An Open Letter About Betrayal

Dear you,

There’s a reason why you wanted to click, why you wanted to read this about betrayal. About that unspeakable hurt. We know, because we have been there. We’ve been hurt, lied to, angered, disappointed, let down and betrayed.

You need the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone.

That there are definitely other people who have been through the grief, humiliation, anger, denial. Every. Thing. In a way, misery loves company. It truly does. Misery also needs a reminder that there are so many f***ing amazing things about life and love you need to rediscover. But we’ll get to that.

You know that betrayal colours everything you see.

Everything you once thought normal is suddenly not. You wonder if this is even reality. Your world turns upside-down. As cliched as that sounds, you literally do feel like someone has taken everything you know or understand and flipped it right over. “Is it suddenly opposite day? Did I miss the memo? Am I not getting something?”

Betrayal is that rapid loss of breath.

The moment your friends sit you down, hold your hand and say, “We have something to tell you.” The confusion that comes from everything you know and love suddenly not being true. That one state of comfort you once knew is now no more. The way it feels like some sick joke someone is playing on you.

“This can’t be.”

When you just can’t believe your eyes with what you see. When your mind rushes to put all the pieces together, then, that sudden, sharp, knife-like stab through the heart. This then dulls down to a throbbing pain. It lasts for hours, then days. It gets less and less over time, it heals, maybe only making its ugly reappearance on days you really feel vulnerable. The rush of tears or sobs that you just can’t control. Or that complete speechlessness — the wind completely knocked out of your lungs. You just can’t find the words to speak.

That sudden, moment of utter confusion.

You used to see the person in their most vulnerable. Your comfort level is unparalleled. That also sounds cliched, but there were those moments you shared that you thought was exclusive to the world. They only had that side of them, for you. They are imperfect, sure, as are you, but you accepted it the same way they accepted you. In fact, those imperfections and flaws which took you so long to reveal, slowly, painstakingly, to have it finally accepted, was a soft breath of relief.

Then betrayal was destroying all that, and more.

But know this, it does get better.

We’ll be lying if we say that it’s temporary. It’s the complete opposite. Sorry, reality check. But it does get better. They say time heals, sure, it sucks to wait. But take it a day at time. “Stay strong” sounds so trite, but do everything that makes you strong. Work? Immerse yourself to kill it at your job. Take time off every day to take a walk around the block or go to the gym. You have friends, family, everything else to live for. Know that people aren’t inherently terrible, but they make mistakes, and let it go.

Eventually all the fragments of hate, sorrow and anger will fall away, and will open up your heart to things you never thought you would otherwise experience.

Then forgive. And do it for your sake.