If you are new to this blog, you may want to read the posts “In a Nutshell” or go to July 2012 and read “Sending out a Letter.” My daughter Emma Katherine Roey lied about a friend being raped and attempting suicide, claimed to have been molested by a priest, and then, just as her attorneys were about to file a law suit, Emma accused her mother (me) of physically abusing her and later of poisoning her with DDT. Emma claimed to have a toxicology report to confirm that her mother (me, again!) poisoned her, but would never turn over this report to my attorney. If you read through the blog, you will find many other examples of Emma’s lying. At one point, she even complained about the way her dad touched her and that he called her a “bitch” and a “slut” everyday. (I refused to listen to her when she talked about her dad like that.) As long as Emma continues with the lies, I will tell her story. Love and thanks to all of you who read and have written to me. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Please continue to share the blog with others.
Pretty Little Liars
Emma at a teen church retreat called Happening 52.
I never knew much about liars and lying. I guess I never thought much about lying being a disorder. I thought people lied to get what they want, but never thought about people NOT being able to stop themselves from lying.
I know someone, a friend of a friend, who is a liar. I don’t know this man well, but he’s a pretty nice person. He will drop what he’s doing to help a friend, and when I needed something, he dropped everything to help me one day because another friend called him, and I hardly even know the guy. The odd thing about this man is that he is a liar. I don’t think he means to lie, it’s more like telling stories. He starts talking, and they just come out. His lies aren’t mean. He doesn’t talk badly about people. On the contrary, I remember one story he told about someone, and the story was very complimentary and positive, just not true. Everyone that knows this man knows how he is. You take what he says with a grain of salt because it’s probably not true. I suppose if I spent any time around this man, his stories would get on my nerves, but he’s harmless. I know he’s lost friends who got tied of his lying, and I don’t understand it, but it’s just the way he is.
Over the years, I’ve thought a lot about Emma’s lies. I wondered if Emma knew she lied or did she even know what came out of her mouth. I’ve wondered why Emma lied. Some lies were a means to an end. Emma had a plan and lied to get her way. Other lies were just stories about people. They were typically negative stories, maybe to make Emma look good. Just about everyone Emma knew at school was sexually active, drinking, or using drugs for example. Emma’s friend, Kayla Benifield Weaver, was a good enough friend to want Emma in her wedding, and yet Emma told so many lies about Kayla’s mother, grandparents, boyfriend’s family, etc., and these were mean, hateful lies. Kayla’s mother and her (then) boyfriend were drunks and kept the girls out all night at a sports bar, Kayla’s grandfather was a racist, white supremacist, Blair’s little sister had medical issues and his parents expected Kayla and Blair to have her live with them once they got married……….. And then there’s the whole “Lacey” story. How does a pen-pal turn into a rape victim and attempt suicide? Why would Emma make up these stories?
Those are some of the big lies, but there were many little lies. Emma would have barely met someone and lie about them. I think one I mentioned before was a new couple at church with two little girls, and Emma claimed that the girls were his by his first marriage, and the wife was the stepmom. Emma told me this story when she was in 9th grade and co-teaching Sunday school with an adult teacher. Why would Emma make this up?
Emma was in 9th or 10th grade when a friend called and I was out of town. Emma claimed she had this great, long conversation with this friend who was talking about the state of the world, and I don’t even remember the bizarre story Emma told me, other than it was something about white supremacists and how this friend told Emma she would need to keep some blonde hair dye under the sink so she could become blonde. At the time, I was out of state, visiting a friend who was dying of cancer, so I really didn’t care much or think much about this story, but of course now I wish I’d done more to call Emma on her lies..
Why, when a couple of friends so generously took Emma to the Cirque Du Soleil, would Emma say they talked all through the show and that people kept turning around staring at them?
When Emma went to Haiti with a group from Eternal Hope in Haiti, she came back with many stories that I have to question now, but she also told me about a friend of ours who asked her why she would go down there to help ________s (the N-word.) This friend was proud of Emma for wanting to help people and never said any such thing.
I’ve heard people describe Emma as pathological, antisocial, a compulsive liar, borderline, delusional….. but I have to admit, it’s been a long, long time since I took Psych 101 in college, so I didn’t really know what any of these meant, so I will share with you a little about what I’ve read on lying liars and the liars who tell them. I’m not even sure the so-called experts agree on the terms and their meanings, but here are a few things I’ve found:
A sociopath is typically defined as someone who lies incessantly to get their way and does so with little concern for others. A sociopath is often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused—it is done to get one’s way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways.
A compulsive liar is defined as someone who lies out of habit. Lying is their normal and reflexive way of responding to questions. Compulsive liars bend the truth about everything, large and small. For a compulsive liar, telling the truth is very awkward and uncomfortable while lying feels right. Compulsive lying is usually thought to develop in early childhood, due to being placed in an environment where lying was necessary. For the most part, compulsive liars are not overly manipulative and cunning (unlike sociopaths), rather they simply lie out of habit—an automatic response which is hard to break and one that takes its toll on a relationship.
Could Emma be both? I definitely see some of the sociopath lying in Emma, but there were other times where Emma just seemed to lie without thinking, sort of like the man I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Emma lied as easily as she told the truth. At home, Emma frequently lied especially if you asked her if she’d done a chore. The answer was always yes, and more often than not, that was a lie. I thought that was normal kid behavior. What kids likes to do chores? Or did Phill and I miss something by not catching on to all the little harmless lies Emma told.
Pathological liars lie with what might be called “intent”. They have a clear purpose or aim they hope to achieve through lying. They can be manipulative and cunning and normally care little for the opinions or feelings of others. Pathological liars simply want things their own way.
A compulsive liar is someone who has little or no control over the lies he or she tells. Lying, for them, is habitual and constant. They may lie about anything and in any situation. They lie to avoid the truth, perhaps because they find telling the truth uncomfortable.
It appears that low self-esteem is a significant factor in the development of a compulsive liar. The condition may be developed whilst in childhood and in most cases, compulsive liars are relatively harmless. They lie habitually and may be aware of doing so, but find themselves unable to stop.
Again, Emma seems to be both a pathological and a compulsive liar. The pathological liar goes along with the sociopath liar. So many times I felt like Emma lied as easliy as she told the truth, and that seems to fit the compulsive liar definition.
Then, I found something interesting about Genetic liars:
|In 2022 geneticists made a remarkable discovery. Among people who are just incapable of telling the truth, one in five is a congenital liar. That is, their constant lying is the result of a specific genetic defect.
Could Emma’s lying be a genetic disorder?
And a little more information, this website lists five types of liars, and if you read the first section about Sociopathic Liars, you will recognize Emma. I could write pages and pages about how this definition applies to Emma.
Sociopaths are defined as someone who lies continuously in an attempt to get their own way, without showing care or concern for others. These individuals are goal-oriented.
Even though it might seem hard to believe, lying is focused – they are focused on getting their own way. Sociopaths don’t have a lot of respect or regard for the feelings and rights of others. They tend to be charismatic and charming, but they will use their exceptional social skills in a self-centered and manipulative manner.
Compulsive liars are defined as someone who continually lies from sheer habit. Lying tends to be their normal manner of responding to any questions from others.
These individuals will always bend the truth, regardless of how small or large the question is. For these individuals, telling the truth doesn’t feel right. They are uncomfortable whenever they tell the truth, while lying makes them feel right.
Compulsive lying is often thought to manifest during childhood, due to being put into situations and environments where lying became a necessity. Most of the time, compulsive liars aren’t cunning or manipulative, rather they only lie because it has become such a habit for them.
This automatic response is more difficult to break. It can end up taking its toll on being able to maintain a relationship. Many people also call these individuals pathological liars or habitual liars, but they all mean the same thing.
Occasional liars are those who seldom tell a lie. When they do, they are so blown away by what they said that their guilt overcomes them. These individuals are quick to ask for forgiveness from the individual that they lied to.
Occasional liars might not be perfect, but they are often respected for their attempts at being truthful and humble enough to admit when they are wrong.
Careless liars will go about their normal lives and lie every way they can. This individual isn’t concerned about trying to hide their lies or making sure they make sense. Everyone knows that the person isn’t being honest because they tend to be sloppy with their lies. They don’t have a lot of friends because most people get tired of hearing their twisted stories.
People who tell white lies don’t usually think of themselves as true “liars”. They justify their white lies as harmless, or even beneficial, in the long term. They will sometimes tell only part of the truth, and not be suspected of lying at all. White liars may use their lies to to shield someone from what they believe is a hurtful or damaging truth.
Sadly, lying is a common denominator in many of our lives and recognizing some of the different types might just help us in dealing with the liar in our lives.
So, dear readers, this is just some information for you about lying and liars. I know a lot of my readers know Emma, so you can read for yourself and make your own decision about what kind of liar you think Emma is. As for me, I still don’t know. Yes, as much as I hate to say this about my own child, I do think she’s a sociopath. I would like to think of that happy ending for my child, that she’s going to have a happy, normal life, that she can function as a responsible adult, that she will learn from her mistakes and grow into a better person, but I don’t think those things will happen for Emma. She’s never going to grow up and take responsibility. Everything wrong in her life will always be someone else’s fault.
Sadly, I think Emma’s husband will figure Emma out sooner or later. Tyler may be blinded by love right now, but as smart as Emma is, I don’t think she will be able to pull the wool over his eyes forever.
Is there help for Emma? There seems to be a number of opinions about that as well. If Phill and I had caught on sooner that Emma had a problem, could she have gotten help for her lying? Is it too late? Someone said to me that at the age of 16 a person’s personality is pretty much formed. Emma is what she is.
I feel like Phill and I owe the world an apology for our daughter. At one time, I thought we were raising a decent child who would make the world a better place. I guess when mental illness (or a personality disorder, but that’s for another post) rears it’s ugly head, all bets are off. Like the alcoholic, Emma can’t be helped if she doesn’t admit she has a problem, and it could also be something beyond Emma’s control. She is what she is, and being a liar may be as much a part of her as her blue-grey eyes or her light brown hair.