Tell Me No Lies
“You still believe in Santa Claus?” my brother mocked and laughed.
I stared at Mom, caught in the act of filling a stocking. She laughed, and then stopped. Her smile became a glare as she snapped, “Jerry, that’s enough.”
The Christmas tree, twinkling lights, and presents seemed to be mocking me too, as I hurried past them. I would not give Jerry the satisfaction of seeing me cry. Frantically wrestling with the humiliation and confusion, my mind screamed what I could never say.
You lied. You beat it into us never to lie. What else did you lie about, Mom?
As the youngest, I saw the harsh and often cruel punishments dealt by Mom, when my siblings lied or disobeyed. To avoid punishment, I determined to be good and not lie. I discovered that good, was never good enough. My desperate need to believe Mom made it impossible to question anything she said, including about Santa. She simply would never lie.
Flinging myself onto my bed, I smothered anguished sobs with a pillow, as disbelief turned into anger.
Mom, why did you lie?
I felt wonderful. I had turned sixteen and that day I felt older and the feelings of maturity extended spiritually. It was two years since I began my walk with Christ. Smiling, I walked happily into our kitchen.
“It’s weird, Mom. I feel older today, more mature.”
Moving from the counter where she had been peeling potatoes, Mom sat down rather quickly on her kitchen chair. She seemed troubled.
“That’s really good. I need to tell you some things. I want you to know that when you were growing up, I always had to leave the kitchen when you were there. I hated you so much. I left to keep from stabbing you with the butcher knife. I need you to know I don’t feel that anymore. I no longer want to kill you.” Mom stayed seated, her finger tapping the table, her face emotionless.
My mouth gaping, I struggled to comprehend what she said. “I’m glad,” seemed pitiful, but the absolute shock overwhelmed, allowing nothing more. My mind moved in slow motion, numb. To avoid her stare, I glanced at the counter. It seemed a cruel irony when I noticed the butcher knife lying beside the potatoes. Feelings exploded within me, repugnant thoughts engulfing my mind, as choking bile stung my throat.
Mom has always wanted me dead. She hated me, wanted to kill me, stab me.
I needed to escape the kitchen, get away from Mom. A forced smile allowed the desperate retreat to my bedroom. No longer mature, but a child again, I was fully unnerved. The imagery and horror that overwhelmed my mind equaled my sense of revulsion and rejection, completely submerging me. I was drowning in a sea of emotion and unwanted questions.
Did she sit down because she still feels that way? Is that why she always yelled, and was so mean? Why did she tell me now? Why did it take her two years since accepting Christ to stop those feelings? She never loved me. Why?
Oh, Father, please help me.
“I love you,” was ringing in my mind as I hung up. I had just endured a long and emotional conversation with Mom, unloading with difficulty, all the baggage I had padlocked away. At twenty-eight, I had been wrestling with memories that I thought were gone, but God knew better.
Drained, I had waited uncertainly for Mom to speak.
Please, tell me no more lies, Mom,I pleaded.
For the first time that I could remember, Mom finally said, “I love you.”
I needed those words, and hung onto them the same way I had gripped the phone. Inwardly, I struggled to believe her.
Lies, abuse, and fear had been in abundance in our unforgiving home. The memories and images flashed as if from yesterday. Mom’s lies, her hatred of me, the desire to eliminate me, to kill me, to stab me, all threatened to consume me.
“Lord, please take it all from me,” I prayed, tears pouring down my burning cheeks.
Exhausted, I went into the living room and collapsed onto the couch, my eyes red and swollen. Pulling our children close, I whispered, “I love you.”
Hearing, “Love you, Mommy,” from each, soothed my aching heart. As we cuddled, my husband’s soft, “I love you,” brought a contented smile and prayer.
Thank you Father, for giving me a family where love has blossomed, and is not a lie.*
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (KJB)
1John 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Ephesians 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) (KJB)
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (KJB)
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