Little lies, big lies, white lies, lies of omission. Lies are not unique to the struggles of mental illness or substance use. But WHY, especially when it seems so obvious, so unnecessary, when some lies cause even bigger problems?
Consider this: Essentially every thing we do has some kind of payoff, some benefit or we wouldn't do it. It has a benefit and makes sense in some way even if it seems illogical or dysfunctional. It is the way the mind, the ego operates. It's the way of being human.
One of the benefits we desperately try to get is to feel SAFE. SAFETY is an essential, core need. If there's a hint of a threat to not getting a perceived need met, to avoid struggle, to distract because it's easier that way, well then lying is a way to accomplish that. It gets the job done, and no you do not have to like it or empower the lie. Still, we all need to feel safe.
Our kids, in all the chaos, shame, desperation, will do whatever they need to do to restore safety. How many of us just want them to feel safe? We just have different perspectives of how to be safe. One way, in their world, in order to BE SAFE is to LIE.
We might think "he/she is never going to stop lying". Could be true. Let me tell you some things that are even truer:
Here are some possible responses to lies to consider if they feel true for you:
(in honor of Nancy)
Weeds or Wishes ?