Authentic Friendships


May 07, 2021
Friendship and Betrayal
Betrayal has got to be one of the biggest hurdles to overcome in friendships. Do you ditch them, forgive them, pretend it didn’t happen?? What do you do?
You know how this goes, right? You share a deep feeling, a secret fear or a strategic plan and BOOM it’s out. Your trust has been broken, you are devastated, maybe judged and definitely betrayed. Or perhaps even abandoned.
When I got divorced in 2008, a long time friend of mine, Karen, abandoned me. At least that’s how it felt and still feels. We had been besties from the age of 12 until about 22, when we got married, had families and the directions of our lives changed. We still remained good friends but not at BFF level.
I confided in her that I was going to get a divorce and shared with her some of the things that were going on and how bad the abuse was. Since I had never spoken honestly and openly about what was really going on, because most of us who are abused don’t talk about it until we can’t take it anymore, I’m not sure she believed me. Shortly after our visit, I filed for divorce and three months later moved out.
The day I was to move out there was an incident and the police were called. I filed for a restraining order and it was granted. I didn’t hear from Karen…she never checked on me to see if I was okay or to see if I was safe....nothing, not a peep. Her parents lived across the street from us so they had a front row seat to everything that appeared to be going on. I say appeared, because not everything is what it appears to be. I didn’t reach out, I held tightly to those who were there to hold me up, I didn’t have the capacity at the time to reach out to her.
I don’t know how much time had passed when I decided to reach out to her and had a conversation with her. I really missed my friend. The only thing I remember from that conversation was her statement “Well, there are two sides to every story.” I checked out at that point. I could not fathom that she would even consider any other side than mine, honestly. Girl Code, right?? It still pains me to think about that. I felt so dismissed, invisible and betrayed. There are some days that I still wonder what happened, I mean really, what happened that she made the choice to turn a blind eye? To not care about my safety?? To not even reach out??
I have made the conscious choice to let this friendship go. There are times I’d like to know what actually happened and then I think, it doesn’t even really matter. Her choice to NOT reach out to me when I needed her most really tells me all I need to know. And the memory of it still hurts deeply.
Here’s the lesson I learned in this situation, there are often lots of rumors, speculation, incomplete stories and wrong assumptions in these types of situations. Along with a horrendous amount of judgment. I could deal with the rumors, as outlandish as some of them were but the judgment destroyed me.
Ladies, please be mindful of the judgment you are holding about someone or their situation. It’s possible you don’t have all of the information and what benefit does holding the judgment have anyway? Your friend may need you despite your feelings, beliefs or judgments.
Betrayal can have devastating effects. You can decide if the friendship is worth repairing or is it time to release it?
Here are some Friend-Tips:
Letter writing
Conversation to Resolve
Get clear on what’s to be resolved
Approach conversation from a place of curiosity
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