There’s just no way around it, betrayal hurt.
Whether you’ve been betrayed by a partner or a friend, it’s difficult to recover. Like many, I too have been hurt and betrayed but someone I never thought would. They were people who made me promises and they were those who you would never think would or could hurt me. I have been betrayed by friends, romantic partners, colleagues, … and yes, family.
The good news is that there are things you can do to help speed up your recovery so you can move on with your life and even start looking forward to a brighter future. Of course I didn’t know what I could do at the time, I was crushed after all. I was angry and bitter. I was spiteful and full of rage. Some may say “broken” (I am some people). I started to question myself. How did I let this happen? Did I somehow betray myself? Did I let someone have too much access to my heart and emotions. Was my vulnerability the tool they used to crush me?
It took years of self discovery and self love to find out that the betrayals were more a reflection of them as opposed to a reflection on me. I went to therapy. I purged my “friendship” circle. I set boundaries and learned how to stick to them… But again, this took many, many years (maybe decades)and truth be told, I am still a work in progress.
As I continue on my journey, I have complied some strategies that may help you speed the process along. While this list is not all encompassing, it may give you the start that you need so that you can you heal your heart, body, and spirit more sooner than later.
You know the old adage, admitting it is half the battle (or something like that) you must first recognize the betrayal. You may have tried to block out the betrayal so that you don’t have to think about it. While it may sound like a good course of action at first, it’s healthier to accept the betrayal and deal with it. Trying to ignore what has happened to you and holding it all in can ultimately stop the healing process. It’s imperative that you address the issues and learn to manage them. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise! You will learn to move past the pain, especially if you take action to help heal yourself.
Forgive yourself and others. Forgive yourself, your past mistakes, and the person who betrayed you. Forgiveness is crucial to healing. Forgiving someone is really all about you – not the person who betrayed you. You’re the one who benefits the most. The other person doesn’t even need to know.
Avoid revenge. Are you thinking about getting back at the person who hurt you? You may be tempted to seek revenge. After all, an eye for an eye, right? But truthfully, when you seek out revenge, you are running the risk of hurting yourself even more. Revenge is never the answer. It simply adds more negativity to your life. Revenge can trap you in an ongoing cycle with the person who hurt you in the first place. First they hurt you, then you hurt them, then they hurt you back, then you hurt them again. Where does it end?( facepalm)
Connect with people who “get it”. Consider support groups or group therapy or talking to a trusted fiend. There are clear benefits from connecting with others who have the same experiences. In talking to people, you can see how others have overcome their pain and use their advice to come up with your own game plan for healing.
Remove negative people. That’s a big one!!! And quite possibly the hardest for most. Too often we think we have to keep people in our lives because “they’ve always been there”, or because “they are family”
TRUTH MOMENT: You may be better off by cutting off all contact
with the the negative people in your life.
Sometimes, it helps to remove these toxic people in order to regain your strength and heal. Fundamentally, you alrady know that negative people can affect your healing process. They serve as constant reminders of the pain and betrayal that you have experienced. Trust me, you will feel lighter and healthier without them.
NOTE: If it’s not feasible to remove them from your life, limit your contact with them as much as possible.
Control your feelings. It’s normal to cry and feel anger after a betrayal. However, if you dwell on these feelings, they can dominate your life. It’s important to express your pain and then learn to move on. One thing that I have done (and continue to do) is to write my thoughts and feelings down on paper.
NOTE: There is scientist research to validate that writing things down, hand to paper helps to make things real in your brain.
I keep a journal and it truly helps. From time to time, I have torn up my words on paper and burned them. This was done to help me release the BULLSHIT to the Universe (smile) but you can also use the burned ashes of paper as a visualization of the feelings blowing away in the wind.
TRUST AGAIN. After a betrayal, you may have a difficult time trusting. You may feel that you can’t trust anyone because they’re capable of hurting you. After all, been there done that (SHRUG)
Over time, it’s important to learn to trust again and reach out to others. Moreover, learn to trust yourself. You have learned from your previous experience and now you know what to look for. Trust your gut and trust your instinct. You never have to go back into any sort of relationship with the person who hurt you, but trusting new people can and will help you heal. Especially, when you find the right people and you have clear evidence of what real connections looks like. When you start to trust, you will learn that there truly are good people in the world. You will earn that there are such things as healthy relationships.
Remember, past betrayals don’t have to control your mind and emotions. Taking action to help heal yourself speeds up your recovery and helps you move on. Soon enough, instead of looking backward, you’ll find yourself looking forward to the good things to come… I know I have!