After many years of trying to work through the shock,
perplexities, confusion, the over-whelming grief,
hurt and disappointment, from the multiple losses in our
immediate family and a couple of close friends (back to
back), in the midst of the painful losses, I was being
slandered while trying to deal with the deaths and
the blatant and unscrupulous acts of my younger
brother and only living sister. What adds insult to the
disgusting injuries is... the two older brothers, who
the hellish hand I was dealt,
did not have the guts to stand for truth and speak up.
My brothers abandoned ship and put their own interest
first. 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
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 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?'
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 over that by 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.
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
50 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 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.
I believe when someone betrays us, they are in a place
where they are not respecting themselves. Anyone who
lies and shatters trust, blatantly or by omission, or fails to
communicate information that deeply impacts us, is lost to
Betrayal and shattered trust is probably the most
devastating loss 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
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 a reflection 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. The inability to
honor what was once considered a beautiful soul...
is a real shame.
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 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…
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 resentment.
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
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.