There’s a subtle difference between disappointment and betrayal. Disappointment results from the hope against hope that the normal will be altered to the abnormal, when in fact the normal has no intention of being disrupted, and that desperate wish that burned bright and hot gets extinguished with no hope of resurrection. Maybe it was a long shot, or maybe it nearly came to fruition, but in either case at some point it was rejected and you returned to your normal life to continue on.

Betrayal harbors something more insidious. It is the realization that something or someone you expected and trusted to behave in a manner of normalcy that you’d become accustomed to alters that behavior when you most needed their reliability. It is a soul-crushing heart-clenching act that robs your lungs of air and your mouth of words. It pumps blood through your veins at a rate unsustainable for any length of time but the immediate present, pushing and clamoring and demanding you do something, anything, to expend the upswell of energy. So you start smashing and gnashing and stomping and beating and clawing and yelling and screaming until you’re hoarse in the throat and the corners of your eyes burn with unspent tears of condensed futility and you’re mentally, physically, and emotionally drained of any will to continue existing in your present state.

Sometimes that entire escapade takes place solely in your mind.

On the outside you nod and accept the reversal of this world and everything you thought you understood about it. You try and catch the offender’s eye in the hopes that there exists a glimmer of regret, a tinge of understanding that what they did/are doing/will do is a disemboweling of your ability to function coherently at the moment. And when it’s not there, what then?

Do you ask why? Do they respond? Is there confusion on their part, and maybe you misread a snapshot of their aberrant actions as their version of normalcy? Did you assume too much with too little to support your assumptions?

Or do you just move on? Do you accept their actions and allow their prismatic fracturing of your reality to resettle into a new arrangement, beliefs altered and the rules by which you existed massaged to accommodate their addendums? Do you swallow the bitter pill of acknowledgment that perhaps you were too naive in the way the world operated, digesting and absorbing what once was toxic anathema until you become familiar and tolerant of the pain resulting from that betrayal?

What do you do? What should I do? What can I do?

I can live with disappointment….

3 thoughts on “Normalcy”

  1. I think you just weigh it out brotha. If you really care, you may want to find out why. And you may not get the answer you want that justifies their actions. So you weigh out how much the relationship means to you. And decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make to preserve it. Or let it go.

  2. This post just took my breath away. Your description of betrayal so perfectly mirrors a recent catastrophe in my life that I’ve only just began to recover from. All you can do is mentally chant “this too shall pass” and try to carry on. When you’re betrayed, it’s up to you to bring on a sort of selfishness necessary to keep from falling apart. Healthy time and space is then needed before making the decision to trust again. But every person and case is different, and many times in our society, no, in life period people do not change.

    1. You’re absolutely right! Time and space is critical, both for your recovery and the maintenance of your other relationships. Let’s be honest: not everyone is going to understand what you’ve gone through, so sometimes distance – even from other loved ones – is necessary.

Comments are closed.