A friend lied to me. Can you imagine?!! Like a dirty politician pulling a fast one on the masses, she tried to fast-talk me! It has taken me out, in so many ways.
Firstly, I’m not all that judgmental and have done a lot of crazy, wild things in my life. I may look like a sweet little old lady but … a lot of that insanity still lives in my memory and body. So I’m not real shockable, if you know what I mean.
How can we share and develop trust without being vulnerable with one another? And who else can we be vulnerable with but our friends and the people who love us. Anything else is shadow dancing, me interacting with your pretend. Or maybe both of our pretend personas trying to find one another. Should I start lying to you?
Most of us are looking for that deep understanding from another human being. We want to really reveal who we are, to make a connection somehow. We complain about the empty people we meet, the meaningless conversations, the endless line of boring wannabes throwing out a line. But if we can’t be for real, can’t say what we really think, can’t be who we really are then how can we expect to build an honest, meaningful, authentic connection?
(Oooooo, girlfriend, I’m steaming over here.)
Obviously, telling the truth is important to me, as a value. I learned at my father’s knee that my word was my bond. Whether it is a phone call, a ride or putting in a day’s work, if I say I will do something, there’s no question that it will be done. Can I ever trust anything my friend says again?
I learned in rooms of Twelve Step programmes that lying, secrets and anything less than the truth could keep me sick and in denial. The shame and guilt that comes with a lie can haunt one for years and years. So it’s a lot easier just to not have the hassle and start out with the truth. There’s more to living than shame, guilt, fear and worthlessness.
I also learned in those Twelve Step rooms that dishonesty and denial keep us from knowing ourselves. We see it all the time, somebody says something often enough that they start to believe it. That’s a hard one when we start pretending with our emotions too. “Yeah, I’m in love,” “No Baby, its OK,” “Why Do Things Always Happen to Me?” We play games, follow other people’s rules, manipulate, deny and … create drama and confusion for ourselves.
There’s a saying in those rooms, “To Thine Own Self Be True.” It is not always easy to own up to the things we do, the things we feel. There may be pain in confronting parts ourselves. I don’t like that I’ve been with married men, but I have been and I have to admit it if I am to learn and grow from the experiences. What did I need? What did I get? What did I lose? If I were to pretend about it, I’d never have a chance to explore and develop my own character, to understand my own motivations and intentions. So my friend does not want to examine her behaviour, does not trust me with her vulnerabilities. How can we be friends then? What is it based on?
Life is about so much more than the good times; we need people to share and help with the problems, anxieties, hurts, and dreams. That’s what a supportive friend does. Part of me is angry because her lie and obfuscation actually denied me the opportunity to be there for her. She won’t let me be the warm, generous person that I really am.
So my friend lied to me. Wasn’t honest. Didn’t tell the truth. Clearly, I can’t trust her. I have to take a step back and rethink how close I want this person to be to me. The confusion of denial and pretending makes me crazy. It is hard enough to deal with reality.
Please, don’t lie to me again.