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Zero to One

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Unpicking The Lies

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I lie to myself
I think its important to be real.  I do lie to myself about the abuse and despite the fact that nobody ever said this is a good thing I do believe it has been necessary.  Please don't misunderstand me I'm not suggesting that you start lying to yourself.  But the lies we tell ourselves can be there to protect us.  Unpicking the lies can be a difficult and even dangerous.

Before I go any further...
It is not your fault.  No matter how many layers of lies you've constructed it is not your fault.  You don't need to rush to find the truth. It's okay to let the lies be.  There is no rush to be brutally honest with yourself and confess.  You can rest in one very simple truth: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Dangerous How?
It all depends on where the lie came from.  Did it come from C (my abuser) or did it come from me?  There's a mix of lies all fighting in my head and they can cause complete confusion.  I've talked before about the lies C caused but there are also lies I constructed.  Just after the abuse I was in such a breakdown that I did a lot of things without being conscious of them.  This is where I constructed protective; I changed memories so that they wouldn't portray me as "guilty".

And there's the problem.  I wasn't "guilty" but C had so effectively twisted my world view that I thought I was "evil" and "dangerous" and I blamed myself for everything that happened.  I couldn't find a way out they were lies.  So the only thing I could do was lie more to myself.  It was never a healthy way to exist but it was more healthy than the breakdown.

As twisted as it all was the lies formed some sort of balance.

What were the Lies?
I don't want to be specific here.  Even in anonymity I can't talk without shame.  But  the lies of in the form "C told me to" do something.  The truth is that he rarely told me to do anything. C manipulated me to do things.  The lie that "he told me to" helps protect me from thinking that it was my fault and saves me being confused over the manipulation.  But that same lie makes it impossible to heal.  I have to come to terms with what really happened and not simply what I pretend happened.

How to Stop Lying to Myself
This is hard.  I've always known where my own lies are.  The challenge is unpicking them without unbalancing, without blaming myself.  I have to unpick several lies together.  It's a little like the way a cardboard box can be closed by closing all four sides overlapping each other and it holds itself shut.  The sides have to be closed together, it can't be done one at a time.  Okay it's more like opening a box but the same image applies.

The quickest way through has been to hear "It's not your fault" in response to the truth.  It felt needy the first time like I was practically begging my therapist say it.  But I did need it.  I needed someone to know exactly what happened and still think it wasn't my fault.  And for it to be real, for it to have any meaning, my therapist had to know the truth otherwise: what's the point?

Telling my therapist was a massive leap of faith.  I had to trust in the simple statement "I was abused" and hope that telling the truth wasn't going to change that.  I had to speak about things mechanically and completely disconnected to avoid triggering and I had to avoid even thinking about who was to blame.  It was worth it.  The pay off was an enormous release that made me cry.

Don't Rush It
These lies are there to protect us.  If you're not ready to explore memories in this way then just trust in the truth.  It is not your fault.
 

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