It’s as if the person you loved, the one you trusted––just took a mask off, revealing who they have really been this whole time. Your heartbreaks and the pain is so raw, so real, so all-consuming––you can barely breathe. You feel like you got sucker-punched, nothing makes sense. You frantically start questioning everything, including yourself.
How did this happen?
How did I not know?
The shock, the lies, the deception––you feel so rejected, so abandoned, so alone. You don’t know what to think, you don’t know what to feel, and you don’t know what to do. The only thing you know for sure––is that life will never be the same. That’s what it feels like to feel blindsided by betrayal. How do I know? Because that’s what happened to me, along with millions of other people who struggle to make sense and recover from one of the most painful human experiences. It affects three different aspects of your life, let’s dive into them.
There’s a collection of symptoms, physical, mental, and emotional so common to betrayal that it’s known as Post Betrayal Syndrome. We’ve been taught that time heals all wounds, well that’s not necessarily true. People spend so much time, money, effort, and energy going to the most well-meaning doctors, coaches, healers, therapists––to manage a stress-related symptom, illness, condition, or disease. At the root of all that stress? An unhealed betrayal.
You can have trouble sleeping, you’re exhausted and you could be using sugar or caffeine to help you stay up. Your immune system is compromised, your adrenals have tanked, you could be having digestive issues, weight changes, brain fog, and more.
You want to be a team player, but you’re so afraid. The person you trusted the most proved untrustworthy––how can you trust a boss or coworker?
You want to ask for that raise or promotion, you deserve it––but your confidence was shattered in that betrayal. Instead, you don’t ask and you’re bitter and resentful, and that’s the energy that you’re bringing into work every day.
You’re full of heartbreak, sadness, anxiety, and grief because you’ve been blindsided by an experience with betrayal. You have a hard time trusting other people and it’s affecting your day-to-day relationships. You may experience repeat betrayals (a clear sign of an unhealed betrayal). You can also put that big wall up which prevents anyone from getting near you and your heart again. Sure you’re keeping out the bad ones…but you’re keeping out the good ones too.
You can’t undo a betrayal, just like I can’t do mine and you can’t undo yours. What you can do, is prevent how long it affects our relationships, our health, our work, and our lives. The gift in betrayal is that it lays the foundation for transformation, that’s IF we’re willing to use the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. IF you choose to rebuild your life and give yourself everything that you didn’t have before. Rebuilding is always a choice. You have the option to rebuild yourself and move on or (if the situation lends itself & if you’re willing to), rebuild an entirely new relationship with the person who hurt you. Trauma is the setup for transformation. You can create a new plan and set yourself up for new opportunities and new greatness. If you feel as though you might be ready for this, join me here––you’re not alone in your hurt.