This is an abbreviated version of a story I wrote about one aspect of an abuser’s character–being secretive , and lying.  Here it is:


Lying is pervasive. There are many forms of lies—little white lies, fibs, tall tales, and bold-faced lies. Some lies are told to spare feelings; others because it is a game of cunning. And sometimes lies come in the form of not saying anything at all—avoiding.  In the end, they are all the same. They are all deceitful; they are all dishonest; and they all hurt.

He told lies just because he could. For him it was a sport—a game he played—to win, to be right, without regard for the other person. He was a master at it. His lies weren’t occasional—they were continual—an art form he’d perfected. He could look you squarely in the eye without blinking or straying left or right and weave stories that could twist you first this way and then that, because you’d want to believe—to hold on to any little shred of trust you could muster,  to have faith in the relationship; but deep down you’d know.  And when you knew and questioned him further he’d become violent—a scare tactic he used to avoid answering the questions. When you were afraid and backed down—he won.  He always won.

There were the countless times the telephone would ring, but no one was ever there when she answered.  He, of course, he had no idea who it could have been.  When she had the number changed to unlisted, the hang-up calls persisted.

“The only people who now have our number are those we have given it to. Who did you give our number to who would hang up when I answer?”

Me? You’re crazy. Where do you get these crazy ideas? Do you lay awake at night to dream up this shit?  I’m so sick of your bullshit! Why don’t you move the hell out?”

His eyes bulged and the veins in his neck grew visibly enlarged exposing the beating of his heart. His nostrils flared like a bull ready to charge.  Towering over her snorting and ranting, the rampage continued.  Backing herself into a corner, she wondered if there would be another hole in the wall made by the back of her head that she’d have to cover over with a picture.  But instead, he decided to display his power by thrashing around the house slamming doors and objects before going off to his “den” like a bear in a cave during hibernation—coming out only to eat, acting as if nothing ever happened.

When you believed his lies, he’d call you gullible without admitting he’d lied to you. He resented you for being gullible—it was weakness to him. It was not gullibility—it was self-defense. Acting gullible was a way to stop the wars and the violence. It was a way to make what he said okay—for another day.  He had just told another of his concocted stories after being asked where he had been.  He’d always said, “Know the answers to the questions you ask.”  This time she did.  She had called where he said he was going to be—he wasn’t.

“What? Are you writing a book now? Do you want me to keep a log? How about a diary? Do you want me to write down everything I do every minute of the day.  Well, let’s see…I went to work, after work I went to see my sister, then I took a piss and here I am. Are you timing me now too?” 

She tried with every cell in her body to believe him, but his continuous lies made it virtually impossible.  It always made her wonder how a person, who professed to love you so much, could be so deceitful and so filled with contempt. Was the contempt for himself—turned outward? Could he not see the pain it caused? Could he not see the devastation swirling around him? Could he not see the hopelessness and despair his lies brought? Could he not see that his lies ripped apart every fiber of decent communication? Could he not see? Did he not care?

More than 25 years they were together—since high school.  She never told anyone the hell she was living. She covered for him, hiding her bruises, making excuses for the missed appointments and cancelled social engagements.  In public he was always self-controlled; always showed her the utmost attention and was always a gentleman. Who would believe her?

He found amusement in lying—like a cat toying with a mouse before devouring it.  Robert was a youth pastor and his wife a Bible college graduate.  He and his wife visited one evening to enjoy a game of monopoly with them.  The first mistake Robert made was to allow him to be the banker. Robert was totally unaware that ‘the banker’ was robbing the bank every chance he could, without detection.  Guess who won the game? The banker had no conscience or scruples, and what made it even more fun for him—he was able to dupe a minister.  His lies knew no boundaries.

He didn’t seem to realize that he was building walls instead of bridges. He could tell you stories with such intensity and conviction that they had to be true, right? He could make up a story on the spot without missing any of the details of the plot.  He could ad-lib better than the best improvisational comedian. But in the end, he’d built himself a house without doors.  He couldn’t escape, but she was set free—free from the master deceiver, and free from his clutches.  Free because she was on the outside of the house with no doors.


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