Sunday, September 27, 2009

Falsehoods, Facebook and Forever Friendships

Throughout elementary and middle school though I was popular and a member of a "clique", I was still one of those girls who couldn't stand for anyone to be left out and always tried to include everyone, even those outside our "elite" circle of friends. Though I tried not to let on that I had any favorites, one particular girl and I were especially close, what would be considered BFF today.

This friend, who I'll call Shana, and I didn't get to go to the same high school (my mother insisted that since I'd passed the entrance exam for a college prep school I was going there, never mind that none of my friends were), but we'd remained as close as ever throughout freshman and the beginning of our sophomore years.

Since I hung out at Shana's school more than my own (all my friends were there after all), I began dating one of their upperclassmen. His sister and I were in the same grade and became friends. Or so I thought. She invited me to spend the night one weekend and after we told their mom and my boyfriend goodnight, the two of us sat up talking and giggling into the wee hours. I never laid eyes on her brother again until the next morning.

The following week, a vicious rumor was going around both schools about me spending the night with the boy! My friends and I tried to get to the bottom of it, but couldn't determine which of the siblings started the rumor. By that point it didn't matter to me. I was a Christian and my testimony was being ruined! I was D-O-N-E with both of them. Lest you think my response was rash, I later learned that the sister started the rumor and the brother did nothing to refute it, (he was too busy enjoying the accolades of his beastly buddies to defend my honor).

As bad as all of that sounds, it wasn't the worst part of the ordeal. The worst part was that Shana knew me and didn't defend me. She knew about my faith, she knew that I believed in remaining pure for the one God intended me to marry, she knew that I'd lost other boyfriends because of my stance - yet, not only didn't she quench the fire, she added fuel to it by jumping on the rumor wagon with an armful of malicious kindling! Talk about being D-O-N-E with someone, I was stick a fork in me DONE with her!

That was 25 years ago, and to this day I've never understood what made my s0-called best friend betray me. I don't think I was ever really angry with her, I was simply hurt beyond words. And if you know me, either in real life or through my writing, that says volumes since I'm seldom at a lack for words!

Despite my turkey analogy, I really have forgiven Shana. I actually feel sorry for her. She had a friend who would have stuck closer to her than a sister, but for whatever reason, she chose to hurt me. If I'd ever been given the opportunity, I wouldn't have hurt her in return, but I chose to keep my distance from her (The Bible does admonish us to "Be wise as serpents, harmless as doves).

More recently, as I've moved from being a domestic violence victim to a survivor and victor through Christ, I've learned that some people, people like Shana, are toxic. Because they spread venom and poison, they are not safe to be around.

When my abusive marriage ended, I allowed Satan and a few people to convince me that even those who knew me, knew my testimony, knew my walk, knew my heart, believed falsehoods that had been created by other toxic people concerning me in order to justify their wicked acts against me.

I believed these lies for almost four years. Up until a few months ago I was terrified of meeting what I considered 'former friends', especially teachers, students and parents from the Christian school where I used to teach, for fear they thought evil of me. I was also numb with shame over my failed marriage and 2 new babies born at the tail end of a total mess. The amazing thing that dispelled the falsehoods? Facebook!

From the moment I mustered enough courage to sign up, my email inbox was flooded with Facebook friend requests. I think I had 60 the first week! Most requests were from what seemed like the faithful Fellowship Christian School ghosts of my past life. I'd thought those friendships were dead and gone and I'd resolved myself to never seeing or speaking to most of them again.

How wonderfully wrong I was! My fear, shame and isolation have all been lifted and I am in community again. God overwhelmed me with the responsiveness of friends who showered me with so much love that I was brought to tears every time I logged on to Facebook. It was like I came out of hiding and they'd been there waiting for me to do it all along. Now I'm reconnected to people who know and love me - mistakes, missteps and all!

That's the thing about what happened with Shana, or what should have happened with her. Even if I was foolish to sleep over at my boyfriend's, she should have said, "I may not know exactly what happened, but I do know Tammi, so it's not what people are saying." Thankfully my virtuous name was restored by default . As I maintained my commitment to abstinence, I continued to lose boyfriends on account of it! : - )

Not long ago, in an attempt to propagate another falsehood, my wasband told me, "You forget, I know you." My response was, "No, you never knew me."

And like the song says, "If you don't know me by now, you will never, never know me."

I must confess, I'm so glad that my Facebook friends, my Fellowship friends, my forever friends do.

~ Truly, Tammi

Tell Me Truly

I'd love to interact more with readers. If you visit, please post a comment. I will write back!

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend or had a friendship you thought was lost restored?


  1. Tammi, your blogs are ALWAYS wonderful, and I so enjoy reading them. Thank you for writing them! Now, I'm off to try and find you on Facebook, as I am definitely one of those who know your heart and love you, even just from our limited acquaintance through the writer's group! Thanks again.

  2. Dear Elaine, Thank you so much for visiting and reading my blog. I admire and am inspired by your writing, so your positive feedback means so much to me. I'm glad you found me on Facebook and that we're not only MAC friends but FB friends as well. From what I know of you, especially through your writing, we have the same type of heart. ~Blessings!