I value honesty and reality. I think it is such an important aspect of life.
I am part of a forum group. I am always reading posts about how people are afraid to ask their Ts questions. While I do understand the fear of the response, I don’t understand how they can live with possible false perceptions.
My T and I have a deal that we are both open and honest with each other. Of course, there are boundaries and limitations (i.e. limited information about my T’s personal life). I’m still allowed to ask any question I want. My T is allowed to answer questions any way she wants to. But the answers must be honest.
I appreciate the honesty. I want to know the truth of our relationship, about her, about me, and about my progress. I want to know that the person I’m sharing my most vulnerable secrets is safe and trustworthy.
One question that people seem afraid to as their T is “Do you care about me?” I don’t think it’s a huge leap to expect someone like a T to truly care about you. Wouldn’t you want to know? If they don’t actually care, would you really want that person to know such intimate things about you? I understand that it would be painful to discover that a person doesn’t care about you. But I think it would be more painful to find out later the true nature of the relationship.
I ask my T such difficult questions. I don’t always get a black or white answer. Sometimes I even have to prove how an answer would be beneficial to me. But in the end, I would rather have an authentic, realistic, and honest relationship with my T than live with an idealistic idea of my T.
Here’s how I learned the value of honesty and reality:
My last major experience with lying thought me a lesson I will never forget. I did not actually start the lie. I was at a friend’s house. She was asking me about my mother’s past. I said “I know my grandma abused my mom and my grandma might have too”. “Too”. That simple little word was the start to my lie. You see, my friend though too meant that my dad abused me also; not that my grandpa also abused my mom.
Well, I started therapy soon after that conversation. My friend came with me, and she told my T that my dad abused me?!?! I told her that it wasn’t true. She brought up our conversation and told me to stop lying. I tried again to correct her, but she wouldn’t listen. I wound up terminating with that T. Few months later, I found a new T. Somehow, my friend told the new T my dad abused me. I denied it. But back then, doctors assumed that all people with BPD were abused in childhood. So again, no one believed me. In fact, I was told that if I wasn’t abused that I was then faking my mental illness.
So I got put into group therapy for rape and abuse survivors. And I had no transportation, so I asked my dad to take me… Not smart. When the counselor found out my dad was the one taking me and that he had custody of my younger sister, she filled a CPS report on him 😦 I wound up having to write a letter to the judge saying that my dad never abused me. I almost destroyed my dad’s life all over a misunderstanding that I gave up on clarifying.
Btw, my dad never physically or sexually abused me…just to be clear.
So that taught me not to lie.
I also learned a lesson in reality.
I lived 6 years of my life playing a computer game 18 hours a day. My life was this fantasy world. I rarely left my house. I often neglected my personal hygiene. I had no friends and minimal contact with my family. I woke up every morning and went straight to my computer to play. The only time I left my computer was to eat, bathroom breaks, feed my dogs, or sleep.
I was addicted. And it was easier for me to live this life. If I didn’t like someone, I’d put them on my ignore list. If someone was bullying me, I could do a name change. I had “friends” who didn’t know anything about me because I could be whoever I wanted to be. In game, I was a confident, thin, sexy red-haired elf. I wore a dress that showed off all my curves. I was smart, skilled, and experienced. But in reality, I’m an overweight, shy, girl who is afraid of the world.
I finally escaped my fantasy world through a series of family emergencies and health scares. Reality hit me hard. I found out what 6 years of neglecting yourself does to you physically and mentally. I fell apart.
I now try to always be honest and to do my best to live fully in reality. Even if it comes at a cost. The cost of honesty and reality is less than lies and fantasy.