Adding insult to injury.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Written by Samartha Gamble

Dear Sammy,

About a year ago a very close friend had approached me for a loan of about $1500. She asked me to give her 2 months of repayment time which turned into 8 months of silence from her. I needed the money back and felt extremely guilty about asking for the it, as well as feeling a little disrespect for my act of kindness. Well, I finally got the courage, went to her home to ask for the money. Sammy, you wouldn’t believe how she responded. She said that she had already deposited the money right back into my bank account, and recommended that I go over my own records. I couldn’t believe that she would accuse me of receiving the money and not admitting to it and I was shocked at this accusation because she knows my level of integrity and honesty.

Any way, I was hurt and shocked and decided to screen her calls. I was so stunned that my close friend of 9 years would put me through this pain and blatantly lie. I became so depressed and withdrawn because I didn’t tell my husband or family about the loan. After a month of staying away from her, she pays me a visit at home, and says to me that after checking her bank records she realized that she had not paid me back. She gave me my money and with uncontrollable sobbing asked for my forgiveness. I was so taken aback; I had to offer my forgiveness to stop this guilt fest going on inside of me. A week later the calls started. Calls asking me to come out to social functions, that I truly miss going to. But Sammy I just can’t be around her anymore, and I feel at fault for that. Am I being unfair and compassionless?

  • Guilty

Dearest Guilty,

There's no doubt about it—borrowing money to our friends and relatives is always a risky decision. You have certainly learnt your lesson the hard way, and thus should not allow the unconstructive emotion of guilt to continue to occupy your heart and mind a moment longer; especially in this case, when you are not at fault in this blatant indiscretion against your kind heartedness. You feel this way because you know within yourself that things can never be the same between you and your friend again, so don’t force yourself to accommodate or try. Unfortunately when your friend made the decision to risk your friendship by asking you for financial aid, she added insult to injury to your psychological well-being by accusing you of not admitting the receipt of repayment. In my opinion, this constitutes grounds for an instant discharge of friendship, guilt free. Guilty, really, what have you done to feel guilty about? The guilt you are feeling, belongs to the one who has shown you disrespect and then manipulated your trust and friendship. The sooner you rid yourself of this displaced guilt which you are now struggling with, and place it with its rightful owner, the less time you will have to feel unhappy for not being able to reciprocate the friendship. Guilty, I can only recommend that you move on with the satisfaction of knowing that you jumped to the call and helped a friend in need, and so life owes you. In the meantime take solace in knowing that life has to hurt us in order to teach us or detach us from those who are harmful to our spirits.

Keep faith in your goodness Guilty.

Keeping sending your mail to Sammy at her new address

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