One of the very many things my sex addict taught me in the years that followed Discovery was that there wasn't just oneflavor of lying, the necessary component that allows secretive behavior to flourish undetected- no, there was a sizable rainbow assortment I never even knew existed. Of course, this is hardly unique amongst sex addict/compulsives (SACs) in their dealings with their partners.
Over the years, I learned, as I'm sure a lot of readers here did, about the many nuances in all the different types of omissions, half-stories and complete fabrications, the gaslighting and the twists and turns involved in purposely manipulating another person's reality. I've read a lot of books on the character disturbed and their manipulative tactics (with lying being primary) but never imagined I'd actually enjoy reading anything on this onerous topic. Till now:
Just recently, I was sent a compelling-sounding review for a book on the topic of lying that held me spellbound as I read the author's precise descriptions and stunning metaphors that captured the essence of how lying devastates not only the recipient of the lie, but the liars themselves. Only, incredibly, the reading felt like a balm; I savored every word, not wanting the book to end.
On Lies, Secrets and Silence speaks eloquently and in great detail about what is lost overall in the process of dishonesty-- and conversely, why there is such a rich potential for intimacy when the sharing is transparent. Many writers will conflate intimacy with honesty but not many can so lyrically detail how they're linked.
Authored by Adrienne Rich, the American poet, writer, feminist thinker, and activist in progressive causes, On Lies, Secrets and Silence is as essential a book on emotional literacy for POSAs as any book I can recommend.
This quote, one of many from On Lies, Secrets and Silence is a perfect example:"When we discover that someone we trusted can be trusted no longer, it forces us to reexamine the universe, to question the whole instinct and concept of trust. For a while, we are thrust back onto some bleak, jutting ledge, in a dark pierced by sheets of fire, swept by sheets of rain, in a world before kinship, or naming, or tenderness exist; we are brought close to formlessness."
Alongside it's obvious value as an important aesthetic work, much of the therapeutic value in this book lies in the way it can help us begin to make sense of our disjointed reality, post-Discovery.
When we are living in what feels like a dark, amorphous miasma of lies in our relationship, we need help, even more so when we believe we are perceiving untruths but are having our suspicions denied or even mocked.
Being able to name that we're even in a miasma is key here.
Adrienne Rich's book, On Lies, Secrets and Silence exquisitely articulates this darkened landscape for us and in doing so, illuminates it. As we begin identifying the nuances of dishonesty in our own relationship so that we canname it, we are initiated into the next steps of our journey towards clarity.
We invite you to read the excellent review of Adrienne Rich's now-classic gem.
We'd be interested to hear your thoughts- please share your comments with us below:
Much gratitude is owed to my colleague and friend in Seattle, Lisa Fladager, LMHC, for sending this article to us here at PoSARC.
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