We all have a set of beliefs about ourselves and the world we live in. Our worldview is our way of dealing with the world. It helps us to define our boundaries, our relationships, as well as our purpose. Since childhood, we have carefully crafted guidelines and rules which help us to navigate and negotiate life.
As children, we believe that our parents will nurture, protect, and support us. Socially, we learn that if we follow certain rules and guidelines, we will be safe from harm and enjoy a stable, well-ordered environment. Our world view also helps us to outline and negotiate behaviors we find, both, acceptable and unacceptable in our relationships. So, what happens to us when a spoken or unspoken rule is broken?
Well, that truly depends on the nature of the relationship. If you stopped at your local deli every morning for a corn muffin, and one morning they hadn’t made them, you might be disappointed, but your worldview would definitely be okay. On the other hand, if you found out that your childhood friend was having an affair with your spouse, that would most certainly shatter your worldview. The closer the bond, the more you depended or trusted the other person, the greater the betrayal and the more shattered your worldview.
But is shattering your worldview the only thing betrayal does? Based on my research and the results of my post betrayal syndrome quiz, the answer is a resounding “no”. In addition to suffering from physical ailments such as low energy, difficulty falling or staying asleep, gut issues and more, people who experience betrayal suffer most from emotional symptoms.
Over 50% of those we surveyed suffered from sadness, anger, stress, anxiety, rejection, abandonment, depression, fear, as well as feelings of being disregarded and taken advantage of. Additionally, more than three-quarters of the participants said they not only suffered from a loss of personal power, but also from hypervigilance where they found themselves being overly cautious regarding their betrayer’s actions and behaviors as well as others they found themselves struggling to trust. Betrayal affects us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and taking care of symptoms in isolation keeps us from getting to the crux of the issue.
Healing from betrayal may be different from healing other life crises, but the good news is that there is hope- a way to go from betrayal to breakthrough, a way to rebuild a clearer and stronger worldview, a way to trust…again. You just have to be willing to do things differently in order to transform and fully heal. I know because I’ve been there.
It’s important to realize that you are not alone. Our survey has shown that 90% of people over the age of 35 have experienced some sort of betrayal. The process of healing from betrayal can be scary and messy, which is why some people continue to stay stuck. However, moving forward is not only possible, it’s predictable with the right strategies. When you do, mentally, you’ll be able to focus on what you choose to pay attention to. Physically, you’ll feel more energetic and spirited. Emotionally, you’ll be calmer, centered, and confident. Spiritually, you’ll find the gift in the experience. Somehow, the experience that shattered your worldview will become just another story along your journey as opposed to your destination.
Have you been betrayed and are struggling to move on? Are you struggling from Post Betrayal Syndrome? Take the quiz and find out. You don’t have to do it alone.