The story of a girl who has lost to ability to cope with life, so she begins to lie.
|Dear Mam, that’s how it started. That’s how it always started.
To love is one thing, to understand is something else entirely; that’s a point that never really made its way into my family. Sometimes I wonder you know, about being close to my mother, would it help? The answer is always the same. Yes.
I love my mam, there’s no disputing that, but for as much as I hug her and miss her when I’m away, the feeling that she doesn’t understand what I’m going through never escapes me. Always present, always lurking in the shadows ready to pounce, sending me into another mood, a repeating depression.
That’s how the letters started. I can’t really remember the First one, but I know it began when I was about 11. Come to think of it, I guess they started when the hormonal mood swings kicked in. Maybe it was the loss of my grandmother, maybe it was the discovery of things I never knew as a child, but something changed in the way I processed emotion, and since then, my ability to communicate with my mother has been all but destroyed.
I write to my mother. It’s not a psychiatric exercise. She is still alive, so there is no point in letting you think that this is some sort of a grief reliever; I just write to her.
For months and months I could let an issue build, talking only to one or two close friends about it, and then click, something snaps where I have to talk to an authority figure, someone who can do something , someone like my mam. For a week maybe I’ll consider trying to bring the issue up in conversation, but my stepdad is always there, and even if he isn’t... well it just doesn’t happen, or very rarely at least.
So I write a letter. Sometimes I send them, leaving them on her pillow, or at her spot at the dining room table, other times they end up in the fire or at the bottom of the trash can because as I come to my senses I realise how melodramatic and exaggerated they sound, regardless of their authenticity. That kind of started when we moved and I realised that no one knew me, I could be who ever I wanted to be, but by the time I went into third year, things were out of control. I would tell one lie, realised it contrasted with another, and lie to cover that. I began to mix up what lies I had told to which people, but I loved it. I got this rush of adrenaline every time someone believed a lie, a thrill each time my lies stumbled over one another, and yet no one noticed, I was on top of the world. I was God. My word was law, and every one took it at face value; and then it stopped.
Someone noticed, and that someone happened to be my best friend. The best friend I expected to tell me the truth about any problems she had with me. The best friend who should have helped me through each new issue, just as I supported her through each problem of her own, but I guess when you realise that one of the closest friends you have lies compulsively, that sort of zeros everything else out.
At this stage I’ve forgotten most of the lies, or mixed up whether each thing is a fiction or a fact, but I’ll try.
1.I have a ‘guilt, anxiety and grief disorder’ (not precisely a lie as I have been told I have symptoms pointing to such an affliction)
2.I am regularly in the hospital on ‘psychological observation’.
3.I have been arrested 11 times. (I’ve actually never been arrested)
4.I have tried almost every drug but never heroin. (I’ve really only tried cannabis)
5.I went out with someone where I used to live for two years. (I actually can’t remember how true this one is but I was only like nine anyway so it doesn’t really count)
6.That same person got my best friend pregnant because I wouldn’t have sex with him.
7 (to 150). Sooo many lies about my sexual experience.
151. I was on holiday (true) and I fell in love with a 19 year old who is now in the army and I will never see him again (...not so true).
152. My stepdad is both physically and verbally abusive.
153. My granddad pays for almost all of my expenses e.g. school, summer camps, food, holidays. (only partially true)
154. I have been shot at.
155. I used to live in an area where the ambulances wouldn’t even go into.
156. The small scar on the back of my leg (which is hardly visible any more, but I did have) is from scraping myself running from the cops. (I really just cut myself with a toenail on my other foot)
157. I have been duct-taped to a chair and stabbed.
158. I am afraid of clowns. (only really creepy ones in horror films)
159. My birth-father is fully black...I guess that one’s not really a lie; I just don’t go into detail about his heritage. He is black and Ugandan but his mother was Irish.
160. I hate my stepdad. (I don’t even dislike him that much he just really aggravates me and I guess that’s due to my fault as much as his own)
161. One of my friends was raped.
162. When I was five my best friend was killed in an explosion in a dance hall.
163. I had a darker skinned twin who died when we were two months old.
164. Both my parents wanted my twin but neither wanted me.