Betrayal seems to be the theme of the week. Nothing sucks like feeling you have been stabbed in the front, in the heart, which is the very place that decides who to let inside and who to politely ask to step aside, a place guarded by experience, and so I struggle.How do you know when to trust the heart when it has failed you over and over?
For my entire life I dreamed of having a sister. When Baby Bro was announced, brother number three, I cried.
I fulfilled that dream in college and at work, a group of young girls I love like my own, all my little soul sisters make me smile just writing about them. When I saw a new class of younger girls at school I thought for sure it would be twice the fun, even more colorful young beautiful girls to love and know.
It didn’t turn out that way at all.
Somehow, I became the center of a lot of drama, something Divorcee even marveled at, a place I rarely land, a pride I have in seeing everyone’s side, usually the diplomat, but this time, that role exploded in my face. It did not take long for the harsh realization to occur that this was not the setting to nurture anyone, that it is not needed nor wanted, the words of girls filtering through many directions, some truths, many fabrications, and some lies, some washed over me and some landed, the words unjust and hateful, attacking me as a mother, a person, accusations that left my mouth open, my breath taken. It has been since middle school that I can remember feeling this vulnerable, a shame that fills me because of course, being 32, I thought I had learned this lesson.
Defending the very people who betray you is humiliating as well, the shame of being in the position to begin with even greater, the decisions as how to go on exhausting.
Kat was very calm but extremely sure that the lies I had heard came from some one who did not know how to be a good friend, and that it was time for me to have the DEBUG lesson.
She got out her little black marker and wrote out the rules for me, in a big black marker.
Her face teeny and serious, she pointed them out as she read them aloud.
#2. Exit SLOWLY, Move Away.
#3. Use Kind Words.
#4. Use Firm Words.
#5. Get Adult Help.
The last one she scratched out and put YOURSELF to replace “Adult” since she pointed out with hilarious sincerity, I was an adult.
She said these lies could never take away the fact I was her mother, and so I know, at 32, that betrayal comes for us all, but I had not anticipated the pain of tonight, the betrayal of Lola and Kat. I let them play with new friends and when I picked them up, Kat was strangely quiet, and she said Lola had told her she wanted a different sister, to leave the room, a new girl had won both their hearts and Lola had won with triumph, Kat left in defeat, so two girls sobbed all the way home.
I am acutely aware that I am just beginning the road of this sister heartache, one sister jealous and in pain, the other being punished for being the star everyone picks, an effortless role she can not help to be, and I demand nothing less, and yet I see her character being strongly questioned with this gift.
I see her discard with little effort the very thing her sister desires with all that exists inside of her, and yet, they are madly in love with one another, and this night, is the very first time they betrayed one another.
I have lived to see betrayal kill families, shred friendships, destroy marriages, force wedges that never can be removed or destroyed, bitter angry words can take years to mend, and sometimes, all that was real in a lifetime can be in just one revelation of a betrayal, lost forever.
And so I cry, wondering if my dream for sisters was just a protective shield for me, a desperate covering that no matter who lied or betrayed them, they unlike me, would have each other.
I have vivid memories of finding out Lola was a girl, her little heart beating inside of me, and I felt relief. Having a sister meant someone could hold her if her Dad ever hurt her, that the burdens of having an emotional broken mother would be shared, that when mean school girls chewed them up and spit them out, a sister meant they would be okay.
I didn’t see that a sister would not have saved me from this pain, and so I have sought out my own sisters for healing, a hard lesson that in fact, I am only responsible for me.
I preach that illusions need to fall, are far better than the lies they hold, but tonight, if I had a wish, it would have been to let me have one more day believing that a sister could protect you no matter what, take out your enemies, sit next to you on the bus.
But just for tonight, all I ask is to please, please just lie to me.