Vicki Hinze | Torn Loyalties
April 10, 2011
Okay, youâ€™re in a pickle.Â A fix.Â You didnâ€™t put yourself there, but in it you
are, and now you must choose: Do you do the right thing?Â Or do you do the
Oh, the temptation is strong.Â Youâ€™re weary and worn and you silently scream,
"Easy!Â Can I just this once go Easy? Iâ€™ve fought the good fight.Â Iâ€™ve tried to
be a good person, to treat people well, to do what I say, and not be a jerk
about things.Â I do what I can to help othersâ€”even though when I need help,
often no oneâ€™s home.Â And for my trouble Iâ€™ve been betrayed, stabbed in the
back, unjustly accused, stepped on, lied toâ€”you name it."Â
Sound familiar?Â Weâ€™ve all been there.Â Weâ€™ve all felt that way at one time or
another.Â And weâ€™ve all been so weary of it all that we just want to duck our
heads back under the covers and block out the world.
But we donâ€™t duck because we know the world wonâ€™t go away.Â Because we know we
have to come out sometime.Â And if we donâ€™t deal with "this junk" (whatever it
might be) now, weâ€™ll have to deal with it laterâ€”and odds are that the time lapse
will only make the problem worse.Â Instead of enduring a little mess, weâ€™ll have
to endure a big one.
All that aside, weâ€™re good people.Â We have values and ethics.Â We stand up for
what we believe inâ€”even when itâ€™s not popular.Â Even when weâ€™re condemned,
ridiculed or â€¦ well, just look at the list above and insert your pick of adjectives.
Weâ€™ve chosen the right way, as we see it.Â We keep fighting the fights we think
are worth fighting.Â We keep doing what we determine we should do because we see
it as right and worth doing.Â But, boy, we long for easy.Â Not in
everythingâ€”thatâ€™d be idealisticâ€”but in just something.Â Especially when
the choice we must make impacts not just us but those we love.
Thatâ€™s Bethâ€™s situation in DEADLY TIES.Â Sheâ€™s got
this lifelong best friend Sara who is also her business partner.Â Together they
own this little software company that has been extremely successful.Â Saraâ€™s shy
and quietâ€”far more at home in her lab.Â Bethâ€™s outgoing and where Sara whispers,
Beth naturally roars.Â Theyâ€™re a good team.
In comes Mr. Perfectâ€”and he sets his sights on Sara. Bethâ€™s got his number.Â
Heâ€™s a user and a loser bent on exploiting Sara and getting his grubby manicured
hands on her money.Â Â But worse is what heâ€™ll do to her fragile heart.Â Sara, of
course, doesnâ€™t see it.Â And so the tension between Sara and Beth begins, and
Bethâ€™s at juncture point one on the dilemma path of torn loyalties.Â Does she
bite her tongue and keep her mouth shut, or warn Sara?Â Saraâ€™s brilliant, Beth
decides.Â Surely sheâ€™ll see it on her ownâ€¦
The easy wayâ€”and taking it ushers in juncture point twoâ€”only at this juncture,
itâ€™s already too late.Â Heâ€™s swept Sara off her feet and theyâ€™ve eloped.Â Now
what?Â Beth again must choose:Â stay loyal to Sara and bite her tongue or have a
full-out war with Mr. Perfect who is anything but.
Bethâ€™s torn.Â I was torn.Â Have been torn.Â You have too.Â Weâ€™ve made our
choices because we thought they were right and weâ€™ve lived with our choices.Â
Sometimes thatâ€™s been harder than others, but itâ€™s never comfortable.Â And,
letâ€™s face it.Â Sometimes there just arenâ€™t any comfortable choices or even
semi, sort-of-comfortable ones.Â Every road leads to some kind of heartache,
heartbreak or severance.Â We all know it.Â None of us like it, but we know it.Â
And so all thatâ€™s left is for us to do what we think is right and be at peace
with itâ€”whatever comes.
And so thatâ€™s what Beth does.Â Things are different between her and Sara, of
course.Â That hurts them, as it would us all.Â But theyâ€™re adjusting, finding
their new normal, though Mr. Perfect isnâ€™t content with that.Â He still wants
more, and that more means Beth is in his way, and so he sets out to remove her
as an obstacle.
Now Mr. Perfectâ€™s pushed.Â Hard.Â We can relate to that.Â Someoneâ€™s pushed us,
too.Â But has he pushed Beth too hard?Â Heâ€™s missing, then worse, and then worse
stillâ€”and it appears Beth is a primary suspect.Â Surely, in this position, after
all thatâ€™s come before, Bethâ€™s earned a little "Easy," right?Â Right.Â But like
too many of us, she doesnâ€™t get it.Â Instead she gets another dilemma and is
required to make another choice.Â Again she suffers torn loyalties.
Iâ€™ve written the story, and endured Bethâ€™s dilemmas and wondered how in the
world sheâ€™d get through them. Â I wondered too what getting through them would do
to her.Â How would she be different?Â Would she be bitter?Â Lack trust?Â Avoid
giving her loyalty?Â I just didnâ€™t know.Â I "think" I know how Iâ€™d react, but
can we ever be really sure until weâ€™re in the heat of the specific situation?
I do know that inside I railed against the injustice of them, the basic pure and
simple truth that what was happening was just plain wrong.Â But I have to tell
you, I never saw what was coming, and even I couldnâ€™t see how this would
resolve.Â I mean, okay, Bethâ€™s not going to get easy in any of thisâ€”that was
abundantly clear.Â But did she have to get "youâ€™ve got to be kidding me, thatâ€™d
have me on my knees for the duration" difficult?Â
Iâ€™m laughing as I write this.Â Now.Â I sure wasnâ€™t laughing then. Until that
point, I was under the delusion that I was deciding what to write.Â Well, did I
get fooled.Â I had to write to see what happened, and how things worked out.
And that brings me to the point of this post.Â Life is like that, too. You
suffer torn loyalties.Â You choose what you believe is right.Â Whichever it
proves to be, right or wrong, you suffer the consequences.Â And sometimes you
suffer the consequences others thrust on you that you never see coming.Â
Sometimes things work out; sometimes they work out in ways you couldnâ€™t have
imagined.Â The point is, they do work out.
Regardless of how they work out, you always come out the other side of the
battle scarred.Â Yet there is a certain beauty in those scars.Â Theyâ€™re badges,
proof that the experience has made you wiser and stronger. I donâ€™t want to ruin
the story for you, but I can say that when it was done, I thought, "Whoa, I want
what Bethâ€™s got."
Not her money, though I wouldnâ€™t object to that.Â Her self-respect and integrity
and her sense of worthâ€”all thatâ€™s good.Â All thatâ€™s welcome.Â But what sheâ€™s got
that I want is something far more valuable.Â Itâ€™s grace.Â Dignity and grace.
I pause here and think back, and Iâ€™m betting Beth sleeps good at night and she
doesnâ€™t have a bit of trouble meeting her own eyes in the mirror.Â Those are the
measuring sticks Iâ€™ve always used to wade through gray areas, searching for
So much in our worlds is out of our control.Â We are embroiled in more and more
difficult choices where there is no easy way out.Â Often weâ€™re forced to choose
between two painful choices. Â Â But you know, Iâ€™m not worried about us.Â Weâ€™ve
all got internal moral compasses and weâ€™re experienced at using them.Â (See, all
those prior dilemmaâ€™s payoff eventually.)
We know to seek and we do.Â We know that sometimes we have to take the high
road, the hard road, and we do it so that, like Beth, we can meet our own eyes
and feel comfortable with what we see inside our souls, inside ourselves.Â We
can sleep in peace.Â And in real life, if we can do that and look back and see
dignity and grace, then regardless of what others think or say or do, weâ€™ve won
the battleâ€”and it was one worth fighting.
Win a copy of TORN LOYALTIES -- leave a comment about your own torn loyalties or
36 comments posted.
Re: Vicki Hinze | Torn Loyalties
I am always there for my friends, but when I need help they are never available. So after awhile when they needed me, I would consider if I should be available to help them or not. In the end I usually give in. I guess it's my nature.
(Cheryl English 11:56am April 10, 2011)
I have tried to be very loyal to a few close friends becasue as an only child I have no sister or brother to turn to. Nice to have a close friend that is loyal.
(Shirley Younger 12:20pm April 10, 2011)
I have helped alot of people, including family over the years. I have finally gotten to the point where when I very rarely ask for help, I am told no. I have stopped being friends with some, and limited contact with family members. It is a two way street. If I am the only one doing the giving, I am being used. Life is to short to let that happen.
(Debbie Penny 12:33pm April 10, 2011)
After my mom passed away 29 yrs ago, my sister and I did not speak to each other for many yrs. On her death bed, my mom asked us to please get along. That we don't have to see each other all the time, but be friends.......well after 5 yrs of not speaking we both got together and now thankfully we are loving sisters my mom would have loved to see. So now, we both respect love for each other and our familys and friends. Life is too dear and too short.
(Joanne Bozik 12:54pm April 10, 2011)
I have been taken advantage of alot. When you are always the one giving, and never getting help returned, it is frustrating. Now, I limit myself to those I know appreciate my help, and the ones who would help me if needed.
(June A, Manning 1:06pm April 10, 2011)
I find that I tell the truth not matter what---and that can be a bad think sometimes. My husband has a very worthless brother that I need to just keep my mouth shut about sometimes and learn to pick my battles.
(Sue Farrell 1:08pm April 10, 2011)
Vicki!! I am so thrilled that you are posting today!! I'm such a big fan!! Let me say that I was thrown into the biggest mess of my life. I was always there for everyone in my family. I always did things for them, and being into knitting and crocheting and other crafts, made things for them - you get the picture. When there was a get-together, I would make different dishes to take some heat off of my Mother. When my Mother came down with Alzheimer's, I was the only one who was there every day, against my Doctor's orders, to help my Dad out. I would even help if my Dad had a hard time with her in the evening, and he couldn't control her. Like the time she had a knife, and wouldn't give it to him. Anyway, I had to take care of her, and at the same time, prepare my Dad with the stages she was going through and getting closer to her death, so he'd be ready mentally. He told everyone, when she passed, he couldn't get through it without me. My Sisters, both of them, were of no help through all of this. Anyway, my Husband lost his job, and we lost our house of 13 years, after taking all of our money to fight it. I went to my Dad to talk to him about it. He asked where we were going to live, and mentioned the camper we had. I said we had no choice. I'll never forget his words when he looked at me and said "Good Luck." What a slap in the face!! That's exactly what we did, when my whole family turned their back on us!! We took our belongings, packed what we could in our pop-up camper, little pick-up truck, grabbed our dog, and headed to the nearest campground, which was to be our new home. I have major health problems, and nobody cared. We now live over 200 miles away from the family, and I couldn't be happier. My relationship with my Dad still exists, but it's strained. I haven't seen him in over 2 years now. He came over for every occasion after my Mother passed away, as well as every weekend, and I fed him. I used to also take meals o
(Peggy Roberson 1:29pm April 10, 2011)
I am a Foster Care Social Worker. I work with handicapped children. These children are very vulnerable, and always at risk for exploitation and abuse. Some of the children have endured incredible abuse, yet they have so much love and caring for everyone they encounter. When children are in danger, there is no task in the world more important than to keep them safe. This story sounds like one that would dearly touch my heart!
As a young girl, I made a really bad choice in a boyfriend. He was an old friend and very handsome. He had some problems that he could get past. He was abusive, because he had been abused. The abuse got so severe that I literally feared for my life. It took a lot of courage to leave him, but my life changed for the better. I decided I would help others and keep others safe.
(Sandy Fielder 1:41pm April 10, 2011)
Wow...this sounds great. Everyone, at some time in their life,
has to make that one difficult choice...some lose, some of us
win. Would love to read this book..
(Leanna Morris 1:45pm April 10, 2011)
The book looks great. I agree that it is the man/woman in the mirror that you must appease. I think it will eat away at you if you cannot look yourself in the mirror.
(Beth Melito 1:54pm April 10, 2011)
Beyond the issue of each step-by-step choice of slide or grapple, I think it's vitally important when we've made a bad choice to acknowledge that we made it. You start explaining to yourself that you really had no choice, you go selectively amnesiac, and you farm a future of rotten choices.
(Mary Ann Dimand 1:59pm April 10, 2011)
I'M TORN SOMETIMES BETWEEN MY HUBBY AND MY MOTHER..WOULD LOVE TO WIN THIS BOOK!
(Silvana Moscato 2:12pm April 10, 2011)
All of us have had to make decisions in our life and just hoped and prayed we made the right one. This book sounds like a winner.
(Anna Speed 2:37pm April 10, 2011)
I have some family members that seem to just be "needy". Yes,I always help them but there are times that I wonder what would I do if they weren't family? That is one of the reasons I read your books. They take me to other people's problems and solutions. LOVE them!
(Angela Bartlett 2:42pm April 10, 2011)
Right now I am in a good place. I can't think of any situations that I would call torn loyalties. I have had a lot of that in the past and have learn to run the other way if I sense it starting up. My circle of friends and family is small but everyone supports everyone else.
(Jennifer Beyer 2:54pm April 10, 2011)
I have been torn between Mom, sisters, brother, friends and even work. I tried to be there for everyone else but myself. I spread myself too thin and then get burned no matter what I do. I stressed over it and then I remember a quote from the movie "Dangerous Liaisons" that something are beyond my control.
So I do what I can control and for better or worse, I have to live with my consequences.
(Kai Wong 3:09pm April 10, 2011)
It was timely to read your post. Work drama is coming to a head. Just wished to say that I found those last 2 paragraphs in your post to be particularly inspiring and certainly pertinent.
(G. Bisbjerg 3:14pm April 10, 2011)
Books like this one make me even more grateful for the family and friends that I have. One bad choice can make a huge difference.
(MaryEllen Hanneman 3:50pm April 10, 2011)
I'm torn between spending too much time on the internet and doing my chores.
(Patricia Mellert 4:22pm April 10, 2011)
No matter what we so we always have choices, and sometimes it is hard to choose what is right. But, then we can learn from our mistakes (we hope).
(Linda Pillow 5:05pm April 10, 2011)
It's always hard dealing with other people and our choices do matter and sometimes doing what is right is the hardest choice but even doing that sometimes isn't enough- sometimes we just have to cut some people out of our lives entirely in order to have peace. Thanks for the post, it was very timely.
(Maria Durst 5:31pm April 10, 2011)
Sometimes we are so tempted, and how great we feel if we do the right thing.
(Marjorie Carmony 5:54pm April 10, 2011)
I had this problem with work colleagues to the point that I was forced out simply because they thought they could say & do whatever they liked to me & I should just take it. I was unemployed but free.
(Mary Preston 6:49pm April 10, 2011)
Between husband, grown children still living at home and working full time, I sometimes feel like there is no "me". So I try very hard to find a day here and there where all I think of doing is what I'm interested in, not being at every one's beck and call!
(Diane Sadler 7:49pm April 10, 2011)
The closest that I came to torn loyalitie is mother-in-law and my husband. She's not the greatest mother or mother-in-law but my husband is always defending her. I don't want to hurt him but I don't want himo be blinded eithe.
(May Pau 8:41pm April 10, 2011)
Hi Vicki! I don't really have torn loyalties. I don't really get along with my mother in law, but lover her son dearly.
(MaryAnne Banks 10:01pm April 10, 2011)
I have had moments when I keep going through things in my mind instead of sleeping... wondering if the choice I made was right... I have been torn about different things throughout life...
(Colleen Conklin 10:07pm April 10, 2011)
My torn loyalties are between brothers and sisters.
(Sheila True 10:56pm April 10, 2011)
I can sure relate to what you write! I do try to listen to the moral compass and go with what will let me be able to sleep at night... Really want to read this book!
(Robin Daily 12:05pm April 11, 2011)
I just finished reading DEADLY TIES a few days ago, and it was a humdinger. Though I can't remember Sara, I do remember Beth, the computer genius. I guess we've all had torn loyalties though I grew away a little from my family, as the eldest from my siblings especially, since I spent 10 years abroad. After I returned, I realized how much I had missed in their lives--two brothers' and a sister's. It has been very difficult to reestablish some of those bonds.
(Sigrun Schulz 12:47pm April 11, 2011)
My torn loyalties this weekend would be between my dogs. The young dog I'm training to be a service dog and the old dog I didn't think would make it through Saturday night and Sunday until the vet opens tomorrow. Although Missy would never hurt my older chihuahua, she loves to stand over her and want her to play. Normally Sweet Pea would think nothing of nipping Missy to keep her in line but I remind her that she's one mouthfull for Missy. After two minutes they settle down to serious bone chewing and Missy gets some review of her favorite tricks. Last night I wouldn't let Missy come into my room and lounge on the bed because I didn't want Sweet Pea disturbed. That was my biggest decision on how to handle the one that needed me most. Thankfully tonight - this morning - I can let them be together again. I couldn't stand shutting one out while the other was deathly ill.
(Christina Harrison 5:37am April 11, 2011)
I am often torn between my husband and my family members as they
don't see eye-to-eye. Because hubby has no family in the states, I feel
that I am all he has.
(Mona Garg 4:33pm April 11, 2011)
Not every set of choices is as difficult as the fictional one you have created, but each of us, every day, has to reach ethical and moral decisions that may conflict. The degree of help one extends to another is a gift, and each of us needs to identify how much to risk and at what price.
(Janet Martin 7:14am April 12, 2011)
men and moms . my kids all at each other throats with each other. i dont get it , i was a only child,would love to have sister
(Tami Bates 1:53pm April 12, 2011)
I've spent most of my life trying to do the right thing or being expected to do the right thing and I've reached an age where I'm much more interested in doing what I want to do and the rest be hanged. I'm certainly having a lot more fun!
Vivki, I enjoyed your post and the subsequent comments. I'm looking forward to reading Deadly Ties.
(Karen Cherubino 8:13pm April 15, 2011)
Just wanted to say thanks so much for all your comments and for sharing so much of your challenges with me. I am deeply touched, and I hope and pray that something in DEADLY TIES will touch your heart and your life in a positive way. One thing is very clear. We're all in the same boat! We all have to make those tough calls. If you want to chat about them, I hang out on Facebook a lot at vicki.hinze.author and of course, you can always reach me here at Fresh Fiction! Blessings, Vicki
(Vicki Hinze 6:36pm May 15, 2011)
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