I had sent a note to my Lakota friend the other day to tell her that we didn’t have the financial resources to help her get a computer. She wanted one because her daughters (all 3, including my “godchild”) had been “thrown out” of school for misconduct and she now had them signed up for school online. Unfortunately, our car recently had a $500+ repair, so spare cash is really scarce right now.
I told her in the note that I had planned to write to my “godchild” soon, but that I had to let my anger cool off before I did. Why was I angry? Oh, I forgot – I haven’t been writing. My fibro fogged brain hasn’t been in a very organized place this past week or so. The story of my anger . . .
A couple of weeks ago I called my “godchild” to ask her how things were going in school now that they were living back on the rez. She was doing great, she said. She was staying out of trouble in school and getting good grades. She had a boyfriend and he was nice to her. We talked about what kinds of things we might do now that it seemed she might get to come visit us this summer. I did ask her to have her mom send me a copy of her report card. I may be soft but I was a parent and I’m not stupid. I wanted to see what “good grades” really meant to her. She told me about wanting to go to college – either Univ of North Carolina or Duke (I suspect she’d been watching the NCAA basketball tournament on TV). She still wasn’t sure what she wanted to be, but that didn’t surprise me since she’s 12 going on 13 in July.
A couple of days after that call, she called us – collect! At 2 AM, our time. My husband answered the phone, accepted the charges because we thought there might be an emergency, but no – she just wanted to chat. My husband was not pleased. He told her what time it was where we were and that she should e-mail me. A couple of days later, when only my son was home, she called again – collect. My son accepted the charges because he thought we would want him to. He took a message. We started to be annoyed.
I decided to call her and explain the concept of collect phone calls. When I called, they looked all over for her (while I waited and the charges accrued), but she had gone out without telling anyone. So I chatted with her mother. Oh boy, was she pissed when she found out what my godchild had done. She hadn’t known. It was then I found out that the whole conversation I’d had with her was one big whopping lie after another!
I found out that she hadn’t liked what a boy had said to her in school, so she had punched him – and that the school authorities had told her mom to either voluntarily withdraw her from the school or she would be expelled. I learned that her 2 older sisters had be kicked out of school on the same day. I learned that her grades were not as glowing as she’d reported and her behaviour at home was bad, too. One of her sister’s had run off, though my friend knew where she was staying.
That’s when my anger started to boil. Over the years I’ve told my “godchild” that she can tell me anything as long as she’s honest. Honesty was the most important thing to me. I know kids lie (I raised 2 kids), but this was the most blatant and deliberate lying I’d encountered. I knew then and there she would not be visiting us this summer. There is no way I am going to entertain a guest I can’t trust in my home. I was really steamed!!! I knew I’d better let my emotions cool down a bit before I wrote to my “godchild” to tell her she was not coming to visit this summer. Otherwise, my letter might be far more mean and nasty than it ought to be.
That brings me back to the request for a computer. My friend sent me that request a week or so after we had spoken and I’d found out about the lies. After checking our finances and discovering it was not possible, I’d sent her a note to tell her that. I also told her that I was planning to write to her daughter soon and why I’d waited.
Last evening I got a response from my friend. Or so it seemed at first, since it was sent in reply to my e-mail message. But apparently my “godchild” had been reading her mother’s e-mail. I’ve corresponded with both long enough to know the difference in their manner of writing. I knew this reply had not come from my friend. It said, “so how come you just dont write me and you better send me something nice”
You know that flame of anger that had been settling back into glowing embers? Well, this note was a brisk breeze fanning those embers back into a flame.
So when I’m done here, I will be writing to her. But I can promise she’s not going to like what she reads.
Over the past year, I’ve had a “premonition” of her showing up on our doorstep somehow, having run away from home. I’ll let you know if that ever happens. I can tell you right now she won’t be happy.