The human heart can survive many things but when someone we love and trust betrays us, it can painfully shake the very foundation of our faith in humanity. Sometimes it can cause us to loose our sense of self, we may spiral into a deep depression or even become withdrawn from others and possibly suicidal. Working as a life coach, I am often amazed at the stories I am told of how careless people can be with their relationships and another persons heart.
Gabriel and Dean had been friends since childhood, for eighteen years they attended the same schools, were in many of the same classes, graduated from highschool together and always remained good friends. Even their families were close and people who met them often mistook them for blood brothers. Years later, as adults in their late twenties, Gabriel was working as a manager for large company and Dean had recently been laid off from his job. Being a good friend, Gabriel showed his boss Deans resume and landed him an interview. Dean went to the interview and was hired on the spot. Together, they worked side by side peacfully for eight months until Gabriel began having problems with his girlfriend of two years, Kourtney.
Dean did not like Kourtney from the beginning, although they all hung out together after hours as a group. He thought Kourtney was too needy and emotionally high maintenance for Gabriel, in Deans opinion, he considered her a "hot mess." Instead of telling Gabriel how he felt about her, Dean just let the relationship run it's course, thinking eventually the two of them would break up. Dean was right, Gabriel grew tired of Kourtney's drama and ended their relationship a week before Valentines Day.
On Valentines night, Gabriel took a new girl out named Desiree to a nightclub and as luck would have it the two of them ran smack into Kourtney. Kourtney, upset at meeting her replacement caused a scene by throwing wine on Gabriel and his date. Then she stormed out of the club. In an emotional panic, the first person Kourtney called was Dean. Sobbing into the phone, Dean could barely make out the words Kourtney said until he deciphered, "Gabriel is with another woman." Dean, already aware about Gabriels new love interest played it cool. Although he did not really care for Kourtney, he felt sorry for her. So he consoled Kourtney with words, calmed her down and talked to her until she made it safely home. There the conversation ended.
The next afternoon Kourtney called Dean to thank him again for calming her down. Still upset about the event at the nightclub but not as emotional, Kourtney asked Dean if he would go with her to have a drink at a local bar. She wanted to talk about Gabriel. Dean being a nice guy obliged, and Kourtney came to pick him up.
Sitting on the patio of the bar, Dean listened as Kourtney pined about her love for Gabriel; she was like a broken record, falling apart over how much she missed him, how much she needed him etc. He felt like he was in the midst of a bad Harlequin romance novel. Three drinks later to Deans one beer, Kourtney became increasingly curious about the new woman Gabriel was seeing. Dean told her bluntly that she needed to take up the conversation with Gabriel. Understanding that the question placed Dean in an akward position, Kourtney switched the subject to focus on herself and her family. With tears in her beer, she began to reveal things to Dean about her life and her previous suicidal tendencies that he rather not have known. Dean, realizing how unstable Kourtney was, reached his capacity for drunk compassion. He politely paid the tab, took Kourtneys' keys and decided it was time to leave.
Driving home, Kourtney put on some music, mumbled something about Gabriel and said, "This song. It always makes me really hot and horny," as she turned and batted her eyelashes at Dean. He raised an eyebrow and remained silent as he drove. Kourtney then placed her hand on Deans leg and started rubbing his thigh up and down. Startled by the gesture, Dean swurved the vehicle and then straightened it out again. Luckily for Dean, he turned the next corner and arrived directly in front of Kourtneys house. Dean quickly threw the car gear into park, cut off the ignition, pulled out the keys, handed them to Kourtney and got out as fast as he could. Kourtney, ever so slowly opened her car door and stumbled towards the front entrance to her home. Dean immediately said his goodbyes as he took off on foot to hail a cab. He had no intentions of sleeping with his best friends ex-girlfriend.
On Monday morning, Dean arrived to work and noticed Gabriel was acting strange, he was not his usual, friendly, outgoing self. So Dean asked Gabriel if he was alright. Gabriel said coldly, "I'm fine."
Later that afternoon, walking back from a meeting, Gabriel says to Dean, " Yeah, I talked to Kourtney last night. She said the two of you went out for drinks." Dean replied, "Yes we did, Sunday afternoon. Kourtney called me upset the night she saw you with Desiree on Valentines, at the club. She wanted to talk about you and the break up, I didn't want to be a jerk about it man." Gabriel was silent for a moment, "Kourtney also said you made a pass at her." Deans eyes widened, "She said what? That's not true. I was just trying to be a friend. Kourtney is a wreck about YOU, she loves you but I think she needs professional help." Gabriel glared back at Dean, turned his back and walked off in silence.
Dean suddenly realized he got played like a pawn in a game of chess, Kourtney was using him to get back at Gabriel for hurting her. He got caught in the tit for tat breakup saga and he was innocent. Dean was in disbelief that Kourtney had stooped so low as to ruin his friendship with Gabriel after he had shown her nothing but kindness. He needed no explanation from Kourtney, her actions said enough. Later that night, back at home Kourtney attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. Her attempt at death was unsuccessful and she was admitted into to a mental health care facility for treatment.
Back at work, business continued as usual but the air was thick and the mood glum. Dean tried to make the best of the situation but Gabriel still refused to talk to him. Until finally, one day Dean had enough of the silent treatment. He saw Gabrielle having lunch by himself in the courtyard, walked over and sat down at his table uninvited, " Come on Gabriel. Are we ever going to talk so we can move past this? I did nothing wrong. Why are you treating me this way when you were the one busted by Kourtney with a new girl? You have a new girl you are already intimately involved with but you have the audacity to hold grudges about an ex. It makes no sense. I am not the only person who has been accused of making a pass at Kourtney; what about David, Charles and you even accused Mike. No one wants to date your ex man, I hate to tell you this but they all think she is a high maintenance #2%!. " Gabriel smirked at Dean and said, " If you ever speak to me that way again. I will have you terminated for insubordination." Dean could not believe what he was hearing, " Oh really. We are on our lunch break and are off the clock so don't threaten me. This is not your co-worker speaking to you, this is your friend, you know; the kid you have been friends with since grade school. If you can remember, I am the same person you trust with all your secrets, the one who cleans your ass up if you get too drunk, the friend who wrote you letters for years when your parents shipped you off to boarding school in another country, the friend would never betray you for a piece of ass."
Dean angrily slammed down his food, and walked away from the table.
A few weeks later, rumors started circulating in the office that Dean was supposedly dating a fellow co-worker. Out of curiosity as to where the rumour started, Dean began investigating, asking a few of the employees where they had heard the rumor. Arturo, one of the mail room workers overheard Dean talking and said, " Gabriel told Consuela that you were dating Melissa. Consuela told xyz employees. " Dean, quite furious but relieved at finding the source, grabbed a piece of paper and said to Arturo, "please write down what you just told me." Arturo wrote his statement down and signed it. Dean thanked him, took the paper and faxed it to the Corporate Office with a note that read, " I will not tolerate being harassed or disrespected by another manager." Two weeks later after an investigation by Corporate Office took place, Gabriel was terminated for harassment and spreading false rumors about Dean.
In the blink of an eye, Gabriel was gone and so was their eighteen year friendship.
Dean is still recovering from his loss.
Learning to trust again after experiencing a deep betrayal by someone we loved and trusted takes time. Being betrayed is not a poor reflection of your character as a person. It is in essence a type of graduation, shedding of the old so new blessings and opportunities can come into our lives. Just know it is a natural process to grieve, to cry and to mourn over a great loss in your life, it is what makes us human. Remember to focus on appreciating the love, positive relationships and blessings that remain in your life. Take the time to make a daily "top 10 list of things to be grateful for" every morning and read it to yourself before you go to sleep at night. Also read self help books that uplift your soul, pamper yourself and try not to rush into any new relationships headfirst. Take baby steps, record personalized affirmations onto an ipod or cd and listen to them daily. Get yourself out in the mornings for a brisk 30 minute walk to help elevate your mood. Once or twice a week try to volunteer, so that your focus shifts off of yourself onto helping someone else or contributing to your local community. Join a local book club, spiritual or activities group to meet new people and get yourself moving. You can also take classes on a subject you are interested in but have been too busy for such as painting; drawing, music, cooking, meditation, yoga, etc. I remind my clients that everyday you have to look forward; do one thing to nourish your mind, one thing to nourish your body and one thing to nourish your spirit daily.
Know this too shall pass, one day at a time, you will survive, learn to trust and love again.