The Lying Whore Of Babylon

I thought of this entry yesterday, while I was engaged in several lengthy debates in comment threads with obstinate people. At least, they were supposed to be debates. But as is the case with internet debates, they turned into muck-slinging comments about my person, instead of the issue. This is what internet discourse is nowadays, unless you are talking with people who share a common idea of sorts. Your very nature is brought low, and you are in essence accused of being everything unwholesome and unsavory. It is the tactic of people uncomfortable in their own selves; people who are so unhappy for some reason or another that they just cannot tolerate what another person is saying so they utter those words: “You are lying.”

“You never served; you’re not a veteran.” That one comes up a lot. It’s really preposterous, and I’m not the only one who gets this line. Because military service gets dragged up as some sort of trophy for conservatives to bandy about as some sort of patriotism bar with which to measure True Americanism, everyone and their third cousin twice removed waves around how such-and-such is an insult to veterans and soldiers and their families whether they have a connection to the military as a family member or are a veteran themselves…or not. Usually not. And once I speak up about being a veteran, the shock is always deafening. In person it’s funny. When people say, “I never would have guessed you were in the Navy!” I laugh, because my Navy experience is such an intrinsic part of me, of who I am, I cannot imagine ever NOT being a sailor. But looking at myself from fresh eyes I can see what they mean, and it’s fun and funny, and I enjoy regaling them with my experiences and sharing how the Navy saved me and gave me so much amazing goodness (and not just my husband and two glorious years in the Mediterranean). When utter strangers on the internet who know me only by a profile picture and a few sentences tell me I am not a veteran, that I am flat out LYING, it is disgustingly offensive. It is no-one’s right to look into another’s heart and tell them who or what they are or how they feel or what experiences they may have had in that way. I am an extremely observant and empathetic person, and I draw on a lifetime of experience to gauge a person, so I will sometimes make a judgement call on someone based on what they share, but I will never tell them they are lying unless they flat out do so. When my service is mocked in this way, I am *always* taken aback. Why on earth would I lie about something like that? But ultimately, it’s not me I feel badly about…it’s them. Because my service is something I hold dear; it’s an experience that has brought me a lot of help in dark days, and given me tools I need and fall back on when I need strength. I’m proud of that part of me. People who lash out that way have a lot of self-work to do, and most of the time I will say something to that effect. Usually it just gets me blocked or more vitriol. Such is the way of the internet “conversation”.

I have a Thing about lying, though, you see. Always I was a liar. When I did badly in school, and badly meant just below excellent except for a couple notable times of great upheaval, it was always my fault. When I tried to explain difficulties with math concepts the man who called himself my father told me I was lying, that I was not paying attention to the teacher. Later in high school when I tried to tell him about an algebra teacher who was playing favourites with certain athletic students again I was a liar. When I disrupted my second grade class once and was told to stand outside the class and got confused as to what I was supposed to do and walked home, the man who called himself my father called me a liar and said I walked out of class on purpose. He then spanked me about half a dozen times and threw me against the wall of my room until my mother asked him to stop. When I was six, he took me into the shower with him and told me to touch his erect penis, smiling. When I didn’t want to, he got angry and made me do it. Then he squirted out some conditioner and told me semen looked like that and it would make me pregnant. He made me stay in the shower with him until he was finished, and when I later told my child psychiatrist about that and he had his visitation revoked for a year for child molestation, he called me a filthy liar. There were other reasons he was called a child molester, but I don’t remember if he was convicted anywhere but family court. I just know he called me a liar about that over and over and over. Until the last communication I had from him I was a liar about that.

The Whore of Babylon, he called me, as he threw my period supplies to me once. I was on a visitation weekend to see him, after visitations resumed, and I had forgotten my supplies. So in a fury he had gone to the drugstore to get some. But he didn’t get the regular stuff, oh no. He got vintage stuff: a belt, and the kind of huge pads you had to string onto the belt. I had never used that stuff before, had never even seen it before. I told him I didn’t know how to use it, and he told me that all whores knew how to use it, I was a Whore of Babylon, and since I was a Whore of Babylon who couldn’t even remember how to take care of herself that was what he had bought and so I would use it and like it. And then I got another lecture on how woman was the root of all evil and the carrier of original sin, and how I had better still be a virgin, and at least he knew I wasn’t pregnant, and he bet I was fooling around with all the boys, and how he could smell my disgusting blood, my Whore of Babylon blood, and I had better wrap it up good and tight and not get any on the toilet or make a mess like my mother did. A whole weekend of whore this and Whore of Babylon this, and I was probably lying to him about being a virgin and he would probably be checking on me to make sure I wasn’t lying to him. I did get virginity checks, later. Because I was a liar, see. A lying Whore of Babylon.

Personal integrity is important to me. Because I was a liar all my life growing up, I felt an intense need to prove to myself and my chosen loved ones that I was *not*. And that fierce need to prove myself did not dwindle in intensity for a very long time. It is still there, just below the surface. When it is called into question I have to test my cognitive distortion. Because I know exactly where this one comes from, and because it is so distasteful and hurtful, it is usually easy to derail. But still…when I am called a liar, the echoes of that hateful, hurtful person wash over me again and I need a moment to center. Inside there is still a traumatised girl needing some healing, even though I’ve done a great job so far. Seeing how others hurt the same as me helps me heal even further. I wish I could tell every person hurting inside that it is ok to take those awful steps toward confronting the cognitive distortions that hold us prisoners to our fears, that it will be ok with time and work.

Published by: The Science Witch

Witchery is science, and science is witchery.  My journey through this mortal coil is nothing more than transforming myself from one state to another.  Through that transformation I transform others; I also transform the world around me.  I do this through various means that can be considered arcane: my thoughts transform my very brain by way of electrical currents and chemical signals.  My hands transform my world through the actions of physics and chemistry by way of the magic of cooking and the application of the arcane potions of makeup and hairspray.  My actions nurture or destroy by way of kindness or apathy or discipline.  Of myself or others.  This blog is all about that.  And the story behind how I found all of it out...

2 Comments

2 thoughts on “The Lying Whore Of Babylon”

  1. Oh wow… the part about being called a liar totally resonates with me! You have articulated the words I haven’t been able to get out.

    I was always the scapegoat of my family, courtesy of my mother. Her other daughter was the one that could do no wrong. I found out much later when I went scavenging for research material on narcissism that she was projecting her own self-image onto me. Because she lies. And lies. Frequently. When I call her out on it, she quickly changes the subject as narcissists do when confronted with a flaw. Being lied to and not being believed are 2 of my highest ranking trigger switches, topped only by incidents where injustice occurs (either to me or people I love). Fortunately after years of therapy, I found a fantastic clinical psychologist to support me and guide me through working with these issues.

    You have also inspired me to rekindle my blog about my road to recovery from narcissist abuse. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. excellent! i hope you link it up with my blog, because healing from narcissist abuse is extremely worthy work. and the more people who share their healing journeys that can be linked together, the better. my book starts out with the tale of how two narcissists met. sometimes i joke about how my circle of friends is really a Narcissists Survival Club because it seems to be more of a common thread than not.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Michelle L Mead Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s