8 Strategies for Emotional Healing after Betrayal
Betrayal occurs when the trust between two people is broken in a way that causes a moral conflict. This may happen when a romantic relationship goes sour leaving a feeling that promises have been broken, when a conflict between friends leaves a feeling of being stabbed in the back, or when a person feels abandoned by another. An emotional betrayal is one of the most painful experiences to go through in life. Betrayal is a form of emotional trauma. Betrayal leaves deep emotional scars activating the same areas of the brain as physical pain activates.
Betrayal can occur as a one-time event or from the accumulation of repeated events. It may be intentionally or unintentionally inflicted. Betrayal is often unexpected and leaves a person feeling powerless to protect themselves from the pain that results. One may experience feelings of shock, denial and disbelief initially. It can feel surreal. This can quickly transition into a roller coaster of emotions with extremes of intense anger and fury to deep despair and sadness. Not only is the person trying to process the event but simultaneously the feelings of loss that follow as they grieve the loss of what was and what could have been. Physical manifestations include exhaustion, insomnia, nightmares, tense muscles, nausea, lack of appetite and physical aches and pains.