What Does Betrayal Feel Like?

Betrayal hurts. It changes who you are. The way you look at yourself, others and the world is forever altered. What does betrayal feel like?

A betrayal wound is an excruciating, overwhelming and unrelenting pain that takes a long time to heal. Betrayal is an intentional obliteration of someone’s trust. Note the specificity of the words “intentional” and “obliteration.” They are key aspects that make betrayal so disastrous and cataclysmic.

To make matters worse, the person on the receiving end of all this deceit, denial, deception and treachery transfers this betrayal of trust onto everyone around them, making the world a cold, distant and unfriendly place to be. Because if you can’t trust a loved one, who can you trust? I can personally attest to this transference of distrust. It’s not a good place to find yourself.

Broken trust is very difficult to restore. It’s a formidable journey that is not linear in nature. It can be a “one step forward, two steps backward” sort of thing. The more you trust a person, the deeper the betrayal wound will be.

Narcissistic abuse is an exquisite sort of betrayal wounding that happens in marriages, between parents and children and within the workplace. It is not gender specific. It’s brutal, premeditated and will be unbelievable in its absurdity.

Betrayal Is Premeditated and Intentional

The intentionality of the abuse peppers the betrayal with a sort of sinister evil that is hard for most people to understand. Most of us can’t comprehend such cruelty. Since the betrayer is fully cognizant of what he’s doing, betrayal is the ultimate personification of selfishness: “What’s in it for me at someone else’s expense?

Someone who loves me and believes I love them. Someone that I’ve built a life with and had children with. Someone who’s been loyal, supportive and constant. It’s deceit and malice at its finest.

The recipient of a betrayal feels like a fool, utterly invalidated and totally devalued. Everything about their personhood has been overlooked and trampled upon – their feelings, the secrets they’ve shared, along with their dreams for the future – all for the benefit of someone they trusted, loved and relied upon. Essentially, they betrayed has been de-personed.

The greater the reliance, the deeper the betrayal wound. Broken trust is devastating, leaving the victim deeply scarred and left to reassemble the pieces of her life when her heart has been shattered. It’s a tall order for a broken person to clean up so vast a mess.

In future posts, I’ll be talking about how I’m healing after being betrayed. Do you know what it feels like to be betrayed? Hit reply and leave a comment below.

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I would love to offer you support by extending an invitation to join my private Facebook group – The Toxic Relief Room. The insights, understanding and camaraderie of other women who have experienced betrayal will be an invaluable resource for anyone trying to heal from abuse.

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