Last night I watched a movie on Netflix called “Tell me who I am”. The film tells the story of a set of twins: a young man who lost his memory after a motor bike accident, and his devoted brother who helped him to remember everything again. Everything from learning to eat and tie his shoe laces, to recalling what their shared childhood had been like. Everything, that is, except one painful truth.
The truth that was hidden, for the best of motives, was both of the children were repeatedly abused, and their mother was the person behind the abuse.
Shocking – absolutely … And maybe you would have hidden that painful truth as well, to protect your twin, if you were in their shoes. It would be easy to believe you were doing them a favour.
Fast forward several years ….
Eventually events caused the truth to come to light. (That is, the twin told his brother they’d been sexually abused). However, he refused to share the details – despite relentless pressure – and that was hugely damaging to his twin. He felt his existence had been based on a lie, as his sense of who he was had been based on partial knowledge.
I suspect this story resonates profoundly with many betrayed partners who’ve learn they’ve been deceived. They need to piece together a new narrative as the story they’d been living is now a fantasy.
Hence, perhaps it’s not surprising that their mind is full of questions. Everything about the past must be reinterpreted. And they feel that they’re relating to a person they don’t know, who’s concealed the truth from them “to protect them from being hurt.”
Returning to the movie …
Eventually the twin finds the courage to record all the horrors of the past – which are then shared with his twin. Of course, it’s very painful, and it’s hard to take on board. But he, for one, would say that he’d rather know the facts. For now he knows the truth, and is able to move on.