The classic act of denial; we feel one thing but we say the opposite. The lie comes out so easily and most often you can fool other people into believing it’s the truth. But the only person who you can never, ever fool is yourself.
So many things happen in our lives that we’re not proud of or content with. Be this as it may, it can still be incredibly hard to admit that to ourselves sometimes. We don’t like our reality so we try to replace it with our own, comfortably fabricated truth. Either this or we’re just not willing to accept the actual truth. Sometimes we deny something simply to make ourselves feel better or because we want to believe a different truth, sometimes we do it out of desperation and sometimes as an act of self-protection.
It’s so easy to tell someone an alternate truth. We don’t like what has happened in reality so we fabricate a better scenario, quickly telling this to the people around us. Most people will choose to believe you even if you lie to their face. The lie rolls off our tongue so easily and it comes out sounding smooth, honest and truthful. What’s not for them to believe, right? Even so, we can never fool ourselves into believing this alleged truth. Despite it being easy to say, we’re aware that we’re lying even as we’re speaking it aloud. Our brain knows it’s a lie. Our heart knows it’s a lie. This is why we can never truly believe the lie we’ve told.
Sometimes we become desperate. If something terrible and shocking happens in our lives, it can take us a really long time to accept that this has happened because we don’t want to believe that it has the ability to deeply affect us. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend that it didn’t.
It’s another thing to be in denial if someone we love hurts us, breaks our heart or our trust. After all, we trusted this person to look after us and not to hurt us, so if they betray us it can be heartbreaking. Believing that they’ve hurt us might mean realising they’re not the person we thought they were, or that we never truly knew them at all. Sometimes it means realising that the person you loved doesn’t exist anymore…or maybe never did at all.
We have too much self-preservation to admit that we’re deeply hurt by their actions. It’s hard to accept that you were wrong about someone you thought you knew so well and it’s hard to overcome the feeling of betrayal and deception that you’re left with. Not only are we not willing to admit that we’re hurt but sometimes we don’t even want to admit that the betrayal and loss of trust occurred in the first place.
Other times, a part of ourselves doesn’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that they really hurt us. To be fair, when you feel hurt the last thing you want to do is scream it from the rooftops and tell the person who did it how crappy and miserable you feel. We have too much self-preservation for that so we pretend that we’re not affected by what they did to us. We put up a seemingly strong front that we’re not hurt because we ‘didn’t care’ in the first place. We suddenly pretend that we’re untouchable and nothing they do can get through to our vulnerable hearts. We become determined to say and do anything to give them the impression that they didn’t hurt us because it’s easier than being honest and telling them that we’re hurt.
I go through different phases after someone hurts me. At first I’m upset and my first instinct is to be honest and tell them how hurt I feel – just because I’m a very honest and emotional person. If they’re unresponsive or show no remorse to this, I will move onto the next phase and pretend I never cared. I will tell the person that what they did didn’t hurt me because I didn’t care. And if I was emotionally invested in them I will pretend that my feelings for them never existed. If I was in love with them I will blatantly deny this because it makes me feel less hurt to hear myself say the opposite of the truth. It may sound immature but it’s a coping mechanism; it’s my natural response to dealing with a hurtful truth and broken feelings.
But all of these are acts of denial. Of course I cared enough to be incredibly hurt by their actions. Of course a part of me still has romantic feelings for them and quite possibly still loves them, despite what they’ve done. Such strong and intense feelings don’t just go away overnight or disappear because you want them to – it takes a very long time for them to completely leave our sides. We continue to deny ourselves the truth because there’s nothing more miserable than being in love with someone who hurt us, and we know that deep down. We deny the truth when it hurts too much to be honest.
Lucy Rebecca x