Secrecy….is evil and I don’t like it. A friend who happens to be an Episcopal priest once told me, “secrets will destroy a family”. Kae’s dad and I have found ourselves in a position to be secretive – lately…well for the last couple of years since this whole alcohol, abuse, divorce, mess began.
First it was her wanting us to be secretive. “Don’t talk to W”. Then I would end up in a conversation with him. He’d call me to complain about her alcohol use and we would discuss ways he might be able to make changes that could possibly affect her behavior. Frankly, none of those suggestions were ever put into practice. Notice I didn’t say he ever discussed his contribution to the nastiness that was their marriage! Then he and I would decide not to tell her we’d talked. This wasn’t a constant battle but one that always made me feel like such a louse. I don’t like to lie and I don’t like liars! So I don’t like myself when I lie either.
Lately it’s been her wanting us to be secretive from her one friend who lives close and knows pretty much what she’s up to. When I realized she was drinking, again last week I didn’t automatically contact that friend but remember I said she went ballistic on me wondering if I was going to call. I didn’t – her Dad did. Read this post to clarify. Truth of the matter is…she was so drunk that night that she doesn’t even remember what was said!
Yesterday I received a text from her neighbor asking if I’d spoken to her. I had not but hadn’t thought much about it, and I was at work. I took a short break and called her. She answered, said she was folding laundry. After a couple minutes of a rather awkward conversation she asks, “so did you call because Jackie contacted you?” What do you think I did? I lied….sadly.
What all of this means is, I care about her well being. When a friend who speaks to her daily contacts me and expresses concern I become concerned. Jackie doesn’t want Kae to know that she’s checking up but in reality she is – we all are. Every time I call or text, even if I have plenty to chat about I feel like I am weighing in on her state of mind and soberness.
Jackie asked me not to tell Kae that she’d contacted me. So I lied. What Kae doesn’t seem to understand or grasp is that we are all concerned for her safety and well being – that is all! She seems paranoid about a phone call or text between Jackie and me. I think when she’s screwing up she figures I won’t know if I don’t hear from her friend so she gets freaked out thinking we might “talk about her” behind her back.
When will this end? Part of me is grateful for a neighbor who is a friend and who keeps in contact daily – but part of me hates the secrecy of our conversations. I truly have no one else to turn to or to contact, besides the police if I couldn’t reach Kae. Yeah, W did a great job of convincing the friends they’d made when they moved (only a handful) that they should stay away. Clearly they aren’t true friends or they’d have given her an opportunity to express her side. So sadly she is alone. Her friends live in another state- should she move?
Guys, I am pulling my hair out. How can I come to terms with lying when it’s at the top of my list of “NO NO’S? Ah ha….as I wrote that a thought came to me….maybe it’s time I level with Kae and tell her – “like it or not I will talk to whom ever I need when the need arises – especially if that person is reaching out to me”.
What do you think – is that a legit boundary? Thoughts?