We will all experience, at some point in the course

 of our lives, betrayal by those whom we considered

 as trusted friends and colleagues. However, 

the most painful betrayal...

is from family. 

Are there really perfect families?

Some families seem to be harmonious, while others 

are tremendously complicated and 

toxic to the core.

While siblings hopefully become our biggest support 

systems and the only people on earth we shared the 

maternal womb with and share a lot of the same 

experiences; unfortunately, the relationships between 

siblings can become extremely dysfunctional, especially 

when our adult siblings want to manipulate, control, 

judge, and insult us. 

Just because someone is blood related does not 

mean we have to allow them to control us, walk over 

us, and constantly spew toxicity into our lives.

When, or if toxic families regularly disrespect us,

 trivialize our best efforts, ignore our boundaries, 

and go under the radar intentionally afflicting us 

with spirit draining, emotional abuse, and 

gaslighting… we have every right to take the 

drastic, but necessary steps to protect ourselves,

 i.e., by avoiding contact, cutting ties or at least 

distancing ourselves from those siblings.

It takes fuel to have a fire. A fire dies down when 

it runs out of fuel. So quarrels disappear when

 the gossip ends.

Proverbs 26:20

Sometimes, people on the outside are quick to

remind us that, toxic or not, this is still our family. 

When we snap out of the illusion and become aware 

that we have been devalued, blamed, constantly 

criticized, isolated and abused, when there is 

nothing positive to be gained from the relationship,

 when our family’s treatment is severely impacting

 us and damaging our self-esteem, when we state

our case and it’s not heard... detachment may be


We are allowed to detach from toxic people who bully 

and play psychological games that injure us emotionally

 and spiritually, even if these people are blood related, 

they can still be spiritual drainers, if the truth be told.

Who wants to subject themselves to people who belittle

 and are constantly picking and poking in an effort to 

exhaust us of our spiritual vitality? 

Some siblings are pathological liars. They create 

chaos and blame it on the target sibling... the 

"Scapegoat" and/or the"Black sheep." The lies 

they tell are framed to wound and discredit the 

target sibling.

Their goal is to make the target sibling feel invisible

and not worthy to be heard. Underneath this tactic

 is a grab bag of emotions, fears, jealousy, unresolved

 issues from childhood, resentment, and unwarranted 


The truth is, even as adults, siblings often continue

 to consciously or unconsciously enforce the ‘roles’ 

that were assigned to each family member growing 

up — for example: ‘the baby,’ ‘the boss’ or ‘the 

black sheep."

It is not uncommon for a toxic family member to 

try to stop truth from surfacing; because the toxic 

member may not want to have the baggage from

 the past exposed. 

Unfortunately, far too many adult siblings don't

consider sharing an environment... a safe place

 where other members can truly be themselves, 

feel free, accepted, and respected. Some crave 

control and seek it by putting down the people 

around them.

One of the hallmarks of a dysfunctional family

is lack of empathy. In many families, as quiet

as it is kept, getting along is not a given. In 

many unstable families, the anger felt by one

 person can reverberate throughout an entire


In many families, there is usually an inability, 

between various members, to communicate 

respectfully. In minor disagreements, some 

members will likely take matters to the extreme. 

and others can find themselves being the target

of a sibling responding by aggressively lashing 

out verbally, without cause.

Contrary to popular belief, bullying doesn't always 

disappear as people grow older. In fact, it can 

continue into adulthood and can be found in just

 about any setting. Any adult in a family can be a 

bully and any adult can be a target. 

Most of the time, family bullying takes place in 

the form of relational aggression, but it can, in 

extreme cases, escalate into physical bullying too.

Oftentimes, family bullies resort to manipulation, 

humiliation, and intimidation. 
At the heart of many of the problematic triggers 

we find adult sibling alienation.    

Sibling alienation occurs when one adult sibling

 wants to push aside another. While sibling alienation

 can occur at any point, one sibling may be especially

 tempted to alienate another in order to gain control of

 care-taking or inheritance outcomes with aging parents. 

This can result in unfair and harmful outcomes,

 especially if the decision-making ends up in court.

The targeted individual may end up facing false and

 numerous slanderous remarks, criticisms, and blame-

shifting made by adult sibling bully to other family 

members and those who may have issues unrelated, 

but enjoy and support seeing the targeted individual 

alienated, smeared and negatively bashed. 

Blame-shifters freely offer criticisms about everyone

 else, but reacts quite badly when confronted with 

criticism themselves. 

The impact of relational aggression can be

devastating! Adult siblings who attempt to 

poison others about one of their siblings, can 

produce long-lasting divisiveness within the 


After many years of trying to work through shock, 

confusion, over-whelming grief, and disappointment 

stemming from the death of our brother, mother, two 

sisters, and several of my very dear friends, in the

 midst of the painful deaths, I found myself trying 

to understand why my younger brother and only

 living sister would take several inheritances, 

blatantly and unscrupulously perform slanderous

 acts of evil, directed at me.from my younger 

brother and only living sister. 

What adds insult to the disgusting injuries is... 

the two older brothers, who witnessed... the 

hellish hand I was dealt, did not have the guts 

to stand for truth and speak up. 

My brothers abandoned ship and would not stand

 up for me in truth during what I considered to be 

great moral conflict that could have been

 righterd... had they stood for righteousness

They seemed to be totally oblivious to everything that 

they were eye-witnesses to. They flipped the script and 

partnered with the silent thief, deceiver, destroyer, and 

murderer, Satan. 

I thought to myself, these men have naively fallen for 

the tricks of the enemy. Their unconscionable silence 

left me feeling hurt, abandoned, and baffled because 

I didn't have a frame of reference for any of this. I was 

left to piece together and try to make sense of this new 

reality... the "new normal"... which was neither nice or 


Trust is a highly valuable asset that can either 

make or break a person, especially the relationships

 they have with their families. Trust is as fragile as

 glass, it is easy to break and very hard to piece 

back together.

Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to

 make the relationship work. If or when we find

that trying to stay in a toxic family only makes 

us feel worse or isn’t healthy, it may be time to 

move on... accept that we can’t change the

 relationship, and distance ourselves from the


No matter how badly people treat you, may it be

 beneath your dignity to drop down to their level 

and do evil for evil. Be the bigger person and walk 


I felt like the following quotes of 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

were appropriate... 

for such a time as this:

"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for 

those who remain neutral in times of great 

moral  conflict."

"Every man must decide whether he will

walk in the light of creative altruism or in 

the darkness of destructive selfishness."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous 

than sincere ignorance and conscientious 


"If a man has not discovered something 

that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

"The ultimate measure of a man is not

where he stands in moments of comfort

 and convenience, but where he stands at 

times of challenge and controversy."

"The first question which the priest 

and the Levite asked was:

'If I stop to help this man, what will 

happen to me?' 

But... the good Samaritan reversed 

the question: 'If I do not stop to help 

this man, what will happen to him?'"

"He who passively accepts evil is as 

much involved in it as he who helps 

to perpetrate it. 

He who accepts evil without protesting

 against it is really cooperating with it."

"In the end, we will remember not the 

words of our enemies,but the silence 

of our friends.”

"The ultimate tragedy is not the 

oppression and cruelty by the bad 

people, but the silence of the good 


"There comes a time 

when silence is 


When someone hurts us, for whatever reason, 

particularly someone who shares the same 

genes, the sting is painful, numbing, and 


Where love, compassion, and support 

were so desperately needed, instead, 

I found myself on another battlefield. 


I wish I could answer that question 

intelligently. I wish I knew why so many 

people go sideways when death visits a family. 

Now, I am being accused, criticized, 

and lied on by the older brothers 

whom I looked up to and respected. 

Recently, the one brother I thought I could trust 

to break my silence with regarding a disturbing 

59 plus year old experience I encountered... 

has purposely broken the confidence. 

When an individual is betrayed by someone, they lose 

trust in that person. In trusting another person, we

 believe that they won't hurt us; but when they do

 hurt us, we then have the awareness that this other 

person has the capacity to hurt us. Therefore, we 

have lost something very important to the 


For years I believed my older brother was a 

high soul, a God-fearing man who was upright, 

trustworthy, fair, and guided by integrity. 

Obviously, his actions proved that he was unable 

to be who I thought he was... or needed him to be. 

It is hurtful to be confronted with the painful 

reality and loss of, what I now realize was, the 

illusion of how and what I thought of my 


It is hard enough when one is attacked 

and conspired against by the enemy and the 

world, but when the fiery arrows and toxic 

negativity is coming from those whom we 

love and have bared our soul to... the hurt 

becomes magnified.

The reason that betrayal is the most devastating 

kind of  loss is because most often it is a loss 

that didn't have to occur. It only occurs because 

of someone's deliberately hurtful behavior, 

carelessness, or their own personal weakness. 

Unlike a loss such as death or illness, there 

is usually some sort of choice involved. The 

person who was betrayed has been wounded

 and believes the choice was selfishly wrong 

and preventable.

I believe when someone betrays us, they are in a 

place where they are not respecting themselves. 

Anyone who blatantly lies, shatters trust, or fails 

to communicate information that deeply impacts

 us, is lost to themselves. 

 Betrayal and shattered trust are probably the most 

devastating losses a person can experience. Once 

trust has been violated... it's hard to overlook the

 fact that the person, whom we once trusted, has 

the capacity to betray us.

Betrayal resorts to sneakiness because one is 

unable to express what is in their heart and this,

 in and of itself, creates a certain kind of agony. 

Sometimes people are so desperate to feel 

something, anything, to break the chains of 

their own apathy or discomfort or despair, 

they just act out. 

My point is, a person who acts in a hurtful or 

careless way is not in a good place on his or 

her own path. Their current lack of kindness or 

integrity is not areflection on us, or anything

 lacking within us. It’s a reflection of where

 they find themselves... on their own journey.

The transgressor's choice is to leave us in the dark, 

and that in and of itself can be painful. It is a 

shame that I can no longer respect those I once 

considered as beautiful souls.

No one deserves to be slandered or shunned, 

or left in a vacuum to try to figure out what has

 happened. Even if we did understand every 

nuance... it doesn't make it easier to go

 through...it can still be very hurtful.

Sometimes our best hope of closure may 

be simple acceptance and the prayer that the 

transgressor will recognize that the hurt 

they caused was wrong.

Betrayal is one of life's hardest blows. 

Jesus knew what betrayal felt like.


Jesus was betrayed into the hands of His enemies, 

by Judas, 

for thirty pieces of silver, 

and Jesus was deserted by all the rest. 

The very people Jesus had helped, 

healed, fed, and encouraged cried… 


The very ones Jesus blessed… 

became His enemies.

Trust is the most vulnerable 

state of being. 

When we give it away... all our weaknesses 

are exposed to those who it has been given.

Betrayal is the vindictive violation of trust. 

A betrayal is an act of double-crossing another. 

The sting of betrayal can be dreadfully agonizing 

and become so embedded in our subconscious mind... 

that the betrayal may become too difficult to extract.

Betrayal is painful, but it can

also be a profound education.

Good results can come from less than goo

intentions and become our blessings in disguise

and that rude awakening we so desperately


Familial betrayal is probably 

the most unconscionable and 

agonizing kind of betrayal 

anyone can experience. 

What makes it so hurtful is the fact that 

our trust is violated by someone we never 

knew could do or would hurt us.

The one person whom I thought I could 

confide in, was actually hiding everything 

from me.This particular brother, was like 

"a bolt from the blue"... without warning or 

reason...he became verbally insulting and 

hurtful. His words, condescending tone,

 and actions were unexpected, and wicked.

My brother accused me, sentenced me, 

and nailed me to the cross without thinking 

about the awful accusations he was making … 

versus, what he actually knows to be true.

He abruptly and dramatically began venting 

hostile, harsh, uncaring, mean-spirited, 

destructive, hurtful, and baseless allegations.

It seemed as if he had harbored those thoughts 

for a while and they were burning in his soul.

As he unleashed this cascade of hurtful and 

slanderous remarks... it was as if the truth 

he knew… mysteriously vanished. 

He totally disregarded the truth and seemed

 quite locked into the lies... and comfortable in

sharing them. The lies he was spewing seemed 

more welcomed than the truth, and he did not

appear to be interested in considering the ful

ramifications of his rantings.

It left me wondering if his intention was to 

antagonize me, elicit a certain reaction from

me, or seriously wound me by those painful 

and poisonous accusations or if this was his 

way of escaping his own issues and emotions

His choice of descriptors were venomous 

and certainly not indicative of the brother 

I thought I knew or wanted him to be.

After my brother finished speaking, 

I just stood there in shock and disbelief. 

I tried to see who was speaking through 

him. It was as if he had been taken captive 

by a strange force that led him to act in a way 

that was and is still hard for me to comprehend. 

He acted as if he was finding solace in his attempts 

to torment, tear down, and weaken my spirit.

I thought to myself... there are people, sometimes

 those closest to us, who don't feel empathy. Some 

demonic forces are notorious at talking, taunting, 

tormenting, and intentionally hurling hurtful 

comments at others, and have no purpose other

 than, to insult, dishearten, or harm another with 

their ill-intentioned opinions and comments.


Thank God, I am rooted and grounded in God...

otherwise my brother's rantings would have had 

an opportunity to possibly dictate and define 

my reactions and behavior and have me trapped 

in a prison of pain, confusion, blame, and 


By the grace of God, I know 

that my self-worth is not defined 

by a worldly approval rating.

I've also come to realize that the best way to end 

an argument is often by refusing to engage

in an argument. That's it... period.

If someone can be easily influenced to turn against

 us, without cause, due to the opinions of others,

 they were never meant to be in future chapters 

of our lives. 

God will often remove unhealthy things from our

 lives when we are too weak, too attached, or too

 blinded to see correctly. This is not a rejection... 

it is called God's protection.

When we have been hurt, before doing anything that

we may regret later, let us take some space to pray and 

process everything. Our next best response is to seek 

out the tools that will help us to heal, learn, and grow 

through our experiences. 

Life gives us a choice: we can either be hardened 

by what happens along our journey, or we can give 

ourselves permission to be healed, learn the life

lesson, and grow stronger through it. 

I highly recommend healing, learning, and 

growing. Through these experiences we can 

gain insight, understanding, compassion, 

and kindness. 

The human heart is resilient and we all 

naturally want to heal. Pain is part of the 

journey toward liberation from suffering. 

I firmly believe, God will never give us 

more than we can handle, and all things

really do work together for our good.

With God in the forefront... going through, 

facing the situation, working with it, and 

leaning into it... can free us from all kinds 

of slavery and help us to better excel at life.