The Art of Deception Starts Early

The Art of Deception Starts Early

I started consciously developing survival skills just before I turned 3.  Of course, my critical thinking was non-existent, physical strength under developed, ability to communicate just underway and my understanding of life was zero.

I was peacefully living with my parents and two really big and old girls in a huge apartment in a small town in Communist Romania. I focus on the word PEACEFULLY. Doing my thing, minding my own business, using the yellow potty, trying to pronounce the long names of those big girls and really upset that I couldn’t reach the door handles.  The radio was playing nice music and I didn’t know it at the time, but I loved dancing.

However, I learned that I had serious infringements on my freedom. I was not supposed to upset those big girls, nor disturb my parents. While mommy and daddy were still nice and cute, when I’d go beyond the allowable limits, you guessed it, those two big girls (whom I was supposed to call sisters) became as mean as they could get.  After accepting the unexplained fact that they also had to live with my mommy and daddy, I had to figure out what to do with them. Our apartment was huge, but so were they. And they were taking up so much space; I barely had any place for myself.

The rooms were theirs, the books were theirs, the shoes were theirs, It seemed like EVERYTHING was theirs. I was ok with ‘THEIRS’, but not with my having to respect that. After all, I thought they were all living with me to cater to my needs.

When MY parents were around, these old women, about 7 and 9 years old, wouldn’t bother me. All I had to do was start crying and accusing one, or both, of them of hurting me. As I learned, my parents didn’t like the sound of their crying baby so they came to my rescue and put the sisters in their place – whether it was warranted or not.

There would be payback. With both parents out of the house, my nanny not yet there, I was left defenseless with the two monster sisters.  One was meaner than the other. One day everything got out of control. They had completely abused my compassionate, peaceful self, without realizing I could actually run and achieve minor tasks on my own.  They were simply antagonizing me.

“Shut up, stop running, don’t touch my books, give me my pen back, and don’t rip my notebooks, “they seemed to yell in unison.  I tried to fight back, but couldn’t. They were using words I didn’t often understand…and were 4 times my size (6 times when they were mean.)

I needed a weapon. My mother’s high heels. I picked up those shoes and threw them at the raging creatures. The meanest one locked herself into her room to study. I banged on her door. She wouldn’t open it, so I kept throwing shoes hoping she’d open the door and a shoe would hit her right in that mean face.

The other one defied me and went into our parent’s room saying she wasn’t afraid of a baby. And just like that, she picked up a book to read.  Seeing an opportunity, I threw a nice leather, beautiful high heel into her face. She started bleeding.  And I knew I was in trouble.

When my parents got home, the screaming stopped and the investigation began.

My dad said something about ‘wrong doing’ and ‘identifying the facts, discovering the truth and punishing the guilty party’.  All four of them started talking in long, full sentences that I didn’t quite understand, but my intuition was telling me I may be in trouble.

The mean one was pointing at me. I think she was told by a parent that it was rude to point…so she started saying my name out loud.  “Ioana blah blah blah.”  She showed my parents the door I had targeted with the shoes. It had new scratches and cracks that I had never seen before. My mother’s shoes were all over the place.

The parents look at me, looked at the shoes, and looked at the door while still attending to my sister’s broken nose.  She was perfectly composed and said she wasn’t afraid of a baby.  She said “baby Ioana was irrational” and didn’t think “a baby could hurt me.”

They all turned and looked at me.

I made my eyes really big…and smiled…and said “Hello.”

Mother continued attending to the nose bleed and Father was still investigating.

He looked at me, gently checked my face and asked, “Did you get hurt? What did they do to you? Did they frighten you? Did they touch you?”

I immediately forgot how to speak and started crying. I said, “Daddy, they hurt me. They pushed me in the corner and they beat me. And they wanted to kill me.”

“Are you telling the truth,” my Father the Judge asked, obviously shocked?

I didn’t know what “truth” meant, but I didn’t want to act as though I didn’t understand him so I refused to answer.

The verdict was clear.  The baby girl did not have the strength to throw shoes hard enough to cause damage to anything or anyone.

Once the crime scene was cleaned, the villains got their punishment and I got extra love. The nanny would be my new book reader whenever I wanted.  And life seemed just about perfect.  The art of deception certainly starts early.