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Lies Hurt

Kari has been a published author for 9 years. She writes about relationships, spirituality, and life difficulties.

Lies can hurt us to our very soul.

Lies can hurt us to our very soul.

A "Stolen" Husband

“I can’t believe you stole her husband!” a friend at work exclaimed. “I thought you two were friends!”

Tonia was stunned. What did she mean, "stole her husband"? Lori had called her up Friday night threatening to commit suicide unless she got the man out of her house. Tonia had repeatedly told Lori he could not come and live with her, while Lori became increasingly hysterical and incoherent. Finally, Tonia broke down and said he could stay at her house for a week, until other arrangements could be made.

Tonia had started this job almost a year ago. The people seemed nice and everything was going well. One woman in particular befriended her. Their daughters were about the same age and they had both grown up on the east coast, far from this hell hole-in-the-wall town. Military husbands had brought them here, although Tonia had kicked her’s out the week before. There were only so many things Tonia could put up with, and messing with her daughter was not one of them.

In the beginning of their friendship, the other staff made snide comments such as, “Isn’t it nice that Lori has her own therapist now.” Tonia did not understand the comments and ignored them. She knew people were weird all over and sometimes it was best to not pay attention to them. This Monday morning, she was wishing she had paid attention!

An Old Cliche

The story was an old cliche. It (the lie) went this way:

Tonia became friends with Lori, then fell for Lori’s husband. She maintained the friendship to remain close to him, worming her way into his affections. Then Tonia divorced her own husband to make sure she was available. Poor Lori, so trusting, never realized what was happening. Tonia was a home-wrecking bitch and Lori was the poor victim.

Tonia tried to explain the truth, but no one listened. Tonia’s world shattered. How could they believe Lori (who was known to lie often) over herself who never lied. One of the strange truths of the world dawned on Tonia that day. Most people would prefer to believe the worst about others. Tonia’s life was changed forever.

People whom Tonia thought were her friends, were now talking about her and shunning her. Tension was high at work and soon became unbearable. To top it all off, she was stuck with this man in her house, and he always came up with an excuse to stay another week. Granted he was helpful, but she had just gotten rid of one man and did not want another in her house.


Her truth was all lies.

Her truth was all lies.

An Apology

Tonia found another job, and at least work was better. When she ran into someone from her old job they ignored her. All of them except one woman. This woman said she believed Tonia. However, you could see she was visibly scared to be seen talking to Tonia. She told Tonia that "they" would run her out of work if "they" saw her.

About a month after the incident at work, Lori called Tonia. “My priest said I needed to call and apologize. I lied to everyone because I didn’t want to seem like a failure. I’m sorry, I am a compulsive liar. I’ve done this my whole life,” Lori explained.

“Sorry!” Tonia retorted, “Will you tell everyone you lied?”

“Oh no, I can’t do that! I would make a fool of myself!” Lori responded.

“Why are you calling me?” Tonia demanded.

“I was talking to my priest and he told me I had to call and apologize to you. He said that I needed to make it right.” Lori went on, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. It just came out of my mouth.”

“But you won’t tell everyone that you begged me to let him stay here? That you have been unhappy with him for as long as I’ve known you and have been trying to get him to move out for months?” Tonia asked bewildered.

“No, I couldn’t. No one but you knew we were having problems. They would think it was partially my fault," explained Lori.

Tonia could barely restrain herself to saying, “Please don’t ever call me again. I have nothing to say to you. You have lied about me, slandered me and degraded my character. I can’t forgive you if you do not tell the truth.” Tonia hung up the phone.

This Song is About Someone Else Who Lies So Much She Believes It

Never Again

Tonia sat outside that night and looked at the stars. She vowed no one would ever get close enough to hurt her this much again. There was no trust left, this one lie had emptied her. She was dry, the desert sands blew through her soul, polishing and hardening it. She still made acquaintances, but never friends. She wrapped her true self, her feelings and her heart in a place far within herself where no one could touch them again.

Locked Away

All locked up with the key thrown away.

All locked up with the key thrown away.

Becoming a Recluse

Focusing on her family, she made a life devoid of friendship. Loved and admired by many, she stumbled along in life alone, never having the strength to open up. Tonia still worked, still had “friends” at work, but when they went out, she made excuses. Soon they would stop asking. They thought she didn’t really like them, never guessing her weakness.

There were other reasons Tonia stored herself away that day, other hurts, betrayals and losses. What happened was just the proverbial final straw. Tonia realized that she attracted people who hurt her. She knew her great gift in life was empathy and this is what attracted them. She could not hide that gift entirely, but instead refused when hands were offered. She had learned the hard way, hands that helped you up one minute, could slap you down the next.

The hardest part for Tonia is she knew. She knew that she needed to unlock herself to live fully and happily. She knew that her heart hurt because of the denial that anything was wrong. Tonia went from being a happy, out-going individual, to essentially becoming a recluse. She became socially impaired.

Boring is Perfect

Somewhere along the way the internet was invented. Tonia would spend hours and days researching information, often random, useless information. This distracted her more fully from the need to have friends. She could communicate with others without ever showing her real self. And when she cried, no-one ever knew. In a way, Tonia was happy.

Days and years passed uneventfully. Boring was perfect for Tonia. Boring never hurt. It was safe, known, and easy. There were some ups and downs related to the family, but never touching further than one person away. She did love her family, their trials were her trials, but other people’s trials did not touch her. Thus, time passed, day by day and year by year.

A Cry For Help From Another Who Locked Themselves Away


Then one day she found a hobby. Along with hopes and dreams, she had given up on hobbies. Creative expression hurt, or it didn’t hurt, but it brought hurt to the forefront again. Once upon a time she had been very creative. She drew, did calligraphy, took photos and embroidered. Now, she found that she could write. Writing brought it all to the forefront, all the hurt, all the loss and all the pain of a pain-free existence. But, it also acted as catharsis. It cauterized certain hurts and she wondered if it could go further.

She wrote of some of the hurts in her life. She (always naive) was amazed when people responded kindly. She wrote of a really bad time and found that people cared. People who did not know her, really and actually cared. She cried and wished she could break out of the prison she had put herself in so long ago. Tonia was lost, she was not sure she could still find the room she had locked it all away in. That door was polished so well it seemed like a wall.

It had been years since Tonia last cried for herself. She thought she had forgotten how. Now suddenly, tears flowed for what might have been, for the “me” she had locked away. And she wondered, would she ever find herself again? She let the tears flow and decided she would find the door. Somehow, some way, she would find that door and pull it down. She would let her full self out.

© 2009 Kari Poulsen


Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 05, 2018:

Thanks for the suggestions, MizBejabbers!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 05, 2018:

I left a comment in your forum.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 05, 2018:

Mary, Thank you for your kind words! I am so glad you lack experience in this matter. Maybe you can base a crisis on this story.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 05, 2018:

Verlie, Thank you! I'm not sure if they ever got their comeuppance, but what comes around, goes around, so probably they have. It hurt me so bad for many years. After writing this I was able to let it go. :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 05, 2018:

It is sad that these things happen. I have always lived in a very protective environment so lack the experience. Because of this, I am stuck in writing. I can't seem to bring anything to a crisis. I think that, after an easy review, your story will be worth it in Letterpile.

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on February 04, 2018:

Kari, your cautionary tale touches a nerve. Not just the lies, but the shunning, bullying, and character assassination reminds me of a scene from 'Rosemary's Baby' pure evil. Good write, Kari. Hope those nasty people get their comeuppance!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 04, 2018:

I can definitely relate to your story. It seems to be almost exactly what happened to me. I was so disappointed with the people who believed her over me. I thought they knew my integrity. They used to joke about me being her "private therapist". It hurt me so much! I cried the entire time I wrote this story. Cried so hard I couldn't see the screen at times. It helped me though.

I'm very sorry that it happened to you here. But, people can be anything on the internet, and many are not who they seem. Doing things because they make us feel happy helps. I'm glad you decided to keep on here, or I may have never met you. Years ago, when I had first joined, a fellow hubber played with my head. I'm glad they are gone.

Shannon Henry from Texas on February 02, 2018:

Boy, oh boy, can I relate to this. I guess some Herr wouldn't believe me if I said I don't let others to far into my life, but it's the truth. I've always been that way and more so the older I get. I pick and choose. And sometimes I make a wrong choice. Recently I let someone in and then she believed some things people here on HP said about me. She went so far as to validate their beliefs about me by using my own words against me in something I said to her. Or more than one something. I really don't know anymore and never really knew what was happening when it happened. I just know of my own integrity and honesty. I'd never intentionally lie to anyone or use someone else. But like I tend to do, I blamed myself and saw only my own mistakes and failures. I tried to figure out if I had done something wrong or something that got twisted into a half truth and went from there to total exaggeration and untruth, like a child's game of telephone. I didn't know who to trust here on HP and almost quit sharing here altogether even though, like you, I write for myself as much as, if not more, for myself. I need to remind myself of the good and the confidence in myself when I feel weak. It didn't matter what people I don't know think of me. It hurt that their opinions could change the mind of someone I thought was a friend and if hers, then who else that I consider a friend? And how far would it go? I spent some time hurting and wondering. I eventually came to the conclusion that I write for me and I will keep on. And I interact with people, but it doesn't feel like the same "community" like it did before. It feels a little more sterile (for lack of a better word), like a work environment where people are friendly but not really true friends.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 01, 2014:

Thank you.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on December 01, 2014:

Thanks Mike

rjbatty from Irvine on May 15, 2012:

I just completed a Hub on "un-friending," and HubPages immediately suggested the piece you had written. Aside of a few grammatical mistakes, your Hub is pretty solid and definitely holds an emotional impact. The character of your account, Tonia, tugs at one's emotional strings, but I feel that she made her own bed. All of us face similar problems (if not worse) and we overcome that instinctive feeling to bury ourselves into obscurity. I have a sister who has gone from one heart-break romance to the next, with nothing working out -- despite her most earnest (if over-wrought) efforts. Now, she puts in a lot of over-time at work, has a number of female companions, and never contemplates even the possibility of a romantic involvement. Her over-sized TV will remain her best friend for an unforeseeable time to come. I have gone through two really miserable divorces, and yet I married a third time, and this experiment seems to have some glue to it -- as we've been together 12 years. But, all of that aside, I understood Tonia's predicament. Being part of the men's club, I am not privy to confessionals such as the one Lori made to Tonia. Men just never communicate in this fashion. But, still, I can grasp the context and the sense of self-serving betrayal, as well as the consequent distrust of others. But, at the same time Tonia should have taken the experience as a "lesson," not a jail sentence. She could have learned something from the experience and then gone on -- feeling stronger for her disappointing turn of events rather than feeling cloistered. We are all woven of a different fabric, so I do not judge Tonia. I just see it as unfortunate that she did not already possess the psychological tools that are necessary for all of us to take our lumps then keep on going with a new-found confidence.

Cousin Mike on February 05, 2011:

I have no idea what to say here, except that I did read this and wanted you to know that.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on February 25, 2010:

mega1, I tell people at work that I am socially inept and they laugh at me...but I do not let many into my real life.

mega1 on February 13, 2010:

I am so socially inept - which is why I find the internet so great - when I'm through talking I just walk away! no awkward moments, well, few of them anyway. AND best of all, if people are lying to me it matters not much! Ah, but I am sure one day all this airy-fairy castle I have constructed will tumble down. Meanwhile, your story is a perfect example of some of the people I have known who manipulate, lie, cheat and then win! Gaaaahhhhh! happy to have you for a fan/follower and consider me your friend (until you catch me lieing! hehehehe!)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on July 21, 2009:

kfuentes, It was a sad story. I think Tonia is coming around. I agree that life is very interesting without the drama queens and kings! I hate drama... :D

kfuentes on July 20, 2009:

Such a sad story. I hope Tonia can find peace with what happened and start to let trustworthy people into her life. Life can be quite interesting without letting drama queens (and kings!) into the mix.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 18, 2009:

Connie, I love that song...and thank you for letting me know. Maybe we should start a club...I'm glad you had a good vacation, and again, thanks for your comment! :)

Connie Smith from Tampa Bay, Florida on June 18, 2009:

This hub affected me as no other has, K@ri. Except for the circumstances that brought about Tonia's reclusiveness, this could be me. I, too, spend too much time alone and I have to force myself to get out. Though I just returned from a great vacation (that I forced myself to go on), now that I am back, I am sure that I will fall right back into the same rut (researching useless information all day lol) that I left behind when I went on vacation. When I am out, I so often feel like the outsider looking in and am amazed that others can be so carefree (and shallow and silly and .....) I would not have the guts to admit all that if you had not written this hub. Just like the song Birte Edwards mentioned, "Singing my life with his words...." the second part of this hub was singing my life.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 18, 2009:

mamakaren, I hope so too!

mamakaren on June 18, 2009:

I hope that Tonia will relearn how to trust--life is short, and it is so colorful and rich outside of that wall!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 17, 2009:

badcompany, I know the feeling very well, I also live that Catch22. I guess I am lucky that I have the kids home still, as they provide some variety and make me do stuff. However, my similar scar ensures that company is either a kid's friend or family! Tonia sends her love back :D

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 16, 2009:

badcompany, Thanks! Don't you ever get lonely? Tonia has stuck to that vow so long, she is not sure she can change, however, every once in a while she gets lonely.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 15, 2009:

Feline Prophet, I am sure she will...eventually. After all the first step is drilling a hole through the wall so people can see what is on the inside! :D

Tom, Wondering, always wondering is Tonia also. It is the tightrope between the longing and the hurt that immobilizes her. One will have to win out eventually!

Birte, If it is the song I am thinking of I love it. Here is a link to check:


It's not that Tonia couldn't forgive herself, she really had not done what was accused...it's that she lost her trust. Maybe I misunderstand you...? I am often dense! :D

Hawkesdream, Thank you. There is a depth to it that sometimes I cannot figure out.

Janetta, You say a very great truth, and I feel it is weakness to do so. Yet, somehow, Tonia cannot find her way out of that curl...even though weakness is not what she lives for. Even though people see her as being a strong and assertive person. LOL, how well we hide!

ethel, You should never be sorry for empathy. It is one of the greatest gifts of life! Thank you...maintaining innocence, being a child is what life is about.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 15, 2009:

Being children deep down helps us keep some of our best attributes. More empathy sorry.

Janetta on June 15, 2009:

Trust is hard to gain and harder to give. It is so often easier to curl up inside ourselves then face the feelings we wish to avoid. Very touching story. :)

Al Hawkes from Cornwall on June 15, 2009:

Thanks for sharing , the story is told with such depth that it touches the heart.

BirteEdwards on June 14, 2009:

As I was reading a song came to mind. It has words of "....singing my life with his words" or something like it. That is what you have done with this hub. At least for me.

The strange thing is in cases like this that we take decisions that then have such overpowering impact on our lives. Tonia was a compasionate person, but where was the compassion toward herself?


Tom Koecke from Tacoma, Washington on June 14, 2009:

I know a person who has locked away his feelings so they don't keep getting hurt. He knows that friendships and love come with risk, but he still shies away from social activities because of his experiences. Though he longs for a deep friendship, he tends to keep things shallow to prevent the hurt that comes with broken trust. The result is he sits here wondering . . . just wondering.

Feline Prophet on June 14, 2009:

How people do suffer...it saddens me that there are so many who go through life feeling like this. I hope Tonia lets herself break down some of those walls around her.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 14, 2009:

Emma was one of my favorite dogs. It is a good name, she served me well! I have a soft spot for that name ever since. :D

mayhmong from North Carolina on June 14, 2009:

You got that right!

I haven't come up with anything yet!? I naming her Jade or Esmeralda, or Emma for short. I dunno!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 14, 2009:

Hi May! How's the new car? Did you name her yet?

Thanks, I guess it doesn't change as you get older. We still are all just children trying to survive! None of us really want to upset the norm. The most wonderful, and scary thing, is that we all need the same things...love, hope and optimism to survive!

mayhmong from North Carolina on June 14, 2009:

Wow, this story really is touching. Reminds me of myself when I thought it was best to keep everything a secret as a child. It feels as if I had betrayed my family, but suprisingly everyone wanted me back home and that there is room for forgiveness.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 14, 2009:

earnest, I hope and pray she will! Thank you!!

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on June 14, 2009:

Empathy grows, I feel sure she will do well.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on June 14, 2009:

Thank you Tom, empathy is the greatest gift and the most trying. I am sure Tonia will find the door. If she keeps searching!

Tom rubenoff from United States on June 14, 2009:

Empathy is the hardest gift to have. My regards and sympathy to Tonia. May she find the door she seeks.

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