Art by KwangHo Shin
I've spent three magical days at Brooke Shaden's Promoting Passion Convention that have exposed a big fat lie I was telling myself. More, I was called on it and made to understand that as long as I keep repeating it, it'll be true simply because it's the story I believe and make others believe, the story that I've been told by adults when I was a child, the story that's been running most of my adult life, the story that continues causing me pain. And guess who the source of this pain is. Me.
And the story is, I'm a liar.
After I've given my lecture on how writing made me happy (the video of which should at one point become available, after Devin does his editing magic), dredging up the ugliness of my violent childhood, so many of you have come up to me to tell me that you went through the same ordeal, I nearly crumbled under the weight of your stories. But it wasn't until the next day that René asked to speak to me and said that she'd been gutted by my story, but that she couldn't make sense of it in the context of me repeating whenever I was onstage that "my job is to fool people," that "I'm a professional liar," that "people pay me for my lies." She told me she counted. She said I have repeated it at least nine times. Then she asked me a question. "This story you told us about your childhood, was that a lie too?" And if it was, she said, how could I do this to you? To all of you? How could I cause you so much pain only to laugh at it later, saying I'm a professional liar? That stunned me. She was right.
I've been told so many times by my family that my stories are lies, I came to believe it myself.