Lying to My Parents About My Mental Health

An Exercise in Preventing Worry

By Anonymous

In general, I’d like to consider myself an honest person. Most of the time, if you ask me my opinion, I’m gonna give it to you straight. It also doesn’t help that I’m a terrible liar, and usually, I’ll start bursting out laughing or smile really widely if I tell a lie, and it’s a dead giveaway. For the past three years, however, I’ve gotten surprisingly good and lying to my parents about my well-being at school, even if they can sometimes tell what’s up. It’s a little game that extends to most of my friends who don’t know me well, or just disguised with overemphasized comments about how I want to die or how much my life sucks.

I suppose that description of my day to day activities labels me as a bit of a sad boy. And I suppose that moniker fits to some extent. I tend to rage against the world a little bit, and yeah, I can be dramatic. It’s something that my parents have picked up on to some degree, but the deeper issues and mental anguish that I deal with depending on what’s going on in my life tend to not be revealed until later after the fact.

It’s easy to judge my withholding of information as idiotic, and perhaps counter-productive to my overall well-being. And to some extent, I think that’s true. It most situations talking about it seems to help most people, getting the issues out there takes the burden of not being alone in your knowledge of what troubles you. However, the situation, in my view, is a little more complicated. There are other people to consider besides myself. My parents for one. As you can imagine trying to keep up with the activities of two idiot kids can be exhausting. My brother is just about as busy in high school as I was, even more so with his sports schedule adding on to it. They gotta focus on making sure he gets everywhere, eats, focuses on schoolwork, even though he does a good job of taking care of that himself.

Unlike most of the population at this godforsaken school, my parents aren’t CEOs who bought me into this school. They went here, and I’m sure that somewhat played into the “generous” scholarship that they offered me but to say this was the only reason would be remiss. They have to worry politically about whether or not one of the presidential candidates might cause my dad to lose his job, and thus half of our income goes down the drain. With my brother going into college next semester, you can imagine these concerns are paramount. Not to mention, my mom hates her job and has been trying to find a new one where she doesn’t have to deal with other people’s bullshit and incompetence on a daily basis.

Keeping this in mind, you might get a little window into my thought process when I decide not to tell them the truth about certain issues going on. Compared to a lot of adult stresses, some of the stuff that I deal with doesn’t really seem to add up to a worthwhile thing to complain about. My parents didn’t find out about the shit that happened with my ex-girlfriend freshman year until like 4 months after the fact. The thing about not telling them things is that there never becomes a good time to tell them about it. It becomes easier to just lie through your teeth and just go through the motions. I can recount the Skype conversations where I literally just dodged a million questions and just told them I was fine. It’s a common occurrence I think a lot of us in college go through. We tend to internalize a lot, at least the friends that I know. Maybe it’s just an introvert thing.

Even now, I know I have a lot going on that I should probably tell them about, but it always seems to happen that they have a lot of their plate. I can’t think of a good reason to stress them out more when most often, I can just grit my teeth and bear it in general. Maybe it’s not the healthiest for my mental stability, but it’s the option that I’m working with right now. I don’t see that changing in the near future unless my outlook on life drastically changes. Feel free to judge me about it; everybody has their different ways of coping, and yeah, some of them are better than others, but we all gotta figure out what works best for us. It’s not for you judgmental assholes to be absolutely pieces of shit about it.

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