In a recent Wednesday Writing Prompt, I asked you to consider what themes and motifs seem to appear regularly in your everyday life. One theme that regularly appears in my life is the concept of “truth.” This has occasionally crossed my mind over the past three years, but finally hit home last week when I discovered that yet another research paper had turned into a discussion of the identification and exploration of universal truths.
I’d been writing a narratological analysis of Elizabeth George Speare’s historical YA novel, The Witch of Blackbird Pond and found that many of the academic resources I was reviewing on historical fiction seem to touch on those aspects of human nature that are largely unchanged from one generation to the next. While this was, by no means, the thesis of any of the research papers I read, it was the one common thread that seemed to weave through all of the pieces.
I then realized that truth also formed the backbone of my last major research paper, which I had written for a course on humor in literature. This led me to consider how this theme has factored into my overall life. Which immediately shoved me back to a time when I was in a miserable, long-term relationship with a pathological liar.
I was never a liar before that relationship. But my ex is one of those people whose entire life revolves around fabricating an image of himself that is in no way connected to the truth of who he really is. His image is everything to him, and that image extended to forcing me to be someone I was not in order to help uphold his image. I guess when we first met, I must have appeared to be the person he wanted me to be, or at least I appeared competent at pretending to be good enough to appear at his arm.
But when he finally took the time to get to know me, which unfortunately happened after we were already married and expecting our first child, he realized that I was not what he wanted me to be. I quickly learned that telling the truth would get me nowhere fast with him, so I learned to lie and pretend to be what he wanted so I wouldn’t tarnish his image, thus risking a punch in the head.
Of course, this was no way to live. I was miserable, and my health suffered. I gained quite a bit of weight, which of course didn’t jive with the image he wanted me to uphold. Long story short, I finally escaped the marriage after 10 long, excruciating years, and I am to this day still astounded that I survived.
After the divorce, I vowed that I would never again be anything other than who I truly am. For the past three years, I have gone out of my way to be me, even if it hurts sometimes. And I expect nothing but the truth from everyone in my life. That commitment to truth shines through in my writing whether I want it to or not.
If you tell enough lies, you’re bound to get away with at least a few. But, you can’t ever consider any of those lies successful. Even though you may think you’ve gotten away with something, the truth of who you really are will soon become apparent to anyone who takes the time to get to know you. Even if you’re able to regularly put one over on your loved ones, the truth is, they all know you’re a liar. And no one will ever trust you, even if you should one day decide to tell the truth.
What themes thread through your life? Please share in the comments below.
- loopyker’s #CBR4 Review #04: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- Flexibility of The Truth in Nonfiction (socyberty.com)
- The Bullshit Artist (spreadinformation.wordpress.com)
- Podcast EDF063: The Truth About Truth – by Ted Lietz – read by Ted Lietz (everydayfiction.com)
- Writing A Proper Research Paper (answers.com)
- The answer (mahimakukreja.wordpress.com)
- Why Not Give Up On Fiction? (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Todays Meditation word: Truth (dailythoughts89.wordpress.com)
- On Postmodernism (artandtheeveryday.wordpress.com)
- The Life’s Truth (anexerciseindiscipline.wordpress.com)