By most accounts I am an intelligent 28-year-old woman with a solid intuition. I have read every “how to spot a liar” article on the internet, took a body language class, and even have a certificate degree in criminal justice. I am not one to be duped—or so I thought.
It was on Tuesday night around 9:30 PM when I had just returned home from the gym that I received my “wake up” call. I was determined to be in bed by 10:15 for my 8 AM meeting, but I saw two missed calls and a text. It was my mom:
“Everything’s fine just calling to say hi.”
A little voice in my head told me to just text her: “Hi Mommy! I have to go to bed early tonight. Call you after work tomorrow! LOVE YOU XOXO” Stupidly, thoughtlessly, I ignored that voice and called her back. After all, it seemed so innocent, right?
Although I am still trying to piece together what followed, here’s what I do remember:
Me: “Hi Mom!”
My Mom: “Hi honey! How was your day? Just want to say hi because I never see you. Are you doing okay for money?… Call Grandma!… There’s a new restaurant on route 80 that’s Italian but not what you would think! It has fun pizzas!… Did you get that article I sent you on Atkins?… Bread is ok, just not too much… Do you need money?… Don’t use ATMs with a fee… I know you have to go but did I tell you about the fun pizzas on Route 80? Oh, THAT’S what I meant to ask you—did you get that thing figured out with your health insurance? What a headache!… Daddy and I decided to change the color of the family room. It’s gray now… Are you bringing that boy you met on Kinder to your sister’s birthday? I know it’s been one date but I want you to know he’s welcome… How do I hate something on Facebook?”
It took at least 20 minutes into the call to fully realize what had happened. This was not a quick call to say hi. This was a full-blown phone conversation. I had been duped by my mother—a woman who was blatantly taking advantage of my love for her.
Before I could react, it was over. She had to go and watch the 11 o’clock news. I started to blame myself. I awoke in the night, sweating, asking, “Why didn’t she just say ‘hi’?”
Weeks later, I finally began to process what had happened, and decided to transform this pain and share my story. I want to share what I’ve learned with other children of mothers and let them know they aren’t alone. No one is immune to this type of trickery. It is important to practice the art of forgiveness, for yourself and the person betraying your trust. Try to keep in mind that in spite of the dishonesty, she is your mom. Also don’t spend money on body language classes, since so many of our interactions take place via technology these days. I know I made that mistake, too.