October 20, 2020:

Then I no longer needed the lies.

My mode was now not evasion, it was confrontation. Here's who I am, what are you gonna do about it? Not much, as it turned out.

Rapidly and definitively I rejected lies in all their forms. Christmas, my family, Vietnam. Just gimme some truth. All I want the truth, now. I was bitter, and militant. Don't lie to me. Don't you lie to me. 'Cos it makes me mad, and I get evil as a man can be. Above all I rejected my own. I took on a highly moralistic posture which became more and more refined over time, to the point that if I detect someone saying untrue things it's difficult for me not to call them out.

The emotional juice was very much about ostracizing my own previous identity, or more accurately my bedroom full of false identities, the ones I put on and took off as proverbial masks, ever hiding, ever dissimulating. Now I wanted to be me, always, all the time. While daring people to disapprove.

Some part of my unattractive pedantry nowadays is bound up in this. False statements make me nervous, even when they're just mistakes, not deliberate falsehoods. They remind me of all the lies I had to combat before winning my way through to my own identity. But they also remind me of my childhood powerlessness, when I lied to hide, to keep as much control for myself as possible.

There's a silly but telling corollary. I hate costume parties. I won't go. I hope I'm polite about declining, and sometimes will even explain why. The point is I'm jealous of my identity. I don't want to hide it, or pretend to be someone different than who I am. I did that, for something like half my life before adulthood. I won't anymore. Done with that, definitively, now and forever.