Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)
TITLE: Pain of Betrayal
By Shilo Goodson
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Itís been almost fourteen years since Kay* was in my life. We connected right away and seemed to be best friends. About nine months after meeting Kay, our friendship started to fall apart. Things came up missing at my house. My watch that I had made myself disappeared. Money that I had gotten while babysitting was no longer in my purse. Books were gone. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) were even missing from our garage where my dad had stored them. Then suddenly the girl who hadnít been far from my side for the last nine months started avoiding me. At first, I was unwilling to admit even to myself that Kay had been the one to steal roughly $200 worth of money and other items from my family and me.
Things only got worse from there. Kay started spreading rumors about me. Many of the friends we shared started avoiding me, probably simply because they believed what she was telling them. I was unwilling to retaliate and resort to the same tactics as her, so few people even knew what she had done to me. The two friends who stuck my side found themselves also the topic of middle school gossip and lies.
By this time, I was willing to admit that Kay had been the one behind the thefts at my house. I fell into extreme depression. I felt basically alone. Sure, I had my family, my couple of friends, and God by my side, but many people basically hated me, and Iím sure that most of them didnít even realize why they hated me. Each week at church, I would see Kay surrounded by her friends. As the denial of what she had done to me disappeared, anger arrived. It wasnít fair that she could hurt me like that and then be the one who still had a bunch of friends.
That summer, I actually considered taking me own life. Iím sure my family didnít realize that I had fallen into that deep of depression, but I was walking home from an activity one day, and I thought about stepping in front of car and ending it all. At the time, it felt like the only way out. Now, I realize that was Satan working on me. Knowing the pain it would cause my family was probably the only thing that stopped me. Since the car was only going about 25 miles an hour, I probably wouldnít have died anyway, but I could have been seriously injured physically.
The next year or so was hard for me. The thing that hurt the most that Kay took from me was my trust of other people. If I misplaced something, and one of my friends had been over at my house, my automatic assumption was that this friend was also a thief. I would feel badly about thinking that when I found the item, but I struggled a lot with trust issues. Even today, Iím a little weary of trusting people until they have proven that they can be trusted.
About a year after the stealing incident, I started to gain back some of the friends I had lost and find new friends, but there was still pain behind what Kay had done to me. Because my dad was in the military, about three years after the incident, our family was transferred to another state. There I no longer had to encounter Kay, and thatís when I think the healing really began. Still, I would think that I had gotten over what she had done and that I had forgiven her. Then something would remind me of her. I would feel this bitterness towards her. It wasnít something that consumed me, but there was this feeling that I didnít want things to go well for her.
About a year ago, I heard through some mutual acquaintances that Kayís now married and has a couple of children. I almost amazed myself with my reaction. I found myself hoping that she had found someone wonderful and she was happy. I wanted her to have become a great person. Only then did I realize that had finally forgiven her for the pain she had caused me.
*Name has been changed
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