In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Truth or Dare.”
Is it possible to be too honest, or is honesty always the best policy?
I do believe it is possible to be too honest.
Fourteen years ago a woman, who I would have categorized as my BFF (EVAR) at the time, was injured at work. She was a surgical nurse and during the process of setting up the OR she was hit in the head by a piece of equipment that was mounted on the ceiling. (Another nurse moved it without looking around to see if anyone was within range.) As a result she received a brain injury.
Over the next 18 months she was treated for this injury and unfortunately had to leave the career she was passionate about. She was adamant and unwilling to name the co-worker because the hospital would fire him for negligence. She “didn’t want to cause anyone their job” – although his ineptitude left her without hers.
She came for a visit and to stay with me after a normal surgery for me, but I couldn’t be left alone and my spouse traveled. I paid for the airline ticket. While I was ambulatory I wasn’t physically able to do much or care for her. I had to go to the store and when I got back she had gone for a walk in a neighborhood that she was unfamiliar with and got lost. A couple of other minor incidents happened but one very telling also occurred at the end of the week.
Her brother lives in my town. She arranged to be transported to see him, spent the day and when she returned she regaled us with her day. She had a great time. She looked and acted like the woman I had last seen 2 years prior and prior to her injury. Our faces apparently showed our astonishment at the transformation as she quickly reverted to her “injured” persona and left the room. A few hours later she returned announcing that she had changed her ticket and would be returning home in the morning, 2 days earlier than planned.
She sent me a list of books about head injuries and how another person could interact with someone suffering from one. She asked me to be a reference and describe her behavior pre/post injury. Which I refused to do as I would have had to lie.
She asked me what I honestly thought about her injury and I told her the truth as I saw it. That given the events of that one visit to her brother I thought she was ‘more’ recovered than she was able or willing to admit. That both my husband and I were left scratching our heads over the change and her ‘dramatic’ departure.
At that point we had been friends for 20+years. I thought being honest with her was the correct thing to do. Apparently I was wrong as she never forgave me. In retrospect I guess I could have be more moderate in my honesty with her, it may have saved our friendship.
Actually, the friendship was never what I believed it was given how easy it was for her to drop me. Sadly, “honestly is the best policy” when cleaning house is in order.