I just read today’s post by positivegirl and it got me thinking about all the lies I had to hear and unwillingly support.
The web of lies
You often hear or read about this: A psychopath traps his victim in a web of lies. When the “victim” is not attached to the psychopath, it is much easier to not be affected. For example, my ex-husband showered his circle with this lie:
– “I have a company in the US. I am a Microsoft software engineer. I make millions of dollars a year. I set up websites, or actually, I have a whole team working for me and setting up websites.”
People looked at him in awe if they were potential victims or ignored him and walked away, with a “Yeah, right!” kind of shrug.
He had several versions of this same lie that he used to solve current issues as they presented themselves: “I am setting up porn sites “(so he could take photos of girls), “my team made a lousy deal and I lost a bundle of money” (when people asked him for cash), “I have to check up with my accountant, all my money is tied up in shares” (when he wanted to get close to someone and proposed to finance a project). It went on and on.
At the beginning, I reacted every time. I jumped on my seat and called him aside: “what the heck is this story?”
The next time he “served” his lie like a gourmet dish, he called to me “Hey, April, how much did I make last month? Can you remember?” All I could do was stare, blush and volunteer “Can’t remember, no clue!” and that was it, I had become his accomplice.
Another example concerns lies about me. One day, I came to meet our common friends. They were all congratulating me: “I knew you had it in you. This is so great. How are you going to start?” First I felt proud because I thought they were actually congratulating me on something I did, but very soon, I understood that I had no idea what they were on about. Then I heard him.
-“Yes, we will adopt kids. Why should we have kids of our own when there are so many unhappy kids in the world? It was actually April’s idea! I have no idea where she finds all that energy, she wants to buy a big house and have about ten adopted kids. If this is what she really wants, who am I to stop her?”
Dah! What could I answer to this? I walked away quickly to avoid questions from my friends related to my new calling. When I got the chance, I confronted him:
– “Why are you doing that?”
-“Well now, everyone is so happy they know you! You are a celebrity! I make you look good!”
-“With lies! I don’t need this. I don’t need people to like me for what I am not. Stop this!”
– “Oh, don’t be angry, you know, it just came out, people were asking me about kids, why we don’t have any etc. I did not know what to say. Why don’t we have kids?”
-“Because you don’t want any!”
-“That’s exactly it! I don’t want kids because there are many unhappy kids in the world. It is better to adopt.”
-“Then, don’t make it my project!”
-“Oh, so, you are so selfish that you don’t care about all the unhappy children and you’d rather bring more children to this unfair world?”
On and on it went. In the end, it did not matter how many doors I slammed to get away from all his lies, it did not matter how many times I told him to fix his lies, or stop lying, there was always a different reason why it made sense to him, hence to the world.
The more I complained, the more public he made his lies, making it practically impossible to come clean because it would mean being at the onset a dramatic scene in front of everyone I knew and people I did not know.
When tension was too much, and he knew I was going to blow, he brought people home, invited friends to stay over, organised endless parties and visits. We went to the restaurant with friends, then to the cinema, then to a bar, nightclub, then breakfast on the beach… We had absolutely no time alone and by the time I could confront him, the lie was carved in stone or forgotten by everyone.