Should I lie?
March 30, 2009 8:34 PM Subscribe
I will be deploying to Afghanistan and I'm considering lying to my parents/family about it. Is this an exceptionally bad idea?
posted by lullaby to human relations (37 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was in the Army for 4 years, and got out last summer. However, I still have a few years left in the IRR (i.e., the Army still owns me) and so I've been involuntarily recalled to active duty in support of OEF. Wasn't expecting it, but that's the military for ya.
Only my fiance is aware this is going on, and he's military too so he knows the drill (and is currently in A-stan himself). I've kept quiet about it otherwise because I know the news won't go over well with some, but sooner or later I have to spill the beans that I'm leaving for a while and won't be getting hitched this fall or continuing at school.
I've been to Iraq a few times already, and my previous deployments were hell on my parents. Especially my mother, who is a nervous person generally and, more importantly, believes just about anything if it's coming from an even semi legit news source. Which is never a good thing, but this in particular is what I think made deployments much rougher on her... at least, judging by all the questions she asked and concerns she expressed whenever we talked, and what my brothers have mentioned to me. No matter what I said, I was unable to get her to be a little more skeptical about what she was watching or reading.
I do get that it's a good parenty thing to be concerned about your kid in a war zone and all, and that them caring about me is better than, well, not caring about me. However, my parents are dealing with other big things right now, and my mother has some medical issues that are exacerbated by high levels of stress, so worrying about me going to A-stan is pretty much the last thing they need right now. I have no idea how to otherwise relieve that worry or minimize their stress about me.
I once met a soldier who was lying to his wife about being in Iraq - he'd alter everything he said or wrote to make it seem as though he was in Kuwait all along. Admittedly I thought it was messed up then, so I guess this is hypocritical, but I find myself considering something similar with my parents (and, by extension, pretty much the rest of my family). Since it'd be sort of difficult to hide a 545 day mobilization, my idea is to let them know I've been recalled, but instead I'd pick some other overseas base and tell them I'm being sent to that Not War Zone to work at the medical facility there. (I'm a medic.) Still outside the US and several time zones away, but not in a place where their imaginations will run wild with every 6 o'clock news report.
And, basically, lie to them a lot. Is this a terrible idea? Am I being ridiculous by wanting to protect them from it this time? Is it just too much dishonesty? The only other person who knows this is going on is extremely busy, so this idea has only been rattling around my own head and I can't tell if my being so indecisive and uncertain is a sign that I'm a glaring idiot and shouldn't even consider doing this.