I know that much of what she tells me is a lie.
I didn't always know that. I knew in my gut something wasn't right. But I didn't KNOW it was a lie. And I didn't know why it was a lie or why she lied. I still don't know but such is the nature of a person's psyche.
If your parents are lying to you, it's okay to know it. It's better to know and accept it than to not acknowledge it and try to convince yourself that what is a lie is actually true. Then you get really screwed up for life.
For a few days now her memory has been awful. Just awful. She also doesn't want to wake up and blames it on her cold. But people who have colds can get up and function. I know there's something else going on.
"Is it (this)?"
"Are you depressed?"
"No. I'm just tired. Can't I be tired?"
"Did Unidentified Male Relative telephone you?"
"What did he say?"
I don't remember.
If you're like me, you've learned to trust your gut. In my case, I have to wonder: A) She doesn't remember the telephone call because she doesn't want to remember; B) She remembers the call and its contents but she doesn't want to tell you/me. C) She doesn't remember the telephone call because she has some condition independent of all other emotional issues. After all, how am I ever going to prove that she remembers? Or doesn't remember? The memory loss serves a practical and convenient function.
I have to harken back to just a few weeks ago, when Unidentified Male Relative showed up unexpectedly (on my end), and I discovered that he and she had gone to the bank together and had wiped out her savings account. At that time, she said nothing to me afterward, as it it hadn't happened at all. It was an awkward silence, me wondering if she'd say anything, giving her the opportunity to bring it up on her own, and she being quiet out of - fear? Of me? Of what I might say? Of having to deal with what she had just partnered in? But yesterday when the topic of finances and the savings account came up, she was quick to offer: "I did it because I wanted to." Memory loss? Or convenient 'memory loss'?
Sure enough, I find out late afternoon from Other Person that Unidentified Male Relative is there in her apartment. Other Person doesn't want me to call her and get elderly mom upset. I, however, need to call. We have to do a reality check here.
"Was he there when you and I were talking a little while ago, and doing your meds?"
"Yes. I told you."
"No you didn't. You said you were getting ready to take a nap. That was all." I calmly informed my elderly mom that there is no money in the checking account, there is no money in the savings account, and all the credit cards have been shut down. She argues that she's financially responsible. I say "No, you're not financially responsible." She says UMR has not asked for money. I say "Not yet." She's playing a game with me. But it's a fool's game.
What does it take to be a good liar? A persistent liar? All it takes is for the other person to be a fool, or to want to be fooled, to want to cling to a relationship or a dream more than you want to cling to reality and yourself.
She says, "I don't lie to you."
At any age, it's hard to tell your parents that you've caught them in a lie. Let alone repeated lies. I think that what she's really saying is that she doesn't want to lie to me. For most of my life my parents presented things in one way but the truth was quite different. But time is running out and I have to just be blunt and honest about this - because we have to exist in a place of honesty. How much more time do we have to get to this place?
I say, "Yes you do, you lie all the time." It hurts her to hear this, it hurts me say this. To KNOW this. Relationships cannot thrive in an atmosphere of falsifications. I can't imagine how much it destroys a person to be a liar. I take that back. I can imagine it. I see it all the time, every day. I can't imagine how destroyed a person must be to lie. A person's humanity. It's an awful way to live.
This time UMR can't get any money. My mom's finances are, for now, as they were. They are safe. I won't have to do any clean up of the mess tomorrow. She may not be very happy about it but I'm relieved. I've protected her finances, I've protected myself from the angst and stress of cleaning up the mess each time, which gets harder and harder each time, and I've eliminated one tool that fuels the codependency. I'm sad, but I'm relieved for the moment.
And for the moment, there is honesty.