My family taught me how to lie. Ok, I suppose most families teach their children how to lie. Lies out of politeness or fear or kindness or shame or just plain pathological. I’m sure I’ll teach my own children how to lie – albeit, through actions and not some kind of lesson plan.

I suppose one of the reasons I am so blunt and harsh with my family is my way of rebelling against our unspoken rules (oh, let me be real – sometimes, actual mandates) about lying to one another and “keeping the peace.” The other day, I had a new thought about this phenomena. I think MD* was the one who truly taught me how to lie. FKB taught me to keep better track of my lies and get my stories straight (and truly, how not to get caught).

After all, MD was the one who would tell me things about FKB or BB or whomever and then tell me not to tell anyone else. MD would unburden herself and expect me to share the load. Let me just say, it completely sucks to know horrible things about family members that would definitely affect the way you interact with them but then pretend everything is fine. I often feel split and fake. It blows.

These family secrets weigh on my mind. I wonder what to tell my children (if at all). When? At what age would be appropriate? I would hate for them to find out some family secrets and then be upset at me for not informing them. Or even to have their views and opinions and love for family members irrevocably changed.

But here’s a weird thing. I don’t know how to live in a world where my family would actually be honest with each other. I have no idea. Right now, I can act sweet, caring and affectionate around FKB because I’m not supposed to know he’s a lying bastard who is a classic narcissist and has given me half-family members who will never be acknowledged unless there is an act of God. Because as much of a complete asshat FKB is, I still love him. Terribly so.

On the other hand, he’s completely broken my heart and part of me rages at him. Part of me wants to just let him have it and let him know just how horrible he is and how he has damaged me and my loved ones. (Not that he would take any responsibility. He is the world’s foremost victim. Oh, and the Worst. Liar. Ever.)

The pretending nothing is wrong act can sometimes keep my anger at bay. It allows me to pretend that my family is ok. I truly lack the imagination to see how our family can be any other way – and yet, I yearn for truth. I will just have to eventually resign myself to accepting that nothing may ever change.

*I realize that anyone with half a brain can easily deduce from context to whom these fake initials refer. However, since I want to remind myself to respect the privacy and the truth of other people’s stories, I will use these pseudonyms. Perhaps along the way, I will also remember to remove any identifying characteristics or what have you so that it will also be harder to deduce from context.

However, I do want to be honest and not constantly edit myself on my own blog (as well as tell my own story as best as I can recall or tell). It is my right. But it is also the right of the people who appear in my story to have reasonable expectations of the web equivalent of talking in the shadows and having their voice altered. So, pseudonyms. And along with those, awkwardly worded sentences.