Betrayal Trauma: 5 Things You Need To Know


overcoming-betrayal-trauma

Betrayal Take You By Surprise?

It’s agonizing, right?


The person you trust the most turns out to be the person who hurts you the worst.


Being betrayed by someone you love violates the sacredness of your trust.


It’s the ultimate form of treason and you feel the cut in the deepest part of your soul.


Like a sword, it tears you apart and leaves you in pieces.

1. Betrayal Trauma Will Change Your Life

What Is Betrayal Trauma?

Did this really happen?


Because betrayal is so personal, your first response is shock, then outright panic.


The world you lived in seems unreal. It died suddenly, and so did your relationship!


Now, only the betrayal is real.


Now, only the pain is real.


It seems as if the pain is the only voice you can hear.


It speaks with surges of sorrowful heartache.


It asks questions you don’t want to answer.


Can love and betrayal coexist in the same person?


One day, you think you love this person so much that you can’t live without him, and the next, you’re wishing you’d never even met him.


It’s maddening!


This response is called “betrayal trauma” because it creates confusing emotions that are so extreme, they disturb your ability to navigate life sensibly.


Like a deer in the headlights, you freeze as your head jerks back and forth from left to right, trying to figure out which way to run for safety.


How are you supposed to survive when you feel trapped and vulnerable?


How are you supposed to make wise decisions when you’re the victim of unstable emotions and intrusive thoughts?


I have good news for you!


Although it will change your life, you don’t have to cower under betrayal trauma’s evil spell of dread.


Can this really be true?

2. Warning: These Betrayal Trauma Symptoms Will Sabotage Your Life

What Does Betrayal Trauma Feel Like?

Make no mistake about it, betrayal trauma is disorienting.


And the results are intensified even more if you are being deceived by someone you love. 


It will cause you to feel a heavy sense of brokenness that results in emotional distress:

  • Fear
  • Worry
  • Anger
  • Sorrow
  • Irritability
  • Severe Panic
  • Self Protection
  • Depression
  • Loss of Purpose
  • Victim Status
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
  • Self Pity


And mental distress:

  • Racing Thoughts
  • Poor Concentration
  • Unstable Emotions
  • Impaired Memory
  • Difficulty Making Decisions
  • Hard to Identify Familiar Objects 


Now comes the scary part!


You are angry at the person who betrayed you.


You are insecure and your hyper-vigilance takes over in an attempt to prevent further harm.


You worry about the future: if you will be safe, if you will be able to move on.


Your thoughts are confused, emotions are chaotic and you feel like your life is out of control.


Your body responds to this constant agitation by producing stress hormones, including life-saving adrenaline.


God made you with a built-in mechanism called the sympathetic nervous to protect yourself. This is the “fight or flight” mechanism that signals your body to respond to emergencies.


But betrayal trauma destroys all trust and security so it makes you feel like the emergency still exists.


And your body will not turn off the stress hormones until your mind decides you are safe.


So like a run away train, your body’s stress response can only go so far until your endocrine system fails and the train flies off the tracks.


Now it makes matters worse by affecting your physical health. Your body will suffer too, which adds even more strain on your mental and emotional state.


You may experience physical distress:

  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Flashbacks
  • Excessive Reactions
  • Eating Disorders
  • Muscle Twitching
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Grinding Teeth
  • Fatigue
  • Racing Heart


The very same built-in system God designed to save you in emergencies, is now so overloaded it can be the system that destroys you.


Think about it like this: if you are in a car with the engine running and in drive gear and you put one foot on the gas, and the other foot on the brake at the same time, the car will go nowhere, but eventually, the engine will blow up.


Do you see where this will lead you?

3. Why Betrayal Trauma Is So Debilitating

Can Betrayal Cause PTSD?

Like the deer in the headlights, you freeze.


Instead of fright or flight, you’re fixed in one place, seeing the danger, but frozen in terror, unable to move.


If you’ve tried to move on after betrayal but feel stuck, PTSD could be the reason why.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is considered by some as a mental health problem that people develop after experiencing a life-threatening event.


When you feel threatened by injury or death and see no way of protecting yourself, you are overpowered with a sense of fear, helplessness, or horror that is difficult to escape.


Betrayal trauma is linked to PTSD if your mind gets stuck in the past and relives the betrayal event or rehearses the same distressing emotions over and over again.


In traumatic situations, people normally turn to their closest relationship for safety and comfort but when betrayed by the person closest to you, the distress is greater and you feel even more vulnerable.


This vulnerability creates a great tension and inner turmoil.


You need somebody to help you through this traumatic experience, but you struggle to connect with others because you are afraid to trust anyone.


Including yourself!


It’s a trap many people fall into.


Even Christians.


And the worst part is you feel helpless.


There was nothing you could do to prevent the betrayal.


Now you feel like there’s nothing you can do to overcome it.


Sadly, this is when most people turn to medication.


Are drugs the only answer for betrayal trauma PTSD?

4. Why Medicating Betrayal Trauma May Be The Biggest Threat To Your Health

Treatments: How Do You Recover From Betrayal Trauma?

The more important question to ask is, “Do I really have a disorder?”


Here’s the critical thing you need to know about betrayal trauma PTSD: it’s not a mental disorder!


It would be a disorder if you were NOT disturbed by tragic events. If a soldier in war saw his comrades blown to pieces and had no emotional response, you would say there was definitely something wrong with him!


The truth is, PTSD is not a mental health problem so let’s remove the term disorder and refer to it simply as post traumatic stress, or PTS for short.


You may be surprised to learn that there is no compelling scientific research data to prove brain problems are to blame. MRI/PET scans cannot find conclusive evidence that the problem is biological.


The point is, different psychiatric drugs have been tried and found unable to help victims of betrayal trauma PTS.


Here’s the kicker. Not only were drugs insufficient for betrayal trauma treatment, they often made the person worse.


Some anti-anxiety and anti-depressant drugs produce side effects similar to anxiety. So even if you respond biblicaly to the trauma, you won’t be able to counteract the chemically induced anxiety.


Now get this, any therapeutic treatments that ignore the reality of sin and the spiritual side of a person will fail to help the Christian.


Don’t get me wrong—God is not opposed to medication and drugs are not necessarily bad. But unless a medical doctor determines an essential need, they can possibly do more harm than good.


Drugs shouldn’t be prescribed as a first resort just to numb emotional pain. If possible, avoid this option.


But be warned: if you’re already taking medication, do not attempt to stop without doctor supervision.


So where do you turn to when someone you love hurts you deeply?

5. The Most Important Fact To Know About Betrayal Trauma

What Does The Bible Say About Family Betrayal?

The good news is, God has already provided the solution for you!


But before we get to that, you need to know that the Bible is the most honest book in the world because the author is truth Himself.


This Bible is filled with stories of family betrayal.


Starting in Genesis, Adam failed to protect his wife from the cunning serpent and their actions plunged all of mankind into sin and death.


That was just the beginning.


Cain killed his brother Abel.


Abraham lied and his wife was taken into the harems of foreign kings.


Jacob deceived his father and stole his brother’s blessing.


Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt.


Those are just a few examples from the first book of the Bible about being betrayed by someone you love.


The life story of David is filled with the drama of traumatic events involving betrayal by a family member.


After being hunted down like an animal by King Saul, David finally reigned as king of Israel. While there was a moment of peace in the kingdom, there was no peace in David's family.


David's son, Amnon, raped David's daughter, Tamar.


In an act of revenge, David's other son, Absalom, murdered Amnon.


Later, Absalom started a revolt in an attempt to take the kingdom from his Father, King David, but it resulted in his own death.


The Old Testament is filled with one story after another of betrayal.


Yet, the most disturbing scriptures on betrayal are the gospel records of Judas selling Jesus to his enemies for 30 pieces of silver…the price paid for the death of a slave.


By now you’re probably wondering how knowing about these records of family betrayal could possibly lead to a solution for the intimate betrayal you’ve experienced.


Needless to say, it’s obvious you’re not the first person to be betrayed by someone you love.


But that’s the point - God helped all of those people through betrayal trauma, and He will help you too!


So what is the solution?

5 Things To Remember When Betrayal Trauma Hijacks Your Life

Hope and Help For Healing From Betrayal

It’s pretty obvious when you think about it.


All the emotional, mental and physical problems you’re experiencing are responses to stress induced by betrayal.


The Bible defines post-traumatic stress as an anxiety problem that develops in people after extremely traumatic events.


Your panic attacks, racing thoughts and sleepless nights are results of anxiety.


Most importantly, the Bible shows that anxiety is the common human reaction to stressful circumstances.


It’s that simple.


Your betrayal trauma is perfectly NORMAL and EXPECTED!

anxiety-is-normal-response-to-betrayal


This is the point where you can begin to heal!


Stop thinking that you have a disorder or that you need drugs to cope or that you’ll never be able to move beyond betrayal.


Instead, start renewing your thinking with facts about your reality.


When painful emotions are screaming and your thoughts are frantically racing to find a way to silence the noise in your soul, you must focus on truth.


I’m not talking about psycho babble fluff to distract you. That’s just another sort of drug that perpetuates the big lie called “DENIAL.”


Denial is deadly!


You don’t need distractions, you need truth.


The truth forces you to face your trauma and that’s the only way you can heal.


Think about it like this.


How would you react if you treated anxiety the same way you would cancer?


If you had skin cancer, would you want a doctor to put a band aid on it and tell you everything will be OK?


Or would you rather he tell you it must be removed or it will get worse and the surgery will be painful, but it’s the only way to stop it?


The simple truth is…your situation is real and it is painful.


Once you face that reality, you can skip the band aid and go directly to the cure. Here’s how:

 

Renew your mind with truth about your circumstances in light of reality as defined in the Bible.


Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does the Bible say about God?
  • What does the Bible say about me?
  • What does the Bible say about anxiety?


Let me give you some examples:


What the Bible says about GOD:


Psalm 34:18
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted; He saves the contrite in spirit.


Nahum 1:7
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.


Joshua 1:9
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.


What the Bible says about ME:


2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.


2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.


Philippians 4:14
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.


What the Bible says about ANXIETY:


John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.


1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.


Isaiah 26:3

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is leaning on You, because he trusts in You.


By and large, each of these verses by themselves actually say something about God, you and anxiety.


Let's take a closer look at 1 Peter 5:7.


First of all, 1 Peter is a letter written to Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. They were under extreme pressures and unfair treatment.


That's important to know, because you are suffering due to unfair treatment also. The scripture acknowledges you will suffer and experience anxiety in this life.


The Bible defines anxiety as a state of "being pulled apart, to have a divided mind."

betrayal-anxiety


It also suggests the idea of choking. Worry is a form of anxiety and chokes the life of faith. It does not help us to overcome our difficulties, but makes us unable to deal with them.


Worry divides - you cannot be filled with faith and worry at the same time.


Secondly, it tells you what to do about your anxiety. In order to not be overcome, or "pulled apart" with fear and worry, you will have to do something with your concerns.


You are told to "cast" all your anxiety on to God. "Cast" means to "throw" something onto something or someone else.


It was used as a term to denote the throwing of clothes onto an animal's back.


Can you imagine all your anxieties packed into a heavy suitcase that is beyond your strength, and throwing it onto a donkey and letting it carry the suitcase for you?


Anxiety is that suitcase full of burdens to be cast onto the One who is strong enough to carry the burden for you.


Also notice that you are to cast "all" your cares, not just the overwhelming ones. You must realize that God is all sufficient for all problems that you will face throughout all your time on earth.


This very short verse also reveals a FACT about God:  He cares for you! 


That is often hard to believe when your soul is filled with anguish but that's exactly why you must focus on facts and not feelings!


Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension or distress in view of possible danger and if allowed, it will drive you further away from the ONLY ONE who can help you!


The fact is, God does not want you to carry this burden. He is for you, not against you!


He wants you to humbly draw near to Him instead of letting anxieties choke your faith and push you away from Him.

Solution Summary

  1. 1
    Acknowledge Your  Response Is Normal
  2. 2
    Accept The Reality Of Betrayal
  3. 3
    Ask "What About God?"
  4. 4
    Ask "What About Me?"
  5. 5
    Ask "What About Anxiety?"

So what does all this mean?

You Can Move Beyond Betrayal 

Here's Your Next Step


Betrayal trauma is agonizing.


Trust is destroyed.


Emotions are screaming.


Thoughts are chaotic.


Sorrow and fear take over and make you sick, overwhelmed and exhausted.


This post traumatic stress is a debilitating anxiety that adds another wound to your body and soul.


But you don’t have to be defeated.


Overcoming anxiety is a battle!


A war to focus your thoughts on truth when you live in the reality of vulnerability.


What could be more important than fighting for the security and comfort God promises you?


He offers hope and healing.


It’s your choice to accept it or reject it.


You may have lost trust in others and even yourself.


But you can’t afford to stop trusting God.


You would be robbing yourself of the healing you need and that God has ready for you.


Pick up your sword, the Word of God, and start slaying every thought that says you are stuck, alone, in danger and without hope.


Strike drown the fears, anger and sorrow.


Put worry to death!


Throw ALL your anxiety on God.


God’s Word is powerful and can transform your anxiety into tranquility.


That’s worth fighting for!


You will grow closer to God and see more of His glory.


Trust me.


It will be worth it!


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