One night, when I was 15 or 16, my father called me to his bedside to pronounce. “Your mother tells me,” said he, “that you don’t feel you can talk to me.” Truth. “I wan’t you to know you can talk to me about anything. It’s just that I’m never going to say another word to you.” He was true to his word; one of the very few times that I’m aware of. He died 10 years later with us having never exchanged another word.

I had no idea what prompted him, nor was I particularly interested to know. Friends and therapists have told me I should feel something about that moment, but wounds of my family life had long since been cauterized by the time I was in my teens.

He was a self-aggrandizing narcissist, a liar, an adulterer, a politician, and living his version of life to the exclusion of reason, reality, or compassion.

What I’ve thus far said, while truthful, is built on lies. I can’t help it; it’s how I was raised. He wasn’t my father. She wasn’t my mother. I think they were my mother’s parents, but even that may be but a half-truth, the rest lost on the river Styx long ago.

How can you know anything about yourself when all you’ve been told are lies? Look inward. Shine a light.