My childhood was very rough, and I spent it bouncing through foster care and various relatives. My parents were horrible. I was abandoned in a parking lot as a child, and my parents interfered with the one nice set of foster parents who wanted to adopt me because they were Jewish. I cut ties with them when I was 19 and have not spoken to any of my blood relatives for a decade. I am doing well—got an education, own my own car, and work as a bakery manager. My problem is that for years I have told people that my parents are dead, including people who have become close friends. It was easier and quicker than dragging out my past and enduring repeated conversations about forgiveness and filial duty. Now “Matt” and I are dating after knowing each other for a few years. He thinks my parents are dead—but they actually live in Florida. He knows I had a rough childhood but not how bad it was. I know I need to tell him, but I am afraid it might change how he sees me. Matt is close with his family. How do I do this the right way?
—Not Dead, Just Dead to Me