formally diagnosed, I ignored the fact that it sounded bad.  Being an enabler of sorts, my mother did not help matters by leaving out some "minor" details of her condition.

After lying to herself for 30 or more years about the effects of smoking, Mom is now in her second year of treatment.  She has begun to ration details of her condition to us like food stamps in an attempt to prevent us from gorging ourselves.  The whole thing reminds me of that scene from A Few Good Men. "I want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"  I realize she does not want to be a statistic, or focus on how many years she may or may not have left.  I also realize, though, that we all need to be realistic; the controlling planner in me needs to know what to expect.  Under promise, over deliver.

Cancer is the worst kind of thief.  It does not hide itself like a coward; cancer is brazen with it's movement and leaves us cold and vulnerable in it's wake.  It moves in the daylight and does not stop until it gets what it wants from you.  What it takes is far more than it ever sets out to gain.

As a mother, I try to imagine what I would tell my children in Mom's position.  No matter how old my children get, I want to protect them from harm.  Sure, life happens, but why can't I do my part to prevent pain when I can?  As a wife, would I say to my husband "hey babe, it's not lookin so good".  Would I want my friends to feel sorry for me as my hair falls out and I lose my energy?  Like my mother, I would not want my life, and that of others, to be consumed by my illness.

If there is a moral here, it is this: What we don't know really doesn't hurt us.


WeaselMomma said...

This was touching and heartfelt food for thought. I hope that the time you have left with your mother is well spent.

Cheryl Giddens said...

I have been reading your blog since I met your husband. We are involved in his business venture. I have enjoyed reading about your beautiful family. This post especially touched me because of CANCER. I'm struggling a bit this morning and I'm a little overwhelmed. My best friend who is 35 has been fighting stage IV colon cancer for 2 years. I fight it everyday with her. I want her to be here for her two little boys (who are laying next to me at this moment!). Last week I was with my baby brother (47) when he was told he has pancreatic cancer. My husband and I will be meeting he and his wife at the oncologist this morning to find out more. I'm terrified. I hated reading that your mom is fighting the battle. I pray for peace for you and your mom!
Thanks for letting me be a stalker! I hope that someday we will meet! I enjoyed talking with your husband and especially loved how he LOVES his family!

staciesmadness said...

I've thought about this as well...if it were my mom keeping things from me I'd be pissed, however, if in her shoes I'd do the same to protect my kids...

so, can't be mad at mom for doing the exact same thing I would do.

Candice said...

i agree 100%. it's unfair that cancer has to take away so much... it seems vital to at least try to live normally.

Jill said...

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's cancer.

My best friend found out he had cancer after being involved in a car accident that left him in a coma for 2 days. He hid the part about the cancer for weeks and when he finally told me I was livid. It all came into prospective though, when he told me "hey, I could've died in a car accident. I'm alive now and I want to live as normally as possible. I could be in another accident tomorrow and the status of the cancer won't matter a bit."

From that day forward, I promised both of us that whatever he wanted to share he could and I wouldn't but him about the rest. You can't control their battle with cancer any more than you can control them being in a car accident.

Piper of Love said...

This post is so good, it shook me a bit.

I'm determined to stop being STUPID and quit. I smacked myself in the head, seriously, when I suddenly realized I've been closet smoking for 5 years now. Yup, 5 years of lying and smoking in denial. I can't believe it's been FIVE years, that's terrifying.

Great work with this one babe

Kim said...

**tears** Cancer is evil and is robbing us both of our moms.