Tuesday, August 4, 2015

When Did I Get So Good at Lying?

My least favorite thing for someone to say to me is, "You look great!" with feigned enthusiasm. This means one of two things: either I looked like a real piece of shit before, or you think I'm about to figure out how to drown myself.

While I have learned a lot about myself through this break up, (mainly that I am prone to manipulation, always want to fix things, and put everything and everyone before myself while simultaneously shifting into something others want me to be), I have also become acutely aware that I am an unbelievably good liar.

Growing up with an Italian Catholic Mother, I was raised to not only turn 50 shades of red and stutter if I tried to lie, but also the crushing guilt of a thousand ancestors would deter and traumatize me from further untruths. I took pride in the fact that I could not tell a lie, and if I did, you could read it all over my face. I don't know when the switch happened... in fact I'm sure I uttered the very sentence, "Oh, you can tell when I'm lying," as recently as yesterday. However, at some point I became incapable of distinguishing these white lies from reality.

I lie to just about everyone. If I look back to my past, and really analyze what it is that I am in fact good at lying about, I could pinpoint it to when my Father was being treated for Hepatitis C, with chemo-like symptoms, when I was in high school. Most days I found myself wandering into my poor gym teacher/soccer coaches office in tears, not knowing how to handle my dad's illness. One night for some school function in an auditorium, he stood by my side as a fellow classmates dad asked me how my father was. "He's good," I replied nonchalantly. He walked away and my coach said to me, "Why did you lie?" and I replied, "Because it's not his business."

I maintain, purely to comfort myself, that I lie to people because it's not their business to know the truth... But I think really it's so that I don't have to deal with the truth of my life. If others don't know how fucked everything is then maybe it's not really true. Where I am, who I am, and what I am doing does not seem so bad when I look at it through other people's eyes. And if they don't really know what's going on, poof! Like magic my life can be different.

I lie to just about every single person I know. Sometimes I get confused about which lie I've told to whom. I have to be careful with every thing I say. I get confused when I wake up if my lies are actually reality. Sometimes I wake up really excited, and then it sinks in that I've lied myself into such a position that no one will ever truly know me. A liar feels bad about the truth, and I don't think anyone would accept the person I really am. I don't say that for pity, I say it because it is the truth.

I am not awesome. Recently someone I love dearly told me that I was a mean person. I had come clean about my drinking the week before, and my negative feelings toward myself and how much I hated what I have become. And then... that. See what I mean?

I wish I knew how normal people lived their lives, because I've had this mind numbing secret for so long that I don't know how to function properly. I haven't allowed myself to have feelings, on either side of the spectrum, in too long.

I don't want to lie anymore. It's like the past ten years of my life snuck up and hit me like a freight train these past few months. The guilt and shame of what I've done keeps me awake at night, riddled with anxiety and doubt. But I realize now that it's going to be much easier to let time heal those feelings than to keep drinking and live in a cloud of withdrawals, anxiety, and numbness.

Anyway. Eventually my posts will get more uplifting. At least I hope so.