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Burned and Frayed
You will not steal my trust 

I lie alone for hours - disoriented - not knowing what to anticipate. I relive my abrupt detour. This derailment is not my first, and I am aware of the arduous journey ahead: one I follow with relentless determination. A smooth recovery is in the hands of an assigned team of caregivers. You walk into my life during a time I am incredibly vulnerable.

6 a.m. - the room is cold, dark, and unfamiliar. You enter brashly, turning on the lights unexpectedly without caring if I am awake or not. Your broad and charming smile is sympathetic, warm, and welcoming. I feel safe and confident.

Day one begins, and you vow to always care for me - and you do. I watch how attentive you are with everybody, not only with the other patients but also with anybody who requires assistance. Your dedication to your job impresses me.

Several weeks pass, and you ask if I need a caregiver at home. Before I can respond, you inform me of your dream of returning to school and working with me in the interim. You insist, but I am hesitant. Towards the end of my stay, you give notice to the care home of your departure. Without firm plans, your haste decision startles me - I remain silent.

Although I am not ready to live on my own, I return home. You say you will start helping me immediately - you do not. A string of broken promises follow. I ignore each blatant sign and continue to believe in you.

Home alone, I may struggle with simple activities, but I manage and grow stronger by the day. Later I find out your excuses are not credible. How is it that you can change so quickly and drastically? I never learn the answer because shortly after you begin working with me, you flee suddenly. Once again, I adapt to new situations and challenges. I view your unplanned exit as a gift - thank you.

Six months pass, and unknown charges post to my Visa and American Express accounts. Not for one second do I imagine you are involved in this treachery. There are suspicions due to information provided by vendors. Still, I hope it is somebody else.

Many businesses close in Chiang Mai and globally due to the pandemic. You deceive small companies that are already suffering but manage to survive. Yes, each is responsible for the fraudulent charges you selfishly make.

Hope crashes when you lie to access my home and go through my belongings while I am away. Also, you attempt to break into my safe - the markings are undeniable. How do you morph into a being I no longer recognize?

Not only do you betray me, but also all the others who trusted you. Do you realize you put several people at risk of losing secure employment? Your deception is shameful, and your misdeeds imprint a wake of confusion, hurt, and disappointment.

I reflect on our time together - mostly positive. Considering the circumstances, I wonder if you delivered the twenty gift packages, including money, to the select dedicated employees at the rehabilitation facility - I thought you were a united team. It never occurs to me you would cheat them - until now.

A friend reminds me of the wine you took. I do not want to think about what else might be missing. I prefer to remember the kind, compassionate, and fun person I met at the care home - not who you secretly transition into right in front of me. You may have cleverly duped me, but my distress disappears, and you cannot destroy my trust in humanity. I leave you and all your mischievous actions behind in 2020. I enter 2021, focusing on new beginnings and numerous possibilities - Goodbye.

  • Post author
    Debra Levine

Comments on this post (5)

  • Jan 03, 2021

    Debra this breaks my heart, but I admire your ability to write about this situation with compassion rather than rage. I have been married 3 times. My 2nd wife and the mother of my son was a tormented woman, a product of a broken family. She brought terror into my life and that of my young son, which ultimately led to our separation. It took me several years to understand she was in far more pain than I was, as her broken childhood wrought havoc on her own life and those of us near her. What I feel in your essay is of course, the deep sense betrayal and disappointment, but more so I hear compassion and a certain level of forgiveness. Forgiveness not of the crimes, but of the situation that would create a personality so twisted as to lure innocent people through deceit and kindness into situations of theft and exploitation. I applaud you for your ability to take such a situation and chastise the perpetrator with your gentle honesty. You are remarkable and your compassion in even such a circumstance is so necessary in today’s world. Thank you so much for this. Blessings and good health to you in the coming year. My heart is near you. May you be surrounded by love and light.

    — John Steffen

  • Dec 31, 2020

    WOW! thank you for sharing. It’s hard enough going through what you went through this past year, but betrayal is the icing on the cake. Leaving 2020 is a gift for all of us to remember and to SEE how much we have grown. Sending extra angel protection your way. Love you…one of your big sis’💙

    — marilyn

  • Dec 31, 2020

    So sorry you went through this. Please be careful. I hope this person rots in hell.

    — Beth

  • Dec 31, 2020

    Betrayal of the worst kind. There is a huge difference between “I will take care of you and I will take!” Please be careful. Trust is earned ,Not given freely. Xxoo Cynthia

    — Cynthia

  • Dec 31, 2020

    He betrayed himself…not you. x

    — London boy

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