Betrayal Trauma: Understanding the Pain of Betrayal and Moving Forward

KD
4 min readMay 17, 2023

First of all, I wanted to say, I am sorry you are here and reading this if you have experienced betrayal and betrayal trauma. It is a terrible thing to endure and go through!! Just know that I am here for you!

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Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Betrayal trauma is a type of psychological trauma that occurs when someone we trust, rely on, or love violates our trust or well-being.

It can happen in different types of relationships, such as romantic partnerships, friendships, or even between a parent and a child.

The experience of betrayal can lead to intense feelings of anger, hurt, confusion, and mistrust, which can persist long after the event has occurred.

Betrayal trauma can have a profound impact on our mental health and well-being. It can cause us to question our sense of self-worth, our ability to trust others, and our capacity to form healthy relationships.

Some common symptoms of betrayal trauma include anxiety, depression, anger, hypervigilance, and intrusive thoughts.

It can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems, and fatigue. It is important to recognize the signs of betrayal trauma and seek support to start the healing process.

What is Betrayal Trauma?

Betrayal trauma is a type of psychological trauma that occurs when someone we trust and depend on for support and survival betrays us.

This type of trauma can be caused by a range of different experiences, including infidelity, emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial exploitation, and other forms of betrayal.

Definition

According to the Betrayal Trauma Theory, betrayal trauma is defined as trauma perpetrated by someone with whom the victim is close and reliant for support and survival.

This can include partners, parents, family members, friends, and colleagues. Betrayal trauma can cause significant emotional distress and can lead to feelings of shock, disbelief, anger, and sadness.

Causes

Betrayal trauma can be caused by a range of different experiences, including infidelity, emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial exploitation, and other forms of betrayal.

Betrayal trauma can be particularly devastating when it is perpetrated by someone we trust and depend on for support and survival, such as a partner or parent.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Symptoms

The symptoms of betrayal trauma can vary depending on the individual and the nature of the betrayal.

Some common symptoms include:

*Intrusive thoughts and memories about the betrayal
*Difficulty sleeping or nightmares
*Avoidance of people, places, or things associated with the betrayal
*Hypervigilance or heightened anxiety
*Feelings of anger, sadness, or depression
*Difficulty trusting others

Betrayal trauma can have a significant impact on our mental and emotional well-being, and it is important to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms of betrayal trauma.

Effects of Betrayal Trauma

Betrayal trauma can have a severe impact on us, affecting us both physically and psychologically. It can also impact our social relationships and our ability to trust others.

Physical Effects

Betrayal trauma can cause physical pain and gastrointestinal issues. We may experience headaches, muscle tension, and fatigue.

Our immune system may become compromised, leaving us more susceptible to illness. We may also experience changes in our appetite, including overeating or undereating.

Psychological Effects

Betrayal trauma can cause us to experience symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares.

We may also experience depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating. We may feel emotionally dysregulated, experiencing intense emotions that are difficult to control.

Betrayal trauma can also lead to trust and relationship issues, making it difficult for us to form close relationships with others.

Social Effects

Betrayal trauma can have a significant impact on our social relationships. We may feel isolated and alone, finding it difficult to trust others.

We may also experience shame and guilt, feeling as though we are to blame for the betrayal. This can lead to social withdrawal and can make it difficult for us to form new relationships.

In conclusion, the effects of betrayal trauma can be significant and long-lasting. It is important to seek support and treatment to help us cope with these effects and to work towards healing and recovery.

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Thank you so much!

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KD

Someone who is trying to get through life in one piece and be the best version of myself. I also want to try and help others who are hurting or sad.