Lies Dissolve in Recovery

Truth246px-Truth La Vérité 1870 by Jules Lefebvre*La Vérité - Liars don't like to be exposed.

Let's look at the conditioning that makes you vulnerable to lies and learn to uphold your authentic reality.
When you grow up with lies around you, you learn how to adapt to that environment. Freeing yourself old survival conditioning spurs your recovery and gives you a chance to have a more fulfilling life.

In your beginning, as a naive and trusting child, you believe lies. As you get older you begin to suspect that something might be a lie. On the basis of that suspicion you challenge the lie.

When you expose the lie you are met with the consequences such as:
  1. "I was just kidding."
  2. "Be quiet." 
  3. A glare
  4. A threat
  5. A slap

Or a  command:
  1. Don't be rude to your .....
  2. Don't question me .....
  3. Don't give me any of your ......
  4. Never do that in public ....
  5. Don't be stupid. That's not what I said (or that's not what happened).

Then you have to learn how to cope with the response you get if and when you challenge a lie.

You say:

"But it's true....
  • "How can you say that .....
  • You may appeal to someone you who knows the truth.
  • "X, you were there.....
  • "X, you know that....

When X denies you and supports the lie you are baffled and bewildered. You may start to feel that you've lost your place in the world and physically lose your balance. You will feel terribly alone and vulnerable. You may be angry and self righteous. You may try to argue. You may ask for an explanation. You can have severe doubts about yourself and your ability to perceive reality.

It's difficult for a liar to say, "Ï am lying. Just be quiet about it." Yet that is the message a liar seeks to get across.

You may continue to fight and argue until forces more powerful than you subdue your voice.

Now what? Lying continues and you know it.

Your stomach may churn when you hear a lie. You are on the alert for the unexpected and . You feel your muscles stiffen and your eyes freeze. You don't blink.

Where you are and what you've been doing, thinking, believing, enjoying is suddenly ripped from you by this lie you have to not hear, not acknowledge and not know about.

You may try to escape this inescapable emotional position. You need to stay and you need to get away from these feelings. So you search for ways to block your awareness.  One way is to reach for food. Eating can fill you up, block your feelings, distract you and may block your awareness.

If that happens you can ignore the lie by going into your eating and mind numbing mode.
This can build so that if you hear something that a person in your life wants to keep secret from someone else or says something that is a lie you immediately go into a mindless, distracted place in your psyche. You don't necessarily need to eat to achieve this state.  Your eating comes in when your mindless and distracted state needs reinforcement.  

You are now in training for being non responsive to lies. You learn to not hear them. You learn to believe what you are expected to believe and deny your mind, heart and physical senses. 

You need your eating disorder to help you do this, and your eating disorder obliges.

Coming out from this dense cloud of oblivion requires courage and is painful. It is painful to remove the veil between you and others and see and hear what is really going on. It requires courage because you remember being punished for being present and aware in the past.

Living in the cloud of lies you are awake without being a awake. You hear without hearing. You know what's happening, but from a disjointed place, as if you were in another room, surrounded by sound proof glass. You can see and be seen, and you know the other person believes that you are oblivious.

You won't say anything about what you've heard. The other person most likely thinks and counts on your not being able to register what was said or done and that you will continue to behave as if nothing had happened.

More than that, the other person will expect you to live in the world of lies, believing what you are supposed to believe, never doubting the validity of the lie/s.

At the same time you may receive benefits from going along with the lies. Certainly one immediate benefit is not being punished for being aware. Other benefits have more to do with your living in a fantasy of what you want to be true. Your psyche learns to divide up your perceptions so you deny the lies and accept the positive picture the lie paints.

Think of the old story that used to come up in books and movies about gangsters. The gangster is in court on the witness stand.

Question: "Where did you get the money you used to buy the Porsche, the diamond necklace for your girlfriend and the apartment in the Bahamas?"

Answer: Ï won it at the track, Your Honor."" He smiles. " I'm a lucky guy."

If you're the girlfriend you may know the truth. But you may have been trained to deny information in front of you, convince yourself he's telling the truth because to accuse him of lying would bring dire consequences. Plus, you like wearing the necklace, driving the Porsche and visiting the Bahamas. You like the lifestyle you have convinced yourself you are living.

But, your denial has to go beyond the lie in the courtroom. You also have to go numb, mindless, and move into your glass container with help from your eating disorder so you are blank about the need for body guards, hushed conversations, jokes about people who have disappeared, the presence of guns, no one seeming to have a real job and how all purchases are made with cash. You have to deny the reality of the harsh treatment you experience from the people around you regardless of how pretty your diamond necklace may be. It's really a choke collar.

To come out of the fantasy, ask yourself these discovery questions:

  1. Who am I?
  2. What do I think and feel?
  3. What is really going on around me?
  4. Why am I here living this life?
  5. Is this the life I want to live?
  6. Am I living the life I believe I am living?
  7. Are the people around me who I believe and think they are?
  8. Am I believing stories and promises I wish were true?
  9. Is the life I am  living anywhere near the life of my deepest desires?
  10. Do I even know my deepest desires?

Recovery from an eating disorder involves getting to the truth of your existence. And the most important question is:

Am I ready to take on my world as it is with all that I am?

If your answer is yes, then you are on your way to growing a new kind of internal strength and dropping your need for your eating disorder. You are also on the way to creating a meaningful and fulfilling life.

  1. How does the conditioning for accepting lies relate to your life?
  2. How do you answer the discovery questions? Which relate to you most?
  3. If you are going to drop the veil and take on reality, what's your immediate challenge?

Artist: Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836–1911)
Title: Truth (La Vérité)
Date 1870
Photographer: Ron Rothbart

Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.



0 # The (understood) liemylifex2 2013-04-27 20:44
I am working on processing sexual abuse history with my therapist. I think as I was growing up with all this chaos in my life, I was lied to frequently. These were more on the order of lies of omission, however, as it was more secrets and not admitting what was going on. As I began to get older and developed OCD behavior it was overlooked and not helped with therapy. Why expose the truth I guess? the quiet denial of my parents was a raging scream from within me. The lie is finally being exposed because that bastard is finally losing his power. My healing will be the evidence that the lies are over . It isn't necessary for me to re-hash my past point by point, rape by rape. Being empowered will be enough for me.
0 # the (understood) liepinkjoanna 2013-04-27 21:28
Brava, Tracy,

You are doing important and courageous work. Lies of omission are still lies.

I love your last sentence, "Being empowered will be enough for me."  

Yes!  You are rescuing yourself, with the help of your therapist and others who support the authentic Tracy, so you can live your life in freedom, confidence and joy.

I chose the painting that accompanies this post because she free and clear in her natural state, holding the light of truth which exposes lies.  (Interesting how most of the art I found representing truth were female nudes. 

I hope you have the opportunity to look at the discovery questions in the article, Tracy. They can help lead you to the empowerment you aim for.

Thank you for writing. I'm cheering you on. I think the others on this site will too.   :-)
0 # Thank youmylifex2 2013-04-28 08:02
Yes, I can tell you all that I am finally working on all this crap that has eroded my very being and set the course of my life for so long. Taking off from work has enabled me to really work diligently and fervently on my abuse history. Girls, I am not the same person I was even a month ago. I am determined. I had to get angry. Really really angry at all those who kept MY silence for so long. Those who lied to themselves even. I think my mom had a similar experience with her father (my grandfather)-all the signs are there. But, I can only work on me right now. Joanna, I do plan to respond to the discovery ? as well. They are excellent food for thought!
0 # Tracy :)shh 2013-04-29 08:59


I can tell just from the energy that radiates from your posts that you are in a really good place, and I am so pleased for you! Well done for hanging in there and just gradually chipping away until you were ready to deal with the trauma and "big stuff" that you are tackling now!

I feel so proud of you, and so optimistic about what this is going to mean for you! xx


0 # MeJackie 2013-04-30 19:30
Tracy, I can feel the change in you too. I'm so happy for you to be in a place of comfort.

Shh, You are a lovely person. I don't know you, but you radiate love. That's nice. Thanks.

This is me. This is my childhood. This is my life. I've always had difficulty determining when my eating disorder started. I could trace time backwards, but I could never figure out where the food behaviors started. I was out of my body long before I discovered food. I guess I have to look at the lies I can't live with now-- or rather, the ways I have accomodated my true self to live as someone who is not fully present by choice. Those are big questions.

I've had a hard time the last two weeks managing my food behaviors. Too much stress. I keep trying to check out. I'd rather be out than in.  I'm justifying the out. I can't find my love button. I just keep thinking...this is what I need to do for today. Next week I won't do this. Lies, lies, lies.

My sister was sexually abused as a child. I do not have any memories of her being abused or of being abused myself. I recall some inappropriate public moments with this particular relative, but nothing more. He once asked me to elbow him in his crotch, while fully dressed, on the front porch, in front of his friends. I protested, but eventually I did elbow him. They laughed. I thought it was weird. I walked away.

My sister was different. She wanted nothing but attention--most likely because of the abuse, even at a very young age she was inappropriate and/or too sexual for her age. We were never alike, so even though I noticed her clinging and carrying-on with other kids. I didn't talk about it.

She told me about the abuse when she was in her early twenties shortly before she was married. At her request, I promised not to tell, but told her that she had to tell our parents. She lied and said that she did tell them. Shortly after this conversation, I confronted my parents and complained that I didn't understand their behavior. I wanted to know why they weren't helping her after what happened to her. My mother then asked me "What happened to her?". I told her.

My mother was ill. Physically. They contacted the police. The statute of limitations was up. The abuser denied it. Then everyone was mad at me for not telling them sooner. I told them that I didn't want to break her trust, but that I was telling them now because I thought it was important. I didn't lie. She lied. I don't know what happened after that, as I wasn't part of it. 

 I'm different by choice. Even my eating disorder allows me to be different and separate. It allows me to be alone.

I went to see a religious healer once and they told me that there was something way back in the past that I needed to release. I thought it might be ancesteral. However, I can't be certain. I've tried remembering unusual moments, things that stick out in my memory, but I only recall one time events that made me uncomfortable--and they weren't all with the abuser. They were just moments where I was aware that I was uncomfortable and that the scene was unusual from what I viewed to be the norm.  

Even though I've been angry. Even though I am outspoken. I won't push my parents too hard. I have to accept them with their limitations even if I don't like it. I have to accomodate them. See, I swallow this. Everything you write seems to be a part of me.  
0 # Hi, "Me"pinkjoanna 2013-04-30 20:48
Dear Jackie,

Keep journaling.  Memories don't come when they are forced. 

What's important now is for you to discover your truth: what's important to you, what you care about, what you want to pursue in life, what you want to build that is the true home for you and for what and whom you love.

Journal without an agenda.  Months later you can read what you wrote and discover more about yourself than you realized you were putting on the page. There's more to you than you know.

You are a survivor.  You survived all this pain, betrayal and confusion.  That means you have strength and psychological agility.  Trust it and just journal your way to your here and now.  That will come.

You've done so well already!

Laura R
0 # Tough QuestionsLaura R 2013-04-30 21:21
Just reading the discovery questions triggers me up. Questions four and five raise my alarms. Nine and ten amp me up even more and I feel big shame. My immediate reaction is, "I have so much - who am I to question the life that I have". It's what I learned growing up. I've been working on being OK with wanting and needing. Looks like I have a lot more work to do :-)
0 # Tough questionspinkjoanna 2013-04-30 23:09
Dear Laura,

These questions are like keys.  The doors they open may have been closed for a long time with locks rusted shut.  But with patience, a little oil, and consistent application, they will open the doors to the inner you.

You are human.  Humans want and need.  The wants and needs lead you to the right decisions for your life path.  Fulfilling your deepest and most authentic wants and needs lead you to joy.

Isn't it remarkable that we have to be brave to bring joy into our lives?

I'm glad to see that you end your call to more inner work with a smile.   :-)
0 # Timeshh 2013-05-01 01:47

Q9. Is the life I am living anywhere near the life of my deepest desires?
Q10. Do I even know my deepest desires?

They are the questions closest to my heart at the moment!

I have ideas, I have some plans, I have a belief that there is more about my deepests desires yet to be discovered, I like to remain open to new concepts, new ideas, new twists and turns - in fact I deeply desire that feeling when someone opens your eyes to something new and different and you feel inspired and think "I want to be a part of that", and I want to feel that over and over in different ways, about different things, at different points in time.

My biggest contstraint is time!

I always say that I spent the first 40 years of my life living how my mother wanted me to, but I am determined to live my last 40 years in the way I want to, that is meaningful and has value to me!

But there is just so much to do...where do you do you fit it all in?
Sometimes I feel like I am playing "catch-up" - building the career, the home, the relationships etc that I should've started building 20+ years ago.

I am trying to "enjoy the ride" and I am enjoying it very much, but there is so much else I want to do, and I'm so eager to get started with it, and the life I desire is not the life of a burnt out person, but pacing yourself when there's a whole exciting world out there waiting for you, is hard!!!

0 # Thanksmylifex2 2013-05-03 04:48
Thank you shh and Jackie for your encouraging words. I hope you guys are doing well. When I first read this post I thought of you, Shh, and all your experiences with your mom and husband. I think you have overcome seemingly insurmountable trials. It is good to see how positive you feel.          jackie,                                   
I was where you are 20 years ago. Don't force your memories.  as time goes on, and as you work on your ED, your mind will clear up and your past will be more clear (Whatever it says). You will start to uncover the reasons that you used your ED.        Good luck to everyone !

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