Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?

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jennsc85

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When I was younger (and- shoot, even as an adult!) I felt like I had to lie in order to survive with my uBPD/N mother.

She would fly into a rage over the smallest things. Like, if I got a Coke from the vending machine at school if I watched a show she didn't like (nothing inappropriate- she was just very particular) she would fly into a ranting yelling lecture for an hour or more. I quickly learned that I didn't want to deal with that but I also didn't want to be confined to the bubble she wanted to put me in, so I lied.

Or, if she asked if I enjoyed my weekend visit with my father, I knew being honest and saying "yes" would make her angry and make her try even harder to turn me against him. So instead I'd say no and I would kick it up a notch and make things up about why I "didn't" enjoy being at his house because I thought it would win me some points with her.

I've made a very concerted effort as an adult to stop the lying. But sometimes it just comes out without me even realizing it. For example, my husband asked me the other day if I went to the store and something in me thought I needed to lie and say "No." My husband isn't controlling, he wouldn't have been mad or really anything at all if I'd been honest and said I went to the store... he was asking a question, not looking for a fight! But it was  a knee jerk reaction to lie to him and that happens semi frequently in my life with normal innocent situations.

My oldest daughter is 10 and she's noticed that sometimes I lie and she's asked me about it. I tell her that I've had a problem with lying in the past to avoid unpleasant situations and that sometimes it resurfaces but that I've spent years trying to un do it.

How can I teach my children honesty when I'm dishonest about stupid things?

Can anyone else relate to the lying in order to avoid a rage from your PD parent?

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11JB68

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 09:18:03 PM »
I do the same with uocpdh. I call it self preservation. I don't like it but I hate the alternative.

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Amadahy

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 10:43:07 PM »
Yes!  I didn't even realize this was a bad habit until I was around twenty and heard someone lovingly tell another the truth about something trivial (something I would have lied about).  It made such an impression on me and had me realize for the first time that not everyone has to lie to survive. 

Don't be too hard on yourself!  Telling your daughter the truth about why you lie (LOL) and how you are trying to learn that you don't have to do that anymore will go a long way with her.  Kids are pretty cool when their parents aren't perfect and own it.  Let's face it -- we never felt safe enough to tell the truth and one goal as mothers is to never have our kids know that fear.  Sounds like you've succeeded there!  :hug:
Ring the bells that still can ring;
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There's a crack in everything ~~
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11JB68

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2020, 03:26:47 AM »
 :yeahthat:
I copped to a lie that I had told to uocpdh to my dd22.
He totally got why I did it.
I explained to him that I hated doing it...

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2020, 11:38:04 AM »
Yes, I do the same thing jennsc85. I find I lie about little things I have no reason to lie about. I've thought about this and it's as if I don't want to cause the other person any stress or give them pause. I'm trying to make life go smoothly for everyone and especially myself.

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catta

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2020, 11:46:55 AM »
Yes! When I lived at home during high school and summers in college I considered myself to be an amazing liar. (I doubt that was ever true, but I don't think my uNPD parents cared enough to consider whether I was lying or not as long as they heard what they wanted.) I also never volunteered information unless they specifically asked.

For the last two years of high school I don't think they knew who any of my actual friends were, what we did when we hung out, what I did with my free time, etc. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I just knew that if they didn't know any facts about my life, they couldn't use anything against me that actually mattered.

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FlowerPot

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2020, 06:03:43 PM »
definitely various "alterations" to the truth - would have been grilled about what i was doing / reading  / buying / talking to etc etc

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2020, 09:00:23 PM »
It would be weird if we didn’t pick up a habit of lying. That’s what was modeled for us, after all. For me, my PD parents expected us to protect  them from reality. Both of them pumped me for validation that they were good parents, which I gave, knowing it wasn’t true to how I felt. Or even rug-sweeping their worse behaviors. The consequences of not doing that as a child would have been very difficult to bear. Much of PD is built around believing lies and hiding from truth.

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AD

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2020, 01:25:31 PM »
Catta, I can relate to this: "For the last two years of high school I don't think they knew who any of my actual friends were, what we did when we hung out, what I did with my free time, etc. I wasn't doing anything wrong. I just knew that if they didn't know any facts about my life, they couldn't use anything against me that actually mattered."

With a few distinctions - my parents didn't really know or ask anything about my life. PD F would just sporadically want to play the role of dictator - e.g. springing out of the dark once and screaming at me because I came home at 10 PM (even though they knew I was just at a friend's house and they had never discussed me needing to be home by a certain time).

I didn't lie about anything, but one thing I knew not to mention - if I was talking to a guy. Someone called the home phone once and M answered - she was clearly shocked by the fact that it was a guy (I was 16 or 17 at the time), and came to have a discussion with me about who he was - the tone was ridiculous - as though I'd just announced I was pregnant or something. It was just a phone call! It's normal for me to talk to a guy!

I could sense that they had this heightened paranoia around these things (I guess they had friends who had teenager pregnancies back in their era). Even in my twenties when I did have a relationship, I was hesitant to tell them anything about it, though I think this was also because I wanted to have as little contact as possible with PD F, and didn't want him to know anything about my life (I learned early that information is ammunition for him).

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freedom77

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2020, 04:38:44 PM »
Yes. I'm in my mid 40s and have done this my whole entire life and still do, although I'm keenly aware of how wrong and dumb it is...even if the other person gets upset that's on them, we cannot control others or their feelings or reactions. Despite realizing this, I still catch myself lying for the very same reasons as the rest of us here. Fear of the other party's reactions, and potential subsequent retribution...

I grew up intensely fearful of my rage-prone BPD/N mother who was notoriously vindictive, and also of her cronies, boyfriends, her own N mother who was exceptionally cruel, as well as being bullied in school, so I learned early on, and continued to discover, that lying was easier and kinder, on me.

It helped me avoid pitfalls of abuse. Honesty DID NOT PAY in our house. And like you I tried to score brownie points with M by lying about others. This is what I absolutely HATED ABOUT MYSELF was lying about people I liked. It felt like such a betrayal to those who were kind to me to honor someone I hated and who abused me. But I knew that if I told her the truth, such as I had a really good time with so and so, or so and so's cooking is really good, I would subject myself to an hours long interrogation, comparisons to how much better hers is than theirs (be it cooking, cleaning, hair, fashion, or some other supposed talent), then rage, then the silent treatment, then revenge (sometimes days later), then regurgitation of "the incident" that led to my lack of loyalty to her maybe weeks or months, or even YEARS later-- she can never let anything go...and further punishment by forbidding me to see so and so, or making it difficult....

So yeah, lying was about survival, and unfortunately ingrained itself into my behavioral characteristics....

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Maxtrem

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 02:35:41 PM »
Today I only have them with my uBPDm, for example if she asks me for something I know she can do alone and I'm afraid she's ambitious, I often pretend that I have to work.

But while reading your posts I had childhood flashbacks and realized that I was really lying as a child and it was to protect myself. I was forging my mother's signature as long as I didn't get an A when I was 7! At the same age I lied when I said I didn't like a party in my father's family to give my uBPDm a reason to complain about something other than me. That flashback made me sad, because I know it must have hurt my father unfairly... But otherwise I've lost the habit of lying.     

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Sidney37

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 04:51:58 PM »
This isn't a flea that I picked up, but one of my closest friends was also raised by a PDm does it.  She lies any time she feels caught between two people.  If she gets invited to two events at the same time or is running late to something, it's very difficult for her to tell someone this and just say she can't come or will be late.  She'll make up little lies (or not so little lies) to explain why she isn't there.  I know it's because of having to lie to her PDm to protect herself as a child.  It was hard for me to accept at first, but I forgive her for it because I know it's a coping skill that comes from years of verbal abuse. 

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catta

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2020, 07:48:15 PM »
@ AD: OMG. "e.g. springing out of the dark once and screaming at me because I came home at 10 PM (even though they knew I was just at a friend's house and they had never discussed me needing to be home by a certain time)." My parents did almost the exact same thing to me!

I came home at 9:05 pm. My friend actually stalled at a stop sign a block from my house from my house because he knew what a nightmare it was for me to go home and didn't want to drop me off even one minute before "curfew" (P.S. my curfew was 9pm on weekends as a 17 year old). I begged him to stall longer, since usually my parents were just watching tv at 9pm and wouldn't notice if I were a few minutes late. Mistake! I walked in, confused about why everything was dark, turned a corner, and my dad was lurking in some unlit corner of the kitchen waiting to tell me off. And the second I opened my mouth to say that I was only 5 minutes late, my mom (who was lying on the couch at the other end of the house, ALSO in the pitch dark) started SCREAMING at me. Then there was at least an hour of yelling/telling me what an awful person I was, and I was grounded for 1 month.

PS Unlike your parents, my parents were pretty inconsistent about me hanging out with boys. My mom fancies herself some sort of diva that men would do anything for. I think she felt as though her daughter hanging out with boys somehow confirmed this about her. I can also remember her being angry at me a few times in college for having to ask my dad to help me move because I didn't have a boyfriend to help me ("You knew you were going to move, why didn't you get a boyfriend?")

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freedom77

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2020, 05:37:39 PM »
Oh Catta...my mother would also do the terrifying pitch black darkness confrontations...very scary stuff. I got in trouble one night, at age 14, for staying at church too late.   :stars: For real...I was an awful, evil person because I stayed at church too long. Her exact words from the couch where she lay in complete darkness, not so much as a night light on, like a hungry spider awaiting my entrance into her carefully constructed web.

These people are truly frightening.

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catta

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2020, 06:01:53 PM »
freedom77 -- who knew the couch technique was so common!! And you're so right, it's exactly like a spiderweb! Except I'd rather run into an actual spiderweb   :upsidedown:

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2020, 08:11:21 PM »
Yes! My dad lied about those kinds of things, like hobbies BPDm wouldn't approve of. He once bought an old car that she didn't know about and kept it at his work to fix up. I learned to do the exact same so that I could still be myself and do the things I liked to do without having to endure the hours of lecturing and screaming. I sometimes still lie to my DH too and then I'm mad at myself for doing it because it would have been so much easier to tell the truth. It's so silly and pointless.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
~ Amanda Torroni

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2020, 02:36:52 PM »
Wow, this thread made me realize why I probably lied so much as a kid. LOL. I considered them "white lies" because I did not think they hurt anyone, and it was always regarding small stuff about myself.   
At times, I would reflect on it and feel very ashamed. I could not figure how why I did it, I just felt compelled to hide the truth. I knew I had an overwhelming fear of judgement and ridicule. Today I think it is that I never felt safe enough to be who I was.
Like stated in this thread, I think if your kids or anyone else calls it out the best thing is to just admit it. Give them the truthful answer, then move on. I have done this myself and nobody ever made a bigger thing about it. I suppose that in itself can be very healing.

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DM178

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2020, 07:17:30 PM »
Yes..Yes..Yes..a way of life growing up..and a very nasty adult habit that I have conciously  tried to break..to me, lying also means; omitting facts, rearranging the facts, and embellishing....all things I did growing up and as an adult to manage my relationships with personality disordered and then to and non disordred indivdiuals.

Thank you all for sharing..it made me stop, pause, and dig in even more with being a truthful indivdiual🙏
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Frankl

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AnneH

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Re: Did anyone else pick up a lying habit because of their PD parent?
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2020, 01:20:24 PM »
Like the other participants, lying was my way of life growing up and I literally depended on it for sustenance from around age 5-6 (uNM had me on a very strict diet so I structured a large part of my days around sneaking food so I would have enough to eat. And no, I was never anything even approaching overweight). For the rest of it, I "gray rocked" all of my FOO members from a very early age. Call me Cordelia basically says it all: "I wasn't doing anything wrong. I just knew that if they didn't know any facts about my life, they couldn't use anything against me that actually mattered." NM caught me sneaking food exactly twice,at which point she very dramatically lost ALL trust in me and lost ALL faith in my word (both times, of course...)
I wouldn't say I picked up a "lying" habit as an adult but rather a self-image of not being trustworthy even though I am always truthful to DH and have been NC with FOO for over 5 years. DH has no reason not to trust me, and indeed he DOES trust me, but I am always reassured when there is supporting evidence of whatever I tell him (for example, when I witnessed a WWII bomb being detonated on the beach and then i was able to show him an article in the local press about the incident with the time and location I was there). I have never been a pathological liar but it seems as if I am always looking to prove that I can be trusted.