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The Impact of Betrayal

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#1
“Et tu, Brute?”
~ William Shakespeare , Julius Caesar

In Dante’s imagined descent through hell, he reserved the Ninth Circle—the “lowest, blackest, and farthest from Heaven”—for the sin of treachery. The worst sinners, in his underworld, were the traitors—those who betrayed their loved ones, their country, and their God. Betrayal lies at the core of what we label as 'treason,' and for Dante, the two concepts would have been synonymous: “turning someone over to the enemy, outside the space of trust of one’s family, party, and country, breaking their covenant with God.”

Some people who are deeply betrayed are forever changed by it, and some never recover, if at all. It's even understood to go beyond the usual posttraumatic stress symptoms.

So why is betrayal so powerfully wounding?

For starters, betrayal is relational. You may be familiar with the proverb: “The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.It comes from those you trust the most”. Being betrayed by an intimate partner, for example, will have a greater impact than the same from an acquaintance or a relative stranger. If someone you love and trust is capable of hurting you this way, this can have the result of making you guarded and suspicious of everyone else. This then has an impact on our ability to form meaningful & close relationships with others. It's not just within interpersonal/intimate relationships that betrayal can happen either. It can be a working one as well. For example, a long-term co-owner of a business who embezzled company funds, absconds and leaves you to pick up the pieces. Our first experience of betrayal often comes to us as children and from our own families. This can be so painful that we actually disown those parts of ourselves and grow into very fractured adults.

Betrayal leads us to question our own instincts. We begin to doubt our ability to trust our own judgement and intuition. Not being able to trust ourselves can be very demoralizing and affect multiple aspects of our lives.

We may also find ourselves confused by it. If it's not something you could ever imagine doing yourself, and lies completely outside your own value system, you may even blame yourself. The idea here is when faced with extreme pain our mind tries to quickly make sense of it in order to regain safety. The logic is if I can figure this out, I will no longer feel as hurt. With no good explanation on hand, we resort to the simplest solution, which is, it must be something about me. We don't as quickly and easily come to realization that lies and cruelty just come very easily to some people.

Ultimately, betrayal by someone who knows you well implies that this person doesn’t value your relationship. Some mental health professionals believe it is this very sense that you’re not valued that may be at the heart of the intensity of your emotional reaction to the betrayal.

Does any of this resonate & has anyone experienced a betrayal where they still struggle with the effects to this day?

Equally, has anyone had such an experience and managed to heal & come through the other side?
 
#2
Thank You For This:
(I mean... all of what you wrote —)!

Does any of this resonate & has anyone experienced a betrayal where they still struggle with the effects to this day?


Equally, has anyone had such an experience and managed to heal & come through the other side?”

Part I: YeS! More times than I’d care to share or say... most people that know me well, or who I’ve happened to tell have all responded about the same (when sharing just a few of them). -you have the most bad luck / or are the unluckiest person I know, or have ever known (when it comes to ‘this,’ sort of thing!).
Common Denom is me of course; but. ! : /
Part II:
No. I hav en ever gotten over any of them - not a single one ☝️ (I still to this day steam and stew over something that happened nearly twenty years ago - as if it’d happened 20 days ago...) so, there’s that!! ;)
And lastly, I can’t get into it... “the details!” Gets me too hot 🥵 even just thinking about it here as I type; might break stuff, starting (most likely) wi th my face- : D
 

Nick

☆☆Still Ducking Fantastic ☆☆
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#3
I've have what has been described as significant trauma in my past. At one point I would have told you that was the root of many of my idiosyncrasies and issues. As time has passed I've become more aware that isn't the case. Sure I have nightmares related to the trauma and that has it's own set of problems, but most of the time I can more or less manage.

Ultimately, betrayal by someone who knows you well implies that this person doesn’t value your relationship. Some mental health professionals believe it is this very sense that you’re not valued that may be at the heart of the intensity of your emotional reaction to the betrayal.
This resonates with me on a deep level. It's the betrayal the cuts. It's the loss of trust. It's that lingering question of if humanity is trustworthy. It takes significant time to break through the walls I've built and earn my trust. If you manage to lose that trust, I don't know if it's possible to earn it back (nobody has ever done it). I operate on the assumption people don't find value in me. The assumption I have been deemed by the human race as unworthy.

I'm not saying I don't see anything of value in myself. I'm saying others don't find any value in me, and deem me not worth their time. The extremely rare exception to this I tend to question until they have somehow demonstrated they aren't like everyone else. Most people wander away long before they even get to know the slightest bit about me, because I am deemed unworthy long before we get there. Only two people in the last decade have gotten far enough through the wall to see who I really am.

Betrayal is a bitch, and it leaves a grapping wound.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#4
Thank You For This:
(I mean... all of what you wrote —)!

Does any of this resonate & has anyone experienced a betrayal where they still struggle with the effects to this day?


Equally, has anyone had such an experience and managed to heal & come through the other side?”

Part I: YeS! More times than I’d care to share or say... most people that know me well, or who I’ve happened to tell have all responded about the same (when sharing just a few of them). -you have the most bad luck / or are the unluckiest person I know, or have ever known (when it comes to ‘this,’ sort of thing!).
Common Denom is me of course; but. ! : /
Part II:
No. I hav en ever gotten over any of them - not a single one ☝️ (I still to this day steam and stew over something that happened nearly twenty years ago - as if it’d happened 20 days ago...) so, there’s that!! ;)
And lastly, I can’t get into it... “the details!” Gets me too hot 🥵 even just thinking about it here as I type; might break stuff, starting (most likely) wi th my face- : D
No worries, MisterB. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've had your fair share of this type of poison. And while of course there's no pressure to go into details, it's ok to feel angry about it. But maybe scream into a pillow or smash that lampshade you always hated instead of any face reconstruction :)
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#5
This resonates with me on a deep level. It's the betrayal the cuts. It's the loss of trust. It's that lingering question of if humanity is trustworthy. It takes significant time to break through the walls I've built and earn my trust. If you manage to lose that trust, I don't know if it's possible to earn it back (nobody has ever done it). I operate on the assumption people don't find value in me. The assumption I have been deemed by the human race as unworthy.
Thanks for sharing that, Nick. I think you have good reason to have the walls you do. And I agree, the reverberations of betrayal are pretty seismic and permanent. For what's it worth, and I know I'm not alone, people here very much find value in you. I imagine reading that makes you wince but I can live with that.

I'm not saying I don't see anything of value in myself. I'm saying others don't find any value in me, and deem me not worth their time. The extremely rare exception to this I tend to question until they have somehow demonstrated they aren't like everyone else. Most people wander away long before they even get to know the slightest bit about me, because I am deemed unworthy long before we get there. Only two people in the last decade have gotten far enough through the wall to see who I really am.
From what I can tell, delaying gratification is a fast diminishing virtue in the world we live in today. Society has been infantilized & most want instant gratification wrapped up in a neat little bow. Glad you can see your value. That's a real gem.

Betrayal is a bitch, and it leaves a grapping wound.
No truer words.
 

Nick

☆☆Still Ducking Fantastic ☆☆
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#6
For what's it worth, and I know I'm not alone, people here very much find value in you. I imagine reading that makes you wince but I can live with that.
I does make me wince a little. My brain can understand the words, but is maybe unable to accept them at this time. It is likely a mix of the current circumstances of life weighing on me, and the echoing words of my family and those I once trusted telling me I'm worthless. I heard it too many times for my brain not to believe there has to be some grain of truth in there. I don't say that to invoke sympathy or a bunch of people coming along and telling me how much I'm worth. My mind doesn't work that way. People can tell me others see value in me all day long, but until I can see evidence my brain won't accept it. It's a clear problem with the wiring in my head. Specific things speak to me that people do find value, and we I don't see those things I see no evidence to link the words.

From what I can tell, delaying gratification is a fast diminishing virtue in the world we live in today. Society has been infantilized & most want instant gratification wrapped up in a neat little bow. Glad you can see your value. That's a real gem.
By making people earn trust and get to know me at a much slower pace, I do diminish the number of people willing to stick around. You are right that people want it now. People have known me my whole life and don't know my story. Those people also seem to have no interest in knowing. If someone really wants to know why I say or do something, I figure they will ask. I'm highly unlikely to just tell them. Mostly because I can't read a situation at all, and so if they don't shoot straight we are never getting anywhere.

There is also the fact I lose my mind every so often, and that seems to scare off those who make it longer. Though I do feel like I'm doing better with current medication. The swings feel less drastic. I'm looking from the inside out though, so it's hard to tell.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#7
I does make me wince a little. My brain can understand the words, but is maybe unable to accept them at this time. It is likely a mix of the current circumstances of life weighing on me, and the echoing words of my family and those I once trusted telling me I'm worthless. I heard it too many times for my brain not to believe there has to be some grain of truth in there. I don't say that to invoke sympathy or a bunch of people coming along and telling me how much I'm worth. My mind doesn't work that way. People can tell me others see value in me all day long, but until I can see evidence my brain won't accept it. It's a clear problem with the wiring in my head. Specific things speak to me that people do find value, and we I don't see those things I see no evidence to link the words.
I've never gotten the impression from your words that you try to invoke sympathy. I am curious though, If you heard you were worthwhile often enough do you think you would then start to believe there was a grain of truth in that?

On the other hand you mention evidence. I'm very much an empiricist at heart myself so am also curious about the what you dismiss and what you count as evidence.

By making people earn trust and get to know me at a much slower pace, I do diminish the number of people willing to stick around. You are right that people want it now. People have known me my whole life and don't know my story. Those people also seem to have no interest in knowing. If someone really wants to know why I say or do something, I figure they will ask. I'm highly unlikely to just tell them. Mostly because I can't read a situation at all, and so if they don't shoot straight we are never getting anywhere.

There is also the fact I lose my mind every so often, and that seems to scare off those who make it longer. Though I do feel like I'm doing better with current medication. The swings feel less drastic. I'm looking from the inside out though, so it's hard to tell.
Looking from the inside out still counts as a valid perspective. It's good to hear you're doing better with the medication.
 

Nick

☆☆Still Ducking Fantastic ☆☆
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#8
what you dismiss and what you count as evidence.
To me people just saying the words "you are worth people's time" or "we see value in you" is just words. I know people mean well by saying it. Evidence would be people actually trying to get to know me. People responding to me. On SF it would be a PM every now and then. Tag me in a post. I realize it all sounds like dumb stuff. I have tried initiating the conversations, but it's gotten me nowhere. On some level I've given up on that end.

If I was truly worth people's time and had value than people would engage. I can be difficult to communicate with, and I suppose that's why most people don't even try. Holding a conversation is going to require some effort on the other person's part. It isn't that I don't try, but my autism presents limits to what I am capable of. The problem is squarely me. I've accepted my limits. I spent a year trying to fix me and realized that I was only driving myself mad.
 
#9
No worries, MisterB. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you've had your fair share of this type of poison. And while of course there's no pressure to go into details, it's ok to feel angry about it. But maybe scream into a pillow or smash that lampshade you always hated instead of any face reconstruction :)
I just head-butted the windshield out of a stranger’s car. ;) happened to be next door —(so I guess that’d make it: “the neighbors!”) _lets just call it - ‘sending a message..;)’ 👍
 

KM76710

KM stands for Kangaroo Manager
SF Supporter
#10
I guess I am lucky in that such has never been an issue for me. I don't get close enough to others for them to betray and even if I did so what? I would be not even thinking about it in no time. I do admit that I view most everything betrayal or otherwise as having three solutions only:

Confront and solve which with work and paying bills and continuing on in life I do otherwise just sounds like more work than I care to do.

Avoid and ignore. Less work but the issue may return. Luckily people don't enter my life much and recognize they will not be welcome so steer clear of me.

Destroy it. It is absolute and final but can be over reacting so unless things get extreme I normally never have to go that far.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#11
To me people just saying the words "you are worth people's time" or "we see value in you" is just words. I know people mean well by saying it. Evidence would be people actually trying to get to know me. People responding to me. On SF it would be a PM every now and then. Tag me in a post. I realize it all sounds like dumb stuff. I have tried initiating the conversations, but it's gotten me nowhere. On some level I've given up on that end.

If I was truly worth people's time and had value than people would engage. I can be difficult to communicate with, and I suppose that's why most people don't even try. Holding a conversation is going to require some effort on the other person's part. It isn't that I don't try, but my autism presents limits to what I am capable of. The problem is squarely me. I've accepted my limits. I spent a year trying to fix me and realized that I was only driving myself mad.
I'm engaging with you now by responding to you. The questions I ask you is me trying to get to know you. I also find no difficulty in the communication we've had thus far.

But I hear what you're saying. I now have context for the times I've come across your name mentioned positively in relation to this or that. They were just words.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#13
I guess I am lucky in that such has never been an issue for me. I don't get close enough to others for them to betray and even if I did so what? I would be not even thinking about it in no time. I do admit that I view most everything betrayal or otherwise as having three solutions only:

Confront and solve which with work and paying bills and continuing on in life I do otherwise just sounds like more work than I care to do.

Avoid and ignore. Less work but the issue may return. Luckily people don't enter my life much and recognize they will not be welcome so steer clear of me.

Destroy it. It is absolute and final but can be over reacting so unless things get extreme I normally never have to go that far.
Thanks for your thoughts, KM. That would be my way of thinking too. However, I see people be deeply wounded and sometimes destroyed by this type of maneuver and wanted to explore.
 

Nick

☆☆Still Ducking Fantastic ☆☆
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#14
I'm engaging with you now by responding to you. The questions I ask you is me trying to get to know you. I also find no difficulty in the communication we've had thus far.

But I hear what you're saying. I now have context for the times I've come across your name mentioned positively in relation to this or that. They were just words.
I do recognize you are engaging with me now, and I wasn't meaning to imply you weren't engaging or trying to get to know me. I was speaking more generally in my life. People say I communicate okay, but there are a lot of misunderstandings. Some caused by my failure to interpret information correctly, and others caused by my inability to phrase or word my thoughts in a way that fully convey what I'm thinking. I do appreciate the conversation we've had here.

In my mind words or a hug that aren't backed up by anything don't compute. Possibly that is a flaw in the way my brain works. My inability to accept such things at face value.
 

Dark111

Scholar's Mate
SF Supporter
#15
I do recognize you are engaging with me now, and I wasn't meaning to imply you weren't engaging or trying to get to know me. I was speaking more generally in my life. People say I communicate okay, but there are a lot of misunderstandings. Some caused by my failure to interpret information correctly, and others caused by my inability to phrase or word my thoughts in a way that fully convey what I'm thinking. I do appreciate the conversation we've had here.

In my mind words or a hug that aren't backed up by anything don't compute. Possibly that is a flaw in the way my brain works. My inability to accept such things at face value.
I do actually understand that, Nick. I rarely take things at face value either and why should we? That's why I trust code over people anyday. People are forever saying one thing and then acting out the complete opposite. Recognising the inconsistencies between people's words and actions is not at all a flaw in your brain. It's an accurate observation of how people operate in the world.

I find you to be one of the more straightforward people to talk to, to be honest. You're not in the least bit pretentious. And although I can only demonstrate so much from behind a computer screen I hope we get to at least talk more often.
 

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