I cut my toenails too short....
I walk and feel pain at the tips of some of my toes because they are exposed and waiting to be smooshed, stepped on or stubbed.
That's what vulnerability is...being exposed and not knowing what may come your way and how to deal with it.
I've experienced enough to last a time but one that sticks out is that of someone that I thought was a friend. I now know that she was a frienemy...disguised as a friend but really an enemy.
I had one of the best jobs around. I was the principal's secretary at an elementary school/office manager/vice principal/substitute teacher and photocopy mechanic as well as a parent advocate. I wore many hats but LOVED the kids and the staff...most of them. A parent volunteer would come in and help in the office and it became a regular, every day thing. She was kindhearted and even willing to answer phones or sit in my place (for free and without pay). At the time, I was going through the divorce and she quickly embraced my struggles and adopted me and my daughters as "family".
Long story short, money came up missing from the safe at the job...PTA money...then accusations started that I was the only one besides the principal that knew the combination. I vehemently stood my ground and let the chief of school police know that there were others that knew the combination...not just me. I cried out to the principal that I wasn't a thief, never was a thief and would return even a penny if found at a cash register. Teachers and PTA folks began whispering...suspicious looks. I hated going into a place that I had found so much joy. Ironically, my frienemy picked up the slack and became an ongoing presence there. She was like a fly buzzing around on some dog poop.
Three weeks went by and one morning, I went in search of some paper and opened a cupboard across from my office and there was the bag of money....over $3,000.00 worth. I had been set up. The person that I thought was a friend had it in her mind all along that I'd be asked to step down and she'd step into my job. She KNEW the combination to the safe and even moreso, had been accused previously of stealing Girl Scout funds.
I was devastated and asked for an apology and I was told by the school district, "Forget it, you won't get one." The frienemy smiled in my face and rubbed my back and said, "I'm so sorry this happened to you."
A few weeks later, I left on medical leave due to asbestos exposure. The frienemy was handed my job, without no prior experience as a school secretary.
For months, I was so devastated. I no longer had the desire to trust anyone to be my friend. I was guarding myself....after all...the man that I thought I'd be married to forever lost my trust and then a close friend as well??? I went into shut down mode...not wanting to reach out or to have anyone reach out to me. I hated her...yes...I struggled inwardly for having lost something that I loved and enjoyed and even more, I lost a part of me during that time.
I feel that part of me returning now. It's taken time..a few years...but I'm trusting again and feeling alive and willing to share my life with others as a friend. I am willing to trust but still hate the thought of being betrayed or hurt...yet, I will learn, I will heal, I will grow....and I AM okay.
The Beloved Hope Chest
8 hours ago