You know, many individuals find themselves feeling betrayed, whether it’s your family or a mate. But there are ways to overcome this hurt.

I am familiar with betrayal, so much so that it no longer surprises me. That doesn’t mean feeling like this should become a normal way of life. Unfortunately, it happens often, and there are several ways that this negative act can occur. It’s not just about a friend divulging secrets, or someone displaying disloyalty. No, betrayal can actually damage your life and future.

Feeling Betrayed from Childhood

Childhood trauma often leaves an imprint of betrayal that follows you into your adulthood. You may think back and wonder why your parents didn’t help you, why they were neglectful, and how they could let certain things happen in the first place. You may wonder why you were hurt by those who were supposed to love you, and you may never have an answer from them.

Personally, I was abused right under my parent’s nose, so to speak, but they swore later they never knew. Then, to top it off, they did nothing to right the wrongs, and never confronted my abuser. For years after learning of my abuse, my parents still treated my abuser in the same way as before they knew. I remember trying to understand why this happened.

I was also told in so many words, “Honey, this is just what happens to most of us as children here in the south”. You see, I live in the southern states of the U.S. and apparently, it’s normal to be abused around here, or that’s what they tried to convince me. The truth is, I feel they were cowards, and my emotional health paid the price by the betrayal. Yes, your hurt can be just that bad.

How to Stop Feeling Betrayed?

No matter how outlandish this betrayal is, you can get better. You can learn to move forward in life after the great hurts forced upon us. Maybe you weren’t abused, but maybe your mate cheated on you, maybe someone lied, or maybe you just feel betrayed by those who weren’t there when you needed them. Whatever the reason, you can surely overcome these things.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

1. Pinpoint the betrayal

If you were betrayed so badly in the past that it damaged your adult life, you need to remember when it happened. Sometimes the mind will bury negative events so deeply that we will be bitter, but we won’t know why. Severe past betrayals can hurt us so much that a veil drops over our memories as a way of emotional protection.

However, it doesn’t work. That past betrayal is still there and it festers over time. You have to find it, remember it, and make peace with this hurt.

2. Actively find areas of damage

Time does heal wounds, this is true, but we shouldn’t wait around for time to remove all the damage done by betrayal. To be better, you should actively seek out wounds, remember why they exist, then do what you can to improve yourself through the pain. Most pains of betrayal are harsh, and they will take time to heal, but if you aren’t seeking out ways to improve your life, then betrayal becomes bitterness.

3. Never blame yourself

It should be obvious that you did not make someone disrespect you. It just seems easy to accept from the outside that it was your fault. For those who’ve been hurt, there is sometimes a bit of guilt involved.

Maybe you feel like something you did made the other person betray you, or maybe you feel inadequate and this made your friends neglect or abandon you. You must believe that nothing you contributed to the relationship forced them to hurt you. It all depends on improving your self-worth in order to see the truth in this matter. Notice when you’re blaming yourself, and then put a stop to it.

4. Be honest and take responsibility

Trying to keep betrayals a secret from others will not help you heal. Being honest with yourself and with your family and friends will help you take responsibility for any possible part you could have played in the betrayal. That’s right, sometimes, the hurt you endure carries a shared responsibility. It could be that your relationship had problems from both sides, but instead of communication, you were betrayed.

As I said, don’t blame yourself for the betrayal, but most certainly take responsibility for your own actions in the situation.

5. Allow yourself to grieve

negative mindset

Do not go through betrayal and pretend it doesn’t hurt because you know it does. In fact, it’s probably one of your worst experiences. By denying the hurt, you store the hurt and add to it every time someone disappoints you. Eventually, this hurt will come out anyway, but in destructive ways. Not grieving your betrayals will definitely keep you stuck in a false sense of self-worth. So, go ahead and cry if it hurts. There’s nothing wrong with being upset.

6. Seek support

Do you happen to have a support system? If not, and you’re feeling betrayed, you should think about getting one. Take care, however, not everyone can help you pull through when you’re feeling betrayed. It’s only the kind-hearted and the ones who’ve been through similar circumstances.

As you know, many individuals want to hear your problems in order to entertain themselves, but also, as you know, some others really want to help. Take your time and learn who is for you and who is against you. Choose carefully your support system, and then share how you really feel. This helps soften the blows from the hurtful experience.

7. Work on trusting again

This will probably be the hardest thing to do after betrayal, but it is possible. If you’ve been hurt by someone you care about, it will be even harder to build trust too. For instance, if you’ve ever been cheated on in a relationship, the trust will have to be earned back by your partner, if you stay in the union, of course. It might also be incredibly difficult to trust friends who’ve betrayed your confidence as well. However, to truly move on, you must trust again.

8. Take back emotional control

Much of the pain caused by betrayal comes from your emotions being out of control. Yes, people did hurt you, but you are in control of how long you keep feeling betrayed. You can choose to stay angry for years or you can let it go, and find the beauty in life despite the pain you’ve endured.

No, of course, it’s not easy, and yes, it sounds like I’m saying, “Just be positive”, but it’s true. Controlling your emotions takes control away from the culprit. Even if they don’t know you’re still hurting, they still have control. So, you just take that control back and get on with life.

9. Break the pattern

The last thing you want to do if you’ve been betrayed is to continue the pattern of mistreatment. On many occasions, those who were hurt eventually hurt others because they have yet to heal. The pain turns to bitterness, the bitterness to unforgiveness, and then this unforgiveness causes you to act in the same way as your abuser.

You end up hurting others simply because you were hurt before and neglected to face what happened. If you can break the pattern, you’ve started a new path, and new paths are always interesting and full of hope.

10. Sometimes you must cut ties

No one likes to lose friends or loved ones, but sometimes it’s necessary. In severe circumstances of hurt, you might have to cut ties with certain individuals who’ve hurt you. Unhealthy relationships will only bring about more betrayal in your life while removing toxic people will help you grow. It will certainly improve your life by leaps and bounds when you take inventory of those who surround you.

You Can Overcome This Betrayal

Although you may have been through some of the worst situations and events, you aren’t alone. There are many people who’ve been betrayed in life. In fact, everyone has probably been betrayed in one way or the other during their lifetime. So, it’s okay if your life hasn’t been perfect. And no matter how hard you try, it will never be without mishap. It can, however, be as good as you make it.

Are you still feeling betrayed now? Well, maybe it will take time to utilize these ideas that I mentioned, and implement them into your daily life. It’s not always easy just taking advice and running full force with these ideas and suggestions. Betrayal can be horrible.

I’ve been there/yes, done that, so I understand the basic constructs of this feeling. I also understand that even when you’re learning to trust, there are some in whom you cannot place your confidence. The thing is, I’m not trying to downplay it, neither am I trying to exaggerate the problem. I think we can heal from most things when we just give it a try.

So, leaving you with encouragement, I want to say, good luck and be strong. We can do this together.

References:

  1. https://www.huffpost.com
  2. http://www3.psych.purdue.edu
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