By September 30, 2009 52 Comments Read More →

One man’s lies are not my truth

I was at a seminar awhile ago where the speaker quoted from Gavin deBecker’s book, The Gift of Fear. deBecker writes that the first time someone hits you, you’re a victim. The second time, you knew what he was capable of yet chose to stay. The speaker went on to talk about how in life we always have a choice. We can choose to stay with a man who has proven himself capable of hitting or lying or cheating, or, we can chose to do the thing we fear, leave. Walk out the door and don’t look back. It is always our choice.

A woman in the audience put up her hand and said, “So, you’re blaming the victim. If she chooses to stay, it’s her fault.”

“No,” the speaker responded. “She is never responsible for his behaviour. She is responsible for the choices she makes.”

I stayed in a relationship for four years, nine months, seven days, two hours, thirty-two minutes and seven seconds. — Okay, so I don’t really know the exact length of time to the second — but I do know that every second counted in bringing me down to the pit of despair, to destroying my will to live.

I don’t know the exact moment when I knew he was lying, or felt the pinprick of doubt as to his intentions. I do know there were moments, early on in the relationship, when I was so blinded by what I wanted to believe was true and really happening (he loves me, he really, really loves me) that I chose to ignore the facts of what he was doing and saying, and bought into the myth of his love everlasting.

I do know that every second I stayed after the first time I questioned ”˜the truth’ of something he’d said or done that made me doubt his sincerity or made my spidey senses tingle with concern, made a difference in my ability to stand up and walk away when I knew he was lying.

With every second I stayed I became more and more poisoned by his lies. And with every drop of poison I consumed, I became more and more fixated on my need to prove I wasn’t a fool taken in by his lies, because, well, he wasn’t really lying, cheating, manipulating because if he was, I wouldn’t have stayed! I’m not that stupid.

Ah, the sticky webs we weave when first we try to deceive ourselves into believing being the woman of his dreams will make all our dreams come true.

I could never be the woman of his dreams. His dreams are the nightmare into which I fell when I turned my back on ”˜the truth’ of who I am and accepted his lies as the only truth I’d ever need to be the woman of his dreams.

With every moment I stayed stuck in the quagmire of his deceit, I became more and more convinced he was all I deserved. In accepting he was all I deserved, I had to accept I really was stupid because what was happening to me felt so wrong. To make the wrong right, I had to give up on looking for my truth away from him and accept I was as helpless as he told me. He told me there was nothing I could do to stop him, to leave him, or to change my life. I chose to believe him because to not believe him meant having to do something different. And I was too scared to do anything different. His lies became the truth I breathed and ate and consumed. His lies consumed me and I had to keep believing him in order to keep myself from facing the truth of his lies.

He told me he was all I deserved and only he, and he alone, was capable of giving me all that I wanted. As I fell under the lure of believing he was all I deserved, I became less and less capable of accessing my power to take positive action away from the lies that were robbing me of my sanity and killing my will to live.

Somewhere I once read that, when the pain of where we’re at grows greater than the fear of where we want to be, we will take action.

In that relationship, the pain of where I was at robbed me of finding the courage to walk away. Now, there were a whole bunch of reasons why and how that happened. From Stockholm Syndrome to Learned Helplessness to Intermittent Reinforcement, he practiced his craft of human manipulation. Why wouldn’t he? He’d spent his lifetime becoming a subject matter expert at his craft. And I was his willing victim. He knew I was the perfect victim after the first time he tested the boundaries of my principles, and I compromised in some small way to accept a lie he told as truth.

I was his target. And his source. I was the perfect woman — just as he said I was. Only, in my lexicon, perfect woman meant his one true love, his soul mate, the Venus completing his de Milo. I didn’t stop to think that he might have a different frame of reference. I didn’t stop to compare his actions against his words, my feelings of worthlessness against his machinations to make me feel worthless.

I didn’t stop to think.

And in not stopping to think about what he was doing, I made room for him to keep doing what he was doing in my life.

I was a victim. At least the first time I bought his lie and accepted it as truth. But, when I started to question whether or not he was telling the truth, and then kept looking for my answers in his lies, I became a volunteer to his manipulations. I became so consumed in thinking about him, in thinking about all the things I’d heard him say about me, in trying to first prove him right; I was the perfect woman. And then to prove him wrong; I wasn’t out to destroy him, hurt him, blame him for everything that was wrong. I was just out to love him and in my willful desire to love the lie, I let go of my power, I let go of my right to take care of me, to be accountable for me, to love me for all I’m worth.

These characters do not come with a sign on their foreheads marking them as predators. And we do not walk around with big red target signs on ours.

What they do is test the waters of our resistance to their bull. They keep testing until we either laugh at them and walk away, or give into their manipulations. One lie at a time.

We always have a choice. One lie at a time.

They just wait for us to make the choice that keeps us in their path for another minute, another second too long for us to collect our thoughts and right our thinking so that we can get away before the next lie hits us and we are brought down by our fear of facing the truth of their lies.

The difference for me today is, I acknowledge there are Ps and Ss and Ns and ABCs out there. In knowing they’re out there, I know that I will encounter them from time to time. And in those encounters I know it’s what I do that makes the difference in my life. Will I believe their fairy tale of how wonderful I am, or will I accept my truth and know, I’m a woman of worth. I don’t need someone else to tell me my truth. I don’t need to become the apple of someone’s eye by making myself fit a design that doesn’t suit me. My truth is, I stand confidently in the substance of who I am when I am free of looking for my worth in someone else’s eyes.

I chose once to stay the victim after hearing a lie I couldn’t believe was true. I believed I was the perfect woman of his dreams. I believed he could make all my dreams come true.

Today I know the truth. I am responsible for me. I am responsible for making all my dreams come true. Today, I love myself enough to spend every minute, every second of every day proving it. And when I treat myself to the truth, the world around me responds with limitless opportunities to be the woman I’ve always dreamt of being.

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52 Comments on "One man’s lies are not my truth"

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Sarasims, I am learning that forgiving the Narcs and ps in our life does NOT mean that we condone, in any way, what they have done to us, how they have robbed us mentally, emotionally, financially and spiritually. However, if we DONT forgive them, its like drinking poison ourselves, and expecting that person to die!. The bitterness will corrode our soul and twist our insides. So, its really a SELFISH act to forgive them, it sets them free , and it sets US free from them! Forgiving does not mean we have to ever see them again if we dont want to.Sometimes we wonder if we will EVER be able to forgive that person,if they have done something especially mean and hurtful to you. Thats when we have to cry out to God to help us to do the impossible. I remember reading in the book “The Hiding Place,” by the Dutch christian lady and resistance worker, Corrie ten Boom. She was,{even tho she wasnt a jew}, thrown into Ravensbruck concentration camp by the Nazis, along with her old father, and her sister, Betsy.They had hidden Jews in the attic of their home in Holland. Betsy died in Ravensbruck, as a result of being starved almost to death, catching typhus, and being savagely beaten by one of the camp guards. Corrie somehow survived the horrors of the camp, altho her old dad also died. A year or two after the war was over, she was coming out of Church one day, and a man came towards her, his hand outstretched. It was the former camp guard, who had become a christian, he begged Corri to forgive him for killing her sister Betsy. His hand was outstretched, waiting. Corrie said,”I sent up a quick prayer to jesus, saying,” You will have to help me here, as I just cant forgive that brute of a man for killing poor Betsy.” At that moment, an electric shock went down her right arm,and when she stretched it out and took the mans hand, she felt God,as an electric current , shaking the mans hand for her.After that incident, she was completely healed, permanently, of ALL her bitterness and unforgiveness, thru Jesus!A wonderful true story. Love, gem.XX

Skylar said:
“I sit here thinking of ways to explain to a P why non-P’s are motivated to be compassionate and selfLESS. But how do you explain to someone who understands only selfISH motives?”

Skylar, you would have much better luck beating your head repeatedly against a brick wall.

I never got to rage at my sociopath before I went NC. As soon as I figured out his games, I told him not to contact me any more. After that I wrote the angry email and sent it, but it bounced back. He had already blocked me from emailing him. In retrospect, it doesn’t matter. He wouldn’t have heard it, understood, or cared. I may as well have been shouting at a tree.

The smoothest sociopath (as mine was) will listen to your anger and agree with you. They will admit they screwed up and say they are lucky to have a wonderful person like you. You will feel sorry for them and take them back. Then they turn around and play the same games. This is why it’s just dangerous and futile to try and talk to them. Why share your precious innermost feelings with them? If they don’t totally ignore you, they will find a way to use your feelings against you. It’s a lose-lose. Let NC be your final and best revenge.

LOL, your words brought back an image that constantly flashed in my head when I was with the xP: me talking to a brick wall.

That’s exacly how I felt when I tried to talk to him. But this time, when I imagined that very same brick wall I saw myself beating my head on it.

I wonder if I’ll dream about it tonight.

A brick wall will treat you more kindly. It will not try to seduce you or take your money or lie to you. And it can be quite attractive as a backsplash in your kitchen. LOL Perhaps you should consider working with bricks and mortar as a therapeutic tool. ha ha ha

Guys, here is a song I posted for Vision on another thread, but it’s a good one to listen to if you’re getting over someone. Wait for the chorus, and you’ll see what I mean. I really like this song.

A great article, so true and amazing how everyone who has been affected by lieing, manipulating S can relate to. Those extended family members who may or may not have been directly affected, like many of you on LF, but have tried to help get their family member(s) to make better choices also can relate to this article. Not only watching the cruelty of the S and the way it played out for the family, but trying to put realistic optimism back in to it after the S is gone.

“The difference for me today is, I acknowledge there are Ps and Ss and Ns and ABCs out there. In knowing they’re out there, I know that I will encounter them from time to time. And in those encounters I know it’s what I do that makes the difference in my life.”

Thanks for the article! And to all who can understand that the future without his lies is a grand future! You say it the best,

“Today, I love myself enough to spend every minute, every second of every day proving it. And when I treat myself to the truth, the world around me responds with limitless opportunities to be the woman I’ve always dreamt of being.”

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