Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friendship, Betrayal and Broken Trust

One thing I have never understood is how some women will betray a friend in some of the worst ways.

When I am friends with someone, I learn to trust them and will share things with them that I may not want made public.  I will protect their privacy also and will not reveal things that they have shared with me.  I do this for all my friends, male or female.  I care about them and do not want them hurt.  I know it may sound naive of me to expect others to act in the same manner, but that is how I was give people the benefit of the doubt and try to see the good in them and give them a chance.

Recently, several friends have been betrayed by their supposed friends and even family.  The pain that this has caused them is heartbreaking and so unnecessary.  To those people who have done this, watch out...people, including your own children, are watching and the truth about YOU and your character is being exposed by your actions.

All of this has brought back some very painful memories and feeling for me of being betrayed by a few people who I thought were my friends, but it turned out that they were not.  I know that in childhood, people are still growing up and do stupid things in the heat of anger or jealousy...hopefully they learn from it and when they become adults, they stop that kind of behavior and will ask for forgiveness from the person they hurt.  I had one person, who has hurt me deeply as a child, come to me and ask me to forgive them.  It was wonderful to be able to tell them, with an open heart, that I had honestly forgiven them long ago.  It was also wonderful to be able to help them let go of that heavy burden and guilt that they had been carrying around for so long.

It is a whole different ballgame though when it is adults, who should know better, that play these games.  I am appalled at grown women who will twist things that were said and make them into something they were not.  Sometimes, these lies can have a devastating affect.  

I will never forget how I felt when after having my 3 children within a 22 month span, was sharing with someone who I thought was a friend and who Jeff and I had been there for time and time again, about how tired I was with 3 babies at home and that I wished I could go back to work part time after taking a year off instead of full time.  My supervisor and I had even talked about this but there were no part time opening so I was assigned to take over an open full time teaching position at another school after my return from my leave of absence.  I went to sign the contract at the school about a week later only to be told that my "friend" had come in to them and claimed I said I was going to quit my job there if things got too rough.  I had never said anything like that. She then talked them into giving her my job.  She apparently threw quite a fit and went above our supervisor's head also and demanded she get that job that I had already been assigned to.  She was given the job and I was devastated by her betrayal and lies.  I could not believe a friend would lie about something like that and it cost me my job.  I was shaken to the core and had a very hard time trusting people after that. 

I remember being in a class on interpersonal communication shortly after that and we had to do a trust exercise.  I broke into tears.  I could not "trust" enough to do the exercise.  I had no idea at that moment that one of the other people in that class had worked with the person who betrayed me and knew the whole story. Apparently the person who betrayed me must have said things and been talking about it along with other people since I had not said a word about it to anyone outside of my family and my supervisor (who was also very upset with her for pulling that stunt).  Word gets around quickly in that school district.  That person came up to me, gave me a big hug and said "I know that this is about ________ and what she did to you. I'm so sorry. We all (the staff a the school she had worked at before taking my job) think it is rotten and none of us will ever trust her again."

Karma has a way of coming back around at the person who betrays someone like that.  She lost the trust of not only the people she used to work with at the first school, but also lost the trust of everyone in the supervisor's office and many other people in the district.  Word got around about what she had done and the from what I was told, teachers at the new school would not trust her either.  I did not speak about it to anyone in the district after my initial conversation with my supervisor because I was still trying to keep above it and did not want to keep reliving the hurt and pain she caused.  I also never betrayed her trust in me and never shared things that she had told me in confidence that could negatively impact her.

I was given a different position, one that I could have never imagined having and that opened up at the last was part time and one that fit into our family's schedule much better than full time would have.  Thank you God!  It also helped me to grow in different areas of my life and for that I am forever thankful.  The person that hurt me had to live with the consequences of her actions and it was clear when we had inservice meetings or had to be at the same training sessions, that she was basically being shunned by many other people there and that she was not happy with the way her life was going.  She eventually did come to me at one of the sessions and said that she missed our friendship  and wanted things to go back to the way they were.  I told her that I missed the friendship that we had shared also, but that after her betrayal, I could no longer trust her and did not know if I ever would be able to again.  I did forgive her but I knew things would never be able to be back to the fun friendship that we had shared prior to her betrayal of me and my family.  Things continued to be rough for her professionally and personally and from what I was told, she and her husband moved out of the area for a fresh start a few years later.  My husband and I had already moved our family back up here to be closer to family by that time.

I do hope she learned something from all of that.  I hope she learned to never betray a friend again and that nothing is worth lying about to get what you want.  I hope that she was able to grow from this experience and learned how to be a real friend to others.  I hope that she has turned herself around and is having a good and happy life wherever she may be now.  I do not wish her ill will at all...just the opposite, I wish her happiness and all that is good.


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