Supposedly if 100 people see the same event, you will have 100 different versions of what happened. Meaning that there is a subjective influence to every experience rather than one undeniable interpretation of what happened. But I am willing to bet that at least the majority of those accounts are pretty alike. I can accept that there will always be slight variances when two people are remembering something from the past, but how frustrated does it make you feel when the other person happens to be totally delusional?
In most of my experiences rehashing past events with people, I may have an identical interpretation, but it is at least relatively similar. If my behavior was less than desirable, I am able to admit my participation in the chaos. Usually, the other person can as well, and some sort of understanding is formed. We both can agree on what happened and how and why we contributed to the tension. And because the issue feels resolved we let it go.
But sometimes when you attempt to achieve this sense of resolution with a delusional person, their whole memory changes and they start to fabricate things to fill in the gaps. They try and convince you that you said things you didn’t, and that they didn’t say things that they did. The disagreement escalates because it no longer about the issue at hand, but the facts about what actually happened. The more enraged you get, the more sanctimonious they become. Their lies have become their truth. You start to feel like you are taking crazy pills as they attempt to convince you that what you thought was real is actually not, and what they think is real actually is.
The problem is, that once someone travels this path in their own mind, there is no turning back. They are not going to suddenly self-reflect and realize their own selfish agenda. They are going to stick to their new story that proves you unequivocally wrong, and them right. And there is really nothing you can say because you aren’t even talking about the same thing any more.
I had this happen to me the other day with Munch. It went a little something like this. While I was washing dishes she had climbed onto the kitchen table and spilled a quart of dried lentils and then dropped my phone in a plate of spaghetti.
“Munch! Are you allowed to be on the table?”
“You are? Wait… no you are not. I make the rules and you are not allowed to be on the table.”
“Munchee on table.”
“Yes, but are you supposed to be on the table?”
“Yes. Munch climb on table.”
“Oh… okay, I didn’t know you are supposed to be there. Sorry… carry on.”
Do you see how easy it is to get confused?
“It was all a dream Mama… you really don’t know what you are talking about do you?”