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I lied about staying in a psychiatric institution

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  • #391250
    caroline1234
    Participant
    <span class="Y2IQFc" lang="en">I don't know why this is suddenly affecting me so much. But a few years ago, when I was 17, I had a discussion with an old classmate. I spoke badly about one of her friends and she confronted me about it. I was very drunk during the conversation and today I can no longer understand why I did it, but I said at the time that I have mental problems and that's why I've been in an institution for a while or something. Did I want to win back sympathy, did I want attention? I honestly do not know. Another acquaintance confronted me shortly after and I tried to play it down but couldn't admit it was a lie. Somehow her classmate told her and she had her doubts that that was true. rightly so! I'm no longer in contact with anyone "involved", but now I feel incredibly bad that I once did something so crazy. That's completely disturbed.. It's been about 5 years and I can't stop thinking about it right now and I feel so weird that I just told such a pointless lie. I don't know how to forgive myself because I just think I'm abnormal right now.I feel so ashamed. </span>
    #391256
    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline1234:

    All I have here is the title of this new, third thread (the italicization is my addition): “I lied about staying in a psychiatric institution“. The title of your first thread of August 2021 is: “How do I cope with feeling guilty after compulsively lying?“.

    You opened your very first post on August 25, 2021, with: “I was a compulsive liar during my entire youth, I think… I used to make up boyfriends and dramatic stories to make my life seem more interesting and to become attention“.

    Two days later, you wrote: “about my childhood… my olde sister was very sick, she suffered from a chronical illness. It was very hard for me to handle the limitations that come with a sick family member. Of course, she was the center of attention” –

    – I suggested to you at the time that maybe the motivation behind your compulsive lying (your term) was to get attention, but you didn’t respond to my suggestion. Would you like to respond to it now?

    anita

    #391271
    caroline1234
    Participant

    Hey Anita…

    <span class="Y2IQFc" lang="en">As you may have noticed, my mistakes are giving me a lot of trouble right now. Yes, I do think I did some of it for attention. But that's such a terrible quality, how am I ever going to forgive myself for that. As in this example, I've talked so much bullshit I couldn't even list it all, it's eating away at me every day right now. I think every minute that this will all be a part of me forever and it just won't go away. I can't do anything right now but think about all my lies and bad deeds.</span>
    #391279
    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline1234:

    I wasn’t able yesterday to read your original post. The following is most of your original post and your second post:

    caroline 1234: “A few years ago, when I was 17, I had a discussion with an old classmate. I spoke badly about one of her friends and she confronted me about it. I was very drunk during the conversation…  I said at the time that I have mental problems and that’s why I’ve been in an institution for a while or something. Did I want to win back sympathy, did I want attention? … It’s been about 5 years and I can’t stop thinking about it right now and I feel so weird that I just told such a pointless lie. I don’t know how to forgive myself because I just think I’m abnormal right now. I feel so ashamed”, “Yes, I do think I did some of it for attention. But that’s such a terrible quality, how am I ever going to forgive myself for that. As in this example, I’ve talked so much bull**** I couldn’t even list it all, it’s eating away at me every day. I think every minute that this will all be a part of me forever… I can’t do anything right now but think about all my lies and bad deeds”.

    My input today: you asked, “how am I ever going to forgive myself”? My answer: (1) Pay attention and do not tell any more lies. When you are in a situation where you feel that you are just about to lie to someone, excuse yourself, get up/ walk away, and away, take a few deep breaths and promise yourself: I will not lie, and then, keep your promise, (2) Gain some insight into what’s been motivating you to lie, preferably in the context of psychotherapy. If you understand your motivation, become aware and process the thinking and feelings behind the lying, your motivation/ compulsion to lie will greatly lessen.

    I think that the motivation to your lies is hidden in what you shared back in August last year: “I already have an assumption about my childhood… But I don’t want to blame my parents for my behavior because they were trying so hard and handled everything so well. But my older sister was very sick, she suffered from a chronical illness… Of course, she was the center of attention…  I could imagine that some of these parts had an impact, but as already mentioned, I couldn’t imagine that anyone can handle the situation better than my parents” –

    My input about this paragraph: (1) Your sister was “the center of attention”, this likely means that you envied her, wishing that you were the center of attention, (2) As hard as your parents tried, they didn’t succeed in handling everything as well, not as well as you’d like to believe. You don’t want to blame them for anything, so you don’t want to look into what they didn’t handle well. Problem is that without looking into this part, you won’t get the insight you need so to help yourself. Maybe if you don’t use the word blame when it comes to your parents, and instead think of looking for your motivations, you will feel more comfortable about doing this work.

    Back to the particular lie you shared about in this thread: you talked badly to a classmate about one of her friends. I assume that you were angry at that friend. Maybe that friend was the center of attention kind of person and you envied her for that (?) Later. the friend angrily confronted you about having talked badly about her. You felt scared and you needed to defend yourself. The only defense that occurred to you at the time, was to suggest that you were not responsible for having talked badly about her by saying that you had mental problems. Being scared, you wanted to make her believe that your claim was true by saying that you spent some time in a psychiatric institution.

    I think the following: Anger motivated you to talk badly about your classmate’s friend, as well as Jealously, maybe about your classmate paying more attention to that friend than to you. Fear (when confronted) motivated you to lie about having spent time in a psychiatric institution. Confusion (lack of insight/ lack of understanding of yourself) plays a big part in your lying and other behaviors on your part that trouble you, and of course, Alcohol plays a part as well by lowering your inhibitions and leading you to behave in ways that you later regret.

    You are welcome to keep our communication going for the purpose of gaining more and more insight. Adequate insight is a big part of mental health: it will lead you to feeling better about yourself, to longer feel confused, “abnormal” (your word), ashamed, etc. You will behave in ways that don’t surprise you after the fact, ways that don’t conflict with your logic and values.

    anita

    
    
    		
    	
    #391630
    anita
    Participant

    Dear caroline123:

    I just read my last post to you, right above, and I realize that in parts of it, I wasn’t clear, maybe confusing. Also, the post was long and maybe difficult to read. If this is the case, please let me know and I will explain my thoughts more clearly in a shorter post.

    anita

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