So many people deal with trauma. It’s talked about a lot nowadays, “mental health matters,” therapy,” other buzz words.
But a lot of the time people don’t talk about the ugly sides of trauma. They talk about being tired and needing to love and care about oneself.
But they don’t talk about the toxic behaviours people with trauma often have to fight against.
For example, a surprisingly common one: Lying.
When people talk about impulsive liars it’s pretty much always in a negative light. These are people who have no respect for others, no consideration for the truth. But impulsive lying is a sign of mental health issues. It can stand on it’s own but I often see it linked with past trauma.
If somebody was abused at some point, perhaps lying was the only safe option, and even if that abuse is over getting back into the habit of honesty is difficult.
The lies may not be big.
“Did you do this task?”
No. But instead of saying you forgot and will do it in a second, you say yes, because in the past saying no was dangerous. Most of the time you then do the task and it’s fine, but sometimes something pops up and your lie is revealed and the person you lied to feels betrayed and you are left wondering, “why did I say that?” Why lie to the person you trust?
Sometimes the lies can be bigger. You might lie to your therapist about the abuse because you’ve been trained to do so. You might lie about your salary because somebody taught you your self-worth depends on the money you make and you’re scared they’ll leave if you aren’t worthy enough. Maybe you’ll lie about not being fired from your job or many, many other things.
Trauma can lead to impulsive lying because there was a time in our life the truth wasn’t safe.
Lying can lead us to lose relationships and further isolate ourselves.
This is a side of trauma I feel people don’t discuss enough because impulsive lying is seen as such an “evil” trait. But in writing it can make for a lot of heartbreak, a lot of tension in relationships and is an interesting huddle for character’s to get over.
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