The Secret & The Lie

Published March 17, 2015 by thefamilyof5

Remember ‘The Secret‘? well last night I learnt something new that completely knocked me off my feet.

I’m still in shock so bare with me whilst I try and explain.

When I collected the girls from school last night Middle girl came out looking anxious, I asked if she was ok and she told me some of the girls in her class had said something about her being adopted, the words she said they used instantly struck a chord with me as they were my words, something I’d said relating to one of their older siblings, but they were my words. Baby girl has often repeated those words so I instantly thought, ‘Baby girls been saying something in school, those are my words from Baby girl.’ I reassured Middle girl that it would be ok and we asked the teacher if she’d have a quiet word with the girls in question and ask them to stop.

Just to recap, over the last 3-4 weeks people in school have been asking Baby girl and Middle girl questions about them being adopted. Both girls have been distressed, both girls adamant they haven’t mentioned anything to anyone and didn’t want people to know. Some girls in Middle girls class have been quite persistent and she’s become increasingly more upset. She doesn’t want to answer their questions, she’s sat with her head in her hands sobbing and telling me things like ‘I had forgot I was adopted until they reminded me’ ‘I never wanted anyone in school to know’ ‘Why has someone told them’ ‘I only want to think about happy stuff in school’. My heart has ached for her, she clearly found it particularly difficult and was angry, angry that ‘someone’ would tell her story, angry that people were asking her questions, just angry.

I needed to find out what had been said. They were asking me to help them, to sort it out with school, but I knew now that someone wasn’t being straight with me, my words were being branded around school and I needed to find out how they got there. I needed to get to the bottom of it. I knew big girl told people last Easter so I couldn’t be sure that something hadn’t been said more recently. My initial thoughts were that it was Big girl, she’s been feeling quite out of sorts what with SATS and High School on her radar at the moment, I wouldn’t have put it past her to have blurted something out. She assured me she hadn’t but I made it clear that I wasn’t sure if I believed her. Next on my list was Baby girl, she often blurts things out without realising what she’s saying or the implications. Baby girl also lies constantly, usually quite impulsively so not very complicated and usually fear based. Plus If I’m honest this whole saga didn’t seem to be bothering her so much, yes she was telling me that she didn’t want people in school to know that she was adopted, but she wasn’t crying or worrying endlessly or even angry, it seemed to wash over her head in fact. So I grilled her, even tried to trick her in to owning up by telling her ‘I knew she had told someone’. It didn’t work, she was still adamant that she hadn’t told anyone.

I sat them all down, I explained that no one was going to get in to trouble, that I knew they wanted my help but I needed all the information if I was going to be able to help them. I promised no one would even get in to trouble for lying so far. I assured them that it would be ok. I gave Baby girl the ‘I know its you look’. Still nothing. I gave Big girl the ‘Come on tell me look’. Nothing. New tactics. I suggested I’d be impressed with whoever it was that was brave enough to tell me, I suggested I might even reward the person. Still nothing. I repeated the above, emphasizing on ‘how proud I would be of the person to tell me’. I waited.

It took a while but then she mumbled something, I asked her to speak up because I couldn’t hear ‘I told XYZ in my class because she’s my best friend’ Middle girl said.

I’ve been shell shocked ever since. The lies, the complicated, manipulative, heartbreaking lies, the tears, the anger, the lies. I have no words. She played me, and school, like a fiddle.

Needless to say the ‘Plan’ that we had, to tell their classes ‘The Secret’, its not going to happen now. Rightly or wrongly I’ve decided that in the same way that Big girl had to deal with the consequences of her actions last Easter, so would Middle girl. I have given her the narrative she’ll need but that’s as far as it goes. I kept my promise and praised her and thanked her for her honesty and just like I’d assured them, she didn’t get in to any trouble. I  did however insist that she apologise to her sisters, which she found incredibly hard, and I have also apologised to both Big and Baby girl for not believing them (whilst chucking in a quick lesson about lies and how if they always told the truth I’d have been able to believe them). Both our key worker and head teacher have also been left lost for words after hearing this new piece of information this morning.

All my girls lie. Usually I can see through those lies and even make sense of them.  I can rationalise they’re coming from a place of fear. I don’t like being lied to, I don’t like that I cant believe them, but I ‘get it’.

I don’t get this. I don’t get it at all, and the magnitude and complexity of this lie scares me. I’m scared for her. Terrified in fact.


7 comments on “The Secret & The Lie

  • Small children sometimes think reality can be whatever you decide it is, or ought to be what you decide it is. In one moment, she wanted to confide in a friend. In another minute, she didn’t want anyone to know. She made a mistake and wanted a do-over, not grasping there is no do-over. She went to a very little-girl place, which is where we go under stress. I do get it. I’m not sure, of course, this is what happened, but I think it could be.

  • I agree with Ashana.

    I suspect there was no conscious intent to lie at first. She got mixed up and lost in it all. She was looking for a way out. The result (everyone talking about adoption) is separate to the cause (her telling her friend) and the shame involved in it being her that did it would be so huge that there is no way she could do anything except try and hide it.

    Please praise her for telling you; she did what you asked, she was able to connect her actions to the consequence. You may not understand how it could get to this stage, but she is a terrified child. Actually I know you do get it – I read your blog and love the insights you have into your girls. You know that she didn’t mean to hurt anyone, she was just protecting herself. It just got too big.

    Whatever you promised the girl that told you, please follow through with for Middly. How you respond to this will be so important to her self esteem and ability to tell you next time.

    Keep strong.

    • Thank you! I want to assure you that I kept my promise, I have actually just updated to post to include that because in my hast to get it all off my chest, i forgot to mention that bit! Thank you for the reminder and your kind and supportive words.

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