The morning after my last post, I arrived to work and after getting situated and starting my day, I also checked my email (which is par for the course). A friend of mine had written, but this was not unusual, for the past several years (since 2004) at least – at least that is when I started saving them. I think I started saving them for a couple of reasons – one, it was like having an online journal – during this time, he had some significant stuff go on with him and I always had a plan to put it into a document that would show how far he had come; two, it was like having my own journal for the last several years; and three, I think I had some trust issues – stuff would often be thrown back at me, claiming I had said this or that or that I believed this or that as well.
I thought the email exchanges were overall some of my best – he was someone I could share my life with and get a fairly objective response and I tried to give him the same. Typically we write each other daily during the weekday, sometimes several times a day, some weeks only a couple of times during the week. Occasionally we have had weeks where we are in the middle of a ‘dispute’ and only drop each other a note once during the week to basically update the other on how busy we have been.
He is someone I consider a dear friend. There are times we don’t get along and we have completely different thoughts or interpretations of something, but we allow for the other to have their own thoughts and for the most part share them. There have been times the emails have hurt the other and while I know that I don’t believe I have ever tried to deliberately hurt him, I like to believe that his intention has never been to deliberately hurt me. But there are times I have wondered.
This Monday he greeted me with the email that it was time for him to ‘disclose’ something to me. He had basically been living two lives – the one he told me about, claiming that he maintained this because he was having a hard time letting go of his old life. Later in the week, when I challenged some of this, he claimed that he didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to be judged and that I can sometimes be a little hard on him. Now I am struggling, this isn’t a little secret, it’s a big one – having a whole different life that what you have presenting. This isn’t something like coming out which I believe is the person’s choice and understand what it is like to live with that secret and have to play a whole double life thing. This is things telling me that you had gone home for the weekend and hung out with family when really he was getting married and on his honeymoon or saying that he hadn’t done anything special for mother’s day weekend except that his mother had come to visit and really his child was born the day before mothers day? This isn’t a short time of telling lies but almost three years!
This isn’t easy to process because he claims to have not lied but to have just left out information. I was taught and believe that on the small occasion, a lie of omission is okay, but in the big picture a lie of omission is just as harmful, sometimes more as a blatant lie. Am I wrong?