Nonstop lying, do you still engage?

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all4peace

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Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« on: March 04, 2018, 05:51:22 PM »
There's a great thread on honesty/dishonesty right now.

In a few more weeks I may re-engage with my parents, enF, uNBPDm. I am able to "tolerate" some time with M, but I cannot imagine a circumstance under which we'd have a genuine meaningful relationship. The issue for me is that M never stops lying. She is a fundamentally dishonest person. She lies in all the varieties of lying possible. Her perception of me and my behavior (as well as those around her) is so  :stars: that I told her we literally don't share a similar reality.

Do any of you attempt any level of contact in that context? To me, dishonesty is a total nonstarter. I can't even stand to talk about the weather with someone who's this level of dishonest.

Every place I turn, I can't get past that one:
Trust? Not possible.
Genuine connection? Not possible.
Love? Pretty stinking challenging, if possible.
Foundation on which to rebuild the above? Not possible.

I welcome all thoughts and comments.

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raindrop

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2018, 11:23:23 PM »
Yeah I hear you on that. It isn't even just lying about things for self preservation /advancement though that would be bad enough. Its the continual reinvention of reality all the time just for the hell of it, just because it's what they want. For me its more than just not being able to trust the person, its that like you said they don't share the same reality and so how can you have a real relationship. I guess if you can tolerate it that's really good, then you decide whether you should. For me, the reality twisting messes with my own sense of reality too much so I currently have to stay clear. In the future I might reconnect for the rest of the family and my dad especially. If it was just her I wouldn't even if I thought I could. What's the point? Its not like she cares about me, I could be anyone.
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"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
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Fightsong

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 09:50:30 AM »
lies so ridiculously transparent that everyone knows and sees and even the lie teller knows we see. I flit between being angry and finding it ridiculously funny , and pointless to bring up. Underlying it all however is a frustration and a pain so deep I know I’m not ready. So I don’t know really where I am with that. I know that dishonesty has eaten away the trust in our relationship, and I know that I continuing even the vvvlc I have I am colluding in that.  No
Wisdom ! Just confusing!

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 05:03:45 PM »
My BPDm doesn't outright lie as much as she exaggerates. Usually, when she tells me something that isn't truthful, it IS truthful in her eyes because that's the way she remembers it. I don't think she is aware that she's lying (most of the time). I don't engage in the conversation when I suspect her version of reality is off. I don't get riled up when she exaggerates. I just act disinterested and change the subject so she doesn't get her desired reaction out of me. I take everything she says with a grain of salt. What’s fun is when I get to use her words against her:
“You said you were very sick so I made other plans.”
“You told me you couldn’t eat X food ever again or you'd die, so I didn’t make you any.”
 :evil2:

It isn't a relationship of any sort, it is just tolerating. I guess you have to ask yourself if tolerating is feasible and if the benefits of re-initiating contact are worth it.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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Bloomie

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 06:46:15 PM »
all4peace - I have thought about this very thing quite a bit as I have a family member, suspected NPD/HPD, that you could be describing here when you say:

Quote
The issue for me is that M never stops lying. She is a fundamentally dishonest person. She lies in all the varieties of lying possible.

For me, this is a character issue so deep that leeches into every aspect of relationship with another and it is a deal breaker for me with this particular family member. Enabled every day for decades. There is a level of arrogance and duping delight that presents itself in this dedicated and unrepentant liar's life in totality, that serves to corrode my very soul if I allow myself in too close for any length of time.

Finding the truth with her is like trying to hold onto water as it falls. An exercise in frustration, self doubt,  and truly impossible. I can only count on her dishonesty. And it feels really icky to think that she may occasionally be telling the truth about really important things and I do not/cannot afford to believe her.

Out of that protected place that has been fostered has grown a monstrous ego driven type of behavior and world view that is shameless. In my experience with someone who sounds similar, there is simply nothing that this person can say or do to which they will allow themselves to be held accountable for, ever.

This person engages in ways that make it clear they do not view themselves as mutually accountable to the little people she deems ordinary like you and me. When she does or says something terrible, harmful, divisive, morally repugnant, she applies a generous dose of smooth talking and silver tongued deceit to it, I like to call fairy dust, with a boldness, certainty, and speed that takes my breath away. And anyone harmed will either buy into this transformed reality or rue the day if they call her out!   :witch:

It is more than having a question about some things here and there that someone says or does, in this case it is pervasive and it is a person who would normally be in a position of great trust and confidence making it a very significant issue - which is what I think you are describing here.

I am unable to be in close relationship with this person. I find it too damaging for me at the soul level, to be anything other than a distant presence who is kind when in actual contact. I trust this person with nothing that matters to me. Ever.

This is something I have had to apply the Serenity Prayer to. In my case, this is something I cannot change in another, but which has had a deep and lasting impact on the relationship.

Often it is easy to see when a family member is chronically dishonest breaking laws, physically violent, has drug dependency issues where they are stealing out of our wallets.. that kind of thing, that we need to protect from that, but in my own case the family member who is fundamentally dishonest doesn't look at all like that, yet the personal exceptionalism that they display as destructive as another family member who is an addict and alcoholic I have found. Just because they clean up nice does not make them safe.

Having made that decision to be very limited in the relationship is one thing and standing by and seeing others still fully engaged and often being duped or bullied into submission is another.  :'( Very hard stuff!

all4peace, I am so sorry you do not have a mother who is as filled with beauty and kindness, light and truth as you are! I am so sorry you are facing this most difficult moral failure in your mother! Strength and wisdom to you as you find your way to a place of peace with this. :hug:
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 08:09:05 PM by Bloomie »

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all4peace

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 05:20:40 PM »
Yeah I hear you on that. It isn't even just lying about things for self preservation /advancement though that would be bad enough. Its the continual reinvention of reality all the time just for the hell of it, just because it's what they want. For me its more than just not being able to trust the person, its that like you said they don't share the same reality and so how can you have a real relationship. I guess if you can tolerate it that's really good, then you decide whether you should. For me, the reality twisting messes with my own sense of reality too much so I currently have to stay clear. In the future I might reconnect for the rest of the family and my dad especially. If it was just her I wouldn't even if I thought I could. What's the point? Its not like she cares about me, I could be anyone.
It's interesting--the twisting that messes with our reality. I've experienced that awful cognitive dissonance in the IL PD family system. With uNBPDm I truly do not lose any sense of reality, hers is so distorted. Like you, I would reconnect only to maintain some level of extended family contact.

lies so ridiculously transparent that everyone knows and sees and even the lie teller knows we see. I flit between being angry and finding it ridiculously funny , and pointless to bring up. Underlying it all however is a frustration and a pain so deep I know I’m not ready. So I don’t know really where I am with that. I know that dishonesty has eaten away the trust in our relationship, and I know that I continuing even the vvvlc I have I am colluding in that.  No
Wisdom ! Just confusing!
When I read Karla McClaren's work on feelings, I finally understood why I have nearly nonstop irritation with uNBPD. It's a low-grade manifestation of anger. It is sooooo frustrating. The dilemma for me when faced with lying, in any form, is that I feel I have two intolerable options--fight against the lie and attempt to establish the truth, or let it go and passively "accept" the lie. I don't like either of those. I cannot stand swallowing nonstop untruths, no matter how big or small. And I cannot stand feeling in a constant bristly state of wanting to argue against the lie. I can walk away, and I often do, but that feels gross after a while also--to spend time with someone who I either ignore, argue with, or walk away from. That's not a relationship.

My BPDm doesn't outright lie as much as she exaggerates. Usually, when she tells me something that isn't truthful, it IS truthful in her eyes because that's the way she remembers it. I don't think she is aware that she's lying (most of the time). I don't engage in the conversation when I suspect her version of reality is off. I don't get riled up when she exaggerates. I just act disinterested and change the subject so she doesn't get her desired reaction out of me. I take everything she says with a grain of salt. What’s fun is when I get to use her words against her:
“You said you were very sick so I made other plans.”
“You told me you couldn’t eat X food ever again or you'd die, so I didn’t make you any.”
 :evil2:

It isn't a relationship of any sort, it is just tolerating. I guess you have to ask yourself if tolerating is feasible and if the benefits of re-initiating contact are worth it.
I remember massive exaggeration from childhood. I thought that's what was still going on. Then my lovely SIL started pointing out the lying. I still couldn't really believe uNBPDm would actually deliberately lie. I started noticing that I had to constantly go back to text/email conversations since SO much was not matching my memory of reality. And I also started noticing that M's version of things inevitably benefited her. All her "versions" of truth and her "memory" issues benefited her. I started realizing that my gut response to her speaking was to not believe a single word out of her mouth. Still, as I told DH, I didn't believe she would bald-faced lie. Distort, misremember, exaggerate? Sure. But bald-faced lie? No way. Then in a matter of a few days she threw my young niece under the bus in a horrid way (blatantly and repeatedly lying), lied to SILs in a way to cut my S and I out of plans with her and SILs, then bald-faced lied about an interaction with my nephew. I witnessed the last one personally, and it was a type of lie that was so blatant it simply could not be attributed to memory or misunderstanding.

Now that she is repeatedly being called out on her dishonesty, she is claiming a dedication to honesty, to all people, in all parts of her life. She admits to exaggerating but nothing else.  :stars:

all4peace - I have thought about this very thing quite a bit as I have a family member, suspected NPD/HPD, that you could be describing here when you say:

Quote
The issue for me is that M never stops lying. She is a fundamentally dishonest person. She lies in all the varieties of lying possible.

For me, this is a character issue so deep that leeches into every aspect of relationship with another and it is a deal breaker for me with this particular family member. Enabled every day for decades. There is a level of arrogance and duping delight that presents itself in this dedicated and unrepentant liar's life in totality, that serves to corrode my very soul if I allow myself in too close for any length of time.
You are so good at distilling the essence and mirroring it back in a way that helps me understand my own feelings more clearly! Yes, this is it! When you speak of "arrogance and duping delight," something broke free for me. Lying is a total disrespect for another person's dignity. It's an insult to their trust, intelligence and the bond between you.

Quote
Finding the truth with her is like trying to hold onto water as it falls. An exercise in frustration, self doubt,  and truly impossible. I can only count on her dishonesty. And it feels really icky to think that she may occasionally be telling the truth about really important things and I do not/cannot afford to believe her.
Yes! I have described trying to pin her down as being like nailing Jello to a tree. Lie after lie after lie after lie until you're 5 lies deep and just want to close your eyes and stop talking. It's horrifying, exhausting, and just so sad. And shocking. Even as toddlers, I've never seen lying like this. Maybe one lie, which on examination yields to the truth. But this? This is horrifying. And it doesn't even matter if we're talking about a crime or stealing a piece of candy. To me, honesty is a character trait and I don't care how big or small the topic it is being applied to.

Quote
Out of that protected place that has been fostered has grown a monstrous ego driven type of behavior and world view that is shameless. In my experience with someone who sounds similar, there is simply nothing that this person can say or do to which they will allow themselves to be held accountable for, ever.
Exactly. I am sorry that our family let her get away with it so long. Actually, I think we had somehow tuned it out and avoided it until SIL brought it to my attention.

Quote
This person engages in ways that make it clear they do not view themselves as mutually accountable to the little people she deems ordinary like you and me. When she does or says something terrible, harmful, divisive, morally repugnant, she applies a generous dose of smooth talking and silver tongued deceit to it, I like to call fairy dust, with a boldness, certainty, and speed that takes my breath away. And anyone harmed will either buy into this transformed reality or rue the day if they call her out!   :witch:
She is ANGRY at being called out on lying. She is HONEST!! She is just being so terribly judged, controlled and manipulated--being told exactly how to talk and how to behave--and she just needs the right to be herself! And she needs me to tell her what she needs to change. It's a ridiculous hamster wheel.

It feels impossible to me. She lies, I can't stand lying, she freaks out at having her dishonesty called out, she insists on her absolute honesty, and I'm supposed to accept that and get back in line.

Quote
It is more than having a question about some things here and there that someone says or does, in this case it is pervasive and it is a person who would normally be in a position of great trust and confidence making it a very significant issue - which is what I think you are describing here.

I am unable to be in close relationship with this person. I find it too damaging for me at the soul level, to be anything other than a distant presence who is kind when in actual contact. I trust this person with nothing that matters to me. Ever.
Exactly. There is no trust possible. To me this is a character flaw so massive I don't know a way around it except very shallow contact in large groups for a short amt of time.

Quote
Often it is easy to see when a family member is chronically dishonest breaking laws, physically violent, has drug dependency issues where they are stealing out of our wallets.. that kind of thing, that we need to protect from that, but in my own case the family member who is fundamentally dishonest doesn't look at all like that, yet the personal exceptionalism that they display as destructive as another family member who is an addict and alcoholic I have found. Just because they clean up nice does not make them safe.
This is challenging. We have respect for people protecting themselves from violence, drug use, crime... but lying?

Quote
Having made that decision to be very limited in the relationship is one thing and standing by and seeing others still fully engaged and often being duped or bullied into submission is another.  :'( Very hard stuff!
Interestingly, I was in a situation in the past year to observe all my siblings with her. What I see is everyone putting up a shield when engaging with her. Everything gets shuttered, drawn in, and somewhat closed down. I was attempting to have a really deep and engaging conversation with my bro, and we instinctively paused and shut down every time M walked up and tried to get into the convo. We weren't trying to be hurtful. We just instinctively do not let our hearts and souls be exposed in front of her. And another B was totally unmoved and rather cold (unlike him) when she did what appeared to me to be a tearful manipulation, seeking his care and attention. I think we all instinctively distrust everything about her, including her supposed emotional displays.

Quote
all4peace, I am so sorry you do not have a mother who is as filled with beauty and kindness, light and truth as you are! I am so sorry you are facing this most difficult moral failure in your mother! Strength and wisdom to you as you find your way to a place of peace with this. :hug:
You bring up the hardest part of all. Sometimes she IS kind, generous, friendly. And I don't trust that either. When someone is fundamentally dishonest, the problem is I can't seem to trust the good, either. I think the thing with honesty is that it gives us a clear outline, clear boundaries, it's clearly defined. What is true, is true (I'm not talking about nuance, or things that are up for interpretation, but whether words or events actually happened or didn't). But when someone is dishonest...we lose our sense of where that ends. Are they just lying about what they said? Are they dishonest about who they are? Would they slander an enemy, a friend, a grandchild? Would they embezzle from the family business? Commit arson to get insurance money? Where does it end? Everything becomes suspect, all behavior, all words.

When one of our children was younger they had a real issue with lying. I always pictured a Honest-O-Meter in which the top was Honesty/Trust, and the bottom was Lying/No Trust. While it might take many, many honest interactions to get to the top, ONE lie would bring it all back down to the very bottom again. I tried so hard to get this child to understand that ALL trust was lost with a lie and needed a long time to be rebuilt again, and it would all be lost all over again with the next lie. So when someone never stops lying? I don't even know how to navigate that.

Thank you all so much for the input! It helps me clarify this a bit more in my mind.

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daughter

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 10:08:29 PM »
I was 7 when I first realized my NBM was untrustworthy and deceptive, and quick to punishment.  My NBM's lies come in two forms: outright fibbing and dishonesty, as well as deception, non-disclosure, and furtive malevolence.  As you note, it "messes with our reality", because we're presented with more than one "reality".  "Truth" and "facts" are quite rubbery in my FOO Family.  "Truth" is bent for convenience and personal gain.  Gas-lighting and manipulation and denial of factual information were all common occurrence.  I was required to both accept the "untruthfulness" privilege that NBM and enNF wielded, and not question it or their authority to do so.  So "reality" wasn't fact; it was whatever my NBM decided it should be to serve her preferences and moods, and enNF enabled and enforced, et al.

I finally reached conclusion that I could no longer "deal with it" - any of it, including NBM's deceit, deception, and dishonesty.  I felt so UNSAFE with her.  The burden of being the "dutiful daughter" and primary SG target became unbearable.  Yes, I get that constant sense of irritation you noted, of "biting my tongue",  and not "rise to the bait", not try to "correct the record", to "grin and bear it", to let my NBM's words "wash over me like a duck" -- nsis' only expressed advice ever to me, the duck part.  I had to disengage altogether, because otherwise I was condoning this by my tacit presence (read: silent acceptance).

 So I offer the alternative: you can mentally-emotionally distance yourself from your mother, see her for who she really is, and still attend FOO Family events, by calmly making polite chit-chat when you encounter her one-on-one, by operating on basis that "no good" comes from further personal-emotional engagement.  Go into "bad business client" mode of outward courtesy and benign small talk, in limited social-event context.  A genuine emotional bond is no longer possible, or prudent, or emotionally-healthy for us, here in these NM-situations we find ourselves.     

I recently read an "Ask Polly" column (by Heather Hvarilesky, posted on The Cut website), question posted being "Should I Meet My Mom", for a woman estranged from her difficult mother.  This woman was also a "parentified" kid, and like many of us, didn't even realize this until it was pointed-out to them by a 3rd-party counselor.  This particular columnist's response very helpful to me, because it flagged the "untrustworthy and deceptive" issue in regards to our mothers remaining unchanged even as we are OOTF and aware of our mother's unreliability.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 10:23:36 PM by daughter »

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SonofThunder

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 11:13:36 PM »
There's a great thread on honesty/dishonesty right now.

In a few more weeks I may re-engage with my parents, enF, uNBPDm. I am able to "tolerate" some time with M, but I cannot imagine a circumstance under which we'd have a genuine meaningful relationship. The issue for me is that M never stops lying. She is a fundamentally dishonest person. She lies in all the varieties of lying possible. Her perception of me and my behavior (as well as those around her) is so  :stars: that I told her we literally don't share a similar reality.

Do any of you attempt any level of contact in that context? To me, dishonesty is a total nonstarter. I can't even stand to talk about the weather with someone who's this level of dishonest.

Every place I turn, I can't get past that one:
Trust? Not possible.
Genuine connection? Not possible.
Love? Pretty stinking challenging, if possible.
Foundation on which to rebuild the above? Not possible.

I welcome all thoughts and comments.
Hi all4peace,

Are you potentially re-engaging for your benefit or theirs?   If for you, what would you like to gain from the re-engagement?   If for them, what would you expect them to gain from it?

I agree fully with you when you said “To me, dishonesty is a total nonstarter. I can't even stand to talk about the weather with someone who's this level of dishonest.“

Dishonesty is not a trait i recognize from my uNPDf, but if it were i would consider any communication pointless.  If my uNPDf or I received a deeper benefit from my re-engagement (lying or not), then that would have to be my only motive. 

In my experience, my uNPDf will say “i havent seen you in so long, lets get together”.  I see him about every 6 months.  But, when we get together, he gives me a hug and then immediately starts into complaining about everyone else, talking about himself or asking me to do something for him so he can benefit from my doing. He doesnt inquire about me at all, and if i volunteer any info, he tells me my desires/choices are wrong because they are not his choices.  After he departs, my main feeling is that i have another 6 months until i have to deal with it again (in person)  :wave:.  We talk every couple weeks by phone and he tells me all about himself and when i begin telling him whats happening in my neck of the woods, he says he has to go and promptly hangs up. 

Again, im not experiencing dishonesty, but dont know what benefit i would have to engage more, therefore not sure what’s to gain for you/them by re-engaging.  Before coming ootf, i used to feel guilty for not making an effort, but now that i know a PD is present, things will never get better and that he doesnt even understand a healthy two-way relationship of freedom/non judgement,  i dont feel guilty anymore.  Ive suffered enough already by his PD and its time for my healing. 

I would feel like trying to communicate with a consistent liar would be as productive and useful as trying to talk to a squirrel.  I would rather periodically and simply throw him the nut he really wants and keep him in his own tree vs in my house.

SoT

« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 11:19:04 PM by SonofThunder »
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Fightsong

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 05:02:53 AM »
The idea of the milieu of lies and flexible reality or truth is very real to me. That is how it was . Always. But with a very childlike understanding of what that meant. What I know is there was no bond of honesty between us and there was much I was forbidden from asking about. Rubbery truth. Shifting sands. Foggy reality.  I feel a bit sick hidden in my memories of all this. I remember my partner once saying of my parent - you cannot believe a word that comes out of her mouth. I know it to be true. But I have made such excuses and accommodations for it.  I hate that kind of thing now, cannot bear it. I don’t engage but I tolerate still at the low level I am in contact.    Again I’m sorry no wisdom just finding a surprising amount of ouch sparking with this
Thread for me .

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openskyblue

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Re: Nonstop lying, do you still engage?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 01:34:16 PM »
One of the biggest things that happened for me when I left my marriage and went NC, was that I could step back and really begin to understand and dissect the years of lying from my ex ASPD husband. Finally, I came to the understanding that he lied, changed the lies, etc about the same topic and lied about things he didn't even need to lie about. Just lie on top of lie on top of lie.

To me, his lying was really just another form of gas lighting and manipulation. Because he kept the "truth" always changing, I could never feel secure and it aided in him isolating me. (He'd decide dear friends had deceived or betrayed him, then convince me of the same, and I'd separate myself from them.)  He's ASPD, not BPD, so perhaps he operates a little differently, but I do think the level of lying we are talking about here is still a method of control over others--especially kids and spouses, who are already engineered to trust the PD.  Society tells us to trust our parents and our spouses. When you don't, the unvoiced message is that you are disloyal or crazy.