Lying

Lauren Slater's work is a good encapsulation of life for the last six decades.
Lauren Slater writes, then and now.

Lying is a thing people do. It has been a subject and action, central to my understanding of communication, between and within persons nearly all my life. Because of reasons not pertinent to this review.

Lying (2000)

is a memoir by Lauren Slater published twenty years ago, when she was 37. It’s a beautiful, fascinating story. I first read it right after it came out, along with her previous memoir Prozac diary (1998). Ironically – it’s probably as close to honest as any book ever. Especially memoirs and biographies. In it she confesses to exaggeration and plain fabrication. However, in my opinion, she’s being honest. Far more than most.

Lying In Wait

is an essay Slater wrote for TIME (June 22/29, 2020) concerning the current COVID-19 pandemic we all find ourselves, like-it-or-not, affected by.

Together

they make for a fascinating study of the human condition. From at least the last six decades, or from the early 60’s to the present. Albeit from the prospective of a complex, white female American – smart, well-educated, and very clever.

Slater

was diagnosed at age ten with epilepsy. Subsequently, she’s been diagnosed as having a “borderline personality disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and as bipolar, Munchausen’s, OCD, depression, and once, even, as autism. Autism!” (pg. 220. Lying)

In Lying, the author (I think correctly) takes down, or maybe just throws shade on, the Fields of: Publishing/writing, Education, Health care, and for sure, if not a Field, certainly something all of us have experienced – parenting.

She had a narcissistic (read bad) mother, questionable (read fashionable) medical care, and an exploitive (read sexually abusive) mentor. All during her formative years (read before age eighteen), and yet, managed to spin that into a lucrative professional writing career and an 80 acre farm. She attributes this to a school she was sent to, at age thirteen, to learn “how to fall”. And yet … she’s still complaining. Or maybe just worried and sad. Something she’s been most all her life.

Being Alone

and isolated Slater says she is, now more than ever. Because of the government ordered shutdown and social distancing. She’s lost control. We all have, to greater or lesser extents. However, some cope better than others.

Expectations

are related to happiness. A balance between one’s expectations and realistic outcomes is said by some Psychologists (to include my psych-girl) to be the best prescription for happiness. An imbalance, or “unrealistic expectations”, can lead one to all sorts of maladaptive states, i.e. trouble. With a capital T. In other words, physical, psychological, and/or emotional pain.

Pain

hurts. And that leads one to seek relief. Relief comes in many different forms. Such as lying. Along with drinking, drugs, exercise, work, sex, religion, cults, anger, rage, abuse, etc. and so on. Said another way: war within and war without. There is just no escape.

Lying Works

lest we all wouldn’t do it. To one extent or another.

I don’t like it; but am trying to get better at it, on advice from my healthcare provider.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.