Prodito in the house !
The breaking or violation of a presumptive social contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship among individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.
Standing up on a rock cropping in the mountains … 9 to 10 thousand feet elevation … watching a mass of evergreens when the wind comes toward you is a beautiful image. You can see the wind move in the distance, the trees nodding their crowns toward you, closer, closer, closer, and the force glides past you, over you, through your hair. And then, it is gone. Some friends are like that. A “friend” is not always a friend. It is one thing, someone speaks something difficult to hear, with some measure of truth. It is another thing to, as in “prodito” … break / violate a social contract / trust / confidence … that brings about moral / psychological conflict within a relationship.
My family and I went out on a limb to help someone … a friend … a few months ago. Over a period of about ninety days, we bought them meals, provided transportation with the bigger goal in mind of helping them get on their feet. We helped them with expenses. We were like family. Then, things started to “go south”, gaining momentum. I talked to the man, drew a clear boundary, with a calm voice, tactful words, and clarity. Result? He went berserk. I read a number of pieces about betrayal; spent a few hours pondering the reality and concept of betrayal; processed the impact this had on me, along with my family. I am actually curious if any of my fellow bloggers have identified some of these “categories”, themes, thoughts and emotions.
- I wrestle with anger and sorrow. Sorrow, redemptive, healing; anger, unreliable, reckless, selfish, leaves me in a bad place.
- The quotes I have perused, self-pity emerges as a common theme. Self-pity showed itself, a distraction from the better path to healing.
- Betrayal is experienced by everyone, on some level; some experience betrayal on a far more intense, traumatic, level (than others).
- Am surprised that this could happen to me? Yes. No. Betrayal happens, coexisting with formidable pain
- Lastly (for this post), I see a profound opportunity in compassion and forgiveness, for this man. Could it be that a great deal of pain drives this man to “choose” this destructive style of relating?
I know there is more to all of this. I am interested to know how others have handled betrayal, and what their experience is. I know that I can learn from this, regardless of my own pain. I also know that prodito was in the house for a short while. But no more. And in the same house, which is our home, hope rolls on.
People talk, you know. We learn over time that you cannot believe everything you hear. “The moon, part of it, is made of green cheese.” “Elvis Presley is a hermit living in Utopia.” “Humpty Dumpty was pushed” (actually, this might be legitimate!).
So, when they said that we had a total of (about) 16 inches of snow, here … yesterday / through the evening … I just didn’t see it. But, it’s close to being accurate. The snow, usually, jolts me out of any fog that I’m in the midst of. The radiant sun shining through the windows, always finding my eyes, lights up the snow, presenting the white precipitation in a glorious way. While I grabbed some rest last night, the snow was happening, and then it stopped … My body, and more importantly the two dogs, made it clear that the rest was over. My mind wanted more, but my body said, basically, “that’s enough, time to get up … and make some coffee.” For years, my coffee was with cream, and two sugars. About 2015, I decided that because I was so tired when I surrendered my sleep, I would start drinking my Joe black, but still with two sugars. Things have been better, since that difficult decision. So, that is a little of what is happening. A little snow, a little rest, a little coffee. Black coffee.
Many months ago, I wrote a post about a kiddo … an autistic boy, 11 at the time … charged with a felony, because he kicked a chair at school. A police officer handcuffed Kayleb. Two weeks later, Kayleb was told, when school let out, that he had to stay after school. This young autistic boy became agitated, especially as the school police officer laid hands on Kayleb, and then handcuffed Kayleb (again). This story has a good ending. For over a year, it was a very, bumpy, ride. I’ll come back to that ending.
When was your last bumpy ride, fellow bloggers and epic adventurers? You are in the midst of one, now? Yeah. Me, too. Writers write, one of the reasons is to RELEASE “it”: the ridiculousness of the chaos we are in; the frustration of being immensely frazzled; the heaviness in our hearts because we worn down, discouraged, wondering if we are going to get through this one … And there are more battles beyond this one.
Sunday, when we arrived back from the city, to the Other Side of the Trees, we had no water. I tried all possible options for what the problem(s) were. Nothing worked. I found the 7 gallon blue water containers, and went to our neighbor who lives about 100 yards up the mountain. Here it is Thursday night, and still no water. But … we do have the “diagnosis”. It’s not what we wanted, but, at least we know the problem. We have to replace the well pump. I think, the well is 75 feet deep, which is nothing compared to some folks. Hopefully, he will be here tomorrow. Water? I don’t know, hopefully tomorrow, but most probably Saturday. It’s really stressful to not have water. The same day that Water Man came to diagnose our “up-creek-without-a-paddle-situation”, I had to go into the city to get my friend, Brake Man, to replace the brake pads. Indeed … what a bumpy ride.
Now, back to Kayleb’s story. Kayleb was going to be an 11-year old felon for getting agitated, and two weeks later resisting a police officer when the officer tried to restrain him. About 150,000 people from all over the planet joined the fight, calling out for Kayleb’s justice, for all charges to be dropped. I received an EMAIL March 14th with the good news that Kayleb’s charges were finally dropped. The boy is 13 now. REALLY? It took THAT LONG … to clear this up? Indeed. A very bumpy ride.
“Healer”, not literally. In the realm of relationships, “healer” connects with change. “We are hurt in relationships, we find healing in relationships.” (Anonymous). This post is a metaphorical narrative.
The healer …
comes to the thick of the wilderness, starts her fire, stokes the fire, pulls a few sitting-stumps close, and sits by the fire. The healer’s eyes are kind, with a spark; seeing deeper into the wilderness of men and women. Seasoned, calm countenance, the healer brings to the wilderness hope … hope never given lightly, never received lightly. This healer is a redemptive disruptor.
Sojourners come to this place in the wilderness to see the healer, to sit by the fire; a fire that brings light in the night. Some sojourners want to be known, want to be seen; others cautious of being known, being seen. The fire is a healing process: at times unpleasant, illuminating incorrect thinking, problematic emotions. Sojourners face the healing of the flame, with different styles of avoidance. In the wilderness, some things need to change, some things need to go.
Sojourner sits across from the healer, the other side of the fire; cautiously and respectfully, for a short period. The healer listens, thinks about the spoken, thinks about the unsaid. The healer speaks, while listening, her words are healing words; questions intentional; silence accentuated. I am reminded of a dialog in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (my paraphrase):
Peter: “Is he (Aslan the lion) safe?”
Mr. Beaver: “Is he safe? No! He is not safe. But he is good.”
The healer’s eyes, not always safe. But they are good. Change agents are that way. The healer’s mind is good, but not readable. The healer’s work is important, but not predictable. The sojourner’s stay is for a short time, meeting with the healer; leaves with peace; a sacred, arcane, peace.
What do I know to be true? Know yourself, and I will know myself, and if I come up short in that area, then … then … What? Then what? Oh, my! Maybe the earth will rip off its axis and hurl into the sun!!!!
No, I doubt that will happen. Here’s one truth about me: I am able. I am able to do both good, and not-so-good. I am able to empower (good). I am able to enable (bummer, not-so-good). I’ve walked with many folks over the last 20 years in the counseling context. And in the realm of addictions, I have encountered the “enabling” dynamic a great deal. And, if an individual is an “enabler”, that does not mean … that their heart is not good. In fact, with every enabler I have sat with, there has always been a good heart. We, with our good hearts, are able to miss the bigger picture, to mess up the smaller picture. And we, with our good hearts, are able to walk with a soul and inspire, without many words. We, with our good hearts, are able to run races with specific individuals who have come into our world who want to run well, with love in their hearts … a healthy love, an empowering love, a fragrant love, a tough love, a tough love not without honor, a tough love not without integrity, a tough love not without gentleness.
I am able. I am able to go after myself with rocks and razored insults; rage and disgust. There is a fancy word for it, I think: “self-contempt”. Truly, I am not exempt from self-contempt. And, truly, there is no exemption from redemption.
And, to use the title of one of my favorite films, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, there is an indescribably intense piece of fighting with honor and love and fairness and staying in the place of a safe place. Not fighting with physical warfare. Not fighting with psychological abuse; or verbal abuse; or emotional abuse. No … this is a fighting where, at the core, is a deep authentic love for the other; caring for the other; and choosing to not let the other “off the hook” … because that is the last thing we need, to escape the responsibility of loving well and “doing relationship” well.
And that is all I’m going to say about that, for now.
This was meant to go out a couple of days ago, but a case of “brain-freeze” got the best of me. I recently emerged from the hellish cerebral blizzard.
4.6 (degrees) … farenheit … below the ZERO mark. I’m low on mercury. Snow blower earlier in the day, to get out. With 4.6 degrees riding below the big zero, my thoughts froze up; for a moment I had no idea where I was. Then, from somewhere toward the back wall of my brain, I heard a distant motor of the snow blower. The sound became louder, gradually, and louder, and louder. Then the heat from the handles mixed with the rude awakening of my rotors hitting a rock brought me back to some level of winterized coherency.
I love Winter, and I hate Winter; and I love Winter. I like Winter, at times. At other times I don’t like it. Outside with audacious, sharp, wind, there is some measure of invigoration: AWAKEN O SLEEPER ! Tree green, accentuated with snow; long, long icycles hanging on for dear life from the edges of the roof. Ambivalence is strong when mercury is low, snow is deep. Maybe it is more about this season in particular.
Tree green and snow
There has been loss, and everyone experiences loss at one time or another. In some cases loss is more of a bite. This compilation, psychologically vicious. I am moving, constantly moving, into the next step, into the next bend. But I don’t think I am moving fast enough. Healing is happening, some days. Other days, its all frozen up, as if I had stopped moving in sub-zero temperature, and I stand in the cold, for what seems like years but may be only ten to fifteen minutes, and just listen. I don’t know what I am listening for: maybe an answer; maybe a question that will get me closer to an answer; maybe for an idea that will bring some thaw, that will get me moving again, past the cold, the isolation, the pain of knowing that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.