Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Mom, my stomach hurts"

Merry Meet and Happy Sunday, Family and Friends!!

So, a friend and I had a discussion about dishonesty. I think lying for the most part, is part of the human experience. Lying is learned in childhood. "Mom, my stomach hurts" is the classic lie I've heard most often since becoming a parent. If I fall for it once and keep my child home from school, the next time the child will find it just a little easier to lie again.

I had an extremely strict upbringing. At times, I felt the need to lie just to avoid the embarrassment of telling the truth. My mother was obsessively over-protective. I often lied to my friends about why I couldn't join in an activity because to admit the truth would mean acknowledging that it was simply because my mother wouldn't allow it. The result however, was that I needed to come up with more and more elaborate lies and remember which I told and to whom. This NEVER works!!

Growing up, many people described me as quiet or aloof, when in fact, I just didn't want to get close enough for them to learn the truth. Fortunately, my closest friends understood and accepted that lying was not something I preferred to do or part of who I was, but what I felt was necessary to preserve my self-esteem or lack thereof.

Someone who consistently lies when it's just as easy to be truthful fits the profile of a compulsive or pathological liar. Most often they create a entire reality around themselves and are legends in their own minds. They are, in a word, mythomaniacs. A mythomanic, when confronted with their own untruths, often becomes extremely defensive. Of course they do, it's threatening the fantasy they created about themselves. They will very often claim that "dishonesty" is the quality they disrespect most in others, while in reality, it is the mirror image of their own existence.

I can not, in all good conscience, say that as an adult I've never lied. I've told a few whoppers! And I make no excuse for lying. When I think back to the nature of said "whoppers" however, I recognize that there have been two basic scenarios. I've either lied to protect someone I love or to avoid losing something that I hold precious to me. Does that justify lying? A lie is a lie, isn't it? Let your own conscience be the judge.

In my humble opinion however, there is no lie more despicable than knowingly and willfully lying about another person. Even the smallest of lies that threaten an other's reputation or integrity defines the lowest one can descend to achieve personal gain.

It's like the moron in High School who ruins a girl's reputation simply by telling all his friends that he's had sex with her. The friends have neither the reason to disbelieve or the desire to learn the truth, so it's easier just to accept what they've been told and perpetuate the lie.

As the mother of a teenager, I shared this scenario with my own daughter, who found it difficult to believe that someone would actually do this to another person, until of course, it happened to her. One of the advantages, however, of being "friended" by her classmates on Facebook was that it made it quite easy to get the message across to the little bastard, that unless he wanted his genitals mounted on a plaque and gifted to his parents for Christmas, he would do nothing more that might disrespect my daughter.

I've recently encountered a few life situations in which I've been dealing with this type of behavior, all of which are not only disrespectful to me and my family, but are threatening on both a personal and professional level. In my daughter's case, I've effectively dealt with one and am taking necessary steps to remedy the remaining. At the risk of redundancy, "woe betide the creature that fucks up in my garden".

In any case, if I had any advice to give based on my experience it would be this. If you suspect that someone has been dishonest about you, confront them. They will almost always become defensive and reveal themselves by trying to recreate their version of the truth. If you've been told something that doesn't ring true or seems out of character for another person, try to give that person the benefit of the doubt and consider the source.

Truth fears no questions. ~Unknown

In Darkness, Light,



Stella Seaspirit said...

So true Tracy, and what a wonderful thought-provoking post. Heehee I LOVED the plaque idea too!

Tracy said...

Thank you so much, Stella. My husband was a tad appalled by my plaque comment. I guess as a man, he would me :)

strangerland said...

I like your thoughts here. One especially should never lie to oneself. It really leads to a form of madness. An inner contradiction. Of course it's easy to accept an enticing unverifiable view of oneself and the world. Maybe contradiction do make the brain malfunction or explode.

strangerland said...

An active imagination can lead to metaphorical views of the self and the universe that are especially appealing sometimes. Ask oneself why that appeals so much.

Tracy said...

Hi Stranger:

I like that! "Inner Contradiction". Yes, I definitely see where this can perpetuate one's inner turmoil. I liken it to people who attempt to practice Witchcraft while holding onto more mainstream religious beliefs. They often encounter a good deal of emotional upheaval in attempting to reconcile the two.

Thanks so much for your input!

ARIE said...

People in many cases do not tell a deliberate lie. In most cases they think they speak the truth. And yet they lie all the time, both when they wish to lie and when they wish to speak the truth. They lie all the time, both to themselves and to others. Therefore nobody ever understands herself/himself or anyone else.
To speak the truth is the most difficult thing in the world because one must first study self awareness. To speak the truth one must know what the truth is and what a lie is, and first of all in herself/himself. And this nobody wants to know.
From the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

spottedwolf said...

" there's never one right..its been said before...
in all that I reason, I'm finding the score...
for lies become truth, when told long enough...
if god be one sided, the tenor is tough....
and filled of derision"