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


 crucial! 



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 


competition.



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


household.



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 


family.

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 


normal.


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


 sibling(s).


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 


away.

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 


stupidity."



"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 


people."



"There comes a time 


when silence is 


betrayal."


When someone hurts us, for whatever reason, 


particularly someone who shares the same 


genes, the sting is painful, numbing, and 


baffling.


Where love, compassion, and support 


were so desperately needed, instead, 


I found myself on another battlefield. 



Why?


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 

relationship.


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 


brothers.


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… 



CRUCIFY HIM!



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


 needed.



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 


resentment. 



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.