300 Writing Prompts #5: Lying To Yourself

Name one thing you have lied to yourself about. Why did you do this?

Well, this one is going to be a bit personal.

When I was little, I told myself quite often that my mother loved me and that she would return to retrieve me because who wouldn’t want to be with their child. That no sane person could leave someone and just forget about them. I would think of scenarios that she would come and get me, dreaming outlandish fantasies that I was confident would come true when I saw her. She would to my grandparent’s house on days after Christmas with my birthday present in hand and tell them that I was going home and though I would hesitate, she would reassure me with her eyes that were so happy to see me.

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Because of this, I would sit by the window on holidays and wait for her to arrive. Family members would ask about her and my grandparents would assure that she was all right and would swing by before the end of the evening. Even worse was my birthday which was the day after Christmas. I remember vividly sitting on the steps of my front door, waiting for the doorbell to ring. She could forget Christmas but she wouldn’t forget my birthday… right? When she never came, I often thought it was my fault. That someone I wasn’t good enough as a child to be worthy of my mother. That somehow I had failed as a son.

When she passed away a few years ago, I found myself in a dark place. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t help but think that I hadn’t done enough for her. That I didn’t try hard enough. That I wasn’t there when she needed me the most. I had found and paid for a place so she didn’t have to live on the streets. Bought her groceries every week and tried to help any way I could. Someone she knew burned down her apartment over petty drama and money owed and she moved down south shortly after chasing a companion. This led me to believe that what I did wasn’t good enough. That it was wrong somehow.  That my efforts were a mistake and I should have done more. Done better. I spent many nights in my car alone and just stare absentmindedly in my failure.

When my relationship ended with my girlfriend, I slipped into the same habit. I would wait in the living room with my phone beside me, looking at the door for someone to arrive. For her to arrive. Despite discovering she had indeed slept with someone else for the second time. All the arguments and fights. Despite knowing that it was over and that the choice was good for me, I waited. But no one came. Friends did at first but they eventually faded. It was here that I thought I failed again. Failed as a companion. As a friend. As a lover.  If I hadn’t, why would she do what she did? Not once, but twice. And after she pleaded for me to take her back.

And there are more cases. From my own blood sister choosing herself over the family that raised her, stealing and lying from our grandparents that took her end when they did not have to. Coming to her aid and trying to show her the right thing only to have her claim that I never was there and denounce me as her brother. Still not speaking to this day.

To friends who either betrayed me or threw me under the bus to protect themselves. Hell, recently someone who I thought was a friend who asked for a rather big favor out complete necessity with the promise that they would return it only to have them leave town and ignore me despite not having any real reason to do so.

I was always putting others before myself but no one never found someone who did it for me. This always left me feeling alone.

The lie I told myself was that someone else would. That someone would care for me as much as I cared for them. That if I showed them that I would always be there for them, they would, in turn, be there for me. That someone would finally choose me over the other option. Despite being shown countless times that people will always think of themselves in the end and forget everything when choosing themselves. I know this isn’t an absolute and there are people out there that wouldn’t do this. My sample size is just too big now to justify me foolishly thinking anything else. I won’t lie here and say it doesn’t piss me off that no one never even seems to considered to do that for me. As an adult, I have to look at every situation and try to learn from it but the lesson comes to the same conclusion.

Why did I do this? Because I desperately wanted it something that I never had. So I pulled the veil over my eyes and believe that those close to me would even though I knew deep down that they wouldn’t. And I pushed myself to be that person for them. It may sound like I was actively doing this for someone to return the favor but I can assure you that all of it was genuine. I wouldn’t go back and change any of my decisions even now that I know how they turn out.

The irony of this is that I got to watch something that literally broke me down in tears that I felt spoke volumes to what I was going through. Episodes 20 and 21 from Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works was something I could relate to in so many levels. Watching Archer and Shirou Emiya’s fight was like watching the internal battle in myself.

The ideals that I felt so strongly as a child that shaped my actions and choices throughout my life (Shirou) being challenged by the adult version of myself who attempted to carry out those ideals only to be met with pain, suffering, and heartache. (Archer)

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There were plenty of days where I felt like this.

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I cherish that ideal far before this anime came out.

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Once again, in my darkest moments…  when it hurt the most… it couldn’t agree more.

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But no matter how much it hurts. No matter how many times I am disappointed, I still don’t like the idea of someone feeling the way I did and I know it isn’t wrong for me to want to desire that.  I feel like if I lose this part of me, the world would lose its color and even with all the things I have been through, it hasn’t all be bad. This world has some real beauty in it and I wake up every day hoping that I add color to it. There are better ways to achieve that dream, however and I push to find it every day.

Thinking about it, I wonder if the creator dealt with this same conflict internally?

I think I would just as stubborn if I had the chance to go back to speak to myself. 


Thanks for stopping by and reading. I really appreciate it. I understand if you don’t want to share but what are some of the things you lied to yourself about? I would love to talk about it in the comments.

Until the next post… I love this song.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Timlah says:

    Thanks for sharing something so deeply personal. I’m someone who knows full well of having lied to myself for many years, until I hit 20. Those lies are all gone, so I now focus on the future – All you can do is look ahead and keep being you 🙂

  2. moyatori says:

    Wow. Writing about such an experience and the catharsis at the end of it is very much an undoing of any lies you’ve been telling yourself. Perhaps lies can’t be undone so easily, but acknowledging the fact that they’re lies is a very respectable thing.

    I’m sure everyone lies to themselves. The sort of lies I tell tend to be self-deprecating ones as well. Pretending that I suck at everything and am a horrible human being has served as a way to push myself to my limits and get better. This habit may stay with me for years to come.

    1. This question really had me digging underneath the surface. I thought about it for nearly three days, dismissing the obvious ones for something truly meaningful and after writing this, I felt almost relieved.

      Everyone does and you are already one step ahead of some with acknowledging what you lie to yourself about. At least yours does have an positive attached to it. Did you know that Michael Jordan would do something similar? He would make up reasons why his opposing team players didn’t like him to push himself to prove them wrong. Look where it go him?

      1. moyatori says:

        It definitely has its positive effects. It can be very stressful, but it makes me super motivated to do things better. 🙂

  3. Mia Winhertt says:

    We all lie to ourselves at one point or the other. It’s commendable that in spite of whatever you went through, you still “want to add color to the world.” It takes real courage. 👍

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