Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah. They're Gonna Get You."

In general, I cannot lie.

As an adult, I understand why I cannot lie, the least righteous reason being that I couldn't keep my story straight even if I tried.  I have a horrible memory, and I am a terrible actor. 

When I was a teen and lied to my parents, I consistently ended up admitting it, even if some time elapsed between the lie and confession, during which I was miserable.  And growing up as I did, outside of being a kid and a teen, I had ample reasons for lying.  My home life was, let's say, hundreds of degrees below that of "Leave it to Beaver."

My older brother lied as well.  One day I said to him, "The only difference between you and me is that I admit it."

But as an adult, philosophically, I cannot lie because I long for freedom, and living an untruth is slavery, whether we are untrue to someone else or ourselves.  And I believe in Karma.  We reap what we sow; what comes around goes around.  People who lie about others (in Christianity, known as "bearing false witness), will suffer in some way, which is too bad, but perhaps what they need.  For me, though, since I believe in reincarnation, I certainly do not want to return to a planet that I have made worse by lying. 

I have been very angry with the people who have lied about me and persecuted me because they have something to hide.  I have suffered because of it, in particular, because my disabilities become worse when I am attacked or under extreme stress.  Life is stressful enough without liars making it more so.  This is not my way of feeling sorry for myself.  It's just fact.

It will take me awhile to forgive those who have lied about me.  These people have worldly power and position that I don't because they have money and I don't.  As one lawyer said to me, "How much justice can you afford?"

He was not kidding, which is one reason I sympathize and even empathize with my former students, the convicts that sometimes don't deserve the degree of punishment they receive.  How much justice can THEY afford when they are mostly minorities and poor, many with mental illness?  It is those people who fill the jails, not the wealthy.

I call my students at the adult detention center "former" because, just this morning, I had to resign.  The PTSD symptoms have returned, and as anyone who has had this condition knows, it can be debilitating.  The anxiety has been intolerable.  Fortunately, the depression has been manageable. 

See, when it comes to lying about others, what we are really talking about here is justice.  I have lost jobs, money, education, time, health and more because of lies.  And I am not at the point at which I can forgive the liars, which causes ME pain, not them.  I can forgive my rapist more easily than I can them because I know why he is the way he is.  He is sick in a variety of ways including mentally, and if there is anything I understand, it's illness.  He deserves punishment, yes, but he also deserves pity and the chance to be healed.

What do these educated, entitled, powerful people deserve?  I can't say because I am not a judge in any sense of the word.  All I can say is that it's hard to forgive when justice has not been served.

I am not an unforgiving person.  Therefore, these liars have taken even more from me:  I cannot feel true to myself until I reach this place of understanding in my mind and heart.

It takes a long time to live up to the serenity prayer--to accept the things I cannot change.  I will continue to pray that because I deserve peace.  I am fortunate in knowing other people are praying for me as well.
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