14 year lie...
A lot of you might think of me as the biggest jerk in the world and I completely understand and agree. This has been in the back of my mind for years and only recently it has been making me really depressed and I cannot find happiness anywhere. This involves pretty much my whole family but mainly my Dad and Mum. When I was around 4 yrs old I told a hefty lie to my Dad about how I got "harassed" in the school toilets. He was devastated and went through a lot of things to try and help me through this fake trauma... I do not know why I would do this and 14 years later I do not have words to explain how regretful I am. My parents are perfect and I wouldnt change them for the world. Obviously after 14 years I feel like this has gone on long enough and I feel like such scum... I remember getting in trouble for something bad when I was 4 and I think I may have used this lie to deflect from whatever I was in trouble for not realizing the damage it was causing.
I want to confess... I really do. I will never be happy with myself and what I've done and the fact that I let it go for so so long.
I am terrfied of confessing though. I don't know if my parents will disown me and kick me out or even try to hurt me... I mean imagine this serious lie going on 14 years.. can you imagine how they would feel?
Im scared and I don't know what to do or where to turn because I know if I never tell them then I take it to the grave without ever being freed from this lie but if I do tell them It'll most likely break the family... and I'll never see them again.
Welcome here to the Forum and I hope others seeing your story from the outside will help.
It is obvious that this incident is eating away at you and you do need to do something to ease your mind.
I would like to say a couple of words of encouragement.
As a parent if I was faced with this exact problem I'd feel overwhelming sorrow for my offspring, regret that he or she had felt the only way to handle a problem was to make something up, and I'd instantly forgive any trouble I'd gone to as a result. I'd feel for them having to live with the secret for so long. I'd also feel the below:-
The second thing is you are an honest person, something your parents can be proud of. If you were not then you would not feel so badly about your lie. You now have standards and have done the most important thing you can: learned from a mistake.
We all make them. Many of us have told ongoing lies that end up almost with a life of their own, which can make them seem very daunting to undo. Normally it works out simpler than we anticipate.
It's pretty obvious that the same standards do not apply to a 4 year old as an adult, and using adult standards would be harsh and unrealistic.
You said your parents are perfect, which is great. Do you realy have any reason to think they would react very badly if you told them?
Thank you so much for your perspective, its really nice to get a point of view from a parent. And such a fast reply!
As for your last question...
My parents are great people, they really are. But my dad, ironically, his most hated thing is lies and liers, he says this all the time. He has lost his temper sometimes when growing up... I can only imagine him reacting negatively to this whether it be really angry or sad.
In fact he used to ask me years after the lie if I was lieing about it and I still said no. But that makes me think that he might know or have suspicions that it was a lie anyway..
Like you said, it might not be as bad as I think it will be but... I guess I won't know until I tell my parents.
Ive always thought about telling them and how to do it and the best way to tell them without getting too heated but I just dont know.
Croix offers great advice. Personally, as a mum, I would be feeling the same. I'd be feeling upset in regard to my child having felt such ongoing stress, holding this secret in for so long.
Of course, I'm not your dad so it's hard to say how he will feel when you tell him the truth. What I can tell you, from my own point of view as a parent, the news that my child did not actually experience such trauma would come as an overwhelming relief, outweighing all else. Dealing with the lie would be secondary to that. Parents often see themselves as protectors and can sometimes feel a sense of failure in not being able to protect their child. In telling your dad the truth, you may actually be releasing him from some sense of failure he's been living with over the years. By asking you occasionally whether the incident really happened, maybe he'd always been hoping you'd say it didn't.
Personally, I see forgiving as moving forward through giving release from something (including the negative energy that that something generates). Once the truth is revealed, everyone will be able to move forward through letting go of one thing or another. This is the ideal scenario, though it might take a little time and work.
Might be easier to speak to your mum first? She might have some insight regarding how to best approach your dad. No matter which parent you choose, perhaps the best way to start the conversation is with gratitude. For example, 'I have always believed in how lucky I am to have you as my mum/dad and I love you so much. It tears me up inside to think of the stress I have caused you over the years regarding that reported incident when I was 4. I need to stand up and take responsibility for this now, rather than let it go on any longer. It has reached to point where it is causing a deep depression within me.' Expressing to your dad that you know he does not like lies may help. Telling him that you wish to now replace the lie with responsibility may have him look at things differently, with some respect. Not sure. Telling them the extent of the pain within your self may also give them insight into how tough it's been dealing with this. Transparency can help on the path to regaining trust.
Bcasey415, in my experience, depression feeds off lies. Depression can't survive within truth. Seeing lies distort how we see our self, it's so important to get rid of the distortion, in order to become our most authentic self, free of suffering.
Having read your posts, I just want to say you were 4, which is a pre-schooler, and now you are an adult. 4 year olds don't know there difference between the truth and make believe.
Croix and The rising have given you supportive replies.
You parents will be upset than you have been carrying this burden for years. I would if you were my daughter.
I think by now you will have seen that there are many parents who will be supportive and understanding. While we obviously can't speak for yours I think it would be most unusual for your parents to take any form of drastic action.
Perhaps getting cross is a possibility, though I personally doubt it. At 4 years old a child is in the process of being taught about lies and truth, and cannot be expected to behave to adult standards.
What is certain is this. Many young people would never give the matter another thought but just sail on through life, adding to their store of falsehoods as they go.
Your parents have brought you up to be honest, and that is why this whole question of disclosure has come up.
You are a tribute to your parents upbringing and influence. They have succeeded, and you hopefully can point out to your dad he has succeeded in imparting this important value.
If you find it a bit overwhelming to talk to both your parents face to face I guess approaching your mum first as Therising has suggested might be the way to go. You could also consider starting with a written note - what do you think?
From January to April is a long time for you to have to bear this, and I have the feeling, based upon when I've been in error, that it seems great deal more significant to me - the perpetrator if you like - than others.
As a parent living afterwards would be no different, except I'd be saddened I was such an unapproachable figure and I'd try harder to see things more clearly and not react badly.
I can't say what your father will do, though from your description of the love and pride they feel I suspect that is not going to change.
On a practical note I would think that apprehension may well keep that 'ideal time to tell' from happening. Perhaps if you look forward to a life without that secret -no burden to bear - you might see it differently.
Either was you are always welcome here.