Do you ever look back at your childhood, or even young adulthood, and realize that something you believed was a fact was, maybe, perhaps not true? And I'm not talking Santa and the tooth fairy here.
These epiphanies happen to me occasionally.
A funny one I've told you about before is when I watched the musical Gypsy on TV and my dad said he had seen Gypsy Rose Lee perform. I asked him what it was like and he said quite gruffly, I don't remember.
Well, of course he wasn't going to tell his 12-year-old daughter the details of seeing a famous stripper. But I didn't understand that until I was a young adult.
I've come to realize that some stories about friends from the past may have had other explanations than we thought when we were in high school.
I had a good friend who was the middle brother of three. His older brother had died. Another friend of mine told me the police had ruled it an accidental death but that everybody knew this young man committed suicide because of the way his father badgered the boys.
The older brother had died in bed. Hanged by the belt on his bathrobe.
Even when I was in high school, I didn't know how someone could hang himself in bed with a belt. I look back on it now, and I think a more likely explanation is erotic asphyxiation. We'd never heard that term in the Dark Ages, but we certainly hear it now, with some celebrities such as Michael Hutchence of INXS dying from it.
I also had a friend who was extremely thin. She told me it was because she drank bleach when she was a baby. The bleach had damaged her stomach so she could never eat more than a little bit at one time. No big Thanksgiving dinners for her. She also had some scars around her mouth.
I never questioned her about how old she was when this bleach drinking occurred, but I've often wondered over the years if her mother forced the bleach on her. Think about the way bleach smells; bleach isn't perfumed so it smells like fruit. And think of how bleach stings when it touches your skin.
She would have needed to be mobile enough to crawl to where the bleach was and pick up the bottle or her mom's cleaning concoction and raise it to her mouth to drink it. She would have felt the pain the second it hit her lips.
She told me she was at home with her mom when it happened. Even when we were in high school, this girl's mom seemed pretty abusive to me.
And so I've often wondered what really happened. Maybe her mom didn't do anything wrong. Maybe it was some kind of accident. Maybe the belt on the bathrobe was an accident.
But I don't know.
Have any of you had similar experiences? Believing something to be true and then growing older and maybe wiser and realizing something different might have happened?
A point to ponder.
Infinities of love,
Please remember to join us tomorrow for Princess Maggie's take on love and intimacy. It's very well written and insightful.