Thursday, December 25, 2008

White Lies, Black Lies, and What Lies In-Between

I will freely admit that I am an accomplished artist of spinning white lies. The kind you tell the cable company for sympathy so they will work with you to keep the internet and TV on. The kind that keeps bill collectors from blowing your phone up with harassing calls. The kind that spares someone's feelings when you forget their birthday. The kind that will excuse your expected presence from a family function you just don't feel up to making. Yeah, those are the little white lies I am really good at.

Then there are black lies. The flat out malicious lies that ruin peoples' lives. The one's that cost people their jobs, wreck marriages, break up happy homes, tarnish reputations, turn children against parents. I could site examples, but why beat dead horses? Those lies you never recover from. Not really. You move on, but their scars are still ugly and painful. The kind of scars that never heal and go away. You spend your days trying not to dwell when you have been hurt by them, because if you do you become crippled, Life screeches to a halt.

But what most folks don't think about are the lies that lie in-between. These are the lies that hurt people, sometimes just as deeply, yet the person telling them will still try to justify them. In their own minds it makes perfect sense to do what they are doing. Maybe the mentality is that the end result will justify their means.

I can admit that I am guilty of utilizing a few of these Gray Lies, if you will, over the years. I'm not proud of them. At the moment one of these Gray Lies spilled forth from my lips, I had found myself in some sort of deep shit. Sometimes self created. Sometimes not. But in those moments where the absolute truth was not an option (for whatever reason), where there was sheer panic and need for immediate action, I have not always made the best decision in which direction to take. And I admit that. With that said, I don't feel that I am casting stones in a glass house so much with my feelings on the topic. I will also find a way to take responsibility for the ensuing fall out from my Gray Lies (or white lies for that matter), and I try my damnedest to mend any broken fences along the way.

I have spent several months wrapped up in someone else's Grey Lie. I can understand their discomfort with telling the truth. I can understand the fallout they feel would rain down upon them. What I wish for is that the person telling this Grey Lie to be able understand how absolutely devastating it is to me to be the topic of this lie. To be told one minute that you are their one-and-only-everything, and then completely deny you to the world the next, or at the very least minimize your existence or roll in their life... It is heartbreaking.

I came clean with my family about having this person in my life. I realized that there was no point in lying. It was a facade that could not realistically be maintained anyhow. It's difficult to keep up a lie to your family when they live 30 minutes away, call daily, and can drop by with a minute's notice. I also realized that once the honesty hit, so would the shock, but the truth would slowly wash over everyone and ebb the shock away. (I guess it's easier to maintain such a lie when your family lives 10 hours away and there is no risk of an unannounced visit maybe???)

I was completely devastated to learn that when this person's mom started asking direct questions about me, my relationship with this person, and my roll in their life (to which mom already knew the answers in her heart), mom wasn't provided a totally honest and direct answer. She was answered with avoidance, omission, and diluted truth.

It's my place to ask for forgiveness from them for my wrongs done. I don't need anyone to speak on my behalf for that. I shouldn't have anyone but me account for what I did wrong in our relationship. And I don't really see them taking it out on this person like they are convinced would happen. Just my opinion. Yet if I don't have a place in their reality, and currently exist in their minds and thoughts, I can't really have the opportunity to make a mends and someday regain their respect.

I took the initial heat with my family for my decision to bring this person back into my life. But in doing that, this person was subsequently and indirectly given an opportunity to prove their worth, prove their intentions, and regain respect. Not only with my family... but with me as well. I'd just like to have that same opportunity... because it means that much to me.





Right now I can't put to words how that makes me feel. But it certainly ain't good.


ps - Yeah.... Merry Christmas (sigh)