What is Betrayal Trauma?
Betrayal Trauma is when someone from your primary relationship has broken your trust.
This type of betrayal can cause emotional distress like panic attacks, anxiety, and depression.
Before we dive deeper into the effects of betrayal trauma and how you can heal from it, let’s talk about the meaning of a primary relationship.
A primary relationship is with a person you have pledged your life to.
Not necessarily the part where you say my life is yours blah blah. Nothing like that.
It just means your relationship with this person goes beyond friendship. It’s all about “I’ll take care of you; you take care of me.”
It’s love, companionship, and trust. This is a relationship with a romantic partner.
But in your childhood days, betrayal trauma can also occur in your relationship with your parents.
Betrayal Trauma Symptoms are deeply impactful and can have long-term effects on your mental health.
When you experience betrayal, which is a form of emotional abuse, it may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder with various flashbacks, nightmares, or impaired sleeping patterns along with depression and anxiety.
Betrayed partners often feel as if their reality has been breached when they find out about the deceitfulness in life from someone they trusted implicitly.
But this feeling dissipates over time once healing starts for them especially by seeking professional help such as therapy sessions.
People who experience betrayal trauma fear that their current partner will change into someone else before their very eyes — not the person he/she was when they first came together.
They may even feel betrayed by themselves since there must be something wrong with them to “deserve” an attack from somebody close enough.
The Pain of Betrayal Trauma
Here’s a sample of betrayal trauma:
Joanna looked at her husband Richard and felt nothing.
She had been feeling numb for the past few months, but this time it was different. He came home late after another meeting with his secretary — the woman he’s having an affair with.
The one who’s been texting him that they should be spending time together as a couple.
When Joanna checked his phone one night, she found out that their marriage wasn’t just stagnant; it was over before she even realized it.
She felt unattractive, unwanted, and unloved. Joanna gave her all for this marriage.
So, why didn’t it work out?
* * * * * *
This kind of betrayal trauma has ruined Joanna’s view on love and she was disheartened about trusting another man.
The question is: Can you still heal from this type of trauma if you were in Joanna’s situation?
Short answer: YES!
Long answer: Yes, but it will take time.
You won’t simply wake up a week later and feel better.
Even if you do, as long as you do not acknowledge what has happened along with the negative emotions that resurfaced, you won’t be fully healed.
How Can You Heal?
1. Do Not Blame Yourself
Don’t be blind to your partner’s mistake. Don’t place the blame on yourself.
If you know in yourself that you did everything you could, then be kind to yourself. Love yourself more instead.
2. Strive for Greatness
During this time, a lot of your peers will suggest getting busy to distract you from the pain.
That’s okay. You can do that.
Pursue growth and heal your self-confidence. But always remember to take time to acknowledge what has happened.
3. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
Take holistic steps in making yourself whole again.
Change your diet and start having a daily journal where you can write the thoughts you’re having or about your healing journey.
And of course, rest is essential.
These are just some of the ways to address and heal from betrayal trauma.Tune in with us as we will give more tips you can do for your healing journey.
If you have experienced this, do not worry, you will heal.
Try these affirmations before you sleep:
- I am stronger than the pain I’ve felt. I am unstoppable.
- Pain is temporary. I can rise above it all.
- I am a powerful being. I can heal from anything.
Believe in yourself, my darling.