Fake (my) news

12 Jul

Do you listen to yourself talk? Do you have an internal editor who sifts through what you say before you say it? Do you tell people the truth when they ask you questions?

I don’t remember when this happened, but one day I remember listening to myself talk as if I were watching the conversation from outside of it. Not in a derealization kind of way, just in a way of WTF am I doing? Someone had asked me something and I was answering them, and the words coming out of my mouth were–technically speaking–lies. I wasn’t lying with malice, I was lying because I didn’t want the person to know how shitty I was feeling. I was lying because I didn’t want to have to deal with the eventual questions of why and have you seen a doctor and have you tried x. I was lying because I didn’t want the person to pity me, or to worry about me, or to think less of me for my health issues.

I’m in pain almost every day, from various parts of my body. Possibly from my mind, who knows. I feel lousy the majority of the days in recent years…not pain specifically, but sometimes it’s anxiety, sometimes it’s due to a known illness, sometimes it’s what my mind conjures, and sometimes it’s some unknown ailment. I get tired of telling people how I’m feeling when they ask. And for the most part, it’s not about them, it’s about me. I don’t want to deal with whatever the blow-back is, as I said above.

And on this particular day, I came to a realization of how often I lie (without malice) to people. Clearly I do it without forethought or planning…and in some cases it seems to be an automatic response. I try not to do it with Hub (he can often see through me anyway) and I definitely try not to do it with my therapist. Sometimes I will edit the “truth”, even though I suspect both of them know it. But with everyone else? I lie. I give fake answers. I edit the things I’m saying to meet the person I’m conversing with.

I hate how are you? I despise how are you feeling? I always feel put on the spot to answer in a manner that the person asking can understand or respond to in a manner that works for them. I absolutely abhor when Hub asks me what hurts or does something hurt? Again, no one else’s issue other than mine, but this is the truth.

I don’t remember a time when my body didn’t harbor pain. I don’t remember a time when my body didn’t report some form of illness–real or anxiety-induced. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t lie to people about those things.

How are you? Shitty.

How are you feeling? Shitty.

What hurts? Everything.

Giving those answers…what does it do for me or for the person asking? Nothing. It puts me on the spot to explain, clarify, defend, respond…and I don’t want to anymore. I would very much wish that I wouldn’t need to anymore, but in lieu of that, I lie.

How are you? Fine, thanks.

How are you feeling? Good days and bad days.

What hurts? Nothing new or different.

If you can’t beat ’em, fake ’em?


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10 responses to “Fake (my) news

  1. easyweimaraner

    July 12, 2017 at 11:50 am

    it’s like you said, it does nothing for you… I fortunately live in france so I can make some weird noises instead to lie when it comes to questions for nothing …

    • meANXIETYme

      July 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      LOL. I guess I could try noises, too…

  2. Maggie Wilson

    July 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    I totally get that you feel that you are being untruthful, and how it plays on your sense of honesty while at the same time, you want to protect yourself.

    Instead of using the word “lie” I would suggest that you are exercising social grace. When someone asks, “How are you doing?” it’s often just a conversation opener. If that’s the case, then a “truthful” answer will shut down the conversation. Saying “Fine thanks” is perfectly appropriate, I think and keeps the social engagement on an even keel. I wouldn’t call it lying. I call it being kind.

    If your correspondent, however, is genuinely inquiring after your health, knowing you intimately, but you aren’t ready to “go there” – then the “good days/bad days” or “nothing new/nothing different” answers are also perfectly adequate. Again, it’s not lying. It’s being kind, but this time, to yourself.

    • meANXIETYme

      July 12, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Yes, you’re right, I have to keep in mind that taking care of myself is important. And even though this feels like a small thing (making things easier on myself), it’s still important. Thank you.
      And you’re right, I need to keep this in perspective on how I speak to myself about this. I’m not lying, I’m being kind to myself and socially appropriate with others.

      • Maggie Wilson

        July 12, 2017 at 5:39 pm

        Know how I know this? I have answered “truthfully” in similar situations, because my mantra was ‘honesty at all costs.’ Well, it cost me, all right. People were embarrassed, confused, put off… you name it. My social skills are still a work in progress. I have a tendency to take things too literally. They ask “how are you?” and I tell ’em! Not the wisest move. So, I have to thank you for this chance to articulate what I am just learning myself. 🙂

      • meANXIETYme

        July 12, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        Yes, I used to always answer honestly, but with some people I always ended up having to defend myself, my illness, what I have done, etc. I just got tired and found myself falling back on the niceties with many people. How are you? Fine, thanks, you?

  3. joey

    July 13, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I think over time, I learned who was sincerely asking and who was just making chit chat. Sometimes I must remind people that my hands are hurting (always at assorted levels) and (seem) useless to me, and I tend to get angry depending on whom I must remind.
    I understand it feels dishonest, but it’s probably better than the truth in most instances. Although, I’d say telling the truth would be enough to keep most people away and that’s when the truth really sets us free 😉 LOL
    I’m sorry you feel shitty all the time. That is the suck. Thanks for being honest with us.

    • meANXIETYme

      July 13, 2017 at 11:17 am

      It’s not so much about chit-chat versus real interest, it’s more about family members who always think they know better and/or feel they are trying to “help” by making all kinds of suggestions like I haven’t been living with these issues for 16 years. Like I haven’t tried to figure out what the source is and how to “heal” whatever it is. Less “intimate” people are easier, because I just say fine and let it go. Because they don’t really need to or want to know the “real”.
      It’s the suck. And I’m sorry about your hands, because yeah…I know how it feels.

      • joey

        July 13, 2017 at 11:23 am

        You know Shel Silverstein? “Some kind of help is the kind of help we could all do without.”

      • meANXIETYme

        July 13, 2017 at 11:25 am

        Yeah, seriously! 😉


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