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Betrayal Trauma: Where Does Healing Begin?

Have you ever had someone close to you break your trust? Maybe it was a parent who didn’t take care of you the way they should have, or your partner cheated on you. It might also have been a friend who broke your trust for reasons you can’t necessarily understand.

Betrayals of trust like that can be traumatic, and it’s hard for us to heal from it. If this happened to you, and you struggle to move past it, that’s understandable. That’s normal, even. It’s not easy to heal from. But just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome.

Facing What Happened

For the process of healing to begin, you have to gather your strength and face what happened. It can be tempting to act like nothing’s wrong, like you weren’t betrayed. But you were, and if you don’t accept and face it, you won’t be able to heal.

It’s the same with your emotions. These actions can leave you feeling emotions that aren’t pleasant at all. And it can be tempting to ignore them until they go away, but the truth is, they won’t leave until you confront them. You have to let yourself feel your anger and sadness and betrayal. It’s the only way to eventually let go of them and move forward.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s easy during difficult times to neglect yourself. You start skipping meals or you forget to drink water. You can’t sleep well. You don’t leave the house. And it’s understandable. It’s happened to all of us at one point. But if you want to heal, that means you have to take care of yourself too.

Drink water, eat well, go for a walk. These are basic things, but they are usually the hardest to do during difficult times. But they’re worth the effort. Your body will thank you for taking care of it if you try.

man sitting alone looking out at waterDo Things You Enjoy

When you’re miserable, all you want to do is nothing. Why bother doing anything else? You probably don’t have the energy to anyway. And it’s okay to spend some time doing nothing at all and just letting yourself process everything that’s happened.

But eventually, you’re going to start doing something else. You can do anything you normally enjoy. Maybe you love baking and you haven’t been able to do so in a while. Or you love music, so you can try playing an instrument or dancing along to your favorite songs. You don’t have to do anything big. You just have to bring some joy to your life, little by little.

Ask for Help

When you’ve experienced intense betrayal, when you’ve been so affected by betrayal that you’re left with strong trauma, the most difficult part is to trust others again. But just because one person hurt you doesn’t mean they all will. There are people you can still trust. Whether they’re friends or family, it would be good to let yourself lean on them. It would be good to talk about what happened with others.

And if talking to your friends or family about the betrayal you lived through seems too daunting, that’s okay. You can always try counseling.

A good counselor can help you down the path of healing. They can help you move past what happened to you. Your betrayal trauma is real, but it doesn’t have to affect the rest of your life. You will be able to trust again.

But these things take time. Remember to be patient with yourself as you go through this, and reach out to learn about trauma therapy. You’ll heal from this.