Denial, and lies we tell ourselves: They ruin relationships
I feel as if something is changing.
Do you ever feel like that? As if you can feel something has altered and your life has become different?
That’s how I feel today.
It happens to me sometimes. It’s like a moment that settles into my very body, even my soul. I don’t always find out what I’m sensing, but sometimes I do.
I have been watching Hinterland, a TV series from Wales. It is fantastic, raw, brilliantly emotional and tragic, but hopeful too.
One of the main themes is how lies and denial affect our lives, sometimes in some terribly tragic ways. How events, moments not talked about, not acknowledged, buried can create psychoses that manifest in strangely clear ways years later.
The pain doesn’t go away it festers and alters into something almost alive. It consumes the people who feel it, and it gnaws away at their very soul. Until they do something…
I have experienced denial in my life, and I’ve seen others do it. And it does ruin relationships, but foremost our relationship with our self.
Because denial and lies become almost real, we come to believe them and then they twist into our relationships and ruin those too.
And then where are we but alone with our mixed up selves.
I’ve done it. And I’ve been with people who’ve done it. Who do it. They can’t seem to learn.
And the person who looks back at you about an issue, something you’ve done that they can’t let go, for sure are doing it themselves.
My ex-fiance thought I was being irresponsible with money, and in a way I was in denial about my debts and my financial situation, and I fixed it. I’m still working on it, but I took concrete steps to fix it.
But still he went on and on about it and I thought, why? And then he got speeding ticket after speeding ticket. He bought a new car and very quickly had an accident, so his car went into the shop. He’d had too many accidents, too many claims and his insurance company cancelled his coverage.
He said he thought he had bad karma.
But his licence must cost a lot to renew with all those demerit points from speeding. The accidents always cost some money because you pay your deductible. You pay for towing. And what about the inconvenience, the drama in your life that’s really pointless. Your time is worth a lot. And then when your company cancels your insurance, how much are you going to pay with a new company with such a poor driving record?
And then of course there’s the why?
Why does he speed? Why is he reckless? Why does he take the chance with his own life, and other people’s lives? And if he thinks I’m irresponsible with money, well, what about him? He’s spending useless money on avoidable things. Things he can change by simply slowing down. He’s being reckless with lives.
But he doesn’t slow down. No, he thinks he has bad karma.
He doesn’t have bad karma, he’s in denial. Just like I was about my financial situation. But I’m not anymore. But he still is. He’s angry with his insurance company for cancelling his insurance, but what about facing the fact that he’s a reckless driver and he needs to stop that. To stop being dangerous on the road. The universe is giving him lots of signs that HE needs to change, but all he can do is blame his karma.
And how does his denial hurt his family? His friends? They all worry about him, but he doesn’t worry about himself. He just wants to do whatever HE wants to do. Fuck the consequences.
That’s denial. That’s telling yourself lies. And that hurts everyone, but especially himself. Because I’ve learned that my denial cost me a lot and his denial is too.
He must know deep down inside that it’s his fault. That his behaviour is only his, he’s responsible for it. But he’s not changing. He may end up killing himself or other people, or injuring himself. The universe keeps trying to teach us a lesson and they get harder and harder as it keeps trying.
And so I feel a change coming over me. Yes, I was in denial, yes, I made choices I regret, but I never hurt anyone with them except mostly me.
We’ve got to learn to forgive ourselves and face who we are. No one is perfect. And everyone is important. We’re here for a reason.
We have to look at the why behind our behaviour.
If we don’t do that everyone suffers.
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor
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