Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Why is it

that I lie to myself, and to others, by revising virtually every experience I've ever had to seem more pleasant, less real, less troublesome? An old apartment that was really quite a dump gets labelled 'charming'. A psycho partner who constantly uses emotional blackmail gets labelled 'the love of my life'. Is it left over Christianity in my upbringing? Or just a really bad coping mechanism?

I think it started because there was always a dichotomy in my life between what I was told to believe and what I knew to be true. After awhile, it became easier to live the lies than believe the harsher truths. For example, I was always told I was a 'daddy's girl'. I honestly don't believe my father felt anything for me other than resentment because I represented the responsibilities that shackled him in his adolescence and force him to make choices he didn't want to make, like having a family, joining the military, etc.

I was always told I was a cute child, when in point of fact I was more than likely an annoying chatterbox who craved attention and who played little-miss-know-it-all at school. I was told the other children didn't like me because I was smart, when really I had such appalling social skills that of course no one wanted to be with me.

At the same time, I did other things to escape reality. I immersed myself in books. I gained weight to keep people away from me. I surrounded myself as an adult with things that were so cluttered that no one could come visit me in my mess. And I continued to revise reality without even thinking about it, to the point where I cannot trust my memory or even at times my perception. I don't just do it with hurtful things; I do it with everything.

And it's time to stop, to stop choosing by avoiding choices. To stop refusing to live my life in the real world. To stop avoiding responsibility. To stop living lies.



But how?

Any ideas?


PS On reflection, many of those comfortable lies were told to me by my mother, so I probably inherited the coping mechanism from her. Maybe lots of people do this, and never realise that it's lying, lying to yourself, lying to others, and that in actuality we deserve to live life firmly grounded in the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be. But I'm tired of avoiding life through justifications.

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