I am stepping into a new role and a new realization. In addition to being a mentor and advocate for those who are healing from betrayal trauma, I am also here to raise awareness that betrayal trauma is REAL.
Look, I get it. This is a lot of trauma. And I know that “trauma” is kind of a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot these days. Everybody’s talking about trauma, and healing from trauma. Which is a great thing! Why? Because:
Almost all of us have experienced some sort of trauma in our lives.
Yes, it’s true and many of us don’t even know it and so, of course, we haven’t done anything to heal from it. Before we can heal from it, we first have to be able to name it. For example, I had never heard of spiritual abuse or spiritual trauma until just a few years ago. Have you?
Spiritual abuse happens when someone uses spiritual or religious beliefs to hurt, scare or control you.
Many of my clients have experienced this when they go to their spiritual caregivers or communities looking for help and are met with judgment, denial, minimization, and blame.
I wish I could say these are extreme circumstances but they are not. I hear them from clients all the time.
When this happens, we also then experience spiritual trauma at the hands of the very people who we trusted to help us… with the trauma we’re experiencing over our partner’s betrayal. So instead of getting the help we need, we just get to add another layer of trauma to our betrayal shit sandwich.
If you ever seek counsel with your faith leaders or community and you’re told (warning: you may gag a little bit when you read this, but it happens all the time) things like…
“If you have more sex with him, he’ll quit looking at porn.”
“If you have more sex with him, he will stop cheating on you.”
“If you lose weight… if you take care of yourself… if you make him a priority… if you stroke his ego… then he’ll stop doing the things that are traumatizing you.”
Know that this is total bullshit. It is not about you.
We have to realize that the people in our faith communities, and the misguided “advice” they may give us in our times of need,
are completely separate from our faith itself.
Your work is to not only disentangle yourself from the blaming and shaming of your betrayal, but to also recreate your own relationship with something bigger than you..with whatever you like to know and call the Divine. This helps us heal, helps us redeem what has happened to us, in order to find the bigger meaning in it all.
What happened to us is part of our story, but it’s not the whole story.
We can take our power back.
You are more than your relationship.
You are more than the trauma you have experienced.
You are Divine.