It's something I've known for years on end, but reading something brought it into focus for me today. Reading about how others deal with betrayal sends a dagger through me because it sharpens the fact that I know that I could not deal with it. I don't expect others to forgive me, I don't forgive myself, and I cannot forgive those wrongs done against me. In the end, I guess it all boils down to a trust issue. There can be no betrayal without trust, and I realized a long time ago that you can't lose what you don't gamble.
Now, this isn't exactly something pathological. If you cut me off on the road, I'm not likely to follow you home and stab you and your family and friends and pets in the eyes with steak knives. The slight of someone failing to say thanks if I hold a door open is not going to throw me into a howling fit. I just don't think I could ever deal with the 'big ones', the things that strike at the core of who you are.
It all reminds me of a quote from a set of books I read when I was a kid by Cynthia Voigt.
"I got to thinking—when it was too late—you have to reach out to people. To your family, too. You can't just let them sit there, you should put your hand out. If they slap it back, well you reach out again if you care enough. If you don't care enough, you forget about them, if you can."
I've certainly done a lot more forgetting in my life than reaching out and I've come to terms with that. You can't lose what you don't risk, ecspecially when you have little enough to wager with.