Secrets and Lies

Don’t tell  your mother, but I’m not going to let her get away with having half the value of the house. I paid for it.

Don’t tell your father that we’re all going to your [maternal] grandfather’s home for his 90th birthday.

For years, when my parents were living together, I acted as my mother’s confidante. She told me things about my father, and about how she was feeling, that I really oughtn’t to have heard, and I listened and nodded and sympathized.

That doesn’t happen now that she’s living with her partner. Instead, both my parents are asking me to keep secrets. Two weeks ago, my grandfather conceded to see my mother (but not her partner) for half an hour. My uncle’s family, my mother and I are planning to see him again, briefly, for his 90th birthday next month. But I mustn’t tell my father.

Then, on the ‘phone this weekend:

Mother: Do you know why your father has gone to Swansea yet again?

Me: Um, no, not really.

He’s getting serious about house-hunting and church-hunting, and hasn’t told my mother this is what he’s doing. And I don’t know if she’s “supposed” to know or not. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Why can’t my parents talk  to each other?

Father: ‘ Can you tell your mother when you talk to her next?

Mother: Have you spoken to your father? What’s he doing about…..?

Why can’t you ask him/her? Why am I the messenger?

Next Monday, it will be a year since my mother announced that she was going to leave my father. I feel numb when I think about this.

I don’t like the secrets and lies.

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