In light of the recent revelations of pandemic sexual abuse and assault within prominent faith-based organizations and their ensuing cover-ups, it is important to remind ourselves that apologies to the victims are not enough. Although this post focuses on examples from within our military, the consequences endured and the steps for moving forward are applicable for victims from any form of institutional abuse.
|The Invisible War|
In 2009, after I spent a great deal of time analyzing, researching, and studying the anatomy of betrayal, my findings were published in a recovery book entitled Breaking Through Betrayal 2nd Edition. As with much of work that I do in clinical psychology, it was critical that I give readers two key concepts when recovering from a betrayal - of any kind:
For the purposes of today's blog, it is my intention to share a couple of key principles about betrayal and how they relate to the victims' degree of injury and impact. There is more information on today's show on W4CY Radio - Environments of Betrayal: What Victims Need To Know And Do. I hope you will take a listen.
So often former clients would say to me, "Holli, I don't know why I feel so betrayed? I thought I was getting past this, but I can't seem to move on." Or, "Holli, I was doing fine, and then....something happened and I feel re-betrayed all over again. What's wrong with me?" This is completely understandable. Let me explain.
The first key to understanding is the following:
1. We feel betrayed because we have invested greatly into someone or something, or we have trusted profoundly into someone or something, or we have believed strongly in someone or something. When that investment is rejected, when that trust has been violated, and/or when that belief has been shattered, we feel betrayed.
The second important principle of betrayal is the following:
2. We feel betrayed or continue to feel betrayed because often we are exposed to our betrayer or our betrayal environments, or we are triggered by events/memories/symptoms from our betrayal experience. In other words, if we experience chronic (or on-going) betrayal, or recurrent (or episodic) betrayal, or multiple betrayals, or the manifestations of PTSD from any trauma, we will continue to feel violated.
With understanding these two principles about the anatomy of betrayal - how it works - I hope that readers will experience an initial level of healing. Because although the betrayers and the environments in which they cultivate their abusive cultures would like you to believe that you just need to 'toughen up' or 'be woman or a man enough to endure it' or that by 'voicing your betrayal you have turned against them', I want you to know that you have one powerful tool right within you - your truth.
- You know your degree of investment, belief and trust....that is your truth.
- You know your degree of exposure to your betrayer and/or your betrayal environment....that is your truth.
- And, you know the degree of impact that the violation of each has had on you....that, too, is your truth.
For today's show Environments of Betrayal: What Victims Need To Know And Do
For our women and men who have bravely served in the military (or who are currently serving), please go to Protect Our Defenders for support and healing.
New Release & Amazon Best Seller
Daughters Betrayed By Their Mothers: Moving From Brokenness To Wholeness