Liar Liar

11 10 2009

It is 4:25 in the morning and I just woke up. Haha. Finally woke up at 4:30! But I had to go to sleep at 6:30 to do it. I digress… Anyway. I had a dream, a bad dream- But at the same time it was extremely insightful. I was friends with this girl Andrea in college. Actually, we have known each other since we were three years old in ballet class. I might call us friends since then, but I was a chubby awkward kid who found it easier to be alone, and she wore Guess and had her hair poufed perfectly and had NKOTB sheets- and knew it. But in college, we were friends because I finally had found my groove. I was friends with a million different walks of life and she was STILL too cool for everyone, so the pickings were kinda slim for her.  I had lots of other people to hang out with and I think that it gave her a new respect for me. Well, I have not spoken to Andrea in seven years, since I left Austin for Boston and told her ex-boyfriend to just get over it, that he was better off without her (he had been obsessing over her for three years!) and she got mad.

OK: The dream: I was in an elevator with Andrea and we were going up. It was some kinda space-agey elevator, that was open from all sides except for the wall with the elevator buttons. There was a button that said, “DO NOT PUSH- IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.” Well, I pushed it very clandestinely. When we reached our floor, Andrea’s half of the elevator stopped to let her off, but my side kept going. I shouted to her as I kept going up, “I don’t know what happened! I didn’t push anything! What’s going on!” I kept climbing higher and higher till I slammed the emergency button again and the elevator sunk back down to the floor where I was supposed to be. I got off, and rather than sheepishly admitting that it was me who pressed the button in the first place, I gestured wildly, “WASN’T THAT INSANE??!!! Can you believe that. Totally terrifying. I wonder what happened! What on earth is going on with that elevator!” She shrugged her shoulders and started walking away while I followed still emoting about my terrifying death-defying elevator rescue. “I should report that! That elevator is dangerous- I could’ve been killed!” Finally she turns to me and says frankly: “I saw you press that button. The first time, before we got off, I know you pressed the emergency button.”

I was humiliated. She had caught me in a lie. Right away, before I even thought about it, I began to deny, deny, deny. Then I stopped a minute and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I lied about that. It was stupid. I should’ve just admitted that I pushed the button.” She shrugged her shoulders again and said, “It’s no big deal. It happens.” I would like to tell you that there was something that went off in my head that said WOW IT’S OK TO TELL THE TRUTH! But no such luck. I woke up feeling embarassed and stupid and so so glad that that never really happened.

The reason this is relevant, is last week during ACOA we were talking about lying and how great we all were at it. A skill, I suppose was picked up from constantly having to lie about the situation we grew up in to appear “normal”. I think that I did really begin lying with little things to look normal, but then it turned into something else. Lying to look better. Lying to look perfect. When I look back at the friends I’ve had and the people I’ve known, I can tell you that I have lied to mostly everyone in my life at one time or another. But they don’t even look like lies to me, once they are construed in my head, they look more like the truth than the truth itself.  I bury the truth so deep within me that even I don’t know the lie is  festering and infecting me and my relationships.

Just recently this happened to my good friend Erika. Almost every week, we are supposed to meet for a book study on the foundations of the Bible, just her, I and another friend of mine. I have not picked up the book yet, and we’ve been meeting for months. The thing is, after our first meeting I told her I had gotten the book and “forgot” it . Now, I told her this with every human intention of ordering and picking up the book and doing the studybefore the next time we met. But the next week. I “got caught up at work and the book is at home” the following week I “left it in my car and it’s in the shop” when we met AT MY HOUSE “I can’t find that damn book anywhere!”  This happened not only three times, these are just the excuses I can remember, sometimes I just didn’t even meet with her because I didn’t want to have to lie. This is what happens. I KNOW that Erika loves me and cares for me and really really really doesn’t care if I get the book, but she is so responsible and always has her stuff together, so I want to be that way too, hence LYING my ass off about getting the book.

Finally, about 110 pages into the book, she is praying for me after our book study and I tell her to stop. I said I was mad at her and didn’t know why. She was a little shocked. Then I asked if I could pray and it came to me WHILE I WAS PRAYING. God told me to tell her about the book. I said NO, and kept praying aloud. Then he said louder and louder till I couldn’t stand it, and in the middle of prayer I stopped and told her that it wasn’t her fault I was mad at her, it was me. I had been lying about buying the book. And lying every single week when I said I couldn’t find it, and now I was mad at her because I felt guilty. I apologized profusely for it and much to my amazement felt a million times better, even though I was scared she would be mad. She looked at me confused, “Why would you lie about that? I don’t care if you get the book.”

It was like a two hundred pound gorilla had been lifted off our friendship after that. I had been harboring all this resentment toward her that I didn’t even KNOW about, then subconsciously BLAMING her for feeling awkward when I was the one who had been lying this whole time. It is amazing how things that you think are even the tiniest of lies, that don’t matter DO matter and turn into huge mountains of deception.Luckily, I have a few people in life I don’t have to lie to, and if I catch myself telling stories to them, I can just back up and say, “hey, I’m sorry, that’s not true,” and they don’t blink an eye because they know and love me. For everyone who isn’t my husband and sister: It’s not that I want to lie to you, it’s just a bad habit and I am trying to change it. I am sorry, even to you Andrea, in my dream. And for everyone who doesn’t know, NKOTB= New Kids on the Block.




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