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"Hey! Those Were My Ideas!"

Could you ever forgive a friend for betraying you?

I've written stories about what it's like to be an educator in this world and how others perceive me because of my profession. But have any of you ever had someone within your own company befriend you, share all their personal secrets and stories and accomplishments? Have you ever opened yourself up to one of these people and tell them your life goals and plans for an up and coming business you want to start up? Well, that was me. I met this girl who ended up working at the school I'm currently working out. At first, I didn't like her because my gut was telling me something was off about this lady. I felt like she was in major competition with what I was doing in my classroom. But I was always told by my mom and dad that I should ALWAYS give people a chance; appearance isn't everything. I listened to my parents but what I should have done was listen to my gut. I befriended this lady, told her everything, as she did with me. We hung out outside of work hours and talked on the phone every day. I really felt that this girl was going to become a really good friend of mine. She would always tell me and my other co-workers how lucky she was to have friends like us and how she couldn't imagine her life without us in it. The three of us were inseparable. I'm the type of person who doesn't really have many friends because I always moved around a lot growing up and never had the chance to maintain great and real friendships. So I truly believed that this girl was the real friend deal. As I stated before; I should have listened to my gut in the beginning. 

This lady has her own educational business and I'm on the up and coming for my business in education. Now, my ideas are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from her ideas. They aren't even close. I told her my plans but what I noticed was that she would tell me her ideas, but very vaguely. She said she was jealous of me because she's always wanted to be an educator like I was; compassionate, loving, always there for my children, and always striving to teach them in new and creative ways. I've never been complimented like that in my life, so to hear someone say those things to me, it really meant a lot. I truly believed that I could trust this girl. She got me, she understood who I was and validated my work. Whenever she needed help on the job, I was there to give her the help and advice and show her the ropes of how running this class worked. I told her what I planned on doing in order to promote my business, and how it would all happen. I showed her my ideas to gain input and insight. I knew she had her own business, but it never occurred to me that she was slowly taking my work. After working with us for a couple of months, she ended up getting another position within the company at a different school. Me and my other co-worker were really upset because we were losing a friend at our place of work. We made her last week with us special and took her out to lunch and said our well wishes and then she left for her other job. After that, it was like she never existed to us. Which was so weird because just a couple of days before, we were out having lunch and laughing and crying with one another. She had texted a few times for help running her own class, but after that, she was gone from our lives. We had followed each others' personal accounts on social media as well as each others' business accounts. I started to notice that on her business profiles, she was using my strategies for promotion and my ideas for my products! She was using everything I wanted to do as her own! I could not believe it. I began to watch her accounts for weeks like I was an FBI agent looking for dirt on somebody. And every day that passed by, my ideas were being taken. I was upset and frustrated because I told her these things in complete confidence and trust. I knew I should have listened to my gut! Finally, after weeks of sitting down and doing nothing to protect my up and coming business, I FINALLY called her out on it on her profile. The next day, I was BLOCKED. She blocked me from everything like I never mattered. She even stopped talking to my other co-worker who was also (or so I thought) her friend. I still keep tabs on her using my mom's online profile to see what she's up to so that I can alter my own business so she can't benefit from it. I am still so hurt to this day about what she did to us and me. She pretended to be our friend. She pretended to be so supportive of me and what I've accomplished. She used me for her own personal gain and clearly feels no remorse about doing so. I've never felt more betrayed in my entire life. No one should ever have to go through that. What I've learned from this whole experience is to never ever trust someone with your own ideas. I mean, obviously you can trust people, but don't be so open about everything. Not everyone needs to know what you're planning; keep those things to yourself. Business is a tricky game and if you don't play your cards right, you could get used and burned just as I did. I've been going through my head trying to figure out if I should forgive what was done to me. I guess that's a journey and a lesson that I will just have to venture out on my own.

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