Only Child on betrayal, trust and irresponsibility

Only Child holds copy of her debut short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point

The more I go through life the more I find my level of trust goes down. Sometimes it’s the people closest to you who let you down. I had another dose of this in several forms this week connected to the launch of my mystery short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point. Right now I’d like to insert that the hit did not come from a family member – they were great – 10 of them came to my book launch. (If you want more info on how the book launch went, stay tuned for this Thursday’s blog post on my other blog connected to Beyond the Tripping Point and fiction writing at http://www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com

You’d think I’d know better by now considering what happened with my Dad’s cancer when I was 10. Here’s a brief excerpt from my memoir (yes, still looking for an agent or a publisher directly for it):

...bad news spreads like locusts, especially inaccurate stories told to me by my mother and which comfort me, only to be crushed by the Bully. Soon after Dad returns home and to work, the Bully chases me out of the schoolyard.

“Your Dad has cancer.” She taunts me between huffs and puffs. She waddles onto the sidewalk and tries to catch up to me.

“No, it was TB. You’re lying.” I glance at her over my shoulder, then my feet pick up the pace.

“Nah, your parents lied. My Mom said your Dad has cancer.”

She’s lying. She’s got to be lying. She seems closer to my back, so I detour into Holy Cross Church for solace.

“My mother said it was TB. My mother doesn’t lie. Please God.” I kneel on the wood-hard kneelers and hang onto the pew in front of me. “Please God. He had TB. My mother said so.”

My pleading does not carve consolation into my heart. Instead, betrayal is born, and it grows up as offshoots that make no sense to anyone at the time. (Excerpted from You Can Go Home – Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2012 Sharon A. Crawford)

The betrayal/letdown, etc. from friends does not hit the above scale, but it still hurts. As expected, there were a few people invited to the book launch who said they would come and didn’t. Some had very legitimate reasons that came up, one very sad, with a death in the family. I can only sympathize with her and the friends who were sick. But some of the excuses, not reasons, I can only shake my head at. One got invited out to lunch with her son –well, why not just bring him to the launch after lunch? Especially as another friend and writing colleague came all the way down from Sudbury and brought his daughter, her boyfriend and her friend (those three are in Toronto). The more the merrier.

Then there is the betrayal for want of a better word. An insert here. I like to help my friends and had arranged for some car pooling between two of them, and talked to both about it and thought everything was clear. Not according to the driver. She phoned on launch day and chided me, saying I should have told her. I had, but apologized for any misunderstanding. They did go together to the book launch. But the phone call drove me over my tripping point; I was in shock, and went through the launch on automatic pilot. Sure, the launch went okay, but a few things I would have done differently if I had been 100 per cent present.

Overnight my shock changed to anger, not at her phoning – misunderstandings happen. It was the timing of her phone call. She should have waited until the next day.

I learned another lesson. Someone once said that you come into this world alone and exit it alone.

Looks like you also go through it alone.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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2 Comments

Filed under Aloneness, Anger, Betrayal, Beyond the Tripping Point, Book launch, Family and Friends, Life learning, Memoir content, Only child memoir, Sharon A. Crawford, Trust

2 responses to “Only Child on betrayal, trust and irresponsibility

  1. Where I grew up ( a colonial country once ruled by Britain) an RSVP in the affirmative was taken very seriosely. I used to dash through motor traffic and pedestrians to get to an appointment on time because it was the done thing to be punctual. When I came to Canada, I quickly realized that no one gives a rats ass about keeping a date they had committed to. It’s a cultural aberration that tarnishes an otherwise wonderful county. I now follow the 60/40 rule: of the 100 who say they are coming, 60 will show up and 40 will find a better offer at the last minute and will go elsewhere without bothering to send their regrets. Keep the faith. You stiil had a good launch!
    Shane

  2. Hi Shane:

    Right on. I have a so-called friend who is so bad at commitment when I invited her for Christmas dinner she can’t decide until the last minute if she is coming or not. I don’t invite her anymore.

    Not sure where my big commitment to commitment and responsibility comes from. Maybe my Catholic background or more likely my family’s good responsibility practice.

    And thanks for your comments about the launch. Yes, it was good, even though the cat seemed to have gotten my tongue for some of the meet and greet. When I email the link to the launch photos I get responses of “Wow,” “Great launch,”

    Like the Bay-Bloor Radio sale ads say “if you miss it, you miss it.”

    Cheers.

    Sharon A.

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