Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Betrayal of Friends



         While surfing the net leisurely, I searched the topic “great betrayals,” and I found a very interesting article on that title in New York Times published on Oct 5, 2013, written by a psychiatrist ANNA FELS.
     That article contained many points that would perfectly apply to the betrayal of three of my friends while working in The Hindu during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  They had made a secret understanding with the branch manager of The Hindu to get newspaper agency for their friends and relatives and duped me to assume the responsibility of the work as a dispatch contractor there on a false promise of offering me a news agency besides putting many hurdles in my work as dispatch contractor there.
     I quote from the article:  “But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didn’t suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naïve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.
     Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Why did the spouse suddenly buy a second phone “for work” several years ago? Did a friend know the truth even as they vacationed together? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept. It’s as if they are constantly reviewing their past lives on a dual screen: the life they experienced on one side and the new “true” version on the other. But putting a story together about this kind of disjunctive past can be arduous

     Understandably, some feel cynical if not downright paranoid. How can they know what is real going forward? How can they integrate these new “facts” about family, origin, religion, race or fidelity? Do they have to be suspicious if they form a new relationship? As my friend said in despair, “I’m just not a snoop; it’s not in my genes.”

     And the social response to people who have suffered such life-transforming disclosures, well meaning as it is intended to be, is often less than supportive. Our culture may embrace the redeemed sinner, but the person victimized — not so much. Lack of control over their destiny makes people queasy. Friends often unconsciously blame the victim, asking whether the betrayed person really “knew at some level” what was going on and had just been “in denial” about it. But the betrayed are usually as savvy as the rest of us.

     Of course, I did not fall to the level of needing some form of counseling by a psychiatrist to get on with life. Being an objectivist helped me to pursue a different career and get on with life without any scar left of that betrayal. I am grateful to Ayn Rand to have helped me to overcome this crisis in my life as I leaned on "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" for moral support many times during these periods in my life.

     Isak Dinesen has been quoted as saying “all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”  I am trying to bring this quote of Isak Dinesen to reality in my case as well by some means.