When I was about 12 I stole $20 from my dad‘s money clip. I knew that I could blame my brother and that my parents would believe me, and that is how it went down. It was a pivotal moment for me because I got a crazy wave of excitement from getting away with it. I got a rush from lying. I have since owned up to this malice, but I held on to it for decades.
As I look back on it now, it was a sentinel event (in more ways than one). In my young mind, I gained the trust of my parents, got the $20, found a fall guy and developed a new strategy for all of it. The problem with lying is that it ends up isolating me. I don‘t have the tolerance for it that I once did, but it is still in me.
Later in my life, the secret was more important than the drugs I took in secret. Once the secret part of it is gone, I am no longer interested in the behavior/drug/pattern. People who are hurt by my secrets only want the secrets to stop. It is more important than the behavior – to them and to me. It is like when the parent knows their child made a mark on the table but asks anyway if he did. The parent wants to hear that the child will tell the truth, but what the child wants to do is please the parent – no matter what. Lying makes more sense to the kiddo. I learned that lesson early and often and applied it relentlessly for years. The transition to the truth is freeing, scary, and feels good. And feeling good this way is better than safe loneliness.
The wild open sea of life waits for me when I am living my truth and being truthful. Otherwise I am repeating old, lonely experiments that leave me in safe, familiar and shallow waters.