That familiar kind of pain
We’ve all been betrayed before. Sometimes it’s not the act itself that causes problems, but the ripple effect in the days, months and even years after.
The shift in reality is in full swing.
The self-doubt kicks in.
What did I believe before?
How do I remove myself and separate myself from this web of lies?
Here are 10 to let go of betrayal.*
1. If you can, decrease your responsibility
We can never control other people’s actions. Only our reactions to the things they do.
While my mind and body was in shock, I knew it was time to take action. Drastic action. I went into robotic mode. I held it together and found a source of stable income. I deferred my degree, knowing I could only handle minimal responsibility in the months ahead.
You see, self-awareness can be really useful. Knowing what you can and cannot handle is key to healing.
2. FEEL your emotions
Many people have mentioned in conversations that the world is going “soft”. Everyone is offended and sensitive.
As a mental health advocate, I beg to differ. The world is becoming aware of how important it is to feel and express what’s going on within.
When we are betrayed whether physically, mentally or emotionally, does not matter. We are deeply hurt. That is not shameful to admit.
So feel the numbness, the anger, the sadness and even the joy between it all.
Be honest with yourself about what’s going on inside your head. We may have been lied to, but it doesn’t mean we have to lie to ourselves about how it impacts us.
3. Talk to someone you trust
We are social creatures. Even introverts like myself, need to interact with others. Especially during a time like this.
Talking with a trusted person allows us some space to process.
Book an appointment with a counsellor, therapist or psychologist. Alternatively, if there is a friend or family member you trust, let them know what you’re going through.
4. Find a way to express the deep-rooted pain
Some people find talking is the best way for them to release the brokenness. Others enjoy painting. I know someone who uses the gym as their form of de-stressing.
No matter what it is, whether creative or physical in nature – go express it.
5. Create stability
When our perspectives shift beyond our control, it is important to create stability in our personal world.
For me, finding a stable job was a tremendous tool for healing. Of course I wasn’t doing the healing at work, but the routine helped compartmentalise what was going on at home.
Other routines for me was grocery shopping the same day each week. Planning a weekly dinner menu.
These small things ended up being crucial to healing.
I know these were crucial because even now, with COVID-19 in our country, less routine has made me feel rather anxious.
6. Expect the unexpected
You’ve heard this countless times, I’m sure. But it’s a great reminder.
We don’t always have the answers. And no matter how much we prepare, the floor can collapse beneath us and threaten our well-being.
Prepare when you can. But be ready to face whatever might come up as a consequence for finally learning the truth.
7. Don’t forget about you
As a distraction, we may focus on other people and put ourselves last.
Sometimes the pain can feel overwhelming so we’d rather be in the trenches with someone we care about – dealing with their problem.
This is the sign you’ve been waiting for!
It is not selfish to balance your priorities so you sit at #1 on the list.
Help others, yes, but don’t do it to the point of running yourself in the ground.
8. Everyone’s experience is different
What you may remember of the past will not be identical to someone else who remembers the same event.
Regardless of what the lie was about, each person involved has their own account. Each person has their own story.
Honour the stories that you hear. Voice your own.
9. There are people to encourage you
It’s common for us to withdraw when horrific news comes to light. It’s common for us to run around constantly, distracting ourselves from the truth.
What’s important, is to remember that no matter what season or phase you’re going through, there are people that care.
When I spoke to my closest friends, they said few words. However, knowing we could share the burden lightened the load.
“A shared sorrow is a half sorrow. Shared joy is double joy.”
10. Let go of what they did so you can continue forward
There is no rhyme or reason to the things people do or say.
We all have our choices to make and sometimes they’re hurtful, deceitful or misguided.
Nevertheless, the truth is now on the table. It’s up to you, what you do with it. You can let it destroy you or you can use that hurt, anger and pain to make you better.
Life is a mixed bag. You never know what might happen. And that’s okay.
We can only try our best. That my friend, is enough.
*This blog provides general information and discussions about mental health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be taken as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.