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 


witnessed... 


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 


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.

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 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. 


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 


50 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  

lossis because most often it is a loss that didn't have to 

occur. It only occurs because of someone's deliberately 

hurtful behavior, or their 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 believes that the choice was wrong and 

preventable.

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 


themselves. 



 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 


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 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, 


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 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…


 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 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.

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.