Coping With Betrayal

I recently went through my blog and password protected many of my earlier posts for privacy. I did this for a couple of reasons. One is that I am no longer as angry as I was when I first discovered that I had been betrayed and gaslighted by the people in my life that I loved and trusted.

Another reason why I made these earlier posts private is because there are still people out there who would use my candidness & open-heartedness to attack me.

It is devastating to discover that you have been/are being lied to by people in your most intimate circle in order to gain/maintain control over you. Reading through those older posts reminds me of how angry I was, and also how much I have healed and how far I have come in such a short time. It is amazing how much power there is in self-love. I wish I could say that I am completely free of toxic people in my life, but it seems that when I left my own toxic situation, my journey had just begun. There were more proverbial dragons to slay.

As I observe the current state of the planet, I am struck by the familiarity of what is taking place with some people on an individual level. People are “waking up” to the reality that they have been deceived by people in trusted positions. Perhaps there were hints that we were being swindled, but we couldn’t wrap our minds around what kind of evil would do such things.

If you’re like me, you want to believe that there is good in everyone and if you give people a chance they can change or if you love them long enough or in the right way, you can bring out the best in people. Sadly, as I have learned the hard way, that is not true. Some people are evil and cruel. There are people who do unthinkable things and they get away with it, because those of us who aren’t capable of such atrocities cannot bear to imagine that it’s possible to have no regard for human life, or to not love your own children or family members, and to be able to hide that completely by imitating the words and gestures of love. We cannot imagine what it is like to have no love inside yourself. We who have empathy and a soul cannot fathom what it is like to be any other way. Those people who have no conscience use our empathy against us. They abuse our humanity. They actually think that our soft, open heart is a foolish weakness to be exploited.

It is devastating to realize that the person you shared a bed with, or the people with whom you trusted your children, your health, your safety, never had your best interests at heart. You thought they did because they said the right things to convince you. They knew what you wanted to hear and they lied to you to get you to comply, and when you gave them your power, you became stuck, lazy, complacent. In your trust, you became too weak to think critically, which is what is needed to see through the lies and to take your power back. Now you’re seeing them for the evil people that they are and you feel powerless, furious, enraged and possibly, hopeless, depressed, and overwhelmed. What good could possibly come of this situation?

How do you cope with a kind of betrayal so complete that it touches every interaction you had with those people?

There are many reasons to be optimistic. Number one, revelation is necessary for revolution. Change can only come when the need for change comes into your awareness. You can’t say NO to something until you know what it is you need to say no to. Number two, there is healing on the other side of trauma. You just have to go through the process. There is no way to avoid this process or to speed it up, the only way out is through. One way to take the pressure off is to remember to forgive yourself every step of the way.

What does the healing process look like?

There are stages of healing/acceptance, similar to the stages of grief. When you first begin to realize that the person/people you trusted have been lying to you, there is denial. You don’t want it to be true. You begin to remember how things really were, rather than how you wanted them to be – how you convinced yourself they were. You begin to see the truth and move into a different kind of denial. Before you were in denial, ignoring the signs, rationalizing the behavior. Now you try to find ways where it can’t be true. You look for ways in which they were not a cold-blooded snake-like person/people. You can’t find any, which leads to anger.

Rage. Fury. You might feel murderous outrage and indignation. This is because you were powerless. Take that rage and use it to set boundaries. This feeling of indignation is what will enable you to never let this happen to you again. You will never let this kind of person into your life again. You will never feel bad for not giving a person a chance or for not giving someone the benefit of the doubt. In fact, your energy/aura will no longer attract those kinds of people to you. Not only will you see/feel evil from a mile away, evil people will see your awareness and stay far away from you because you are now the kind of person who can expose them. The most feared kind of person to them if you can call it “fear”.

Next come depression. Despair. Hopelessness. Your faith in humanity is wavering. You can’t imagine how people can be like this. They have absolutely zero love for you or for anything that you did for them. They completely lack the ability to put themselves in your shoes or to empathize with your pain. They will never apologize, never repent, never stop being the way they are and there is nothing you can do about it. Your only choice is to let go of the hope that they will be any different.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you condone the behavior. Acceptance means you admit to yourself that this is they way they are and that they will never change, therefore they have no place in your life anymore. Forgive yourself for giving them as much as you did. Forgive yourself for not seeing clearly at the time. Forgive yourself for letting them hurt you and most of all, forgive yourself for joining them in hurting you. Forgive yourself for abusing yourself worse than anyone ever did. Allow yourself to heal, allow yourself to walk away. The only way you could ever be a part of their lives now is if you actively chose to remain their victim, to fill the role they write for you. You are beyond that now.

Once you become aware of the truth, you can’t go back to being ignorant/uninformed. Once you have seen deception, you can’t unsee it . You may be motivated to share the truth you have discovered with others, but use caution. It is always an individual’s choice to know or to not know. Cognitive dissonance means that one’s psyche is protecting the person from what they aren’t ready for. No matter how much evidence you may show a person, if they are not ready, they will not accept it, in fact, they may attack you for trying to force them to see something they aren’t ready to see. Respect that. Honor their boundaries. Unconditional love means we allow people to have their experiences. If we are loving and have an open heart, people may come to us when they are ready. Think of how much comfort and relief you can offer someone who is going through what you once experienced. You don’t have to teach or awaken people. It means more to them if you just be there. Just be there to listen and provide comfort as they tell you their discoveries. Your validation when they are awakening is more appreciated than your trying to wake them up when they are sleeping.

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