Coping with the shame and bitterness of betrayal

Betrayal hits hard
It is not easy to cope with the devastation you feel when you find out that the person you trusted did not care to honor that trust.

Betrayal hits hard. You feel ashamed, humiliated, confused, discouraged, distanced, regretful, hurt, hateful–and you want the nightmare to end.

Reason for the experience
But the experience happened for one reason, to teach.

To teach? Yes. Life is about growth, and all the lessons experience brings, happen to make you more consciously aware of how you contributed to every experience you have.

Experience has shown that even when things go wrong, it is never the cause of just one person’s behavior. The responsibility for whatever happens in a relationship is always shared.

End results flow from action and reaction.

You feeling betrayed, not the “offender’s” behavior, could be an end result.

Coping strategy
In the midst then, of this “bad experience”, you are erecting safeguards to protect yourself in the future. Maybe you would decide never to trust again.

Every experience is meant to teach. And you choose what you would learn from this one.

The talk in your head
Get over the niggling conviction that you are too good, that you have done too much for this person to be repaid with this ingratitude; with this disrespect.

The talk you carry on in your head could take you to a celestially beautiful place, when you learn to feel so good about yourself, you take full responsibility for your every feeling, even feeling of shame, and guilt, and blame no one for doing anything to you; or it can take you to a needy state where you lay blame for how you feel.

The truth about this betrayal
Here is a truth you must remember–what was done was not done to make you lose face. The person you hold responsible for causing you offense, yielded to some personal need for inner satisfaction.

The perceived “offender” is responsible for his or her behavior.

You are responsible for how you are allowing yourself to be affected.

And this is true whether that person is a parent, a friend, or even a spouse.

Even children must know that the indiscretions of parents, especially those that contribute to the break-up of the home might have more to do with the self-esteem issues of that parent than with the parent who stays; and oft-times nothing to do with the children.

Don’t have to feel like a victim
Thinking like a victim would have you behaving like a victim. But you are not a victim. This experience is teaching you to let go, to allow the other person, or the situation, to be, without upsetting yourself.

You do not know what deep needs are felt, what problems are perceived, or solutions conceived, in the mind of this person whose behavior has triggered off so much offense in you. This person’s behavior is all about his or her own survival, about satisfying some deep personal need . It might not be so much about you.

The “offender” might even feel remorseful about offending you, but consideration of you ranked lower than “the offender‘s” perceived need.

Why betrayal so hard to take
Why then is this present lesson so hard? Because you feel so convinced that you have been wronged by this person; that you‘ve been betrayed, and betrayal hurts..

But this person was just following his or her agenda.

The more insecure you feel, the harder betrayal hits. You are challenged to examine your appreciation, and acceptance of yourself. Your feelings of being special and worthwhile might be enhanced by the person’s attention, but your inherent worth stands alone, and cannot be diminished.

Inherent worth never endangered
When the cover of good times is dragged off, and you are left without the cover of the “good family name, of wealth, of a sound reputation, of trusting relationships, of your physical health, you have to look around and ask yourself, ‘how do I feel about me? Am I scared? Do I feel ashamed? Am I feeling like hiding? Am I enraged? Am I feeling like a fool, exposed and foolish?

In time, if you learn that regardless of your feelings, your worth is intrinsic; your dignity remains intact.

Betrayal event crossroads or slimy pit
For some, betrayal events are crossroads, and they choose to move on in strength, alone, or with a remorseful repentant, and a healed relationship. For others a betrayal event is a dark, slimy pit into which shame has pushed them.

Your power is always yours to manage; your mind is always yours to consult, your will is always yours to control.

Just you and your mind
There is no slimy pit; there are no crossroads. The reality is, ultimately, there is just you and your mind. How you choose to think will determine the scenario you structure for yourself. In your thinking is your power to cope healthily, with any situation., and to come out knowing that you are okay; that nothing said to you or about you, and nothing done to you, could diminish your inherent worth. How your life unfolds from here on is dependent on how you choose to see yourself, how you choose to think.