As we move into our youth and middle age, betrayal becomes even more hurtful. A boyfriend or girlfriend dumps us. A husband or wife cheats on us. A friend lies to us and is found out. Someone makes a promise and does not keep it.
I experienced betrayal early on – I was not my parents’ favorite after my brother was born, my little “best” girlfriends at times chose others and broke my heart. As I got older, friends just disappeared from my life without explanation. And, as I have said before, I have been married more than once and my batting average for cheating husbands is 100%. Note: my marriages never lasted long enough to warrant the restlessness that comes after a long marriage.
You can probably tell several stories of betrayals that have changed your life and your perceptions. That is the point; although betrayal is terrible at the time it happens, the passing of time does put a different perspective on it. You forgive the cheating husbands (or become indifferent to them and what they did), you try to understand why friends deserted you in a time of need, and you forgive your parents for displaying “human” qualities.
However, there is one betrayal that does not go away or even become numbed with the passing of time. I call it the ultimate betrayal – when your own body lets you down and betrays you as you grow older.
I love seeing all the new ads about the invigorating lifestyle senior people can have in these very expensive retirement communities. There was an ad for a local senior citizen center in a town where I once lived that had the silver haired couple smiling and having a great time. I had the pleasure of meeting the man, a retired physician, when I joined the gym there. He was delightful, if not a bit older than the picture, and I thought he was the perfect person to showcase. Unfortunately, sometime after the photo shoot, he was diagnosed with cancer. His body had betrayed him.
I have another friend who has racked up terrible betrayals in the past few years, i.e., breast cancer, thyroid cancer, hip and knee problems that prevent her from walking and deterioration of her mind as a result. Don’t you know someone who knows someone or is someone who has dementia or Alzheimer’s? What a betrayal that is! To actually forget who you are and eventually who you were is horrific.
Then there are people like me whose body is slowly betraying them inch by inch. So far, thankfully, I have no great betrayer like cancer, dementia, or major surgery repairs. However, my body is slowing breaking down. I have arthritis, I walk with a cane, I have a shoulder that cannot be raised above my head, my internal organs have made me aware of them recently, I tire sooner, I ”rest” more, and I am starting to forget words when telling a story. I have been told that this is natural in the aging process. But I still feel that all of this is betrayal; I cannot forgive my body for doing this at a later time as I have other betrayals because this betrayal keeps “truckin along” and I will not get over it.