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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    An Endless Loop of Pain & Betrayal

    We all are blindsided at some point in life - betrayed by someone who was supposed to be trusted. Whether that person is a friend, lover, family member or colleague, feeling betrayed by someone we care for can leave us with an intense, long-lasting pain.

    The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone - betrayal can happen to anyone, anytime and it can be extremely hard to bear. Maybe the person you trusted most lied to you, or was dishonest behind your back. Maybe they said one thing and did something else, or promised the world and gave you nothing. Whatever the reason, understanding how to cope is key to getting over those feelings of betrayal and extreme pain.

    It starts with acceptance. When we experience betrayal, it’s easy to fall into denial and avoid thinking about the situation. But, this can lead to dwelling on all the wrongs done to you, and won’t let you move past it. To prevent this, understand that betrayal happened, but don’t restrict yourself to harboring the same negative thoughts. Recognize the betrayal and forgive your betrayer. Being able to accept the hurt and forgive can be integral to continuing a healed, healthy relationship.

    Realize that ultimately, you don’t control another's actions, only your own. Embrace the idea that you can make decisions to take better care of yourself and use the situation as an opportunity for personal growth. Don’t allow your feelings of victimization to keep you from reflection and learning from the situation. Accepting the situation, allowing yourself to being hurt, and then being willing to forgive are all major components of being able to move on.

    The next step towards recovery is distancing yourself from the source of pain. When surviving after a betrayal, friends and family are your strongest support systems. Engage with them and strive for positive energy. Take time away from your betrayer, communicate only when necessary and allow yourself to explore unaffected areas in your life. The more distance you create between yourself and your betrayer, the more space you'll have to grow.

    Betrayal can lead feel incredibly vulnerable. As a result, it’s natural that you feel like you need to protect yourself from ever being in a similar situation again. This can lead to a temporary numbing of emotions, where you forget how to differentiate and react to certain situations. Take slow steps when re-entering social situations, especially relationships, and get comfortable with opening up to the idea of trusting again.

    Combine the lessons learned with self-care. Understanding the source of pain and creating boundaries can help until you can practice gentle self-care in moments of intense pain. Use these moments to observe the sensations of betrayal with compassion rather than judgement. do enjoyable and calming activities, like going for walks, baking, journaling and exercising. Working to get out of your comfort zone and push through any feelings of stagnation can bring needed relief.

    Recovering from feelings of betrayal and extreme pain requires immense effort and courage, making it a multi-step journey. No matter how hard it may seem, recognize the process of healing and throw all of your energy into caring for yourself. Remind yourself of the inevitable silver lining - you were brave enough to face the fear and that means you’re capable of anything.

    Categoriy: Relationships

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