“When you betray somebody else, you also betray yourself.” — Isaac Bashevis Singer

How long does it take to recover from a betrayal? I’ve had a few in my life. Some of them very early. One in my late 20s and several in the last 5 or 6 years. Other than the childhood ones, the last several have been among the worst. People that I’d trusted and shared important and even delicate information with have become so enraged (I think for bizarre or selfish reasons, but then of course I’d think that) or unhinged that they’ve thrown all this information back at me, but twisted, burned tortured into shapes unrecognizable made to suit their own ends.

I can’t say I didn’t have any part in these explosions, well….at least one I didn’t. But I can say that I never said anything that would need to be unsaid. Once you’ve spewed your venom all over, either in written or verbal form ,people forever remember you as the person who said/wrote those expansively cruel things. Each time they think of you they hear those words again. As time passes the memory becomes fainter, but you never entirely forget and the trust is forever broken. Sometimes in mending it can become stronger , like a broken bone. That repair takes considerable effort– and self righteousness, continuing anger or even the belief that to trust again in the face of such betrayal would inevitably be lethal, will prevent any such healing.

I think I’ll always be sad about some of these losses. Some give only a twinge now, others the pain being newer, haven’t had a chance to fade as much. It’s good that the anger diminishes at the same pace as the hurt. Every so often when I hear of one of them having a loss or their own betrayals or reversals I find myself thinking “there, now you know how you made ME feel.” But I try each time to instead to hope for their ease and comfort. This is not always easy and certainly not always accomplished but it gets better with practice

And time, it all gets better with time. And you can’t wish for time to pass quickly because then in the desire to rid yourself of the sorrow, you’ll lose the good. The hug from your exuberant child, your husband’s hand placed gently on your cheek, a lapful of cats. Best not to hurry.