Author Note: This article is part of a collection from the previously lost Bordering Bears website, and has thus been re-uploaded and archived.
What is a lie? It’s not quite the same as a surprise. It isn’t even an omission of fact. It’s something where we acknowledge and choose to say something other than the truth.
Lying is wrong. Inherently, we all know that. But when does it become okay, or even necessary, to tell a lie?
I’ve spent a week considering how to write this post, hence the delay. Should I be honest? Should I avoid triggers? Should I scrap the post altogether?
Bordering Bears has always been about honesty, even when it isn’t pleasant. For that reason, some of the content written below does have a trigger warning due to topics of self harm. Please be cautious and mindful of your current wellbeing when reading.
I try to be honest with most things I do. Generally, lies have a tendency to come back around and bite you in the bum. My name itself is even Latin for truth.
Yet, there comes a time where I absolutely have to lie. I hate it, but it’s for the greater good.
Some of you who know me, or who recognise this scenario, will know exactly what I’m talking about.
Mama… what’s that?
I tell her it was the cat, or where I was laying funny.
What else do you tell a child?
Sorry kiddo, years ago Mama struggled with emotions and dealing with certain events so she carved up her skin and bled out her problems because she didn’t know how else to cope.
If you think I’m going to be honest with her, you’re wrong.
Sometimes it is fine to lie.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely aware that one day she will start questioning it. They don’t really look like cat scratches, or the weird lines you get on your skin from creased material.
One day, but not now.
For now, I want her to remain innocent. She knows Mama has something a bit wrong in her brain, but that it’s no big deal. I want her to keep that security right now.
Even if it never comes up in conversation, she will eventually grow up. She isn’t stupid. At some point she will realise what they are. Realise that her Mama, who she claims is awesome right now, actually had periods of severe weakness.
That led to periods of strength.
While I don’t tell the truth right now, I have considered what I want the take-away message to be when the time comes.
Mama may have turned to a blade to cope back then, but, for the most part, it was a means of coping, not an ending. Each scar shows a battle that was ultimately won.
Whenever Feena feels like she can’t do something, I tell her one thing.
While you still have breath in your lungs, you can try again.
It’s something I came to truly believe in over the years. Yes, my arms may have some scars, albeit not too bad, but I’m still here and pushing on.
For you, the person reading this, it is also an important message to remember. No matter what, do not give up. If that means you can’t be completely truthful right now, then maybe that’s alright, so long as you’re honest with yourself. What truly matters is that you keep looking for tomorrow.
The majority of people don’t like scars. Think of the postpartum body. Most people want to be rid of stretch marks or any other blemishes.
I have both.
Wear your scars with pride. All of them. Whether it’s from self harm, childbirth, an operation, or even when you scraped your knee as a kid, these are all marks which show you are alive and have survived some kind of event.
You don’t have to tell the world. You just have to live.