Many individuals arrive in therapy because a betrayal has left them struggling against an onslaught of feelings. After someone has suffered betrayal, by a loved one or even a colleague, they can find it very difficult to remaster feelings of trust for others. Many have said to me that they will never fully trust anyone again.
The experience of betrayal can leave serious emotional scars. Whether the betrayal takes the form of a breech of commitment in a relationship or a friend breaking confidence it can create lasting feelings of loss, self-doubt and upset.
We might find ourselves devastated that someone in whom we had invested so much turned out to have such little integrity. This feeling keeps us trapped within the sharp initial pain of the betrayal.
We doubt ourselves and our ability to judge any person, and self-loathing can reach the point where we neglect to take care of ourselves.
We become suspicious and paranoid. The feelings of betrayal take control of all our relationships and social interactions. We become isolated. Therapy can help.
While working through trust related issues is painful it is also remarkably useful. We come to see how our own integrity is a new rudder for going forward. We dismantle the barrier we have built to keep people out of our life. We acknowledge our painful learning experience as useful for our emotional maturity. It turns out that our belief in ourselves is at the heart of moving forward and having a rich emotional life.
In therapy you come to realize that caring for yourself is the starting point to being able to have caring people surround you. Finding a way to let into your life someone who you know as a good person is difficult, yet after recovery from betrayal, allowing that person in will feel like grace. Learning how to be a person of maximum integrity is the starting point on the road to recovery from betrayal.