I kind of have a horrible habit. If you ask me a question about myself, I will very readily lie.
No, no. That’s not the horrible part.
The horrible part is if you ask it twice, I’ll most likely tell you the truth.
You see, I told her I missed someone and she thought I’d said, “I miss God.” I laughed and said, “Well, that too. But no, I said I miss so-and-so.” She raised her eyebrows and questioned me: “What do you mean you miss God?” I laughed her off again and told her I’d just been kidding. She paused and then asked, “Were you really kidding? What did you mean?”
I could feel that moment of hesitation that would give me away even if I had lied again. I finally told her, well no, I hadn’t been kidding.
We’re going to skip the part where she gave me the Christian answer that isn’t helpful and didn’t really ask any questions about my current predicament. Because that’s not the point here.
The point here is that, if you ask me a question about myself, I’ll lie. For many reasons: I don’t want you to view me differently depending on my answer, I don’t want to seem weak, I don’t want to burden you, I don’t think talking will help, I don’t want you to have something to use against me, I don’t believe you really want to know, I believe that even if you think you want to know you won’t once you actually know, etc., etc., etc. Basically? A lot of fear.
What would happen if I was just… open and honest all the time? I don’t really know. If I just said what I was thinking? If I just answered questions honestly? Looking down that road, trying to imagine what that would be like? Maybe it should be a road paved with freedom and overgrown with a lightness I can’t describe. But that’s not what I see when I imagine it. No. I see loss and rejection and loneliness.
Hmm. I may never have to see which road it leads to. I don’t know that I could ever be open. And, not that I will ever, ever, hold them accountable to this (and nor should I – clearly), but people don’t know that, to get me talking, you ask the same question twice.