The Power of Admitting the Truth

Disturbed characters have big problems admitting and reckoning with the truth. Some play fast and loose with it. That’s usually to avoid challenging their grandiosity or to hoodwink or manipulate others. And some are at odds with it because it stands in the way of what they desire. Still others simply abhor the truth, mainly because it would expose what they know are the contemptible aspects of their character. Disturbed characters are often at war with the truth.  And while they still are, there’s little chance they will change their ways.

The Truth and “Denial”

Refusing to face or accept the truth is not the same as being “in denial.” True denial is a psychological state born of extreme emotional pain. And it’s not a behavior we consciously engage in. Rather, it’s a mental state we’re unconsciously thrown into as a protection from pain too great to bear consciously. Refusing to accept the obvious because you don’t want to admit error or change course is not denial. Unfortunately, a lot of folks – including many mental health professionals – erroneous apply this term to such behavior. But lying – even to oneself – is simply lying, not denial.  And it’s something disturbed characters regularly do. Sometimes, an inveterate liar can even begin to believe their falsehoods. But this is still not the same thing as being in denial.

I discuss lying and denial at length in my training workshops and in my books Character Disturbance, How Did We End Up Here?, The Judas Syndrome, and In Sheep’s Clothing.

The Power of Honest Self-Reckoning

There’s great power in truth. It can indeed set us free – even from our most unhealthy tendencies. But first we have to be of a mind to reckon with it. Then, we have to be willing to accept it. And as Bill W, the founder of A.A. once said, that willingness – born of a change of heart and mind – is the beginning of real change. (For more on this topic see the article: What Real Contrition Looks Like). Of course, changing who we are takes a lot more than just our willingness to be honest. It takes commitment – commitment to an ongoing process of character growth. But until and unless we honestly self-reckon with our issues, we can’t even begin that process.

Heeding the Fourth “Commandment”

Facing life and it’s various issues honestly and without self-deceit is the heart of good character. Unfortunately, some folks are more than just occasional or relatively innocuous liars. There are those among us for whom “conning” is a lifestyle. And I’ll have more to say about the more “compulsive” or “pathological” liars among us in next week’s post.

Sunday’s Character Matters program (7 pm EDT) will again be a live broadcast so I can take your calls at (718) 717-8296.

56 thoughts on “The Power of Admitting the Truth

  1. This week’so article is of interest to me. My STBX was leading a double life of which I found out about after much damage was already done. To this day he is unwilling to admit what he has done. Does not want to face the consequences. So the lies march on. I honestly don’t believe he will ever admit what he has done and therefore will never show remorse, never heal. I cannot imagine how ugly a person like him must feel. Having said that, maybe he feels just fine. He enjoys giving me grief. What a waste of life.

  2. The Power of Admitting the Truth. Over- Intellectualization. Is some thing I am guilty of. If I cannont start to control it, I am dommed. My uncle and my Cousin did none of those things. My cousin particularly just made that decision all those years ago to go no con-tact with my aunt E. I think though because of my predisposition to Over- Intellectualize, I would not be here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Joey
      Many of us have stayed in unhealthy relationships far too long to the detriment of our emotional, physical and spiritual (is there a word for those three) well being. You over intellectualized. I was trusting and lazy with my head in the sand and being toyed with for years by the Master Manipulator. Many years of my marriage were entangled in lies. And I think I lie to myself by wanting to believe things that just are not sensible, reasonable, plausible.
      I’m learning a lot here. I’ve got some deep rooted issues that need some work. PollyAnna died a couple years ago and I miss her.

  3. Disturbed characters are often at war with the truth. And while they still are, there’s little chance they will change their ways.

    There have also been many instances in which a person cloaked their desire to wield dominance and control under the guise of merely caring too much. There is genuine evil in this type of lying.

    Rather, I’m talking about deliberately casting a false impression in order to maintain favourable appearances. While knowingly doing unconscionable things.

    Manipulators lie to protect the image they want to project – an image they know to be patently false. They do this to hoodwink others and avoid reckoning with their character shortcomings. There’s a special kind of evil in such lies.

    These are all statements I could use to describe my mother. With in the family circle only. Just what she was and is.
    Maybe that is why she had such a problem with me. I have never been in any such way a manipulator. I have lied and do I lie to a Certain degree. It is part of human nature. I am ashamed that I have in the passed lied. But gees.
    I am begining to see what my mothers game was and is. Exploitative of both me and my brother. Position and power. get what THEY WANT. I am glad I am out. Just wish I had do so 20 yrs sooner

  4. Interesting article. I just got back from what was supposed to be a pleasant walk on the beach with my small dog. Out of nowhere I see a Cane Corso dog, off leash and running towards me — no owner in sight. I ran to the road and literally forced the next car to stop. Young guy driving. He drove me and my dog a block to my car. The man I was with was ‘too embarrassed’ by my behavior to get in with me.

    I have no idea if the dog was vicious but wasn’t going to take any chances. I’ve run this scenario in my head several times without ever having to use it before. First time ever. Thank God.

    I read about dog owners walking down the street with small dogs who end up getting torn apart by larger dog or dogs and figure if they only had the presence of mind to act quickly to prevent it, their little dogs would still be alive.

    My rule of thumb is…if it is a fighting dog breed and it is off leash and running towards me, I get myself and my dog to safety whatever way I can. If I look like a demented nutcase, in a complete panic, so be it.

    How does this apply to admitting the truth? Some people who own these breeds, refuse to admit that although they usually make wonderful pets, they are often NOT reliably and consistently safe, off leash, around other dogs.

    I can bet you that although the dog didn’t appear to be with anybody, his owner was probably nearby. Would he care or acknowledge the truth? That, at best, his dog is scary and at worst an actual danger?

    Other breeds bite. Fighting breeds maul to death. Big difference. Anyway…fwiw.

    I wonder if there is a correlation between people who can’t acknowledge the truth about themselves and those who can’t acknowledge the truth about their children or their pets, as they are narcissistic extensions of themselves?

    1. LisaO
      Good thinking, good reaction. Why chance it? Yes people lie about their kids’ behaviors, dogs and themselves so they appear acceptable to others even when they aren’t.

      1. LisaO,
        Welcome back, have missed your thoughtful comments and you bring so much to the forum. It always helps to have input from many perspectives and you seem to shed light on angles we haven’t thought of. I hope you are well.

        Big Hugs and many blessings to you fellow Kindred Spirit

    2. I have trained dogs. If you run you invoke a fight response within the dog. Walk with a stick. stand your ground , DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE DOG.
      I had a similar issue with a Rottweiler and my spaniel. I struck the dog just as she was about to bite my little dog in the neck. The attack stopped, the dog ran away. Dogs are instinctive, they react to a perceived threat. If the dog has been attacked it will either run when it sees another dog, or go for it as a pre-emptive assault. Because of this pre-emptivety, you are more likely to be attacked by a smaller dog. Dogs fight for a reason. Unlike humans, in my experience bad behavior in kids come from SH.T parents.

      1. This is an interesting nature versus nurture thing, Joey. I am not afraid of most dogs. I’ve gotten between my dog and rottie mixes running in pairs before and told them off and it worked beautifully. I believe most dogs can be reasoned with, if you let them know who is boss. And I have a set of lungs! I lower my voice to sound like a man and that helps too. No imploring, no girlie voice.

        This dog looked right out of control. I used my intuition and got the H out. He was momentarily distracted so didn’t see me running. Bites are one thing. Bites with several hundred pounds of pressure more than the average dog, in a dog that is now triggered to finish the job, are entirely different.

        I am of the belief that dogs of this nature need to be bred out of the population. If they are caught running loose, they should be put down.

        In my country we have had two innocent people, minding their own business, mauled to death in the last couple of months. That’s just people. I don’t know how many dogs have been killed.

        It’s simple. If you have a dog like this, have it spayed or neutered. We don’t need more of them. Never have it off leash. If it shows any propensity for irrational aggression, have it put down.

        Sorry. You probably don’t like to hear this, but it’s about admitting the truth.

        I adopted a dog, years ago, who was unsafe. He was huge and had enormous jaws. I took him to the vet, after he lunged at somebody, without provocation. What concerned me was there was friendly body language, and when person bent over to pat him, he went for his throat. I was beyond horrified.

        Anyway, I told vet that if neutering, and my own efforts didn’t work, I would put him down, in a heartbeat. The vet was appalled. I was appalled at the vet, who, “couldn’t admit the truth.” What if he had gotten loose and gone after a child?

        As it turned out, neutering and my efforts, worked. I obedience trained him and watched him like a hawk. He became a beautiful, calm safe animal. Had he not, I would have had him destroyed. Would not have out him in a shelter.

        That is admitting the truth and being responsible. The dog, socially, is an extension of myself. I won’t tolerate aberrant aggressive behavior in it, anymore than I would in myself. Simple.

        1. I lower my voice to sound like a man and that helps too. No imploring, no girlie voice.
          Please When have you ever heard another dog use verbal commands.
          When have you ever seen a DOG ASK ANOTHER VERBALLY TO SIT
          When have you seen another dog Verbally ask another dog to fetch.
          I am a behaviourist. I trained Dogs
          Dogs are all about BODY language. I Have Never Met a bad dog in 25yrs
          Only BAD OWNERS.
          Destroying a dog because it is running loose is Crazy. Dogs NEED Exersize, Free running is a excellent way to exercise a dog. I love problem dogs. They just need understanding.

          1. Joey,

            Didn’t mean to blow you off. I am sure you have lovingly rehabilitated some damaged dogs. If each and every violent dog (be it nature or bad environment) had a dog whisperer to spend the time and effort it would take to completely control them, off leash or on, my feelings would be different.

            Agreed many of the people who own these dogs are personality disordered. They are very agressive people. Their dogs mirror them, through a combination of nature and nurture.

            Fighting breeds should only be off leash if they have passed impartial and extensive behavioral tests to determine whether or not they pose a risk to other dogs and or humans.

            If they are found off leash and out of control, no owner anywhere in sight to control them, they need to be out down. That would sure change the behavior of irresponsible owners and make dog fighting less appealing, too.

        2. LisaO,
          I was attacked by two St Bernards, I was walking my 7 month old Chessie when all of a sudden the male St Bernard came under the fence of the yard they were in and slammed me into the ground, next came the female running on top me. The dogs were attacking my Chessie and me.

          If not for a neighbor hearing my cry’s and chasing the dogs away the male was going for my throat. I was taken by ambulance where I stayed in the hospital for 1 month. My legs were paralyzed due to the disks in my spine be compressed, I had bites all over and bruised from head to feet. I had back surgery and still suffer from a compressed nerve in my neck and may need surgery for that.

          The individuals hid the dogs and never put them down. I suffer daily as a result of the attack. Since then, in our state one can legally carry if certified and if I could had at the time, at least defended myself and one of the vicious dogs would be gone.

          I agree on what you decided to do, and commend you for your quick thinking. Yes, if my dog shows aggression, and I think would bite I would not hesitate to put them down. I will suffer the rest of my life due to the selfish, uncaring, negligence of the owners to do the right thing. This is not the first time the dogs got out and went after someone. Are these owners Character Disordered? Most definitely.

          Ditto’s on your thoughts!

          1. Oh no! Btov…when did this happen? You must have been terrified! And yes, the owners must be completely awful and their dogs in a very bad environment plus likely very inbred (owners too! LOL) Inbreeding for certain traits causes huge numbers of problems for so many purebreds.

            Was your dog alright?

            My dog lunged at somebody, as described, but he was leashed at the time– thank God. He was a malemute crossed with a wolf and only 6 months old. Nobody knew he was part wolf until he started to mature at around that time, revealing a husky looking dog, with the exception of huge jaws.

            It scared the life out of the man and me too. I had only recently gotten him from the pound. The guy started screaming at me when I honestly told him it hadn’t happened before. I don’t blame the guy. Because truly, so many dog owners LIE.

    3. Hi Jean,
      I am glad you are back. I have a question, we had a person awhile back posting as jeannie. Are you that jeannie or are you jean? I vaguely, remember you posting and would like to clarify for all.

      Thank you.

  5. Thanks Lucy,

    To admit to the truth of having a difficult child, is hard to do, too, because of loyalty issues, too. But…parents who can’t admit, even to themselves, that their child has problems, is doing a disservice to the child.

    Most garden variety coming of age ‘all messed up in the head,’ problems can be addressed and remedied with patience and love AND knowledge..if people admit their kids need help. Admitting the truth.

  6. Hi all. I haven’t commented in a while, although I have been reading Dr. Simons weekly articles and your comments, which have been a huge support for me. I guess I have been hurting too much to really even share.
    I moved out and filed for divorce a little over a year ago from my husband of 41 years. He would not talk about our issues or go to marriage counseling. I already had my blinders off and saw the truth, but have found out much in the last few months that it has torn my heart out even more.
    The power of admitting the truth. I believe this also means we have to accept the truth of the deceit that has been done to us. Ouch.
    I own my own business I started 18 years ago. I have contributed to our income about equal to my husbands contributions, but I recently discovered that Social Security does not show me as making any income for the last 10 years – it turns out that my husband (years ago I named him as a joint owner of my business – because we were married and I thought I should ) has had our accountant (his buddy) list my income under his name on our taxes. I didn’t noticed – our taxes are filed jointly, complicated and it was buried in pages of our returns. Turns out it’s legal – but I didn’t have a clue. I should have been paying more attention. I trusted.
    He has his own business and has never even answered my business phone. I’m 60, I will probably have to have someone consign in order to get a mortgage because according to tax records I haven’t worked. I have been working very hard though. Plus my future SS benefits are going to be very low and his will be higher because my earnings went into his SS #. I can only go back and correct the last 3 years.
    To make things worse I recently found out he’s been telling my elderly parents for years that my business has been losing money or just barely breaking even. They are almost 90 and I’ve been proud of the business I started – this completely breaks my heart. They finally shared with me the lies he has told them. He also told them that “he didn’t know what to do about me.” Making them think I wasn’t helping with the bills and insinuating – without saying – that he was the only one being financially responsible. My father was a big wig in the financial world before he retired and I guess I still have that little girl inside that wants him to be proud of me.
    Of course all this time I have been telling them the truth – that my business is doing well and now to find out my husband’s been telling them the opposite for years is unthinkable. We could not have lived in the lifestyle we did without my financial contributions. Did my parents think I was lying?
    This has devastated me and I cannot wrap my head around it. Of all the things he’s done – this hurts the worst. I don’t understand.
    He has not apologized for this either, but keeps telling me that he tried all these years and I just became disenchanted with marriage. That’s also what he’s telling our friends and family – they feel very sorry for him and think I’m heartless.
    I have had a lifetime of love and trust pulled out from under me. I don’t feel I should air dirty laundry and tell people this horrible betrayal. But I wish I could just to get some validation.
    know this is crazy, but my heartache is so real that I actually walk around with my chest hurting all day.
    Thank you for listening. I had to tell someone.
    Much love, Jean

    1. Jean, I wanted to reach out to you because I know that kind of pain and have been facing the reasons why I keep returning to abusive people. After four years of soul searching and writing and looking through old photographs and reading a ton (online, like you are, reaching out to find others like myself), I have started posting my stories about my childhood and I’m about to start publishing stories about how I wound up being date raped, more than once, and used by nearly every man I came across all my life. Writing has saved me, and I highly recommend it. If you want to see what I have discovered about myself (after three years of writing only about *them*), my story about how it all began is here: https://christinemakela.com/2016/07/14/mommy-dearest/ Feel free to write if you like. It helps to tell other people what happened to you.
      Best wishes to you- and please keep searching for answers. It DOES get better.
      sending a virtual hug,
      Christine

    2. Jean,

      Your husband seems to be a nasty lowlife. And think of how his lying affected your parents. Instead of feeling proud, they must have felt grateful to him.
      You do have good business going. I think you’ll do well just keeping it up for sometime. He certainly postponed your retirement, but he cannot take what you have right now.

    3. Jean,

      I’ve been thinking of you and wondering what has been happening. Last I’d heard you were heart sick and I see now it’s worsened. You’re heartsick because You Have A Heart, unlike that SB (scumbag) husband of yours. YOu did the things a trusting loving wife would do and got taken full advantage of. Believe me when I tell you this – I did the exact same thing and got bad treatment, different from yours, but still bad unconscionable treatment from the one I trusted.
      I cried for three full months. Every day, several times a day. I was shocked and horrified. But you know what? Those tears dried up – on their own time – and as more facts came to light, I got angry and stayed angry for at least a year. Your heart will hurt, but once you accept that he is a pathetic scumbag not worthy of the time you gave him, you too will become angry. I’m angry as hell at Your X! He needs to be nailed to the wall and kicked. What he really needs done though is reported to the Social Security Administration, along with his shadey buddy accountant. I’d most certainly speak with someone at the administration – you never know what might become of it. He needs to pay the price for his misdeeds. He wants you to pay the price of his misdeeds.
      You should insist that your lawyer fight in court to offset the amount of money that you should have been entitled to had your papers been filed honestly. If you have assets you can try to offset that amount of money from his share of the marital assets. When you’ve done with him, he may be left with nothing – having stole from you. Don’t EVERY feel sorry or sympathetic to him. He maliciously and intricately plotted and schemed for years to get your share of funds for retirement. And anyone who “feels for the poor baby” I would straighten out real quick. I’ve done that in my own case saying “if you want to feel bad for someone feel bad for me! That —– did this this and this and left me in this situation.” Let them know the truth. Don’t ever protect his “image”. It’s fake. It’s hurtful.
      Jean, I’m so angry. You are so kind.
      I’ve been going through the same type of things you have – different but the same —
      If you’re in a court battle you really need to put on your boxing gloves, because this is your time to fight for what is yours. Once the proceedings over that’s it. If you feel weak, tell your lawyer “I’m sickened, broken, weakened, but I know what I deserve and you fight for me with all you’ve got. I haven’t got the energy right now, but it’s your job to take care of me in court, even in my weakened state. Get me what I deserve and nothing less. ” The scumbag knows you’re heart and will want to swiftly divorce because you, at the moment, are weak. PLEASE DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN.
      Please do not cover up for him. Myself, I’d be telling my family and friends what has happened to you. There will be your support. But keep it hidden, they can’t support what they don’t know. I’m sure your friends and family love you and once they understand the situation you will have some support there. If they don’t believe you – remember you’ve got us here on the forum looking out for you. We understand because we live it.

      1. Lucy,
        Thank you for your words! I am angry but I’m also still very hurt. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – I can’t seem to disconnect my emotions from him. I really am mad and could never take him back, but I keep looking at my email inbox to see if he’s contacted me?!? I don’t know – maybe I’m looking for an apology – an explaination because I find it hard to believe that I have lived with someone for 41 years and they have treated me this way. It scares me and I don’t want to believe it. I don’t want the truth that is glaring in my face to BE the truth.
        If I tell people it only makes it more real and then the panic attacks come and take over.
        I’m sure I’ll get better but I’m afraid I will never trust again. I feel like I will never take a deep breath again. Hard to explain, but I’m sure you understand what I’m saying.
        This has helped me though – to share this with y’all. I will continue and I hope that your situation improves also.
        Hug!

        1. Hi Jean,
          I am glad you are back. I have a question, we had a person awhile back posting as jeannie. Are you that jeannie or are you jean? I vaguely, remember you posting and would like to clarify for all.

          Thank you.

        2. Jean,

          You won’t get an apology because then he’s admitting everything he’s been plotting, scheming and it exposes him. And, believe it or not – they aren’t sorry! They have an agenda and they do what they have to to reach their goal. It’s utter selfishness. He doesn’t have the human qualities like me do. Once you accept the fact that he’s a selfish, harmful, distorted heartless, soulless piece of *** the better off you are. Just believe it. It’s right there.
          As I said earlier, Pollyanna is dead and I do miss her. But never again will I be wholly trusting to another. And neither should you. Don’t go down that blinded path again.
          These jerks belong in jail for the crimes and fraud they’ve committed against us. They need their *** kicked good by a MAN.
          Take deep breathes regularly and practice some deep breathing techniques. Your chest is going to be so drawn up that your breathing will be too shallow. It starts the onset of all kinds of problems.
          You Will Be Ok, just like I will be. I’m fighting the fight. I’m not going down without he being outed for who and what he is and for him to not come out so cozy as he thought he would in the aftermath.
          Don’t ever let him know you feel weak. Fake your way through it in his presence if you have to.
          Jean, you’ll be ok, just like Joey, myself and BOTV and others will be. But don’t give up. That hurt will go away. What took longer for me to deal with was the anger. Now that’s finally dissipating and I’m now 100% focused on the money issues, doing the work that needs to be done to get my FAIR share out of this ugly divorce.
          I’m so ticked off — for you. COWARDS they are! Cowards. Don’t ever forget it. He’s a coward.

        3. Jean,

          If telling the truth about him gives you panic attacks, maybe putting it in a blog, anonymously and then directing those who need to know all of the details, to that blog, might help.

          You deserve to be heard….right now. Writing it down slowly and carefully might help you neurologically and psychologically, digest it, bit by bit, rather than all at once.

          If you write the blog anonymously and ask people not to forward links, for now, or structure it so that a password is needed, it will prevent anybody from accusing you of seeking retaliation.

          Some feel, like Christine Makela, that making it all public is the way to go, as she chose to do, in exposing her damaged amd damaging family. And it could be, in her case.

          And that is probably how technique in dealing with trauma should be handled — on a case by case basis. I wouldn’t fault or criticize her for the route she’s chosen.

          And btw, having said that, Christine Makela’s blog is fascinating, compelling and I encourage everybody to read it. Also, check out her artwork and photos. She’s a powerhouse, that one!

        4. Jean,
          It’s very hard to let go and stop loving someone. I do this to some extent and it has been over 5 years. We truly have human emotions and its hard to let go. We must be about the same age and it is very difficult too, to look at this time in life and make the journey alone. It will take time, sometimes a long time. Be patient with yourself and be kind to you.

          I am so glad you are back posting, Lucy and I were very concerned about you. We can grow together here and help each other on their journey, that’s the great thing about this blog. So keep posting dear one and we will endure.

          There is a good book by Kublar Ross on Death and Dying. Going through a D like this and letting go is like accepting the death of a person who was never there, therefore they are dead, and have died.
          She talks about the stages of grief, anger, denial and acceptance. There may be more but have forgotten. It is a very good read and will lend you insight.

          The most difficult part of all this is that there is really never closure, the CD will never admit guilt of wrong doing or ask for forgiveness. So we must understand and forgive ourselves for being duped, but never for have loved. Love is a blessing and a gift you have, we were just lulled in by utter lies and deceit.

          I know it will be a process to go through and D the CD Scumbag (SB) will be a trying time. It will be grueling and painful, what is a blessing is that you have found this blog. We will all help you through this if you let us. I wished I had utilized this wonderful tool, it would had helped me immensely. Instead I am trying to share my experiences in hopes that it will make it easier for others.

          Jean, you will find the ways you can fight back, it will take time and endurance. Think ahead, you can make these the best years of your life. In this way of positive thinking you will be the winner.

          Also, you can collect on your X’s SS benefits if they are higher than your own. I would look into what Lucy suggested as the STBX was and is in violation of tax fraud. I believe an attorney with an accounting back round could counsel you on this.

          We are all glad you are posting again!

    4. Jean, I would consult with a lawyer about your income tax money. Do this before the divorce is final and see if any thing can be done. I have been in your shoes. I married at 18 also and was married 45 years.

  7. What you have descibed is a little like what my mother did to me.

    This has devastated me and I cannot wrap my head around it. Of all the things he’s done this hurts the worst. I don’t understand.
    This is a power thing, a positional ,control. In any relationship they are the dominant party.

    I have had a lifetime of love and trust pulled out from under me. I don’t feel I should air dirty laundry and tell people this horrible betrayal. But I wish I could just to get some validation.
    Do not try and validate your self. They wolfs in sheeps clothing. As many faces as a rubics cube. This has been going on for years no dought. Lying by distortion Big thing.

    But I wish I could just to get some validation.
    know this is crazy, but my heartache is so real that I actually walk around with my chest hurting all day.

    instrumental bulling, is designed to destablelize, Make them look good, And you look
    bad. Keep your cool

    instrumental bulling, is designed to destablelize, Make them look good, And you look bad. This is how my The mother got me. She was hurting my dog. Beating her, tryed to posion her. Laughed when she thought she had.

    1. Oh my: Validation.
      …and CONTROL. It all comes down to control, and if they are unable to do it, they make you feel like you’re a failure.
      I think that is why I’ve been blogging. I need to feel that my use of oxygen is justifiable and that my life has some point or purpose; my family certainly never gave me any validation or acceptance of any kind.
      Since I’ve been posting my pain and “outing” the wrongdoings of my family members publicly, I have been able to quit drinking, and I have been experiencing happiness for the first time in my life.
      A friend is painting images of all the people who wronged her and is having a public show and it is making her stronger.
      Maybe it’s wrong to do, but by airing my dirty laundry, I am finally beginning to feel some peace. I highly recommend it. I’m doing my best to keep it as painless as possible for all involved, but if I don’t get it out of me, I have no point in living. My lessons can perhaps help others who wanted to end it like I did.
      And maybe, just maybe, those who have hurt me all my life can drop their defenses long enough to see that their actions, presented neatly in one spot, are pretty damned self-centered and ignorant and hurtful. If they could just see, and if they were truly sorry for their part in my “mental illness,” I could forgive them.
      Your story is very important, and someone else could benefit from your telling it.

      1. Oh Christine, I read your blog. It is wonderful. We have A LOT in common. Your family is “weeeeiiiiirrrdd!” LOL. OMG…what a train wreck! Thank God you got outta there alive. You were surrounded by barely conscious zombies who needed liquor poured down their throats, to bring them back to life!

        But life to the undead, animated by liquor, still requires a feast of caustic wit, argument, anger, false indignation. And the liquor brimgs oit their blood lust, their need to attack what they don’t understand….the genuine, the sincere, those who have a soul.

  8. Hi all, This is a timely article for me but still have so many questions. I know I need to deal in the truth but questioning what exactly it is.
    In the last 2 and a half years of living with my significant other I have lost sight of myself. I feel foolish for falling for all the manipulation and know it was my desire for a relationship that got me here. I knew, just didn’t want to deal with the fact that he was stilling my money and sending it to a buddy he met in prison. He clearly misrepresented himself to fit the people in front of him or the need at the time and could seem like a whole different person. He painted a picture of a future that was just what I always wanted and when his actions didn’t match that picture he always had good excuses. He showed extreme anger when things didn’t go his way and I made it my goal to keep him happy and didn’t deal with all his lies which were frequent. I quit my job at his suggestion, have taken on credit card debt which I have never done before, have lost track of most of my other relationships and came to terms with the idea that my life is way off track and only getting worse so sought couples counseling. I have never dealt with a narcissist prior to him but am pretty sure he is one as he matches the discription and we fit into the classic relationship. I wanted to hear him be remorseful or apologize so there is hope for the future or I need to get the strength to move on. It was our second counseling session day before yesterday and thinking that I was in a safe place I started to finally express my confusion over all the lies and how it seems he enjoys stringing me along and then pulling the rug out from under me. The counselor stopped me before I told any of the many conflicts and said I was not to bring up any past history and I was to work on trust, boundaries and forgiveness. These things are important in a relationship so no doubt good to work on and boundaries could have stopped a lot of my issues in the first place. I left feeling hopeless while my partner is on cloud nine. He never did show remorse for his filtering hundreds of dollars a week to his buddy in prison because he explained he was doing it as a tithe to God and didn’t think I would understand as he wasn’t working at the time. (He has not been to church since he got out of prison). He is intelegent, good looking, can be very sweet and I am feeling anxiety about making the wrong move. We have plans of travel and creating a business. I want my dream future so want to give it a second chance but what if I don’t see new manipulations as I’m focusing on the future goals? What is the truth?

    1. RVTraveler,
      I don’t believe that you shouldn’t talk about past hurts in therapy. You need to find another therapist NOW – one for just you to go to. A person has to want to improve in order for therapy to work – he doesn’t sound like he wants to. Take care of YOU.
      I have been going to therapy every two weeks for four years and it has helped me to finally trust myself – to stand on my own feet and leave my husband. We have been married over 40 years – so it’s taking me a long time to recover – it probably won’t take you that long.
      Listen to your gut. He was on Cloud 9 because he has no intention of self improvement.
      Big hug,
      Jean

      1. Thanks Jean. Though I am sad that so many people have gone through this, it is comforting to hear your insights from experience.

    2. I can’t remember where I read or heard this, but you are correct RVTraveller: it is our personal dreams/stories/narratives in our heads that others use to con us (Sheryl Crow has a song “what I can do for you”. Read the lyrics).

      That is how good, but unaware, people get conned, no matter how intelligent we think we are. It’s nothing to do with one’s level of intelligence, it’s to do with how blinded we are by the stories in our head about our wants and desires.

      We have a dream, …, a story about how we want our future to be …, what we want from life (e.g. a good partner, a good job, wealth, someone who understands us, someone to relieve us of our loneliness, pain or problems, …) and that someone comes along, figures out what it is we want, and then this manipulator fills in our story, presents himself or herself as the type of partner we are looking for, speaks about the kind of future we are dreaming of and how together we can realize it.

      And we are conned because we want to have that story come true that is running in our head.

      The antidote to this is to be aware of our own narratives and desires, how these can lead us to believe liars and the lies they tell. The antidote is to evaluate and judge people (yes, using one’s judgement is not a bad thing, I’ve been labelled judgemental, but I prefer to call it discernment), to judge the character and actions (past and present) of a person, not their words.

      and ditch the counsellor who tells you not to bring up past history. The past is very important to understanding the present, or for using as examples of what you are trying to explain. The past is very important when you finally wake up and realize you have been deceived for so long. You need to go back over the past to make sense of what you have been through and understand why you believed the lies, and find the lies that you did not see at the time.

      I have been going over my past relationship and I can tell you it has been most constructive. I have uncovered more lies and deceit and have come to understand how he got away with much of it. I see his techniques. He has become so predictable. It is easy for me now to not engage emotionally, and to effortlessly swat away his manipulation attempts. It’s fun now too.

      1. Anne,

        Thanks for that perspective. It makes total sense to me. The stories in our heads, our wants and desires . . . . I still have them. But this time my eyes are wide open.

    3. RVTraveler

      Maybe that counselor can live with the man and show trust, boundaries and forgiveness after she gives him money and quits her job and live under the thumb of an abuser.

      Your counselor sounds way off track and not only will not be helpful to you, but will be downright devastating to you.

      You say you’d never been in debt before, always worked, etc. You’ve given up your self for him, to please him. You’ve got to stop that now. You need to get back to work, earn an income and get back on track and in the meantime tell that Prince Charming you no longer need his services. I won’t be easy, but the longer you keep him in your life the more of your life will be lost.

      It does no good to complain about a mate that you’ve chosen, who keeps repeatedly doing misdeeds and showing bad character. He won’t change. But see how you’ve changed? See what his influence has done to your life? You don’t need him. You already know this. Now you have to find the strength to release him, for good. And as mentioned in many posts, No Contact is the easiest way to let go. They can’t climb back in your head if there is No Contact.

      You can do this. We’ve all done it. It’s no easy. But it sure beats sticking with the scumbags until you lose everything. I’m not even going to mention how much I’ve lost, monetarily. It infuriates me.

      1. RVTraveler,
        Lucy, has said it so well along with the others that have commented to you. In your heart you already know the truth, I hope you don’t bury that truth and continue on the path of destruction this CD person will take you. It is far better to leave now than to waste more of your precious life and resources and later down the road when you have invested so much and are 10 or 15 years older and then finally leave.

        Heed you gut instincts, it will not be easy but in the end you will rejoice that you had the strength and stamina to leave. I pray that you do not pro-create with this individual, it will make your life a total mess, not to mention what it does to a child.

        We who are commenting know, we have years of experience and found out to late. I hope you stay posting and draw from our knowledge and strength to get through this.

  9. Lucy and Jean,

    In keeping with my detour down a canine cul de sac — pretty awful when your husband presents as a committed loyal spaniel but turns out to be an aggressive pit bull.

    To add insult to injury, after they reveal themselves, in all of their fang bearing glory, women tend to go the, “how could I not have known, how could I not have seen?”
    You didn’t perceive it, because it is outside the norm and they set up a false paradigm so you wouldn’t see it.

    Jean, don’t don’t feel responsible for the waste of skin and muscle tissue, currently referred to as your husband. I so want to kick his ass!

    1. LisaO, Jean, Lucy, RVTraveler,
      If we all stick together and think this through and each is different we can kick ass. We will beat them at their own game, something they are not counting on. The CDN think they have beaten us down to the point of no return. Guess what, they underestimated this blog and all the insight and wisdom that is here.

      Stay steadfast and true to the truth and when you deal in truth you can move mountains. NC or as little as possible eliminates the button pushing and string pulling of manipulation. Taking back your person hood by developing and using your personal strengths you had all along, this will enable you to endure the fight that is coming.

      Using the strengths that drew him to you will be the tools that will set you free, to be the authentic human being you are deep inside that has been suppressed. The CDN will never expect this because they are incapable of authenticity. Give yourself time Jean and draw on your strengths and truth, every day set a small goal and build yourself up inside.

      Who you married is an illusion and the person we fell in love with was a lie, we were dealing in truth and believed a lie, we were deceived. I know how hard it is, I struggle too, the answer lies in reassessing our values and being true and loving ourselves and others who truly deserving of our love and return it in kind. There is time and there are others out there that have experienced what we have, never doubt yourself and your desirability.

      You have not aired your dirty laundry, you aired his dirty laundry. Being able to talk about all this will be liberating, at first hard but in time will get easier and with that a freedom that will loose the shackles that have bound you.

      Blessings to all and its great to be free!

  10. RVTraveller,

    Some people lie and other people ARE a lie. Their entire personality construct is false. Try to get out of your situation before you become trapped by pregnancy.

    You are living with an actor who blithely stole from you. He has no respect for you, or anybody else and you can’t help him.

    He is not a poor soul who needs to be loved better. He is a soulless piece of sh** who sucks the life force and spirit out of others, like a tick sucks blood. I can make this statement with utter confidence, because your story echoes thousands I have already read.

    You deserve SO much better. Keep telling yourself that, because you are currently with somebody who will confuse you on this issue.

    I deserve better
    I deserve better
    I deserve better

    He is Prince Harming, not Prince Charming
    He is Prince Harming, not Prince Charming.

    Make it your mantra. And don’t be impressed by his good looks and confidence.

    1. RVTraveller.
      Please heed the advice LisaO gave you, she is right on with what she is telling you. Unfortunately, he not only lies he is a lie! I lived with one for 30 years, and spent 4 years more years getting rid of him. Yes, I felt sorry for him and kept hoping he would stay the nice guy, had many good qualities. However, as time passes the false self (the lie) is the stronghold of their being.

      You will become objectified which I believe has already happened to you and you are not well versed on these sick twisted character disordered (CD) individuals. I can guarantee as time passes you will lose more money and most of all, more of yourself to this blood sucker.

      I would suggest you purchase Dr. Simons books, In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance and read them thoroughly including reading the archives of this blog. Educate yourself, but whatever, you do do not educate him or let him see your books. Whatever, you say or do will not change him.

      I believe you discredit yourself in not giving yourself a chance to find a good man of integrity who will provide for you rather than take from you. I hope you keep posting and we are all more than willing to help you through your journey in finding your way back.

      Dr. Simon writes about investing in a person like the slot machine, always hoping you will hit the jackpot with these CD individuals. Instead we lose, we lose big time, for the longer we stay the more we lose.

      If you didn’t question his character, you would not be searching on the internet for answers and have posted what your gut and head are trying to figure out and find validation and answers to. I can guarantee in years to come you will be grateful that you pulled out and took back your life letting him go.

      I will also warn you from what you have written this individual sounds like the next thing he will do is cheat on you, there are very few stories I have read where this has not eventually happened, it’s a matter of time and at that point may leave you after sucking all your resources and than off to greener pastures.

      I hope you think deeply about all that others have commented on. Rather, put all your energies into yourself. In the long run, give yourself time and you will find someone that is good and honest and deserving of you.

      I wish you well and hope you keep posting, we will gladly give you strength and knowledge to go forward.

      Blessings

      1. Thanks for your welcome back and your own wisdom, Btov!
        I remember so clearly when I was young, the overwhelming chemistry these confident, good looking types created. That’s so deeply rooted in biology, it’s hard to fight. But…if there are plenty of red flags, LYING being the most paramount, potential victims have to literally almost wrench themselves away and start over.

        I am so sad for you, that you had to go through 30+ years of misery and I hope RVTraveller heeds YOUR words and all the other cautionary words of warning from those who had long term exposure to this type.

        1. Thank you all so much for your replies! I spent the last several days being an observer of my life. I had a spark of clarity today. Maybe the counselor was wanting me to listen to everything and focus on making a better future instead of hanging on to all the lies and blame. I was wrapped up in pinning him down instead of trusting and forgiving myself and making a better life. If my suspicions that he is a narcissist are correct than I’m just wasting my time hoping for what I thought he was. I just went from being full of anxiety to having hope in myself.

  11. RVTraveler,
    I hope you stay posting and we can help you through this. Your experience helps us too, to become stronger. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I am so embarrassed and ashamed of what my life has become. I had 2 mammograms in January followed by an ultrasound to clarify a mass they found. Yesterday morning I went to have a follow up ultrasound to see if the lump had changed. They snapped 5 or 6 pictures but don’t give details at the time of the ultrasound and said the doctor would call with results. Today I got a call that the specialist wanted an appointment with me on Thursday. I figure it must be something that will need biopsied and I’ll handle whatever comes next. I am more focused on the fact that CD did not even ask about the appointment yesterday. I had brought up my concerns twice on Friday but he never responds and did not say anything. I called him this afternoon because I thought I should at least give him a chance to be caring by calling him and telling him I went to doctor in case he forgot. He went off on me and said he has extreme job stress and that he knows I am going to be angry about him not asking yesterday. I’m not sure what all he said but I do know he never asked how I was, what they found or what the next step was, just acted like I was an inconvenience, he didn’t even say he forgot.

      1. RBTraveler

        You know your answer and need to pull all your strength and cut all contacts with this man
        You may need your energy, positive energy, if you are ill. You know that he will not only NOT support you emotionally, but he will bring you further into the gutter with his insults, anger, selfishness and every other bullying technique he uses. Now is not the time to be with this CDN. You have absolutely no use for him. None. He is not filling that void in your life you seem to have.
        Listen to BOTV, Jean, Joey and I. We have wasted many any years with people unworthy of our kind hearts. You are following the same destructive path.
        Many of us are in the upper years – 50 plus and see our savings stolen and misused by these rotten men we married. Do you want to be dirt poor in the older years? Do you want your soul taken by a worthless piece of —-? Do you want a companion who is inconvenienced and angered by you when you are ill and down? Do you want a felon who does not conform to society’s rules?
        You need to dig deep and accept the fact that you chose this man to be your companion. You can just as easily choose to get him out of your life – entirely. It has to be a clean break. A no contact after he leaves break. The reptile does not love, does not care. You serve some type of use for him, that is why he is with you
        I’m sorry this is all hurtful butnitnisbthe truth. And you know the truth of your situation. Put on your fighting gloves and do what needs to be done. You can do it. We all did. Without him you will find peace again and respect yourself again. He has stripped you down. You must leave before it worsens.
        You are in my thoughts and I hope your tests come back with good news And you’ve learned a huge lesson about this man you are with. He will only worsen.

      2. RBTraveler

        You know your answer and need to pull all your strength and cut all contacts with this man
        You may need your energy, positive energy, if you are ill. You know that he will not only NOT support you emotionally, but he will bring you further into the gutter with his insults, anger, selfishness and every other bullying technique he uses. Now is not the time to be with this CDN. You have absolutely no use for him. None. He is not filling that void in your life you seem to have.
        Listen to BOTV, Jean, Joey and I. We have wasted many any years with people unworthy of our kind hearts. You are following the same destructive path.
        Many of us are in the upper years – 50 plus and see our savings stolen and misused by these rotten men we married. Do you want to be dirt poor in the older years? Do you want your soul taken by a worthless piece of —-? Do you want a companion who is inconvenienced and angered by you when you are ill and down? Do you want a felon who does not conform to society’s rules?
        You need to dig deep and accept the fact that you chose this man to be your companion. You can just as easily choose to get him out of your life – entirely. It has to be a clean break. A no contact after he leaves break. The reptile does not love, does not care. You serve some type of use for him, that is why he is with you
        I’m sorry this is all hurtful butnitnisbthe truth. And you know the truth of your situation. Put on your fighting gloves and do what needs to be done. You can do it. We all did. Without him you will find peace again and respect yourself again. He has stripped you down. You must leave before it worsens.
        You are in my thoughts and I hope your tests come back with good news And you’ve learned a huge lesson about this man you are with. He will only worsen. I wish you the best my friend.

  12. RVTraveler,
    I am sorry to hear about the Dr.’s finding a mass. I will be praying for you and hope that it is just a benign lump, and that can be surgically removed and is a fairly simple surgery. Do you mind if I ask how old you are and how old is he?

    I hope you see this is a very telling response is how he really feels. You may keep hoping and give him all the chances in the world and his conduct will continue. What gets really difficult to accept and to hear is we are you are lying to yourself. I say this because I did this for 36 years and still get caught up in the BS of finding excuses for the CDN.

    He never asked because he doesn’t care. They don’t care. Mine would ask I was married to him, they may go through the social responses but in reality don’t care. You have already expressed more than enough instances of his not caring and unacceptable behavior.

    When I was at my weakest and needed my CDN the most, he turned everything on me and how dare I inconvenience him. If your CDN is like this now it will only get worse. In my opinion and it is only my opinion who you are dealing with has the makings of a CDNS. From now on I am going to refer to him as a Character Disordered Narcissist.

    If you make a stink about this the CDN may change his behavior to satisfy your challenging him, believe me the CD will add this to his black book and it will be payback for questioning him and expecting the CD to act with care and concern. This CDNS that you are tied to will turn on you, it is just a matter of time.

    I hope you keep posting and we can help you, whatever, you do do not tell him you are posting on this site. Keep your passwords secure and keep all your earnings to yourself. I hope you read what happened to Jean and if you read the archives Lucy’s story is horrific. Keep reading and there are horror after horror stories. You can equip yourself with knowledge to take back your life.

    I have a male friend and we are just friends, he worries about if I am just hurting and if he can come over and help. I have chronic pain and he will come and rub my shoulders and neck before he goes to work or will stop working and come over to help me. He will cancel whatever he is doing and take me to the doctor and our relationship is strictly platonic. What does that tell you about your CDN and my friend. This friend is better than my X ever was.

    I hope you keep posting and let us help you, please let us know how your Dr.’s appointment turns out. We all care and have been there, take your time and learn, connect the dots and plan, start putting money away the CDN doesn’t know about you will need it and what ever you do don’t loan him any money or go into debt with him. The CDN is not trustworthy you already answered your own question on that.

  13. There is an instance where truth is just like a dream that you had many years ago, and starts to look even ridiculous to mention this dream to a husband/friend/family member/co-worker/child… you name it.

    When the obvious (the fact) is irrelevant in the eyes of the person that is in front of you. When the misrepresentation of reality becomes the norm, and the mere suggestion of THIS FACT as reality instead of what the other person is saying, turns into the beginning of a long and repetitive monologue, you (me) have to realize that something is totally off. Hopefully at this point you will remember that somewhere during the journey you lost the compass, you forgot your goals and desires, and started wasting all your energy in the fight against the currents of lies and misunderstandings that these people brought into your life.

    So THE TRUTH is not a dream, it is a vital organ if you want to live a healthy life.
    In my case, I had never had any kind of trouble with the truth. I got into trouble for saying the truth, but I was always allergic to liars, or I was able to detect a lie easily and call it by its name.

    That was until 10 years ago, when I moved to a country where the first language is English, not my first language.

    It will be interesting to research about how gullible and dumb you become when you have to adjust your brain to a different language, especially if your first language is French, Italian or Spanish. Why do I say this? Because in those languages there are so many verbs and adjectives to choose from, that you don’t get lost in the meaning of a sentence. An example: the verb “to get” in English, has around 30 ways to be translated into the above mentioned languages. But when you translate it from English to your language you choose one of those meanings, and more often than not, you choose the nicest one.

    Then in the beginning you feel that you can never fully understand what the other person really means, and by the time when you understand, your mission (at least in my case) become to explain that there is a misunderstanding. And the situation gets worst when you realize that there is no ONE misunderstanding, but an infinite chain of lies or cover ups that you thought were misunderstandings.

    I hesitated for months before writing something in this forum, but now, honoring the truth, I want to say: Yes, we have been fooled, diminished, played and hurt. The questions about WHY did I allow this to happen, or HOW this happened to me, are not, in my opinion, the best approach. We didn’t play these people; we didn’t hurt them, and we have shown a lot of character if we didn’t become bitter and cold hearted.

    So the real battle is not against the lies and the confusion. The battle is discerning the truth in every single case, small or big: Stop, think about it, embrace it, and say it, or at least be convinced that the FACT that is before your eyes cannot be changed because the other person’s agenda.

    Or, in the words of Gandhi: “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”

  14. Today my daughter got into yet another accident. I’m so disgusted with her bad driving. So like always she calls me for help. Her dad was with her a/k/a SB, Jerk , CDN and she put me on speakerphone to discuss how to handle the car issue. Car was on the median with a flat on a highway. I hadn’t spoken to or heard the Jerk’s voice in A long time , and when he said something to me demeaning and insulting in his demeaning sarcastic voice I wanted to reach out into the airwaves and box him. I so glad to be away from that life destroying scumbag. He’s so full of hate and negativity. Just saying – it’s good to live APART from these CDNs. They make life miserable. I didn’t need that reminder. I just want you all to know, all of you who are sticking by a person who brings you sorrow and problems and makes you physically sick and makes you cringe at the sound of their voice to get away as soon as you can. There is a much better life without them.

  15. The things about being lied to, when a person does lie to you, looking your right in the face lying to accomplish the goal they want to achieve, it’s hard to trust again. Lying has damaged my mother/daughter relationship. She lies to me so “I get off her case”. We got into a big argument/discussion last night regarding her traffic mishap. I told her I don’t believe her story. She says why would you think I’m lying? I told her once a liar always a liar. She breached my trust with repeated lies. I don’t know what truth or lies are. I just know the relationship is harmed greatly because she chooses to lie. I told her it shows bad character. It does. Of course she won’t admit to lying to me – lies about the lying. I told her there is deep-seated trouble with our relationship. She’s learned how to lie and manipulate by her father.
    As Simone wrote, I brought out the lies to the forefront. She found it hurtful that I’d say that. I find it hurtful that she chooses to lie to me. I just put it out there – “I don’t trust what you say because of your lies.” If it hurts, that’s on her. She can work on her character. So she left crying. She wants a good relationship but doesn’t treat me with respect. She just does not get it. So I’m not feeling so good this week. It’s been one of those weeks . . . . .

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