What is betrayal trauma?
I think the following description sums it up pretty well:
“You certainly know it when you experience it. It is a gut-wrenching experience, a searing knife into your heart. You feel it before you even think about it. Then, when you start thinking about it, it plagues you day and night.
Betrayal is treachery, deception, and violated trust. It can appear as a broken promise, duplicity, lies, sexual affairs, and even affairs of the heart. The injury is so great that some people seem to never recover.”
Betrayal is a trauma like no other trauma because it occurs in relationship.
It takes time to trust a person.
To weigh up who they are.
To take them at face value when they tell us that they care.
We watch the way they treat us.
We look for all the signs that indicate they’re safe.
That they’re consistent.
And when you trust a person you slowly drop your guard.
You let them see the part of you that’s hidden from the world.
This is a very sacred trust.
It is isn’t given easily.
You don’t give it to someone who is going to break your heart.
“Betrayal represents a traumatic death—not of a person, but of a relationship.”
Betrayal marks the end of this ‘naïve’ relationship.
It shouldn’t be this way. We’re meant to form attachment bonds.
But once that trust is broken, life can never be the same.
You can’t turn back the clock.
Pretend that everything’s the same.
It’s true. We can rebuild. And over time we may forgive.
But always there’s the memory, and the truth of what they did.
Our brain has stored the trauma.
And the faded scars remain.
I wish that it was different
But betrayal changes things.