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How To Cope With Betrayal | 10 Signs of Betrayal Trauma

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Betrayal is one of the most detrimental experiences to encounter. Whether someone told all of your business, or silently seethed as you elevated and distanced from you in the blink of an eye, sometimes trying to make sense it is what actually makes us lose our sense.

If I had the power to protect ANYBODY from this traumatic experience I would because the effects of it can cause mental, psychological, and emotional damage.

These were people that you loved, cared about, and trusted. These were people that you made memories with, people that you thought loved and cared about you. These were people that you supported, people that you uplifted, and assisted. But they just dropped you like you were nothing to them! How could that not hurt? How can it not hurt to be super close to someone and watch them turn into a completely different person?

Was it ever genuine? Did they ever love me? Were they in this for their own personal gain? Was I being used this whole time? Can I ever trust again? No! No! Is this happening to me again?!

I have experienced betrayal from friends and family and I have been the one to betray. Being on both ends of the stick has given me an open insight on relationships and encouraged me to grow as an individual.

I know how much you're suffering, I know how guarded you are, and I know what voids you are trying to fill. I know you're empty and I know that you are lost, your heart was just ripped out of your chest and now you have to pay the cost.

Here I introduce to you the realizations I came across after being betrayed:

1. Betrayal Doesn't Have To Be a Bodacious Act.

In fact, most betrayals I've experienced were silent and sneaky. That's what hurt the most!

Here are some signs of a silent betrayal:

  1. Blaming everything on you (manipulation)

  2. Telling you how much they love you but treating you like they hate you

  3. Intentionally inflicting harm by playing mind games, poking at your vulnerabilities and lying to you when you address it (gaslighting)

  4. Smiling in people's face that they talked a lot of crap about or replacing you with somebody they talked a lot of crap about

  5. Maliciously excluding you from gatherings

  6. Lying about their lack of effort or disengagement

2. You Lose Your Sanity

As a result of being betrayed I can honestly tell you that I've lost my head. The good news is that I always found it. LOL!

Watching someone you love turn into a completely different person is a traumatic experience. If you've dealt with an emotionally manipulative person you feel me on this! It's not so much of them treating you terribly that hurts, it's the deception that hurts. You let these people in, shared your vulnerabilities with them, and the fact that these people used them against you is a hard pill to swallow.

3. You Cannot Process Your Emotions

Betrayal hurts so much that you may not want to believe that it really took place. I read a book called "Wounded Woman" by Dr. Steve Stephens and Pam Vredevelt. In this book the authors mention how being in denial isn't such a bad thing. Sometimes the pain or trauma you endure is so hurtful that you can not process it all at once. If you do, you will probably be somewhere in a ditch.

Now listen, I am not telling you to suppress your emotions or act like you're not feeling anything. When you have just been betrayed be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel every emotion that's happening. Please don't act like you're not affected by it because that will only cause more pain in the long run.

4. It's Hard To Make Sense Of It

Ever heard of the saying "curiosity killed the cat?" This applies to these situations tremendously!

I used to always ask myself; Why don't these people ever cut me off if they don't have my best interest at heart? Or were they always the person they were after they took their mask off? Were they plotting on me all along? Was this betrayal maliciously calculated?

If you're like me, you will go to extreme lengths to figure out your answer. Let me tell you, CONSTANTLY searching up questions on Google, or trying to diagnose your betrayer with a personality disorder like "narcissism" will kill you. LOL!

The truth is you will NEVER know what goes on inside of someones head when they pull a 360 on you.

5. A Person DIRECTLY Ending a Relationship With A Valid Reason Isn't Betrayal.

One friendship departure I went through was one of the most powerful and hurtful departures of my time. Her approach was direct and she let go out of love because we were not on the same page. This was causing a lot of conflict in our friendship, and at the time I couldn't see it, but I've grown to really appreciate that experience.

A person who has the decency to come to you and let you know they are not pleased with the friendship or your behavior is acceptable. If the same thing keeps happening and they decide to let you go, that is understandable.

Maybe they were tired of the arguing, maybe you were tired of them not listening to you, maybe you were going through a rough time and they felt unappreciated, or you took advantage of the friend you had. In my opinion, them cutting you off is not betrayal. Rejection, yes but also love; not only for you but for themselves as well.

6. Betrayal From A Family Member Is The Worst

"You think you been through dark times, these your darkest!" ~Fabolous

It's one thing to get betrayed by a friend, but to get betrayed by a family member is a COMPLETELY different experience.

At this day and age, a lot of people are realizing that blood is not always thicker than water. Just because you are blood with someone doesn't mean they can't or won't do any harm, but it still hurts. It's still messed up because events like family reunions, baby showers, birthday parties, family cookouts, and vacations come up. When you've been betrayed by a family member, those fun moments become frightening reminders that you and that specific family member are no longer on good terms.

7. Trust Issues

Drake said it best! When I tell you I was emotionally scarred like Lil Baby, I'm not kidding. I had to take responsibility for my actions though. My gut warned me about certain people but I kept holding on because I wanted to "wait and see." Trust issues are basically the "wait and see consequences." LMAO!

As much as I tried to front like I could be vindictive and spiteful, I couldn't for the life of me! Yes, I was guarded at one point, but it was not fun because it kept me stuck in that painful experience I was desperately trying to run away from.

"Don't abide by the "Trust Nobody" phrase, just trust the right people!" ~Mahogany Jenkins

8. Betrayal Made Me Look Forward To Pain

Betrayal caused me to be very angry at myself and at the world around me. I was happy on the outside but on the inside I was ready. I was ready for someone to prove my point, I was ready for someone to play, hurt, and disappoint me. I knew something was not right when I started to hang around people I didn't trust. My outlook on life became very depressing and my beliefs created more terrible experiences.

Sometimes I feel like I am addicted to pain and self-sabotage, because it feels so familiar. Betrayal became my norm so when I experienced authenticity I couldn't believe it.

I also realized that the more betrayals I went through the more numb I became to future ones. This is how life is right? You bond with someone so they can drop you like you meant nothing to them?

9. Betrayal Taught Me How To Look For Authenticity

Not only in others, but in myself as well. I was betraying myself each time I trusted these people more than I trusted myself. I was betraying myself when I kept giving people the "benefit of the doubt."

The more betrayals I encountered, the more successful I became at detecting bullshit. My people reading skills heightened and I stopped putting myself into dangerous situations overtime. I know when I am around pureness and when I am around demons. LOL!

10. I Didn't Feel Right Around People Who Betrayed Me Anyway

All my betrayers had one common ingredient, disengagement. Things start off great and then I notice how they stop listening to me, checking up on me, and initiating plans.

Yes, people go through things but you know this is something personal because you see them embracing other people and making an effort with other people but not you. This is why we start to believe that something is wrong with us.

If you ever noticed these friends talking about people then smiling in their face, being hot and cold towards you, or not clapping for your wins, don't expect them to be in your life forever.

Our intuition collects our past experiences and uses them as guidance for the future. Whenever I was around something oddly familiar my gut told me. Most of my betrayals I seen coming, I just did not want to believe it.

Our emotional intelligence and gut instincts mean NOTHING if we don't apply them.

What have your betrayals taught you? Did you commit most of the betrayals or were you the survivor? How did it make you feel? If you've been betrayed more than once. did all of your betrayers have a common characteristic?

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