A series of roughly edited notes people shared on the topic of betrayal. Small boxes of darkness from hearts wounded by the carelessness of those they trusted. Not one of us can say we don't have experiences on both sides of this painful human experience. 

Dear KK, 

I saw your post about betrayal and want to share a my basic story. I was in love. She cheated. I took her back. She did it again. I lost dignity, friends, and my health. This pattern has since repeated, and I am beginning to hate myself. Her random lovers seem unaware there are other people involved, or perhaps they don't care. She has some mental problems. Where has conscience gone and is monogamy dead? What is a sincerely loyal and romantic guy like me to do? 

Dear KK,

You mentioned betrayal. This topic is sticky for my family. Have I got a story for you! My friend and confidant used me in an effort to get closer and collude with my partner. They are now together, and living less than an hour away. I found out because she posted images of MY children on social media, bragging about her mothering skills. I feel a sickening sense of revenge within, as I am forced to work with her. My children's lives have been rearranged by two adults suddenly pretending to be thoughtful parents, as they play house in our former home. I can barely look at my now ex partner and feel hate in my heart toward this woman. 

Dear KK, 

I have Parkinson's and when I was in the scary place of pre dx, best friends betrayed me. Instead of asking what they could do, they gossiped and judged and tore me down. Two women I introduced are now besties and continue to mock in subtle smirks, as if they are somehow superior. It's like they see my ask for support as some form of weakness or a character flaw. I trusted and still love them but continue to be hurt by their callous denial of my rapidly changing reality. They compare me to their more healthy friends and have called me crazy and petulant for simply seeking understanding. I want to forgive them or at least show them all these blogs. Can people be educated if they don't have any experience with chronic disease? 

Dear KK, 

I hate people. Everyone is just out for themselves. The highway I take to get to work is all about 'me first, out of my way, you don't matter'. This is a consistent message everywhere we go, even at our church. The world seems to be getting more narcissistic and detached. My friends are not good at keeping secrets and have hurt my trust. My Grandma says people used to think about other people more and insists past generations were more in service to others. I am discouraged and feel a sense of dread and loneliness when around most people. If she is correct, I don't want to have kids.   

Dear KK, 

I've been afraid to offer my story because it's like cutting scar tissue open, but here goes: I had cancer and was bracing for death. I was devastated and not able to be who I'd been before the diagnosis and all the hospital stays. I have no immediate family in this country. My friends didn't make it to the hospital, which is understandable, but when I arrived home they barely nodded in my direction after an initial flurry of activity. The hardest part of this cancer thing is that long haul. Even though I reach out to make plans, I feel ignored and abandoned. I see their shiny happy photos with glittering ladies standing in heels, toasting at wineries or tan arms around each other while celebrating triumphant marathons. I am better now but feel betrayed and wonder why they are only here in good times. 

Dear KK, 

I lost my son in his battle with addiction. My family and friends do not understand grief and I am too exhausted to reach out anymore.  I know they are occupied with their own lives, but I counted on them because I was there for them. Anger is what I feel when I consider how they dismiss me.  Maybe I'm no longer happy enough to suit them, but it's not like this state of grief is how it will always be. 

Dear KK, 

I am under 40 and I am probably going to die within the next five years. Long story, and I can't share more on that, but I have read your posts on living with this sort of thing. No one knows I am dying. Not even my Dad. My Mom died when I was young. This crappy disease has made me intolerant toward anyone caught up in the munitiae of life. Some of the things my friends worry about seem so trivial now. I want to scream, wake up people! I am afraid to say anything yet, because I don't want anyone feeling sorry for me, but their vanity is useless from my new perspective. 

Dear KK, 

I am afraid that people will find out I slept with my brother in law. My sister is one of my best friends and I don't know why I did this... it just kind of happened. I still talk to him, but cut off all physical contact. I feel so disgusting that I almost want to die. A secret that would hurt more than just our immediate family. The shame led me to seek a therapist who helps.  I was also with another married man when I was younger and just found out he is not with his wife anymore. I can't believe I used to despise her. I feel so bad about this now, because she works at my kid's school and has been so nice to me and to my kids. I keep ruining my life. 

Dear KK, 

How do I get over the fact that family friends stabbed me in the back when I was at my lowest point? One of them slept with my lover, when we were began through our breakup. Their excuse was simply that they didn't think we were still together, as if anyone is fair game. They made the situation worse by taking sides, through conjecture and with their meddling in my other relationships. They suddenly seem like androids, fake and without a heart.


We cause profound sadness for one another. These stories were painful to read and are slightly modified from their original content, but the disclaimer stands: If you think you recognize anything personal here, you are incorrect. This is a study of human behavior and an ongoing conversation about compassion and it's apparent lack, and not published for any reason other than to shine a light on a slice of life as it pertains to betrayal. My reply is not coming from any place of authority or even resolution, but is more of a suggestion on where to place focus in harsh times. 

Dear Betrayed, 

Have you heard the fierce sound an infant makes at birth- that violent transition from the safety of the womb? The first separation we experience. Then into mother's arms we go gently, bonding, or ripped swiftly away to the bright lights. Welcome to the spinning world, little one! I am happy you are here, but feel like an apology is in order for the legacy of pain we cannot refrain from unloading upon one another. The ripping apart, the abandonment, and sometimes even betrayal. I wish I could protect you from the environmental riot of destruction and the escalating aggression. I can only begin with the violence in my own heart, and strive to live by example. The gift of life is also a treachery. Life can be brutal. If only we had the opportunity to hold one another as vulnerable and innocent infants, life on this planet would shift. 

What do we owe one another? In our shared humanity, are we capable of true compassion in all circumstances? For self. For other. Are we all so scattered we can't make time to be present?  When someone we trust hands us another box of darkness, we are faced with a choice. We can sink to a base level of fear and infinite wounding, or we can go higher and raise the vibration. A compassionate queen on her throne seeks to lift others up, unyielding to the duplicity in human nature.  In awareness she knows it is her life's work is to unify, instead of getting dragged down into and perpetuating the ugly fray.  Opening and overfilling with love allows us to offer it back. We can't work well from depletion. 

I'm pretty good at screwing things up and will probably fail again soon, if I don't practice. It's not easy without sleep or balance. This is why I refer to it as practice. Never to master, always to strive to be more aware. It may begin with sincere intentions, but it takes an incredibly brave soul to actually turn the other cheek. Embodiment takes time and experience. There is a ridiculously high percentage of hypocrisy and false witnesses in our midst. It is much easier to lash out, hit back, go on the attack. I have tested this extensively! (Insert wild laughter here.) The measure of a woman is in her ability to return to the sacred practice of compassion, actively participating in progress and peace in difficult times. To "go higher" as Michelle Obama recently suggested. Most people mean well, and try to avoid hurting anyone... of course. 

People are messy.

It's no secret people can be unbelievably competitive, cruel, and unconscious. We stupid humans cause so much unnecessary pain for one another, instead of simply noticing that we are all in the quicksand of life together, muddling along, all uncertain in our overwhelming confusion. I'll continue to remind you that nobody knows what they are doing. Most of us act oblivious, or at least preoccupied with our own thoughts. How the hell do we keep missing our shared humanity, and how might we rise above our egoic desires? If there something we think we want or deserve and we have to harm self or other to get it, we might want to consider other choices. 

"The trouble with the rat race is, that even if you win, you're still a rat." - Lily Tomlin

If we could see clearly that we are interconnected, we'd understand that inconsiderate behavior is the equivalent of shooting ourselves in the foot. The butterfly effect is a reality that no one escapes. 

"Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
- On friendship, by Kahlil Gibran

In the beginning of Kill Bill, former partners and comrades ambush and shoot Beatrix Kiddo on her wedding day.  Sound familiar...this name Kiddo? No worries, my Hattori Hanzo sword is just a pen. Here is the tense scene just prior to, and not including the violent betrayal-  in case you happen to be reading near your own kiddos: 


I was recently exposed to a series of events that included a friend's betrayal. She appeared thoughtful and connected, but I received clear confirmation that she wasn't able to consider my difficult position. It was a more a difference of perspective and philosophy than personal. This was not the first time this has happened in the history of the world, so I am not crying in my soup... but it was a reminder that in our urgency to be heard or validated, we kinda miss each other. We botch opportunities for basic understanding and intimacy because we aren't paying attention to the bigger picture. Running around frantically trying to survive is not helping advance the emotional IQ either. 

In your messages, you've offered such a clear description of a gross disconnect between intention and action. People orient this way if their fear or need to check out is stronger than love. They feel a scarcity, and actually believe they must put their own needs and wants ahead of others, not wasting time considering how they affect lives beyond their own.  Ask clearly for what you need or allow it to fade. Let folks scurry along with whatever story alleviates their private pain. They'll do whatever they want anyway, no matter if you whisper or shriek the facts to anyone who will listen.  At a certain point, opinions cease to matter. 

When you meet Judas on your path, keep walking

The level of destruction and potential trauma is the same whether it is a lack of willingness or an incapacity. Only people in pain hurt others and pain can affect our ability to sense chain reactions. We have a limited view of others, but we continue to compare our insides to what we assume we are seeing in other lives. Unless you have a gaping wound, are missing a limb, have a bloody head wrap or are encumbered by a huge brace around your neck, most people have NO IDEA you are struggling with a disease. One that may be dismantling you and everything you care about, completely. All kinds of assumptions are made about the severity or validity of the lives of others, from those who have no experience, yet. There is no rush to kill one another before the gig is up. We'll all get a turn at loss or death. 

Do you know what will your legacy will be? Do no harm is a precept in every religion. Although we could explore the hypocrisy of this statement in a few World History lessons, the intention is unmistakable. In absence of religion or fear of repercussion, can we refrain from causing more harm? There seems to be an abundance of suffering or samsara already- it should be perfectly clear no one needs our help to suffer. 

Are you acquainted with death?

The last gasp of a loved one is an enduring memory. If you were holding their hand, and they went limp in their permanent sleep, can you still feel their pulse in yours? I have helplessly watched someone die, weeping over an empty shell of blood and bones. We can't get it back you know. In the end, we really only have one shot. After the gruesome and ongoing grief, for which there may seem no end, you find a perseverance you did not realize you had. 

I lost 9 friends, a marriage of almost 20 years, and my formerly vibrant health in a short amount of time. The waves were dragging me under and much too close together. One death haunts me more than the others because of the last conversation we had about a year before he died. I was not kind, because I was angry and hurt. This is what happens when we cannot manage our own pain. I see a child alone and afraid, and I was not able to comfort him. Hell is not somewhere we go, it is a direct result of how we treat others. Years of building trust and affection can be annihilated in a few moments of rage. People also die from broken hearts- gone before we get an opportunity to make amends. Then what? 

Herein lies the greatest human folly... we think we have time.  

No one wants to hear it. It's uncomfortable and too close to the bone. You'll be silenced by people who aren't ready (or in the mood) to look at their own stuff. They'll insist the answer is to move on about whatever you are experiencing, instead of actively listening. You get to choose how and when that happens, not anyone else. Process all you like, just don't pass the buck.  People with incredibly stealth compartmentalization skills, capable of detaching from the pain of others are everywhere. I recommend you avoid them completely, yet send love anyway. We don't all reach the same level of understanding simultaneously and some of us need to be 'in it' to understand 'it'. If you are living with chronic pain and an incurable or progressive disease, you know the value of each breath. You may have a keen idea of what others in similar situations are dealing with. Make friends with your own body and mind first to find a little relief. 

Be the person you are expecting everyone else to be. 

If your letters or my break-ups are any indication, some folks aren't monogamous or loyal in the slightest. It's a choice we get to make as adults. Yet, that info might be helpful to someone who is under the strong impression that vows and promises are actually real. Why so many married and single ladies and gents willingly and actively participate in a triangle of lies shall remain a mystery. Pretty much everyone has done something terrible that might have wrecked another's sense of basic sense of well-being. What sets us apart from animals is supposedly a conscience, but even wolves are more loyal than most lovers. We rewound ourselves in this charade. Perhaps it is assumed the other partners will never find out... oh come on! If you want to meet an undercover operative, betray your lover and lie about it. Most jilted lovers go a bit postal, until they get the truth. That's when the fun begins. 

Friendship should be worth more than a potential orgasm or thrill, but some folks are in so much agony, they will do anything for a momentary escape. Feel for them instead of wasting time on any form of retribution, because it isn't up to us. Nothing is. I am not suggesting you abandon discernment or protection, rather that karma is going to do it's own thing no matter what you want. I used to wonder why my sister friends would take on a man they knew was a serial dater or cheater. While I am certain you have sparklers shooting out of your private parts and honey dripping from your lips, a zebra doesn't change stripes. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. 

If you can focus on health, helping others and becoming the best version of you, answers will come. Be outrageously, wildly loving to self and other! I happen to know unconditional love (Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hello brothers and sisters!) and it remains a potent force in my life. So much love. Divine love. Romantic love. Loving kindness. Offer love that is unconcerned with reciprocity as often as possible. Can you look your accuser or your attacker in the eye and feel loving kindness? Maybe not, and no one is suggesting you should, but we can at least live without adding to the misery soup we all take turns drowning in. Most cause harm by sheer ignorance and self-absorption and not evil or malice. When you discover your friends were not capable or willing to show up as you expected, are you able to forgive them? We have all let people down but we can avoid repeating this unconscious behavior. 

Got love? 

Perhaps infinite amounts of distraction and the frantic pace of our lives both keep us from cherishing our intimate connections. Imagine a world where we held one another's hearts as if they were our own. It is plausible if we begin with ourselves. There are over six billion people in the world- you don't need to linger if you are being abused or mistreated. We keep working on our own intentions with angels and sincere comrades. Stay connected to people interested in being loving. Not just people who live exactly as you do, or even those who agree with you- I mean the kind of connections that span lifetimes and suspend logic or convenience. 

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity." -Kahlil Gibran

Begin today. Hand that box of darkness back, and say, "This doesn't belong to me." Don't wait to be rescued, instead become one who lifts the energies and intentions. You are better than this lowest common denominator behavior, and your purpose in this life is not to unconsciously seek an escape from pain at any cost. The gift of life means so much more than that. Blessed be kind friends and strangers, who walk their talk. Cheers to the most powerful and fierce beings on the planet! Those who refuse to cause harm and choose to live with peace and compassion. The world needs the peacekeepers, the helpers, the energetic and material healers, the loyal lovers, the open-hearted and brave ones who find ways to process incredible pain, yet overflow with compassion... in spite of it all.