...and said nothing. Because she asked me not to. *sigh* It's hard to sit back and watch your friend be treated unfairly. Honestly, if we were geographically closer, I don't think I would have been able to keep quiet. It would be a very long drive for me to just go and give people a piece of my mind. Not that it would make a difference in any way - I guess the thing I'm struggling with is how people can be cruel for no real reason? I see no gain for them. Zero. The only thing they've gained is winning a power struggle. Congrats. Enjoy that, and whatever else comes with it.
I've never truly understood group politics. I'm not the type of person who is out to get anything from anyone else. My focus is always on how I can contribute to the group, whether that's at work, or church, or among friends, or here in blogland... I'm definitely a competitive person, and fiercely loyal, but not to the point of tearing someone else down to make myself feel better. I don't understand how someone can live inside their own head when they feel that way! Talk about misery! I would actually prefer to work toward someone else's success than try to make them fail.
My friend had her confidence betrayed by someone she called a friend, who then "spun" what was said in confidence into vicious lies, and the result was pretty major. Not just for my friend and her family, but for a larger group. I'm angry and hurt on her behalf, and there's nothing I can do to help. I can reassure her that the people who did this have something broken inside them, that her actions all along the way were totally reasonable (based on the information and trust she had). That she is better off knowing now who she can trust and who she can't, and that she finally has the freedom to control who she lets into her life. But that doesn't change what's happened. It doesn't erase the hurt, or the loss. It doesn't restore friendships for her children. It doesn't restore their security, or provide answers for their next steps. It doesn't encourage her to make new friends in the future.
But because she asked me to stay quiet until after important conversations were had, and facts disseminated, I didn't post vague Facebook statuses or share (too many) supportive rainbow-glitter style pictures. No more than usual. I did find myself reverting to about 13 years of age, wanting to post status updates about "some people needing to grow up..." - then I realized how it sounded. I even held this blog post for a week or so to avoid causing my friend any more difficulty.
All of this may be why I've been thinking about anxiety and ways to handle stress. And on the positive side, has given me inspiration to start writing again.
So now I'm going to say this: Lies hurt people. Spreading lies not only continues to hurt the person being lied about, but it hurts the person telling them - like I tell my children, if you lie to me, how can I trust you? Eventually the truth comes out - either in public, or in realization within yourself. And then the liars face That Moment When You Realize You Tried To Ruin Someone's Life Just Because You Were A Terrible Person.