Lessons in Betrayal

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or businesses.

I'm sure that everyone has experienced betrayal in some form within this life. Disappointment is apart of this journey. To keep our paths free and clear, we must deal with it carefully. There should be acknowledgement, taking responsibility, releasing anger/pain associated with the betrayal, and recompense.

I have been betrayed many times in life and done some betrayal myself. It does not feel good to wrong someone. I have carried that heavy burden and could not rest until I handled the situation. Whether done on purpose or unintentional, there should be reconciliation. Confrontation, which can be quite uncomfortable. Introspection, examining where we both may have went wrong. Releasing through tears, journaling, or whatever is necessary. Paying back that which has been lost, it may be financial and/or respect.

Only those closest to you, can really hurt you. Usually, there is no expectation from strangers. Kicking someone while they are down is the lowest.

My worst betrayal was in 2011. It was a very turbulent ride. I was separated from my child's father. With little help to depend on, I was struggling to survive. Through persistence I maintained my self-employment. I worked in a bad hair shop in the Stone Mountain/Lithonia area in Georgia, doing manicures/pedicures and teaching candle making classes. I often had babysitting issues, so I had always worked in a salon as an independent contractor to maintain my freedom. The salon owner, who was a sistah and mother, was well aware of my personal situation before asking me to join her venture. She and the other booth renter would bring their children to work with them from time to time, but with me, it was a problem. I told the salon owner that I was finding it difficult to find a consistent, decent babysitter. I was not going to leave my child in dangerous and neglectful conditions just to make a dollar. To create a peaceful working environment, I booked my appointments only during the early part of the day and worked a few hours, because I would be in the shop alone.

All of a sudden, I noticed that most of the clients and visitors who once had conversation for me, were now without words when they came in. I kept worked professionally and paid my monthly booth rent on time. We all had participated in an event outside of the salon together as a group earlier on a Saturday and the same thing happened. No one was speaking to me. Later on that night around 9pm, she called me to tell me that I could no longer come back. Her reasons were because of my babysitting issues and that I was never there. I tried to reason with her. I knew that it was not going to work out, but that I needed some time to look for another location and I had appointments and a babysitting (my mother who was in town) already scheduled for the next two weeks. She adamantly refused to negotiate with me. Even though, there were days left in the month that I had already paid for, I removed my things and returned her keys.

I was devastated at this level of betrayal. Into my emotions so much and with limited amount of time. I didn't even file a lawsuit against her, which I would have rightfully won, because I was never given a written or even verbal notice of 30 days to vacate the premises. That was the worst, gossiping about me to the clients when we were suppose to be better than that. Months later I found out that she had a candle making class, which she showed no interest in while I was there. A client told me, that she was told to go ahead and make her appointment with me, because I would soon no longer be working there. Now that was the lowest that anyone had ever done me, but I remained calm for the sake of my reputation.

I only told a few people what happened at that time, because I was so hurt. I didn't even want to talk about it. Filled with pain, I moved on and tried to replenish the clients that I had lost, because my only option was to move back into the city of Atlanta. Many people were just not willing to drive the long distance.

Since then, a new foundation was built. My family and business has flourished. It is so much better now than it ever had been. I took full responsibility of being reluctant to heed to the signs. Warning always come before destruction. I stopped being na├»ve, thinking we "sistahs" live by the same moral code and all of us have a conscious. Uncomfortably confronted and forgave myself for allowing such things to occur. I will never give up my power again. Became stronger, released the burdensome pain, the best way I knew how. Even though I haven't received an apology and or the money lost, my path is free and clear of that baggage. I have overcome that mountain, regained focus and learn some tough lessons in betrayal.


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