Overcoming Betrayal

Episode #151

The pain of betrayal runs deeper than words can describe. Its sting is something few of us will forget. Shock, anger, grief and fear are just some of the emotions we can feel when we are betrayed. Listen in today as we share some tips and our own experiences that have helped us go from bitter to better.


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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Welcome back listeners. Today, we’re talking about a very important topic. It’s something that affects everyone in this lifetime, and it can be rather difficult. So today we’re talking about recovering from betrayal and this is something that’s going to happen to everyone, and I mean if it hasn’t already to you, it will write whether it’s a friendship or in the context of your marriage or on the job, it’s just something that we all have to endure. I know I’ve gone through it several times in my lifetime, it’s very painful.

And today we’re gonna talk about some tools and practical to really help recover from that because when we experience betrayal, which we will, if we don’t deal with it, if we don’t heal from it, then we can oftentimes shut down and feel stuck in negative emotion and that’s where we don’t want to be, we don’t want to be stuck in negative emotions. So today we’re talking about healing from betrayal as you said, something that everyone will experience in some degree, right? Some are maybe a greater betrayal feels than others, but we all to some degree will experience betrayal and when we get that sense of hurt, how do we handle that? What do we do? What is our coping and really, a lot of us when we get hurt, we stop trying. You know, it’s not that we stopped caring, we just kind of stopped trying. We’ve lost that trust; we’ve lost that safety and we just kind of withdraw or hide out because it’s more safe.

But what happens, like you said, we get stuck and we also, it will really inhibit our relationships and really experiencing relationships, especially when we’ve been betrayed in a specific situation or relationship. Like, well, it’s going to happen again. It’s going to help me again. And we could be so certain on that that’s going to happen again. So, we will avoid, and we will not want to try and give in a relationship because we don’t want to experience that amount of pain. It’s interesting, there are all kinds of betrayals. I mean, there’s kind where it’s infidelity in a marriage, which is incredibly difficult. I’ve worked with several women that have had to go through that and try to get to the other side of that. I’m very fortunate and that has not been my personal experience in my marriage, but there’s also being lied to being disrespected publicly being made the butt of jokes, having a friendship or marriage where there’s detachment or even like lying from our Children, right? You just feel so betrayed when they lie to you, even when they’re little, it’s like such a betrayal like what but I want to share because when I was a teenage, I had a boyfriend, and I had a best friend and so many of you can guess where that story goes.

This is very common not uncommon, but I remember the shock of finding out that they had betrayed me together. So, it wasn’t even just one person, it was two at a time. It was my boyfriend and my best friend at the time and the pain of that because it’s the first time it happens. You think how could this happen? The rugs completely pulled out from under you, right? You have this now new world view that bad things can happen. Whereas before I was kind of ignorantly bliss. It’s like no life is good and then something like that happens at the first betrayal and its kind of colored for me for sure. It colored my perspective on the world and on relationships and honestly, I had a very hard time trusting women interest enough and this is not uncommon. I was more angry with her. Like I felt like she should have known better. Like best friends don’t do that to each other. Um, I was definitely very upset with him and that ended that relationship. But interestingly enough it hurt at a deeper level that my best friend would do that.

Yes. Like how could you do that after everything I’ve done for you after all the years of our friendship why? And it wasn’t even like they were in a relationship; it was a one-time thing. So it was, it just definitely colored me, and I found it very hard to trust going forward because, and I thought, well now I know women are cheaters, men are cheaters too. So, you know, I didn’t have anyone left to trust right? My dog. I think it’s very calm. My puppy, I’m like, oh, you’re my best friend, my puppy. But it does color the way we look at the world and the way we look at relationships if we don’t heal from it. And I didn’t have all these tools and I didn’t have these practical and so it did affect me for many years honestly, until I became a Christian and decided that I was gonna have a different foundation for my life and learn some of the things that we’re going to share today. But for many years still it really affected the way I had friendships and relationships because of that one betrayal. Yeah. And I think to it, when we experienced betrayal, it makes us think, well, it must say something about me, I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy of love, whatever it might be right.

I mean if you’re lying to me or cheating on me or whatever it may be or laughing about me then what does that say about me? So, it will color our picture of the world, and it really colors her picture about ourselves, but I think we already have some negative thought patterns about ourselves. So, when we experience a betrayal, it’s like see. So, I am not I am not pretty enough, I am not all those things we already kind of believe about ourselves. Deep down, it kind of like affirms, I guess I was right. See they even think so too. And even though it’s not true, how we feel, it’s just our feelings on ourselves. And so, it does, it sets it sets us up to go into another relationship with those same deep beliefs and insecurities and or makes us avoid relationships altogether, right?

And I think for me that was it, I was like cautious. Like, I’m over these relationships and like, it’s not safe for me, right? Because again, our brain always wants to keep us safe. So now my brain learned, people aren’t safe. I was still a teenager, I think I was about 19, so still a teenager doesn’t have a fully developed prefrontal cortex. And so, my brain learned very quickly informed those subconscious beliefs that relationships aren’t safe and same like you said, like, there must be something wrong with me because if I was good enough this wouldn’t have happened. And it was very confusing to me and attacked my self worth and build with shame, which is so interesting. I didn’t do the bad action. It’s like why am I feeling shame and then of course all the distrust and the fear of attached the fear of being vulnerable, all the things that affected me for years. And that’s what happens. That’s what happens when we’re betrayed. And it’s very important to get the healing to be able to work through it to process it.

So, we can come on the other side and still continue on because it is hard. It’s very difficult depending on the level of course, but infidelity and those kinds of things are really hard. But even lying when someone lies to you, um we had one of our Children or lies about you. That’s even worse when our kids were little one of them. I’m glad I have four. So, you know they can remain anonymous. One of them had a pattern of being deceitful. And so, one day I took a piece of paper, and I tore it. I said every time you lie, you’re tearing the paper of the fabric of our relationship so to speak and you can apologize, and we can forgive you and it’s like putting tape on it. But it’s never a strong and you keep tearing it, you keep tearing it and um of course you know we forgave them, and it was a child but it’s those betrayals are hard because you can fix it for sure. And I’ve seen people successfully go forward in their relationship. but there is a scar there, there is a scar, there’s a wound and it’s still planting that seed in you.

Yeah. Yeah. For me personally in my past I have had relationships where another person would kind of spread rumors about me, right and talk falsely about me in situations and that was really hurtful for me. I remember it just produced a lot of anxiety because when I see these mutual people in our lives, I felt very insecure, and I felt like they’re having this worked view of who I am and not knowing fully who I am. It was hurtful because I just, I try to be very positive. I try to be very loving and get along with everybody and when someone else has this negative view and spreading that negative view that happens, you know just kind of naturally happens when we talk about someone, it can influence how other people view us and so that I remember just that was really hurtful because I didn’t want to be looked at in that light and when you have that sense of betrayal, it’s hard to move on.

It’s hard not to fixate on that, but I’m not that way. I actually was having a conversation with someone, and they were asking my advice, what do you do in this situation because they felt that same type of betrayal. I said I just had to accept that other people are going to believe things about me, and I have to be okay with that. It doesn’t mean it’s true. Um but they’re allowed their opinion and just not let it get so stuck on, it still just be me, just still be me and it is what it is right, and I remember that was really hurtful, but when I was able to just kind of accept these things might happen in life, not everybody is going to think the best about me and you know, I know on the flip side, I don’t always think the best of others if we experienced a hardship and just try to have compassion and be loving and um but also not putting so much weight on it, that has caused such anxiety because it did for a long time.

I was almost paranoid with so much anxiety and I just had to get to this place where I had to accept, and I think that was hard. You know, you don’t want to accept that someone else might have this view of you because you know, it’s not true, that’s not coming from the betrayal of yet another person that shared that false information. That that’s the real pain to you. It’s one thing accepting that other people may have a negative view but healing from the betrayal that passed it along. Yeah, that’s the hard part. Well, we do have we do have some practical Zach Ashley, so why don’t we share what we’ve learned what’s helped us because everyone has a story, betrayal and again ours that we’ve shared more on the light side. I mean again when I was 19, that didn’t feel light at all. Actually, I had kind of a small nervous breakdown. I was so young and so like, you know, I think my parents, my mom took me to a doctor to get some counseling and some help, but because I was so shocked, I was so shaken up by the whole thing.

In fact, at first my parents didn’t believe me because they knew this person as well, my friend and they didn’t believe that she would be capable of doing something like that. So, at first, they didn’t believe me. And so that was an interesting dynamic. That’s another trial, like, but it didn’t take long to figure it out when they saw how it was behaving there. Like no, this must be true, like she’s this really affected her. So anyway, I know that there are so many deeper down, darker moments of betrayal that our listeners have experienced. Some of them may have experienced. And so certainly our tips and practical are helpful, but some people might need even greater support from a professional but let us share what’s helped us overcome.

Yeah, so number one, choosing forgiveness, this was number one definitely for me. Yeah, I think before you can make any steps forward, you have to choose to forgive and forgiveness. We actually have done an episode on it. Episode 59. We highly encourage you to go back because a lot of times people have a misconception on what forgiveness is.

We think we forgive when we forgive, it’s basically like, Okay, that’s okay. You know? And it’s not it’s not it’s not condoning their behavior, how they treated you that ultimate betrayal, but it’s choosing I am no longer going to let this affect me, I am choosing to move forward. This happened this hurt, but I’m not going to keep myself on the hook. I’m not going to continue to allow myself to feel all this shame. And I am choosing to have compassion for where they are and just understand that was on them. And I don’t need to keep myself in these shackles of betrayal, so I can choose to forgive and allow myself the chance for that freedom, It’s huge. So, I’m just going to say this is so much easier said than done you’re describing, and I’m like, well that’s so lovely and I’m thinking and yeah, I’m not up for it in my flesh, in my flesh.

It’s really hard for me to forgive. It always has been. And I think because there’s fear like if I forgive, they’ll do it again, right, they’re going to do it again and I had to learn what you share that forgiveness doesn’t release someone. It doesn’t condone their behavior. Um and we can set boundaries and we’ll talk more about that, but we do need to forgive because it releases us from. I mean, I feel like when I’m unforgiving, I’m ruminating over and over on the betrayal and I’m the one that’s suffering. Like they’ve moved on, right, they moved out, then they’re sitting there every night going, wow, I really betrayed Claudine. I feel so bad. Yeah, that’s not usually going on, but I’m the one sitting there every night going, wow, they really… you betrayed me. I don’t know if I can get over this, so you’re right, the forgiveness frees us. It allows us to get unstuck from those negative emotions and move forward in a positive light. So, so good. But so much easier said than done, especially for me, it does.

So, number two, our second practical and you kind of hinted at that is acknowledged that most times when we are betrayed, it is not about us. It really isn’t. It is a reflection when someone betrays you, it is a reflection of their character, not ours. And that’s really important because like we both said, when we get betrayed a lot of times, they’re like, what’s wrong with me? We think there’s something wrong with us. And honestly, if someone was going to betray you. It’s a reflection of where they’re at. Whether you said have compassion for them. They could be in a really bad place and so they act out in a way that of course is betraying and painful, but they may not even be in a place where they’re aware of it.

They’re just, you know, who knows people, I can’t figure out people’s brains. I’ve decided I cannot figure out why people do what they do. I used to always try and figure out like, why would they do that? Why would they say that? I would never do that, I would never say. And now I’m done, I’m done trying to figure out other people’s motivations and moving on, moving on, moving on, but to really believe and acknowledge, you know, what they did is a reflection of them and their character and where they’re at?

Then a reflection of me. It relieves a lot of the pain and then we get to make choices from there too. It’s like, well this is this person’s character, is this a relationship I want to continue? And if so then we’re going to have to do some more work. But this is it’s on them. I had um years ago; I had a really close friend and I moved away, and I come back and then they just completely just ignored me. And it was very painful. And I remember talking to council, I had at the time, and they had asked me, they said, um do they have any abandonment issues from their childhood? I said they do as a matter of fact, and they’re like, they’re not even conscious of what they’re doing to you is not even personal, You left, you moved away, you quote unquote, abandoned them and now all they can relate is you triggered some feelings from child and now it’s deep counseling and you and I aren’t counselors, but it was so helpful for me because I thought when the world is wrong for me, what did I do wrong? Why don’t they love me anymore?

Why are they spending time with me anymore? And then I realized, oh this really has nothing to do with me. And I’ve said for many, many years hurting people, hurt others. And so, a lot of times when we’re hurt, it goes back to what you said, having that compassion like they must really be hurting to want to even subconsciously hurt someone else. Absolutely, I think that’s a great mindset to have that, you know, just that’s how I can have compassion. They must have felt something in their lifetime to cause them to act like this, you know, so they’re not necessarily coming from the best place. And also, it’s very interesting when something happens like a betrayal that we point the finger at us, why did we do that? What is wrong with? And the longer we keep things personal, we’re going to keep being in the victim’s seat. So, if we want to feel more empowered and be able to heal and move forward. We have to get ourselves out of that victim mindset mentality and again easier said than done?

We have to do a lot of work on our mindset and whether that’s healing from things from our past or just being aware that oh wow, this situation, it was triggered from this past situation. Just the awareness of it will allow us to take those steps to choose to forgive and choose to move forward.

So, third one rebuild safety and trust and again easier said than done. It takes a lot of work. But really at the root of each of these tips, our intention choosing because we have a choice not to forgive, we have a choice not to take it personal to pick, take it personal. It’s all a choice. So being intentional, if we want to be able to heal and move forward, so we also can choose to rebuild safety, choose to rebuild trust. It may not be in that same relationship, it might be if it is something that you a relationship you really want to keep in your life that you want to go through, you want to get the help to build that trust and safety in that relationship, then that is great.

But if not, some relationships are, hey, I don’t think this is a relationship I should be keeping in my life, then it’s going to be in a new relationship. Are we going to keep ourselves stuck and scared that we withdraw or avoid future relationships or other friendships or intimate relationships? Romantic relationships, what have you? But are we going to make those steps? And again, it’s what do you want? What kind of relationships do you want in your life? What experience do you want to have with relationships? Do you really not want to have relationships? Because the safety, the comfort, the ease of it, That’s very natural. We want to be in that spot. But will you genuinely, truly be fulfilled and happy and satisfied in your life if you do not try to rebuild safety, interest in new relationships and even the existing one, I’ve worked with several women and that have gone through infidelity in their marriages.

And it’s one thing to say, I forgive you, but it doesn’t just go back to normal, right? And so there have to be boundaries, There have to be behavior boundaries and emotional boundaries to rebuild that safety and trust, you can’t just go from you, broke my heart, I’m brokenhearted, you crushed my spirit now you’ve said you’re sorry and I, for we’re giving you okay, we’re back to normal. It just doesn’t work that way. And so rebuilding safety and trust takes time. It takes boundaries and it’s like baby steps. We work with our clients all the time and teach them about thought ladders, laddering thoughts. We also have to ladder you’re you have to have a little stepping stones of safety and trust to rebuild to get to a point where it was because that can be shattering that it’s devastating when you found out, I’ve worked with several women one on one and just seeing the devastation of how they feel the emotional, like emotional destruction, the world’s been turned upside down and you just have to get yourself first standing upright right and then work with that relationship to see if it’s going forward, building that safety and trust to even have a foundation to rebuild on.

So, so number four, our last practical is get support and this is so important and I know for many of us, you know, you and I are Christians were members of a church, we can get support from our pastor, we can get support from a professional licensed psychologist, therapist and also from coaches depending on the level of the betrayal or what you feel, you need, everyone handles it differently, coaching of course we help our clients go forward, but it could also be with thoughts of shame and guilt and different things and learning how to move forward and get unstuck from that negative thinking patterns and negative emotion, but get support, it’s so important to have someone helping you alongside when you’re going through one of the difficult times and some of our friends are great at that. Um, but sometimes friends can be difficult, like it depends who, you know, depends who you talk to one friends, like leave them, you know, you’re better than that and the other one’s like, well you need to stay, you have Children so you can hear you go talk to five different friends, you’re going to hear five different inputs.

And so, you really want someone that not only is going to give their opinion, but to be able to walk alongside you as you’re facing these choices and decisions and rebuilding the safety and trust. And I think one key aspect of that as you get support is it helps you not feel so alone because a lot of times when we go through betrayal and these hardships and pain, we isolate, we feel no one can understand. Um and it’s hard to be vulnerable again because that it leaves us open for hurt and pain and so getting support is also so helpful and just feeling um you have people on your side, people who want to walk with you and comfort you and support. You write your arms up. Yeah, we need that at our lowest points and our biggest challenges. We need each other. Yeah, I know one thing, you know, maybe it’s a freebie practical, but I look at it, as Christians, I look at the scriptures and I see even Jesus was betrayed.

I’m just thinking about this as we’re talking. He was perfect, He sinned none. Never he did no wrong and yet people still betrayed him so that can help us remember it’s not about us, it’s not like we weren’t good enough. He actually was good enough and was still betrayed by one of his closest friends really, by several of them. And honestly that really helped me when I first started studying the bible and shared with one of the older women, I shared about being hurt by my friend and my boyfriend. And she really helped showed me the scriptures about Jesus, even his best friends denied him at his time that he needed him the most. They denied him. That’s a form of betrayal to when you need help. I’m not good at asking for help. But when I do, if someone doesn’t show up for me, I feel very betrayed, right and hurt. And yet she showed me those passages about how Jesus’s closest friends let him down. And then even judas of course, who ultimately betrayed him and cost him his life.

But the point of all that what I learned from that nothing happened outside of God’s Hands, like his hands were around it so there was some safety so I could learn to re trust and rebuild because God ultimately had my life in his hands. And even though bad things are gonna happen and they’re going to keep happening and I was betrayed at 19 and it’s happened several times again, right? It’s not like I never got betrayed again because when we do open our heart, like you said, when we are vulnerable, we are going to get hurt again. But this time I had a different foundation my foundation was in God and his word and his love for me and then I knew I could handle it; I can handle it. I’m not alone. I have God, I have a support system now which we talked about. So, if anything happens to me again, I can handle it and that’s a great power. Thought I can handle it, I can handle it. It’s going to happen. I mean we live in a world full of sinful people, you and I being two of them, so we’re gonna hurt each other.

But just learning that you know, learning to lean on, get that support from God and his word to Absolutely yeah, well, thank you for tuning in with us today. We hope that this is helpful. We hope that even these practicals are helpful, we want to encourage you to make steps to heal, he’ll move forward, forgiveness, Get support all the things betrayal is hard to go through and it is something that we should not walk through alone. Uh so if you ever want to reach out to us, Claudine or Ashley, you can find more resources as well as contact us to schedule a free Discovery call at ClaudineSweeney.com or MindOverChaos.com. And that’s what we do as coaches. We help you to step forward. That’s right. Step forward to be that support for you. So again, thank you for tuning in.

We hope this podcast helps. If you have gotten any encouragement from any of these episodes, please remember to subscribe share with a friend or many friends and also leave us a review. We are super appreciative of that. But yeah, thank you again and we will catch you next week. Take care. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven’t already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode and while you’re at it share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So, remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life