I've been lied to by someone I love and trusted, and it's causing me chest pains and way too many tears. What can I do to cope or process it healthily and get over it as quickly as possible?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My sister and I live together, and are very close in age (our late twenties). I assumed she and I were very close. She's always been my best friend, my supporter and champion, and I her supporter and champion. I found out that she's been lying to me about things that don't matter and things that do, and I can't understand why she would. I feel really bad about it, like it's my fault somehow.
I don't understand why I'm feeling so terrible about it, why I can't just forgive her and move on this time. I love her so much, and I've done everything I can to be the best sister and friend possible, because we never could rely on our parents.
We've had virtually no friction in our relationship. We've had the same crowd of friends, we've seen each other through so much (especially in our twenties---our parents were pretty unreliable folks and so she grew up with my maternal grandparents and I lived with my dad and stepmother), so we never really even got to grow up together in a traditional way but we really connected while at college.
I'm in a postbac premed program right now, and she works. I can't go out much right now, but she still does when she feels like it.
The last few weeks, she came home pretty late at night and, the first time, I said something like, "Did they make you stay super late again at work, or did you go do something fun?" I love hearing about her escapades since I have to be chained to my desk. And she said something like, "No, I went to the gym, and then Kristin and I went to XYZ bar."
Last week, I got an FB message from Kristin that asked if my sister was mad at her, because they hadn't talked in months and my sister had ignored her emails. Apparently she and Kristin haven't spoken in months, and she hadn't gone to a bar with Kristin all those times she said she had.
I gently asked my sister about this just out of curiosity---she's not someone I thought lies, because I don't tell lies, and because I was really confused. But when I asked her about it, she said she'd been going to a meditation class, something she'd mentioned to me wanting to do several times in the past and I had even emailed her some websites and links for drop in classes in our area months ago when I went to meditation. She said she lied because was embarrassed about going, then she said she thought I would discourage her (which is bizarre because I encouraged her and sent her links many months back). I told her I thought it was great and that it hurt that she thought I would discourage her (I didn't have a very supportive parent and want to be someone she knows she can rely on for emotional support). I said I was sorry for whatever impression I might have given to her that made her think she'd have to hide it from me. I told her she didn't have to share everything, but I felt like telling me a lie made me wonder if she was hiding something more than just going to a meditation class. She said she was sorry, that she didn't know why she didn't feel like telling me, and that she really wanted to be open and honest with me and loved that about our relationship, that I was a great sister and her best friend, and she was genuinely sorry.
Over the weekend, a girl I don't know posted on her Facebook wall and said "Hey, Bridget wants to know if you're still interested in the room in her apartment or if you already found a new place."
I didn't know she'd been looking at apartments or for new roommates.
For that, she says she can't explain herself, that she's sorry about lying to me....I was okay at first and asked her if she wanted to move out, that she could if that's what she wanted, that I loved her and would always be there for her, I told her I understood if she wanted to have more "emotional space" (maybe we're too close, I thought, and she needs room to breathe---Lord knows I do at times). She said she didn't want to, she didn't know why (she's been looking at apartments since April, apparently), she couldn't explain it. She said she's so sorry.
I feel like it's all my fault. Obviously I've done something to make her think she can't come to me. She's a loving and caring and warm person on the inside. She's always given me the impression that she's really warm and open and charismatic. She's a great listener and a role model to me in many ways. She doesn't feel the same way about herself, and I've always been there knowing it was my job to be on her side. I'm scared she hates me, feels burdened by me, doesn't get that I just want us to be the family we didn't have, that we could trust each other.
I've loved her more than anybody in the whole world for so long, and I think I've lost her. I realize that she might not value honesty as much as I do.
Yesterday, I found an invitation to a wedding from my college friend in a discarded grocery bag thrown into our hall closet and only found it because I was putting all my winter coats in storage. It was a huge silver envelope that was postmarked from three weeks ago (my sister has our mail key and gets the mail which she puts on the counter). It was addressed to me and a guest, and the RSVP date is this week. I called my sister with the intention of asking if she wanted to go, because it was in our favorite beach town, and while I was explaining why we had to answer by the rapidly approaching RSVP date, she immediately became very defensive, saying she'd never seen the envelope, that it came from our mail slot with a lot of other mail and she never saw it. I lost my temper and said, "This is so fucking stupid. I was trying to ask you if you wanted to go with me and you want to turn it into a fucking defense plea." Then I hung up on her, turned off my phone, and cried and felt bad for losing my temper with her. I apologized on chat and told her I would see her later, and that I loved her and that she should know that I'd always be there for her no matter what and I was trying really hard to get over this.
The thing is is that the envelope was a third of the size of the bag and heavy, and hard to miss. When she came home and examined it, she said, "Geez, how could I have missed this? Weird." I don't really think she would have hidden it on purpose, because that would be crazy. She's met this friend a handful of times and we both love weddings (for the free booze, dancing, and dinner). But she seems really preoccupied and disinterested. She doesn't even seem to want to regain my trust, which is what I would have tried to do if I had been her.
She says she doesn't want to move out, but she might just do it secretly because I don't feel like I know what she's thinking anymore. I'm tired. I want to act like the gracious, loving refuge for her that she knows she can be honest with, but I'm so angry and scared and sad and have this newfound sense of loneliness from being so stupidly unaware of what was going on that it will probably take some time, and I don't want her to hate me, no matter what happens.
I can't tell our friends what's going on (though some of them knew she'd been thinking of moving out and thought I'd been aware of it and actually thought we were both moving together) because that would hurt her and hurt our relationship.
I just need to feel better so I can concentrate, and stop tearing up and wanting to cry. I want to know what I did wrong and how I can help her be more honest with me or accept that she doesn't want to be. I'm scared she'll leave without saying (her name is on the lease) and I'll come home to a half empty apt and a notice that I should leave (I'd have to move in with my mother who is deeply depressed and extremely needy). I don't even know what my sister is capable of now (I didn't really think she would lie to me or be defensive about lying to me) but I want to believe that she cares how I feel (which I'm not certain she does anymore, judging from the way she's been ignoring me and carrying on as normal, like I'm a wacko having a disproportionate reaction and boring---this was not the way things were between us a few weeks ago when I was unaware of everything).
I've been lied to in the past by bad ex-boyfriends and stuff, but this feels like an earthquake with aftershocks. I feel so much more heartbroken by this than anything else, and I was once very much in love with a guy who cheated on me. Even that didn't feel as horrible and painful as this.
How do I cope? How do I just get through this in a way that normalizes everything? Is that even possible? I can be okay for longer periods of time but then my heart just feels like it's being squeezed and I start to weep. I feel like I don't even have the brainpower to figure out what's going on in my head or what I'm thinking or feeling other than a lot of pain. I so desperately want to fix everything. I really wish I knew how, but I'll settle for tips on how to stop feeling awful. I'm trying to pretend it didn't happen, that my sister never lied to me, that I imagined the whole thing, but everything still feels really off.
Help please. I apologize if I come off as emotionally immature and incredibly naive. I know sisters do terrible things to each other all the time and they just forgive and forget. I really want to. I don't know how and I feel like a horrible bitch.