If you talk enough sense, then you’ll lose your mind

“woman facing body of water under cloudy sky” by Yaoqi LAI on Unsplash

Why would talking sense make someone lose their mind? Wouldn’t it be the opposite? Like the other strange, small things that catch and hold my attention sometimes, this line from “I Found” by UK band Amber Run stuck in my brain because I couldn’t figure it out.

I don’t know what the songwriter intended it to mean, but after keeping it in my brain for a few days, I can tell you what it means to me.

“If you talk enough sense, then you’ll lose your mind” is exactly how I felt at the end of an extremely close, extremely toxic relationship.

The relationship began to unravel when I discovered I was being lied to, that I had been lied to for a really long time.

It’s unsettling to discover your loved one is a liar and a thief of sanity.

It took me a long time, but I realized that trying to make sense of a liar sometimes makes you doubt your sanity. Some people are masters at using words to make you doubt your reality, your sanity, your memory.

These people can’t let you make sense, because then the web woven with their tongue will unravel. All that will be left is the dust of the lies they built their story on, and when the dust floats away, they will have nothing left.

Once upon a time, you believed them — believed in them — but once you saw reality, you couldn’t unsee it.

It is as if every fact you knew about them, every interaction you had with them, every memory that contained them somehow because tainted with a dark, toxic film. After that, you are never able to see them the same way.

Once you’ve been lied to, you begin to question everything.

You wonder how many times you’ve been lied to before.

You lose trust, piece by piece, day by day.

You don’t want to believe that you are so invaluable to this person that they would think it was okay to lie to you, but it dawns on you: you are.

Photo by Gades Photography on Unsplash

On a warm August day in 2017, I sat on a picnic bench in a local park. The conversation I was about to have was with a family member who I know had lied to me many times over the past several years. In a last ditch effort to repair the relationship, I agreed to meet and talk with her.

I hoped against all hope that this conversation would be different. That this time, honesty would prevail.

I would be wrong.

I tried to make sense. I tried to make all her lies make sense. I brought up facts to counteract the fiction I was hearing. And the more I did, the more I felt like I was losing my mind.

Trying to make a liar make sense is a losing battle. It’s a spiraling conversation, with more lies smoothly covering up the previous ones like the layer of frosting on a cake. The cake could be moldy, or dry, or rotting and you would never know because the pretty layer of frosting hides it all.

I haven’t spoken to that particular family member since that conversation. When I left the park, shaking my head in disbelief at the litany of lies, I knew I had to make a choice.

Continue to try to make sense of the lies and feel like I was losing my mind? Or move on, knowing that everything was beyond repair, beyond sense?

I moved on.

It didn’t hurt any less, in fact it still hurts. But for my own well being, I couldn’t continue the toxic dance any longer.

I didn’t lose my mind.

But I did lose a piece of my heart.