There are so many reasons why lies are so debilitating to the person hearing them day after day….the list goes on and on. How can these lies permeate our lives? It takes a support system in place to keep the lies afloat. This is where the family of the liar fits into the plot. The thing that I repeatedly come back to over the course of time; what is the parents’ role in all of it when they see it occurring?If my child acts out or misbehaves, I immediately become introspective. What can I do to help my child get past this or what could I do differently to show my child that this behaviour is not acceptable? Once an adult, this becomes a moot point because many of those traits are instilled in a child during the formative and growing years. At this time the ball is in the court of the new adult; ready to face the world. Being raised in an honest, law-abiding family makes it hard to fathom a deep core of deception. My former in-laws, being of Italian heritage, were the typical in-your-face type. That in itself is not a major problem. They were a close network that kept in constant contact…maybe that in itself was not the problem either however unfamiliar that terrain was to me. It was a little odd to me but not a bad thing in the true sense of “bad”. It was a little alienating for me, but certainly that was not the worst thing that could happen. It was difficult but not impossible….if you follow me. What was troubling to me, and I found out much later, was the fact that they were continually feeding me stories and omitting things that would have given me a true picture of what was actually going on. They were aware that their son was beating his mistress, aware also that he was stealing from her; yet they perpetuated his lies with me and in fact did everything in their power to make sure I was never told of these things. All the while, they were solidifying their position with me by looking after my daughter during the day and presenting themselves as the doting parents broken by their son’s decision to leave me for another woman. What was I to do? I saw them as tormented souls as tormented as I was and I did my best to console and support them during this time. It was much later when I discovered the length and breadth of the cover-up. To say that I was devastated would be an extreme understatement. These people with whom I thought I had a mutual bond. The people who I learned to trust and shared such mutual grief with were in fact just playing a game to benefit their son’s lying, cheating and abusive ways. As if witnessing the abuse was not bad enough; they pretended like the incident never occurred. Turning a blind eye to it; they walked back out of the house and waited for the assault to be finished. As a parent myself, I cannot imagine a situation where this would be acceptable behaviour for a parent or child. Where is the accountability? Where is the moral responsibility? Have these parents raised a sociopathic individual or is that genetically inbred? Is it nature or is it nurture? Personally, I believe, it is nurture. If you as a child are never accountable for your actions by your parents, what guidelines does that give you over the years while you’re maturing. My guess is …..none. My thinking is that children learn by example. What favours are you doing for your child when they aren’t given the lesson that “every action has a reaction”? Again, my answer would be none. I believe it is every parents job to show the accountability in life through their own actions. If the child does not witness this characteristics in his/her parents, how does the same child gauge what’s right and wrong in life’s decisions. I’m not saying that it’s totally his parent’s fault, just that it starts there. What I’m saying is this…..for me personally, when my child does something that’s not honourable, we talk about it and take action. For example, there was a situation once, where she and another friend took sides against another friend…causing really hurt feelings in the third friend. We, as in the parents, got the three friends together to air feelings and discuss it….and for the two girls (mine was one of them) to say a heartfelt apology to the third. Now…. this is little stuff in the general scheme of things. Especially when you think of life altering situations that you can run into during the course of time. HOWEVER, it is important to make these in-roads with your children, making them responsible for their actions. Little stuff….but very important. How else do children know? Are parents enablers? Sure…. every parent has been at some point or another. Sometimes you need to pick your battles. But key in this is that many parents know when enough is enough and they need to take a strong stand with their child and set the balance right.
If these parents had put the order of things right in his earlier years, would this have been the way things turned out? Who knows….maybe if they had taken a stand about the abuse and called the police to protect this woman, he might have been a better man for it because he would have finally had to face the music! Maybe not….but certainly worth the try. Perhaps they felt that it needed to be kept from me because I would take the stand that they would not. Whatever the answer was, did NOT make their decision right or good. The hardest lessons in life are often the most important. It’s always been that way, and it probably always will be.