When I was young, I had a lying problem. I knew the difference between fantasy and reality, I just enjoyed telling stories. Unfortunately, I chose to pretend those stories were true. Other kid's parents, and my school teachers had several conversations with my mother about my behavior before she finally sat me down at the age of twelve, looked me straight in the face, and said, "Nobody likes a liar."
I stopped lying.
But, some of those old lies haunted me into adulthood. I gave a few kids nightmares, and made a couple of them cry. It was funny and impressive when I was seven, as an adult, I felt ashamed of my behavior.
I once pretended to be a fortune teller and gave all the little children on my block horrible predictions about their futures. One little girl ran home hysterical. I was banned from her house.
Another time, I had forgotten to bring anything for show and tell so I got up in front of my whole class and made something up. I told a room full of eight year olds how my sister, while attempting to bathe our new kittens, had been scratched up so terribly that she was now in the hospital. Furthermore, she had accidentally drowned all five of the tiny cats. Of course, nothing of the sort had happened, and I got into HUGE trouble. It probably wouldn't have been as bad if the teacher hadn't believed the story and called my mom to check on my sister's well being.
These sorts of incidents stuck in the back of my mind, taunting me every time I laid down to sleep. Just recently I finally made peace with them. Last week I started to think about those childhood indiscretions and instead of the usual shame, I felt amusement. I realized that if I hadn't been that mischievous kid, the kid who told stories that terrified the other children, the liar, I never would have grown into the woman I am today. That early drive to entertain, frighten, and amaze, never really left me. It grew up too.