With all the obvious lies flying around the entire Mediated-Sphere, I got to reminiscing about my former best friend at university who was an unrepentant liar.
The story of the end of our friendship still hurts to recall, 30 years later. I lost not only her friendship at that time, but that of the circle of friends we shared as well. A double whammy, if you will.
While I understand there are always (at least) two sides to every story, I haven’t spoken to her since those days, so how she recalls these events, or if she recalls them at all, I don’t know, and I don’t care.
I’m recounting this story now because I see in the public in general there are FAR too many who are too hesitant to tear themselves away from liars and the clearly corrupt institutions they are running, which I know will be to their detriment in the long-term, as well as to the detriment of us all.
The longer you wait, the more entrenched, and accepted, the lies become.
I share this story as an appeal, yet another one, and a warning.
My little story is inconsequential to everyone else but me. But it does have an accompanying lesson from which anyone could benefit.
This friend and I were so tight we shared a studio apartment and were nearly inseparable for several years. I met her at the beginning of my freshman year, not long after I met my boyfriend.
To make a long and dramatic story short and succinct—she was sleeping with my boyfriend all those years behind my back. After he and I broke up, she still didn’t tell me about the two of them. Then she got pregnant by him, but I still didn’t know. She asked me to borrow money and I asked why. She became very secretive.
I heard from another friend she had been reading my private journal, because she wanted to find out if I was still in love with the ex-boyfriend. I got suspicious and tried to talk with her several times about it all, but she waved me off each time. I refused her the money and she got livid. We got into a screaming fight. I was still baffled by it all because I didn’t know the real issue—that she was pregnant by my ex-boyfriend and wanted the money for an abortion.
Even after all that, I would’ve forgiven her, if only she had come clean. She never did. I wrote in my journal, which I knew by then she was reading, that it’s not the lies that break trust so much as the refusal to face them even when confronted. The cover-up was worse than the initial lies.
Why? Because that’s where I learned every single person in our circle of friends knew about their liaison except for me. For years.
It wasn’t about the boyfriend, either. I’d have handed him over with pleasure, had she ever asked. But then, that’s the whole point for a narcissist, or someone intent on winning at any cost—it’s not as fun if you don’t steal it—fair and square.
She deflected, made excuses, minimized, tried to turn the tables. She showed no remorse, would take no accountability, refused to apologize, or even to listen to me, or show me a shred of compassion.
You might think it was the humiliation, or the betrayal, that caused me so much pain and that guided my decision-making after that point. But as painful as those were, that was not my breaking point.
No. My breaking point was being honest with myself about the content of their characters that had become glaringly obvious at that point, so much so that I could no longer stand to be around them. Any of them. They could not look me in the eye. They would not show an ounce of remorse or try to understand my pain or my position.
It was really, really hard, but I walked away.
I wish I could say that was the last time I made such a mistake. No again. It took another couple of decades for me to correct this issue. It took until the point I realized that it was my fault.
Of course I don’t take any blame away from her, her behavior was deplorable. But, I also knew her moral standards were low. I knew she’d done similar things to other friends. I just thought, because I was more loyal to her, a better friend, more honest, more committed, I could inspire her to not play me that way. I should’ve known better.
Giving such people the benefit of the doubt, and second chances and third chances, is not loyalty, or strength, or courage. It is enabling liars and it is highly damaging to self-respect.
She went on to become a pharmaceutical rep. I have little doubt she has still not done enough soul searching to realize or regret yet another move down the low road.
And this is where we stand in America. We are being lied to by those all around us, by those who have positioned themselves as our betters, our leaders, our trusted officials, our media.
They are lying. The time for excuses is over, already decades ago. The problems we need to face will not be fixed by voting for the next Liar In Chief. To continue on with the charade at this late date makes you a collaborator by every definition, no longer able to claim innocence or ignorance.
LIVE NOT BY LIES
“On the day Solzhenitsyn was arrested, February, 12, 1974, he released the text of “Live Not by Lies.” The next day, he was exiled to the West, where he received a hero’s welcome. This moment marks the peak of his fame. Solzhenitsyn equates “lies” with ideology, the illusion that human nature and society can be reshaped to predetermined specifications. And his last word before leaving his homeland urges Soviet citizens as individuals to refrain from cooperating with the regime’s lies. Even the most timid can take this least demanding step toward spiritual independence. If many march together on this path of passive resistance, the whole inhuman system will totter and collapse.”
— by Edward E. Ericson, Jr. and Daniel J. Mahoney, The Solzhenitsyn Reader