Dec 20, 2005

shalll we play a game?

so betrayal is the name of the game, and the root of the cause and maybe even the theme of the year

though I'd like something a little more user friendly

possibly ice cream or puppies or children
can we have two themes? more than one lesson?
well, maybe next year

It's come up more than a bit lately, what it means, what it is, when it begins, and what gives people the good idea they can get away with it

And what's the big idea? Where does it start? Is it with a thought? An impulse? Does that first lustful thought or double handed urge constitute betrayal?
Well, sure, if you are a good Catholic, you know the answer.

So, go to confession, say ten hail had a impure thought, and for that, darlin, it's a hot seat in the underachievers circle if you don't repent...

But being from a slightly different dogmatic origin, I tend to be a little more flexible with my definition
Hell, we all have thoughts
Good thoughts, silly thoughts, disturbing thoughts
I've thought of lying and cheating and stealing and killing others and I've even thought of killing myself
I swear
but never seriously (put the phone down, mom)
All of these things, they've passed through my mind much as other deep and shallow thoughts have: what I should have for breakfast and what I should study in college and whether I might actually be wonderwoman
I have thoughts, and I have certainly had ugly betraying thoughts and impulses, some serious, some not so much so

See? just thoughts. Mostly harmless. Totally human.
I'm not a master criminal, I'm alive and kicking, I'm not a super hero, and good lord, I often choose the wrong thing for breakfast

so, moving on

What is this betrayal I speak of?
And why does it seem to have the power to hurt everyone it touches and permanently alter the fabric of trust that years of virtue can build?

I think of betrayal as in the action: the moment in which you choose to put yourself before another, in which the urge takes precedent over the whole of a person and the relationship you've built together.
but thats not really it, is it?
Because there are moments in which you SHOULD come first, in which your desires really deserve the front seat: in which your yearnings are tantamount to your needs or identity and sometimes it's up to that other to find their own satisfaction

you can't live your life for others or in fear of hurting them

so lets be more explicit
Betrayal comes when you put an urging of yours before another's needs, and you do so in a manner that will permanently alters their trust in you. When you choose the cheap or underhanded or seedy way out when there is another way to go, when you take the window and the door is already open.
When you are selfish and you needn't necessarily be.
And sure, it's all a grey zone, thats why it's so hard ot define.
And the funny thing is: I think betrayal is seldom mean spirited or intentionally hurtful, but it is almost always selfish and often cruel.
I know the moments in which I have felt most betrayed were not tantamount to the action itself, but more the way in which the action was pursued and carried out. Something to do with the person choosing not just the thing, but a way to get it that discarded even the most rudimentary points of my needs or emotions. It wasn't the sex or the words or the taking: it was the cheating or the lyiing or the stealing. See?
It was when someone chose the low road, and they knew where the high road was....sure, sometimes it was WAY up there, but at times I had clearly marked the high road with technicolor arrows and well lit signs, and even, maybe, cleared a path.
It was when I had offered to share in the fact that yes, we are all human and we are apt to need things sometimes, even things that we wish we didn't, It was when they took this trust, and instead of finding out how they could have the thing in a way that could preserve our trust and my feelings, but rather chose to regard me like a second class citizen, as someone whos feelings were not just second to their own, but, in the end, objectively less important and worth respecting,. When they went about their business as if those feelings, or even I did not exist because it was easier to do so.
In short, it was when they lied: with their actions, with their omissions, with their memories and desires instead of admitting we are all human, and that sometimes can mean some pretty silly and embrassing or even ugly business.

Listen: we are all in this together, right? And we all have a bad day now and again...We all have wants and needs. And as such we should respect that in eachother, and be grateful when we are given permission to be all that we can be, even if some of that doesn't fit comfortably in a greeting card stanza.

And it comes down to this: you can be sad or weird or dirty or imperfect. But,if you can respect that part of yourself then you'll respect me and you'll realize that you have no right to be so desperately hideous that it makes my world ugly. Especially when I love you, warts and all.


Lily said...

Wow that was pretty powerful stuff.

And very well worded I might say.

I've been contemplating the betrayal issue in my head too. I like the concept of the high road and the low road, knowing where it is , having the path cleared for you and highlighted in technicolor - and yet not being able to take it... and I ask myself is it stubborness? Fear? Ignorance? Hormones?

I have no answer. But I struggle with these questions myself - why I cannot sometimes take the high road even when it is open, easily accessed and I know the benefits... it's like snubbing ones nose at society and what is good and fate.

But once your actions start to hurt you and the ones around you over adn over and over - you start waking up and figuring it out...

but it takes time. Sometimes a lot of time....

Thanks for the thoughts....

DuWayne Brayton said...

So I come here having just read about fundies and their new "Politicaly Incorrect Guide to Science" and before that it was a bit about Intelligent Design proponents, then I check my mail and end up at ok cupid and they send me here to you and I read this - not the first thing but it was a big twist around from where I just was. Can I just say, I love you? You could stab me in the chest with a thin sharp blade over and over and I would marvel at the beauty of you. That may also just be the results of a twist of reality talking, but your definatwely beautiful, regardless.