I've been away from the blogs for at least 2 weeks because I've been so preoccupied with a family situation.
I am left to wonder if truth is like a light, or a vibration that shines through a family, and is transmitted generation to generation. I wonder if each member of a family is like a facet of a kaleidoscope, reflecting and manifesting truth in unique ways.
I think all parents tell their children to "tell the truth". A lie was severely punished, and shamed. As the oldest child in the family I must have really taken to heart the obligation to be faithful to the truth. For a while I confused telling the truth with admitting to some wrong-doing, even if I hadn't done it. I got that straightened out.
My parents were rather restrictive, and as the firstborn they were even more overprotective of me. Thus, I chafed while I watched many of my friends do things that I wasn't allowed. My friends urged me to join them behind my parents' back, yet I couldn't. To do so would be to lie. When hemlines in dresses went high any of my friends with stricter parents merely rolled up their skirts once they left the house. Mine stayed at the mandated one inch above my knee. I turned down a number of rides home from school because my father would not let me ride in a car with teenagers. On one of my early dates with my first love, when we were juniors in high school, we went over to the house of an older friend of his. (Rick was mature for his age and most of his friends were already independently-living young adults) My father had told me I could not go into that friends' house and so I would not, even when everyone else went in, even when the friend was insulted and wanted to know "what was wrong" with his house. Rick did go inside, but not for long. He came back out to me and later told me I had "shown a hell of a lot of backbone" and that he respected me for it.
My strategy for juggling my adherence to truth in the conditions of overbearing parents was to wait them out. I abided by their rules while I was "living under their roof", and as soon as I could left home. I was 18 and I never looked back. Those 18 years sometimes seemed to take forever.
My father was raised by a very harsh disciplinarian. And while he probably was not as harsh as his father, he did manage to be very intimidating. The fear of physical punishment guided our behavior to conform to the family rules, values, beliefs. He did not outright beat us. It wasn't like that. At least for me.
Perhaps it was different for my brothers. I was seven when they were born and my sister was 5. In a sense we were two separate families. I wonder if the father-to-son dynamics may have carried more threat of violence than father-to-daughter. I remember one of my brothers telling me that he truly felt that our father was capable of "beating us up".
If he ever doubted the rightness of his chosen disciplinary path, all four of us eliminated it. We were poster children for the effectiveness of spanking: compliant, respectful, model behavior. We were probably people who didn't need to be spanked by temperament--eager to please, easily cowed.
My brothers' strategy for juggling truth and overbearing parents was concealment. They chose to not wait out their term with the family to be able to do as they pleased. They found our parents' restrictions unbearable, and unbearable to wait the many years before they were out from under them. So they resorted to lies, when necessary, to conceal a truth that might generate harsh punishment.
It is interesting the degree to which a family which stressed the truth so emphatically in words, is invested in and with lies.
I guess I will leave it at that.