A little less than two weeks ago I discovered
that someone to whom I used to be particularly
close, someone to whom my sons were also close,
is a criminal: identity theft, embezzlement, tax evasion.
Someone I've known (or thought I knew) since I was
twelve years old. I was called upon to assist another person
in a legal process, to give a statement regarding this former
friend's business practices.
At first I was (guiltily) gleeful at the chance for a kind
of post-mortem (death of the friendship) revenge.
But as the days passed, a profound sense of shock
and astonishment began to settle in -- how much
of our relationship of 30+ years was forged on lies?
Why didn't I see this? How could I have been so gullible?
Of course, my wise husband reminded me that people
of this pathology are masters of manipulation and deception.
And it wasn't all a surprise, but the new details that came
to light set my head spinning. And it spins still.
One thing keeps coming to mind, though: the fact,
the absolute veracity that I will never be this kind
of person. Plain and simple. This is not boasting;
it's an affirmation of all that I believe: to live life
as honestly as possible, to be kind and loving, and
to respect ones friends and all that they offer.
Not that this is easy. But to prey on those who
offer their love -- unforgiveable.
(And yes, I need to consider forgiveness --
when my head stops twirling.)