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    Betrayal Trauma

    What is betrayal trauma?

    Betrayal trauma is the deep pain, turmoil, and emotional distress that you experience after someone you depend on, and have an attachment to, violates the trust you’ve placed in them. It typically refers to betrayal by romantic partner or parent/caretaker.

    Betrayal Trauma occurs most commonly from:

    • Child abuse- including physical, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse (e.g., manipulation, gaslighting, verbal abuse, etc.)
    • Partner Betrayal- a partner has an affair or lies to you about something significant in your relationship (money, sexual addiction, etc.)

    Signs of Betrayal Trauma:

    The signs and symptoms of Betrayal Trauma vary, but generally include symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as:

    • Intrusive thoughts and images
    • Nightmares or flashbacks
    • Avoidance behaviors
    • Hypervigilance (constantly scanning your environment for potential threats)
    • Irritability or angry outbursts
    • Insomnia
    • Fearfulness
    • Social withdrawal
    • Feeling emotionally numb
    • Physical symptoms of tension headaches, migraines, and fatigue

    You may also struggle with:

    • Shame, guilt and self-blame
    • Depression
    • Low self-esteem and self-worth
    • Negative beliefs about self and others, such as “I am unworthy,” “Everyone is dishonest,” or “No one can be trusted” “I’m never going to be good enough”
    • Unexpected mood swings
    • Difficulty regulating emotions