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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
a 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
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
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.
for such a time as this:
"The hottest place in Hell is reserved for
those who remain neutral in times of great
"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.
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
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,
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 good
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 full
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
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,
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.