The word trauma conjures up some image of accidents, serious physical injury, what it doesn’t tend to conjure is the damage done emotionally when someone is betrayed.
Betrayal is a trauma just like any other and just as serious, it hurts deeply, it messes with our emotions and betrayal from someone we love leaves us feeling and looking at life in a different way, nothing will ever be the same for us.
If you have been betrayed you will be able to relate to this, perhaps at the time you didn’t even know what you were experiencing was trauma, below are some common signs that you have experienced betrayal trauma.
1. You can’t sleep well
When you experience betrayal trauma sleeping is the last thing that comes to mind. Your mind will be a turmoil of thoughts and emotions and sleep will evade you. You will be blaming yourself for all that went wrong when this is the furthest from the truth.
You will be asking yourself what you could have done differently to prevent the betrayal and you won’t be able to give yourself any answers as to be truthful there is nothing you could have done differently as that person chose to betray you.
The lack of sleep will affect your physical well-being as well as your mental well-being and it will take its toll on you. You are unwittingly punishing yourself for something done to you, you need to remember you are the victim in this and not the cause of the trauma.
2. You feel anxious and depressed
The feeling that you can no longer relax in your life and feel anxious and depressed is because you are still coming to terms of what has happened to you. Your mind will be telling you that one minute you were happy, the next you are feeling sad, shocked and alone, these are all normal emotions to trauma.
You are blaming yourself and that takes time to resolve in your mind. Betrayal runs deep to the core and takes a lot out of you. Trying to carry on normally takes a massive amount of energy from you, accepting what has happened takes even more.
3. You want to be alone all the time
As your mind struggles to come to terms with the trauma you will want to be alone to work through your thoughts and emotions. You won’t be able to think straight no matter how hard you try. You may feel that being alone is what is right for you, go with your gut instinct and don’t allow anyone to tell you to ‘just snap out of it’.
When you are ready to socialize then do so, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, this will slowly build up over time. Do talk to a friend or family member you trust and use them as almost a bodyguard to stop so-called well-meaning people from forcing you into not spending your alone time.
4. You believe you will never love again
When you are betrayed in love you see yourself in a negative light, that no one could possibly want to love you and that you are too broken and damaged. You’re not, what you are doing is starting the road of recovery and that takes time, you do your recovery to your own timescale, to what suits you best, there is no time limit to grieving, and grieving is what you are doing.
5. You are confused, and you don’t know how to move on
When you face the trauma head on it will leave you feeling confused and you may feel you can’t make any right decisions. These doubts are because of the trauma not because you have suddenly become inept at making the right decisions in your life.
You put all your trust in someone and they chose to break that trust, you didn’t suddenly stop trusting them for no reason. Once you accept in yourself and in your own time that you didn’t cause the betrayal you will begin to see the trauma for what it truly is.
6. You have flashbacks of your once happy relationship
You will relive memories of happier times and this will be painful yet cathartic in an odd way. It will help you see that until the betrayal you were giving your all to the relationship. You may find doing this will show you signs that you missed that all was not well too, don’t give yourself a hard time for missing any warning signs though as hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Your fight through recovery will make you stronger than before and more than ready for what the future may hold.