Self Betrayal As A Trauma Response
Self-betrayal occurs when we learned to deny what we want and need in order to receives love. This can happen in families where people aren’t allowed to express their needs. This pattern started in childhood where a child has to give up their needs in order to survive and not be abandoned or punished.
Self-betrayal can look like:
- Allowing your boundaries to be violated so as not to be abandoned
- Going along with the group in order to be included
- Doing things to please others when it’s not what you want to do
- Letting someone else choose what you eat, how you dress
- Working in jobs that other influential people approve of, but you don’t like doing
Self-betrayal is such a common coping mechanism in people. The simplest definition of self-betrayal is when you do something you know to be wrong in order to protect yourself or someone else from being harmed.
This coping mechanism can manifest itself in many different ways, with behaviours varying from lying, to sabotage, and putting your needs last.
Self-betrayal can range from seemingly minor lies like exaggerating your accomplishments at work to more significant lies like cheating on a spouse. When people use this mechanism, they can get themselves into trouble and create a situation where they feel stuck and unable to make the change they want for their life.
The trauma response specifically plays a huge role in self-betrayal. When a person experiences a traumatic event, the body responds to this event with certain hormones and physiological responses to help them cope with the event. Self-betrayal can occur when the subconscious mind takes over and starts replicating traumatic responses, even though these responses are not necessarily appropriate for the situation at hand. The subconscious mind will do everything it can to make sure that it does not feel threatened in any way shape or form, which is why it will resort to these coping mechanisms even though they are not always appropriate for what has occurred.
It really is a vicious cycle, the learned behaviour of self-betrayal causes conflict between your actions and your Soul, and because of that not only do you betray yourself, you also set yourself up for a traumatic response in your body, which then will cause you to fear feeling that way and then carrying on acting in a self-betraying way as to not feel abandoned. It will cause you psychological torment and set you up for things like co-dependency, addiction and a whole other host of problems, like anxiety and depression.
So you have trauma from whatever caused you to deny your needs in the first place, which is usually a dominating or controlling person, and then more trauma lumped on top from each time you react from that traumatic place.
The Trauma Response of Self-Betrayal
What is Trauma ?
A traumatic event is an event that leads to mental or physical injury. Traumatic events can cause lifelong distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and can lead to suicide attempts. There are many factors that contribute to whether or not someone will develop PTSD.
For example, the severity of the trauma is important for predicting whether or not someone will develop PTSD. A person who experienced a trauma where they felt intense fear, helplessness, or horror may be more likely go on to develop PTSD than someone who experienced a less intense trauma. People may also be more likely to develop PTSD when there is a lack of social support following the traumatic event and if they have untreated mental health conditions such as depression.
Negative Trauma Response of Self-Betrayal
Self-betrayal has been known to cause negative trauma in people, and in some cases, it can be quite severe. The research shows that self-betrayal may be the most traumatising kind of betrayal because when someone betrays themselves their moral compass gets shaken and their sense of self evaporates.
When people betray themselves they feel like they have been violated on a deep level and experience a great sense of loss at not being able to control what is happening to them. These feelings have been shown to lead to depression, anxiety, physical pain and other harmful effects.
Self-betrayal is a process by which we allow ourselves to be convinced that a way of living is good for us, while at the same time knowing that it isn’t.
The first sign that our behaviour or lifestyle might be self-betrayal is when we have a deep conviction – an intuition – about something being wrong but feel powerless to change our course.
The second sign of self-betrayal is when we know, in our heart of hearts, that something will make us unhappy and it still happens.
The third sign of self-betrayal is when we later look back and realize how wrong we were about something and how much it hurt us; those moments can lead to regret and guilt.
Another Example of Self-betrayal
Self-betrayal is a phenomenon most people are not aware of. It is not something so readily diagnosed by doctors or psychiatrists. As you might have guessed it is instead something that one can experience which causes an individual to behave in ways that are against their own self-interests.
This activity can be best explained by using an example of a person who is trying to put on weight, but is continually eating sweets and other unhealthy foods. They may enjoy the taste of these desserts, but they know that eating them will lead to negative outcomes for their health – they are at risk of becoming overweight or even obese.
The person knows this, but still makes the choice to eat these unhealthy foods because it makes them feel good in the moment, despite knowing the potential long term consequences.
Self-betrayal and Being Empathic
People who are empathic, irrespective of how their nervous system came to be empathic, know what others are feeling, often before knowing what they feel. That feeling of unity you get through empathy can be intoxicating because soothes the inner child part of us that doesn’t want to be abandoned, so pleasing others, and even taking on their beliefs as your own, can be another way of betraying yourself. The empathic response can be so fast that you often don’t even know that your feelings might be different.
How To Heal From The Negative Trauma Response Of Self-betrayal
Self-betrayal is when you betray yourself by abandoning your own needs, desires, and boundaries. The negative trauma response of self-betrayal can be healed through awareness, acceptance, and forgiveness.
You may also need to work on your sense of safety and your connection with others.
Self-betrayal is also when you give up on yourself, your needs, or your goals. You may have felt this way before. You may have given up on a goal at work, given up on a relationship, or given up on your commitments to yourself.
Self-betrayal has many negative consequences. It can make you feel angry with yourself and make you feel ashamed for not being able to stick to your goals or achieve what you want in life. Some people may even start blaming themselves for the betrayal because they may think if they were better people, they would be able to stick to their goals and never give up on themselves.
It is important to know that self-betrayal is common and happens often without us realizing it because we are our own worst critic.
You can start slow, learning to say No, learning to put your opinion out there, for eg, state what takeaways you want to eat, even if other people want differently. You don’t have to fit in to keep the peace or not rock the boat.
You can do this through mindfulness exercises or with the help of a therapist or counsellor.