I'm supposed to be visited twice a week here by either one of my parents or one of two sets of aunts and uncles on weeks when I don't go home. When one of my designated visitor relatives visits on a weekday, I usually meet with a therapist with the relative also attending the counseling session. My Aunt Heather visited today and sat through the counseling session with me.
This particular therapist spent most of the session bringing up things I'd told her or she'd heard me say, and asking my aunt if they were true. The things she asked about were things that probably no one who was not a pathological liar would bother to lie about. Who cares enough about birth weight to lie about it, for example? I know people who lie about their present weight, but birth weight? Among the other matters the therapist confirmed with my aunt were my SAT scores (People do lie about SAT scores on occasion, but I don't. Were I to lie about them, I'd say my scores were perfect 800's straight across the board. How stupid does she think I am?), my father's occupation (which is listed in my files; the therapist could have looked it up instead of wasting my aunt's time), whether I donated bone marrow to my mother (this is in my medical records, to which any therapist who sees me has access), and my father's and brother's heights. How could it benefit me to lie about how tall my father and brother are? For that matter, they'll be here later this week. Were I to lie about their heights, anyone who's around would see that I was stretching the truth. She asked about many other things as well. Some I have forgotten. Others I will spare you from the tedium of hearing.
This therapist has seen me two other times in private sessions, and has presided over about four group sessions of which I was a part. Additionally, she has sometimes stood or sat on the periphery as various social events, both scheduled and informal, took place. I never really thought about what she was writing in her notebook. After the fact, she did seem to be staring at me as she wrote. I tried not to be paranoid, because not everything is about me, but I now see that it wouldn't have been paranoia to suggest this therapist was focusing on me, and it apparently really was about me.
My aunt and I went to lunch and then went for a walk on the beach. She (my aunt) asked me about my prior interactions with this therapist. I told my Aunt Heather that I had seen less of this therapist than of the other two and the psychological intern. My aunt wondered why the therapist found it neceaary to confirm practically everything I'd ever told her or had told anyone else when she was listening. For example, my old bedroom was blue, but the room I sleep in at home now is pink. (I haven't told anyone there about my extravagant newly decorated room because it might come across as boasting to others, although most of my fellow inmates come from backgrounds considerably wealthier than mine. Still, what would be the point?) Is there a good reason I would need to lie about that? It's not as though I sit around bragging while I'm at the facility. There are a few things (not a whole lot, but a few, nonetheless) about which I could legitmately boast, but I don't, because it's an obnoxious behavior.
After my aunt dropped me off on my floor of the hospital, she asked to speak with the director of my facility and told him of our session with the therapist who thinks I make things up habitually. I wouldn't have known about it, but a couple of the nurses and the psychological intern were grilling me about what happened in my session because they saw my aunt talking with the director, then saw the therapist as she entered and left the director's office, and heard just enough to know it somehow involved me. It was probably unprofessional of the others to ask me, but they were curious, just as I now am.
The therapist has given me ideas. Intially I considered making up lies about myself and telling them all over the place. I could say that I'm President Obama's illegitimate daughter. (Coloring can be fair on bi-racial kids, and I did have curly hair when I was little, so it's not impossible; it is untrue, but it's not beyond possibility at a glance.) I could say that I'm in the Witness Protection Program.
I could claim to have been an Olympic gymnast who was disqualified for drug use. I could claim to be fifty-third in the line of succession for the British throne. I could claim to know exactly where Jimmy Hoffa is.
The possibilities are endless.
The problem with my acting on my tendencies toward pathological dishonesty that the therapist believes I possess is that it could derail my therapy and keep me in this place longer than I otherwise might be. Plan B is that I could organize a "Pathological Liar Day," on which all the participants spend the entire day making up ridiculous lies that no one with an IQ as high as the highest category of mental retardation (note: these people were formerly categorized in a clinical sense as morons) would believe. It could be fun. As soon as my fellow inmates awake, I'll have to share ths idea with them.
Rebecca, I hope you're soon well enough to post. Matt, the story creeped me out, but I couldn't have walked away from the computer without reading the ending even if my building had been on fire.