Do you lie to yourself?

Old 08-15-2012, 02:14 PM
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Do you lie to yourself?

So many of the topics here have gotten me thinking and I am finally realizing how much I lie to myself or have lied to myself about my situation. I have been thinking about my relationship with AH and realized that I made him out to be bigger than he really is. I have believed the lies that he told me: I'm not as smart as he is(although he never came out and said he, he gets condescending and makes me feel small) or that I'm responsible for his drinking or porn usage(just a few of the many issues that he has lied about).

I believed the lies that my father told me: that I shouldn't have been born, that I didn't have any worth, etc. I even believed an ex-boyfriend when he told me I was getting fat......I was a size 2 for God's sake, how much smaller did he want me to get without looking anorexic? And, I believed them all. Of course, I did have one boyfriend who told me I'd make a great stripper and he knew a place I could interview at, LOL, and at the time I thought it was an awesome compliment, ugh!

Then, I started thinking today about the lies I tell myself. That I can't make it on my own. That my son won't be able to handle a split in our marriage and that he'll blame me. That my AH will come to his senses, smack himself upside the head, and proclaim how stupid he was for getting himself in this deep!

I then took it one step further and realized I was telling myself lies about what my Higher Power says about me. I realies that I was getting tangled up because of all the other lies I was believing(both internally and from others) and I realize now that I need to start walking in truth and stepping out in faith and trusting in what I KNOW and what I SEE, not what I want to know or want to see. Wishful thinking or convincing myself that something looks one way, when in reality it is the complete opposite does not help me see the truth. It only extends the pain of the lie and makes it more difficult to overcome. I hope some of this made some sense to someone, LOL! I got so excited today as I was doing some journaling and I realize that I am finally coming in to acceptance and it's just the next step along this recovery journey for me.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:43 PM
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It's pretty much a requirement that you lie to yourself when you're with an addict. Or else how could we possible stay? We shove down out gut feelings and logic and take what they say at face value. We ignore our questions, we ignore the fact that it doesn't make sense and we grasp onto their lies because we so badly want to believe them. And addicts are damn good liars. They have a way of convincing you 2+2=5.

It seems like your parents/father was emotionally abusive. This could be what is causing your low self esteem issues. This is over course part of the codependent nature that lands us with an addict in a first place. Addicts seek people like us out because it's people like us who will stay. In lots of ways us codependents can be just as sick as the addicts.

You tell yourself the lies you do because you so badly want to believe them. Because your confidence is at an all time low and your AH and others in your life have made you feel like you're not good enough. We accept what we think we deserve and we fear letting go because we're afraid we'll never find anyone else. At least that's what I'm afraid of.

Maybe we hold on because we've come to know what to expect with our addicts and it's easier/less scary to hold on to something familiar even when it's painful.

But you seem to KNOW you're lying to yourself. That's good. You need to tell yourself every day that you're too good for this man. That you and your son are better off without him. Tell yourself that every day because deep down you know it's true.

As you work on yourself, build up your confidence and start to be happy ony your own no one will ever be able to take advantage of you like that again.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:43 PM
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I never, never realized how many lies I believed until I finally left. My stbxah was the king of making himself sound great and making me look like the incompetant fool.

You are so much more! I was amazed how much I realized this when I left. So many things that I was living as the norm now seem so insane.

You can borrow my word. Enough. Know when enough is enough. You don't have to take it or listen to it. And you are enough. You are enough for your son. You make enough to provide for you and your son if you have to. You have enough to give to others. It has become my lifeline to myself and helps me keep going when I start to doubt.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:48 PM
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I just want to say good job. I think this is something of a break through!
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:14 PM
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Not anymore. I did for a long time until I discovered alanon. There are no F2F meetings where I live, but this forum, books, and PMs have helped me so much. I was still in denial for about a year but slowly I began to see ¨the truth¨(realizing that I had bought into this negative self-image that although was partly true at the time, I could change things to make myself better.) And that's what I've been doing - making my life better for me. I know I still and always will have faults, but I'm finally able to see things clearly and not believe the lies I'm fed.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:14 PM
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I think being in the state of denial is the only way you can live with an addict. It's almost like you detach from yourself and reality and live in an alternate state. If you (not just you, anybody) were truly in touch with reality, and the absolute madness addiction creates, you would do one of two things, leave the relationship or go insane. I think the ONLY way one can stay with an addict, is to deny reality and all those who are damaged by it.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:18 PM
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Yep, I think it's a real break thru when we stop believing their lies and the ones we tell ourself!
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:09 PM
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I've learned that when I am acquainted with selfish, manipulative people, it becomes a habit to feel bad about and actually lie to myself about me. I think it has something to do with the dynamic of the relationships we choose. It is horrible that so many people we love and depend on emotionally, including parents and spouses, are so good at manipulating us the way you describe. They are truly sick people and continuing to have them in our lives makes us sick, unless we can establish good emotional boundaries.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:23 PM
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For 20 years, baby. For 20 years.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:26 PM
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I'm still working on accepting myself. I grew up in a household where my father was very angry and critical and it definitely has an impact on your self esteem. I was told sooo many things by my axbf, I made a list of them last night:

I wasn't supportive enough
I wasn't giving enough emotionally
Didn't like his friends enough (they also drank too much)
Didn't have sex with him enough
Wasn't neat and organized enough
Had a crappy job
Woke up too late
Didn't go to the gym enough
Didn't leave my apartment enough
Haven't traveled enough
Spent too much money on dumb things
Read self-help books that he thought were stupid

Ah, you get the picture, don't you? Pretty much nothing I did was good enough in his eyes. This was in addition to the terrifying temper outbursts that could flare at any time by some seemingly insignificant thing on my part. I think on some level they choose people with self-esteem issues because you will believe and tolerate their nonsense. The worse we feel about ourselves, the more in control they feel...

My self esteem is still a mess but I am working to recover it.

By the way, I was terrified of leaving my first marriage but I did it and don't regret that at all.

good luck

And don't let the turkeys get you down.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:37 PM
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To myself, to others, to my wife...

...and then Alanon taught me to tell the truth. It took awhile to change the habits, but change they did.

AW's not too happy because I'm compulsively honest now. That said, just because somebody asks a question doesn't mean I'm going to answer it. It just means that if I do answer, I'll tell the truth as I see it. Otherwise I'll just say, "with all due respect that's not my question to answer," or I may say, "with all due respect, it's none of my/your business."

Take care,

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Old 08-15-2012, 06:51 PM
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I am out of my mind, I've been buying her lies for so long I just accept them as part of life AND worse I believe them to be true. This is how I got sick again. Accepting a lie as opposed to WW3 in the house with her is just easier. So, she's been gone a month today, I now know I NEVER want to live in lies again.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:31 PM
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I lied to myself the whole time I was with my XABF, (I knew he drank too much the first week) so much so that I almost got an ulcer, I also distanced myself from my family and friends because I knew I couldn't look them in the eyes and say I was honestly happy. It was so bazaar, it was like I was a split personality or something, it was sick. I lost touch with my spiritual side too, because my spirit knew he was wrong for me, but I didn't want to admit it.

I think back on it and wonder why I stayed, was I insane? And I think it comes down to not feeling like I really deserved any better. It was also sickly comfortable being with an alcoholic because I grew up in a house full of alcoholics. I also didn't think anybody else would love me as much as he did. I quite honeslty just wanted to be loved and I convinced myself that it was therefore okay to stay with him. But I realized, at what cost? Losing my spirit? Losing myself?

Sooo, here I am 4 months later, trying to love myself, and that should be enough, right? It's not been easy, it has been almost foreign to me, to love myself. I have my good days and my bad days. I never realized how much I depended on another persons validation to make feel worthy. I have been single ever since I broke up with the ex which is actually kind of a record for me, (sad to say) but it actually feels pretty good.

I know being single is really the only way I will learn to love myself without depending on another person to make me feel loved, and I think its crucial for my recovery. It's tough though, I'm getting there though. I also feel connected to my spirit again. I am trusting my gut again. And most importantly I have faith again! I feel I am on the right path and I KNOW good things are in my future. I never felt that with the ex; my future was bleak.

I am back in touch with my friends and family but mainly I am just spending more time with me, getting reacquainted with ME, learning about the things I like do, not what someone else thinks I should do or what I think others want me to do.

It gets lonely at times but I remember that there are lots of people out there that are single and I am not the only one lol.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:04 PM
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Recovery for me has been about choices and space. I have options now that I did not even know I had. I did not tell the truth, especially to myself. I believed I never had choices, that I had only one way to act or be or do. That is what I learned growing up. That putting on a happy face was important, making others around you happy important etc.

I guess I did lie, but it is only apparent to me know when I realized that I had other options I had just taken the path of self-deception for so long that it was hard to realize there was another way.
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:47 PM
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I generally don't & in fact my friends & family all know that "You don't ask Fire a question unless you are prepared to hear an honest answer." It's a bit of a joke but seriously I have the hardest time lying & it shows on my face. Often people tell me, "I'm asking YOU because you'll be honest." On the flip side, friends avoid me when they don't want to talk truths.

OT Funny - my sister was teasing my DD once & was trying like he!! to convince her of something outrageous - l don't remember now but it was like "somewhere in the Atlantic is an island made of cheese inhabited by mice" .. fully outrageous. DD asked her twice for clarification & my sister held it together very seriously... "Oh yes! It's absolutely REAL!" Then DD very respectfully said, "Aunt S, I'm sorry to ask again BUT I want to make sure you understand that I'm going to ask my mom about this when I get home & she WON'T lie to me... so again, is this real??" My sister about fell off her chair laughing but had to come clean.

It hasn't always been that way & I agree that lying to ourselves is a bit of a defense mechanism when dealing with A's.... recently I have been regressing through my childhood & facing a lot of lies that I began telling myself waaaay back then. As a child it had to be one of the only coping mechanisms I had at my disposal.

Liz that sounds like a wonderful breakthrough for you, congrats!!!!!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:54 PM
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You know, I am really a pretty good liar. Sometimes lies come out of my mouth before I realize what I'm doing. And my denial surrounding my AH alcoholism was huge. I had always though denial was something people chose to do. But it isn't. My mind just lied to my heart, or vice versa, to the point where I didn't know what to believe.

But I'm starting to make changes. First telling myself the truth about what I need and deserve. I'm not always great at convincing myself of the truth - it was much easier to believe the lies I told myself. But it takes practice. And I'm also working really hard on always telling the truth. Not in a brutally honest way, but in the most respectful way I can.

And let me tell you, all of this is very very awkward! I get so nervous when I tell the truth sometimes, it's crazy. But i think it just goes to show how much of an impact alcoholism has had on my sense of being.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:08 PM
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I lied to myself all the time. Not even sure I was in denial or not, because I read all the books, I knew my X was an alcoholic and abusive. I actually wanted to believe that there was something wrong with me, because I knew that I was the only one that I can change, so I kept trying to change me. I didn't want a divorce for all the reasons that you don't, well, actually, my children were already out of the house by that time, and that is how long I lied to myself.

Then I knew I had to leave, I couldn't change anything else about me, except to go back to where I was years ago. I was naive, I had no self-esteem, no self-confidence, in plain english, I was a "stepford wife". I didn't want to go back there, but that is where he wanted me. So I left.

There were so many things that I have never done. He paid the bills. Not once have I missed a payment. The only thing that I find that I cannot do without him, is to lift heavy things, well you know what, my neighbors help with that.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:36 PM
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Wow, sounds so much like my relationship with AH. I believed he was a great dad and great provider. That I wasnt capable on my own, that I couldn't handle things without him. When he was mad he would tell me I am a bad mom- yet he was the one who kept the long commute job that kept him away from sun up to sun down. I believed that I was lazy, unappreciative, unattractive, selfish, undeserving. A non-contributing member of the family. That he needed the drugs, booze, porn, video games to escape from the hellish nightmare of a marriage he was stuck in. When i finally got a full time job, and was contributing, he would trump me with his larger paycheck. Truth was I was depressed and exhausted from not having an equal marriage partner who was equally vesting his efforts into child rearing. It all fell on me, and what fell I his sphere apparently should have fell on me too. I didn't realize how depressed, anxious and joyless I had gotten until he left. It was never about appreciating my home, it was about feeling stressed to care for something that felt like prison.

I am working hard to see the truth of my marriage, my AH and what a real relationship of equality and mutual respect would look like.
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:12 AM
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I struggle with the lies I tell myself. It's a crazy loop - when I was reading this, I thought "I don't lie to myself", and right after I thought I realized that right there, I was lying to myself about lying to myself.

I have terrible patterns of lying to myself and choosing things that will hurt me. I try to convince myself that I'm not hurting myself.

I have very little trust in me.

I'm going to 3 Al anon meetings a week. I'm reading and studying. I'm going out for coffee with people after the meetings. I'm hearing it all and learning it all, but for some reason none of it is working it's way inside. My logical mind knows the truth, but my heart and my soul are still acting like a self destructive 16 year old.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:05 AM
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Yes. I lie to myself. I realize that now. I think we do it as a way to protect ourselves sometimes. I don't do it to anyone else...or let me rephrase that...I don't blatantly lie to others. I might tell white lies so others feelings aren't hurt but I don't completely fabricate stories to anyone else BUT MYSELF. I see so many similarities between your story and mine. Thank you for asking this. Yes I do lie to myself A LOT and I need to look at this...why do I do it and correct myself to stop. I need to work on taking down that veil of denial...really look at things as if I was seeing things thru someone else's eyes and get real...get honest. I guess that's the only way we truly begin to heal and move forward in a positive way - with ourselves. The other stuff will follow.
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