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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Honesty, a Landmark

   
Author Topic: Honesty, a Landmark
T:man
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I recently had a conversation with my mom; she wants me to always be straight with her. When she asked me this, I didn’t think about the trouble my brother had gotten into that brought this on, I thought about how much I lie to her. How much I lie to everyone, and how much I lie to myself. I’ve always had a huge problem with being honest.

I lied again to her ‘Sure mom’, what I really meant, I won’t even try, I left unsaid.

So Hatrack, time for a go at honesty:


I was born in a far off land, Florida, and then was taken north to Chicago. My parents packed up a semi, loaded up the cats, and we were off. I was not even two when we arrived; we stayed at a friend’s house somewhere on the north side. Two years later my brother was born, and shortly after that we moved up to Skokie, a small suburb barely outside the city. My parents wanted me and my brother to get a good education; CPSs are not the place to go with that goal in mind. Within a year I was off to kindergarten where I became anti-social very quickly. I had already learned how to read, and to do a bit of simple arithmetic, but even that put me ahead of the other students. I was a pudgy kid, not fond of exerting myself, that plus my seemingly advanced knowledge put me at odds with a lot of my classmates. Instead of trying to make friends, or even being nice, I became extremely arrogant and aloof, negative qualities I still carry. My kindergarten teacher didn’t help, I cannot remember much of her, but I have been told she was extremely abusive, especially to me. (She was later fired for her treatment of me)

I made a few friends as I got older, but at the sametime I started to notice the abuse my mother was taking from my father. He constantly degraded her to me and my brother. He would tell us how stupid she was, he would go on about her weight. Up to that point I always thought parents were best friends. They had to be, to live together! Around the time I was in third grade, my father tried to throw my aunt out the window. This was the final straw for my mom. My mother is the person I most respect in this world, she is the strongest (both physically and emotionally) person I have ever met and yet she put up with this man. After a huge argument, the only scene that I can remember at that age vividly, she had the police come and take him away. He was kept in holding that first night, on the second he moved into the Leaning tower Y, and on the third he broke into our storage cage and took all our photos, all my grandmothers bank records, and some of my mother’s jewelry.

My parents were divorced within a year, and I became really depressed. Luckily I had two of the greatest friends ever. They both helped me stay happy when I felt abandoned by both of my parents. (I only really understood how wrong I was, tonight.) Apparently fate didn’t really sympathize. The greatest friend I ever had moved away that summer, and although I kept in touch and she would later move back (3 years later), things were never the same between us. I kept a smile on, because I knew how sad my mom was, or I thought I did, and how confused my younger brother was. And because smiling made me feel happy, at least up top, and that was enough during the day.

When I entered middle school I fell into a different crowd. I started hanging out with the stoners, and drinkers. I never actually smoked, or drank but people assumed I did because I hung out with those who did. Personally I hate alcohol and what it does to some people, but I may be biased. And then I met a goofball Indian kid in chorus and we became fast friends. I used chorus to practice hiding my anger and sadness, and I slowly began to forget my younger years. Around sixth grade is when I started to block out certain memories, almost consciously. My depression slowly faded and I became genuinely happy, almost all the time. My now practiced ability to hide my emotions from my face had a dulling effect on my ability to understand the emotions I was hiding. This is where I think I started getting seasonal depression. In middle school I read Ender’s Game, I loved it and I read and reread it constantly, and on the last day of school in eighth grade I stole the school’s copy of Ender’s Game, Ender’s Shadow, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide.

In my freshman year of high school the group of people I thought were my friends ditched me. Told me what a loser I was and generally just acted like complete jerks. I found a new group of friends through a goofy girl who I had known back in second grade. While I still kept up with my chorus buddy, this girl, who I got closer and closer to, and her friends became my new group. I started to date her and I was happy again. I had friends who liked me, and mostly for me. Eventually we broke up, and luckily we were still friends. (though I did not get the impression we still would be from the break-up messages she sent over facebook chat)

Around this time I joined Hatrack, I lied about my age, and my academic achievement. I started silly threads that surprisingly provoked a lot of discussion, and I learned what good discussion is. Up to that point I believed that there was no one smarter than me, and although I still haven’t met anyone who is, (at least face to face [Wink] ) a bunch of you definitely are.

At the end of my freshman year I got back together with that goofy girl, she had become my best friend. I came to appreciate her goofiness; she is the sweetest person in the world. We spent the summer with each other, and she became really emotionally dependant on me. I didn’t really notice it, I was so happy to have someone who was so happy to be with me. At home I was a disappointment, mom never said so but I could tell that I things were not going the way she had expected. I had consistently scored in the top 2% on all the standardized tests, and had charmed my middle school teachers into passing me with flying colors. But high school was different. My father on the other hand constantly told me how disappointing I was, how sad he was to see me. Whenever I was with Goofy Girl, I was happy, and I didn’t think that putting all my eggs in one basket was a bad thing.

In sophomore year I continued to hang with the stoners, still didn’t smoke, and still was happy. Goofy Gal went everywhere with me and I was happy to lead her. I manipulated her into doing things she wasn’t comfortable with, what she wasn’t comfortable with is eating new foods. I’m glad to say I didn’t use my control over her for anything more than trying to get her to try my focaccia.

Near thanksgiving, she and I started to talk about sex; we decided we’d wait till the summer, which for me seemed forever. And we decided to tell our parents that it was something we were talking about. This was a bad idea, at least to talk to her mom. Her mother then forbid us from seeing each other, we would only see each other at school, which was okay for me, but as she was becoming more and more codependent this was devastating to her. She pulled through, thanks to skype. Her mother, seeing how devastated she was, relented and we were allowed to see each other, just not at either of our homes. We would of course break these rules and we did lose our virginity to each other that February.

This past summer a few friends of hers and I helped wean her off me, and she became less and less dependent on me for happiness.

During summer school I started to think about my future. I became extremely depressed about my grades and my parents expectations. My mother got her degree from Berkeley, her father taught there. All her sisters went there, and them, my cousins, and my father all expected great things of me. My mom expected me to go to UC Berkeley, a school I could never get into. On top of that my grandfather, the smartest man in the world is dying, my twelve year old brother became the stoner I never was, and I learned my father is dying too. Although I never liked him, I still loved him.

And at the same time, although I was too selfish to notice, my mom was breaking down. Here was the strongest woman in the world, she lost her job, and no one was hiring her, her father is dying, her ex-husband is still emotionally abusing her, her kid was arrested for selling pot at his middle school, and her son won't even man up and tell her the truth about almost anything.

There goes my first try at an honest autobiography.

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AvidReader
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It's a good one, T. A bit close to home in places, but honest.

I think what I find most fascinating is that the one thing you did volunteer to talk about with your mom was sex. That actually takes a pretty good amount of courage, trust, and respect for her. So I think it's obvious that you can be honest with her - when you don't think it'll hurt her.

And I know from experience that telling your folks college just isn't going to work for you will hurt them. At least just telling her you don't want that particular college won't be as bad. I think the trick to making you comfortable with the conversation (cause you have to have it eventually) is going to be putting a positive spin on it. Would you be comfortable letting her be part of the process? Could you tell her what kinds of things you want to study and what kind of campus you want and let her help you research schools that would fit you?

It's tough because you're at a place where you need to start transitioning into being in control of your own life, and yet your mom is in a place where nothing's in her control. I think the best thing you can do is let her in some. Let her know how great you think she is.

Keep strong, T. You sound like you've got a good head on your shoulders. You should make it through ok. [Smile]

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BlackBlade
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I tend to believe what I read in print unless I get indicators of inconsistency based on history or the way things are said. When somebody says they are not honest with those they love, it can be a bit hard to believe they are being honest here. But I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here.

Having written all that, how does it feel? For me it was a very in depth landmark, and if true, definitely not easy to come to terms with, but since you felt you were being honest in this manner for the first time, I'm curious as to what effect it had on you to write all of that out.

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rivka
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Good to get to know you a bit, T. [Smile]

As someone who got into UCLA despite mediocre grades, based on good SAT scores, I'd say don't give up yet. If you have gotten top 2nd percentile on standardized tests before, then this is quite possible doable.

Take a good SAT-prep class, or just buy one of the books (I like Princeton Review, but it's really a matter of which one's writing style works for you) and practice with it. A lot.

And while Berkley is a great school, there ARE others, and you can certainly get into a good school if you want to. Maybe not top-tier (although if you ace your SATs, who knows), but good! Go talk to your high school guidance counselor, toot suite! [Wink]

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CT
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Hard stuff to write about, T:man. Glad you stuck around.
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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:
I think what I find most fascinating is that the one thing you did volunteer to talk about with your mom was sex. That actually takes a pretty good amount of courage, trust, and respect for her. So I think it's obvious that you can be honest with her - when you don't think it'll hurt her.

Yeah, agreed. Hopefully this is good practice honesty for more honesty in the future. [Cool]
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T:man
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Having written all that, how does it feel? For me it was a very in depth landmark, and if true, definitely not easy to come to terms with, but since you felt you were being honest in this manner for the first time, I'm curious as to what effect it had on you to write all of that out.

Well it was hard to write out, and post it here.

Originally I meant to just write it out for myself, to get my thoughts on my own life out.

I'm not really sure what effect it has had on me, but then again I just wrote it this morning.

quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Good to get to know you a bit, T. [Smile]

As someone who got into UCLA despite mediocre grades, based on good SAT scores, I'd say don't give up yet. If you have gotten top 2nd percentile on standardized tests before, then this is quite possible doable.

Take a good SAT-prep class, or just buy one of the books (I like Princeton Review, but it's really a matter of which one's writing style works for you) and practice with it. A lot.

And while Berkley is a great school, there ARE others, and you can certainly get into a good school if you want to. Maybe not top-tier (although if you ace your SATs, who knows), but good! Go talk to your high school guidance counselor, toot suite! [Wink]

I've been using a bunch of SAT booklets and practice-thingamajigs, but I'm not sure how well I'll do. I would prefer to go to a school out west but it'd be a lot easier for me to get into a Chicago/IL school.
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rivka
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Good luck with the SATs and college applications then. [Smile]
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Kwea
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Keep in mind that if you go to another school and do really well there, that is another path to getting into Berkley.

The biggest thing most high schoolers need to learn is that life doesn't revolve around high school, and high school isn't the end all be all of your life.


Graduating is actually the START of life in most ways that matter. [Big Grin]

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Tammy
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
I recently had a conversation with my mom; she wants me to always be straight with her. When she asked me this, I didn’t think about the trouble my brother had gotten into that brought this on, I thought about how much I lie to her. How much I lie to everyone, and how much I lie to myself. I’ve always had a huge problem with being honest.

I lied again to her ‘Sure mom’, what I really meant, I won’t even try, I left unsaid.

So Hatrack, time for a go at honesty:



Has your mom read this?

Honesty can hurt, but I'd rather my children hurt, scare me or make me sad than lie to me.

Thanks for sharing.

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