I Didn't Just Lose a Friend. I Realized I Never Had One

Oooooh, betrayal. Touchy subject right?! Just to even speak or read the word elicits emotions that would put anyone on guard. 

I think betrayal is one of the most hurtful actions someone can endure. With our girlfriends, we invest our time, energy, and resources, and we expect those same things from them in return. If we get very little or nothing back, we feel betrayed. One day we wake up and find we’ve lost a friend...or did we ever have one to begin with? 

Betrayal comes in many forms: disloyalty, false representation, deception, dishonesty, duplicity. However you term it, it’s bad news. Finding out someone has betrayed me is on the top three of my list of “hated feelings”. For me, betrayal is one of those gut-wrenching-I-wanna-puke reactions that evoke emotions that rival the feeling I get when I am jealous. Although I rarely feel jealous anymore, there was a time in my life, long ago, when I did. All the time.

Here’s a Bit about That

I suspect many of you may have experienced jealousy during your dating days. At least that’s where most of my jealousy stemmed from. Boyfriends not being loyal. Me watching other women trying to steal away the guy who I was involved with. Yuck, yuck, and double yuck. 

As I said, I rarely feel jealous anymore, and I would say I’m not faced with betrayal much either. That doesn’t mean that I dismiss the action nor the emotions that result from betrayal. It just means I don’t have a ton of experience in this category. However, in this blog, you’ll see how it presents itself to me in different ways. 

Here’s Where I Learned about Betrayal

My most personal experience with betrayal is actually not from something that has happened to me, but from what happened to my mother, Edna. She not only betrayed, but was also betrayed. 

“I kicked Tom out last night.” 

I was in my junior year at California State University, Chico in 1989 when I got this phone call from Edna. Smack dab in the middle of my day, without warning, those were the heated words that came from her.  

What?! What happened?”

“On Sunday, he went over to that asshole Ken’s house and was gone for a long time so I went over to see what was keeping him there.” 

“Mom, Ken is a nice guy. I’ve cleaned his house and mowed his lawn for years, and he has been nothing but really kind.” 

“He’s an asshole Lisa! He let Tom use his phone to call his girlfriend. Yeah he’s kind alright. To you and to Tom, but not to me!”

My mom found the negative in anyone she ever met and that day, Ken was no different. 

My Relationship with Tom

Tom was a great guy (in my eyes). He and my mom started dating when I was 11. My parents were separated, living in different cities. (My dad, sick with renal failure, passed away not long after Mom started dating Tom.) 

Tom was at our low-income apartment behind Raley’s Grocery Store almost everyday. He was a die-hard Oakland Raider fan, and that ladies, is all one needs to win my heart. 

Tom and I would watch Raider games every Sunday together. He was a calm guy. Very opposite of me. I was never calm during games and I think he got a kick out of that. We got along famously and many times I wondered what on earth he saw in my mom. My love for Tom was not to replace the love I had for my dad, but he was very “dad-like” to me, and that made me feel like we almost had a family. 

I found out early that he had cheated on his wife to sleep with my mom. It didn’t really faze me at the time. Now, I would think differently.

Just to give you a little more background of how I grew up and explain to you how I learned to have thicker skin than most of my friends. Not much shocked me back then (nor does it now). 
Story #1
Just months prior to meeting Tom, I walked into our duplex (a different residence before the low-income apartment). It was after school, about 3:00. My mom had John, the bartender from the Golden Tee (the restaurant where she worked), in her bedroom with the door locked. The sounds were disgusting even though I didn’t know much about sex then. Talk about a pit in your stomach. And at the young age of 11 to boot! Honestly! 
Story #2
I was 5 when I started riding atop the back seat of a Cadillac convertible, waving to crowds of people—mostly men. I remember flowers were everywhere, and there were so many people at this parade. The owner of that beautiful car was Jim Selsor, my mom’s very good friend and a local florist. 
Mom would dress me up in a pretty, light pink dress with white ruffles around the bottom. My socks had ruffles too. They were on the top so when you folded the sock to the ankle it would show the prettier side of the organza. 
My favorite part of the outfit though was the white patent leather shoes with the thin strap across the top. They had just enough of a heel for a shrimp like me to feel like a beauty queen. I loved the “click, click, click” they made when I walked across the pavement to get into that fine car. Everyone could hear me walking, and I remember thinking how beautiful I was.  
“Hi honey!” “You’re gorgeous, sweetie.” “Show us your pearly whites, baby” were some of the things those men would yell from the curb. I would throw a rose from Jim’s Cadillac to those who would compliment me. They loved me. All eyes on me, “the little girl in the pretty pink dress.” 
I really thought I was the star of the parade. Little did I know...
I suspect it was the 1971 version of a gay pride parade. 
Taking a 5 year old little girl on the back of a pristine white convertible Cadillac to wave to a crowd of men dressed up like women could possibly be one of the best ways to teach her that life isn’t always what it seems. Oh sure, I had fun. And I learned to love everyone, even if Edna didn’t. 
This was my life. Growing up in an adult world. Learning all of the actions and emotions that my mom displayed. And betrayal was one of her specialties. 

Back to the Story

Then one day my pseudo-family picture was shattered.

Tom betrayed Mom. I actually could see why. Doesn’t make it right, but I could see why. He was married once before and cheated on his wife with my mom, so I was never shocked that he did it again, this time to her. I’ve seen that scenario many times. 

After she learned about his cheating, Edna threw him out. She took all of his fishing poles and broke them in half. She stole his truck, parked it at a motel, and threw away the keys. She then stole his Budweiser beer stein collection and some other odds and ends. 

Listen to me ladies…listen to me. What happened to Edna was betrayal on Tom’s part. Or was it karma for Edna? After all, Edna was the woman who sprayed her perfume on “her” man Tom, who, at the time, was still married, so that when he went home to his wife, she would be able to smell it. Tom never really knew because he lost his sense of smell and taste when he fell and hit his head years before. Just sickening in my book. 

Betrayal and Girlfriendships

This action of betrayal doesn’t just happen between men and women. It happens with our girlfriends too. Talking behind each others’ backs. Lying to one another. Not protecting a friend in a conversation when others are bashing her (and visa versa). And the ultimate act of cheating. 

I’ve been the giver and the receiver of betrayal at some level. But after watching Edna all those years being on both sides of betrayal made me strive to stay away from it as much as possible. 

Have I been on guard all of my life? Maybe. In my opinion, I’ve been careful. Careful not to follow in her footsteps. Careful not to be with someone like Tom, even though I thought he was a great guy. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling to be a part of a situation when betrayal is involved. For me, and where my girlfriendships are concerned, I don’t want to lose any friends because of it, or wake up one day and realize I never had that friend in the first place. 

P.S. Years later, I found all of the stuff that Mom stole from Tom and gave it all back to him. 

I love that you were with me today. See you next time


Lisa A.K.A. Loopie


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