Victims of betrayal and emotional abuse often blame themselves, wondering if they are crazy for experiencing strange or overwhelming symptoms as a result of the betrayal.
You are not crazy, you are experiencing betrayal trauma.
Betrayal Trauma Symptoms
The symptoms of betrayal trauma can range from mild to severe, and often mimic mental health issues. Because betrayal trauma can severely impact a victim’s life and relationships, it is key for her and others to understand what betrayal trauma is and to support her through her healing journey.
The following is a list of some of the common symptoms traumatized women experience:
- Overwhelming emotions
- Unusual/uncharacteristic behaviors
- Sleep difficulties – too much/too little
- ‘Brain fog’ – inability to think clearly, memory loss, getting lost easily
- Eating problems – inability to eat/overeating
- Anxiety/panic attacks
- Rumination/obsessive thoughts and intrusive images/flashbacks
- Difficulty caring for self or others
- Obsessive need to check the internet history, GPS, email accounts, text message history etc for signs that the danger is still present
Betrayal Trauma Is Real: Victims Need Support
Betrayal trauma is only recently receiving the attention it deserves from the mental health community. However, many institutions and professionals are still less-educated on the severity that betrayal trauma can present.
Dr. Omar Minwalla explains betrayal trauma:
Partners often present with a set of symptoms that match symptoms similar to rape trauma syndrome (RTS) and complex post-traumatic-stress disorder (C-PTSD), including psycho-biological alterations, re-experiencing of the trauma, social and emotional constriction, constant triggering and reactivity, significant anxiety, emotional arousal and hyper-vigilance. Sex addiction-induced trauma is a highly specific type of trauma that involves nuanced symptoms that can include fear and panic of potential disease and contamination, fear of child safety and potential of child molestation, social isolation, embarrassment and shame and intense relational rupture and attachment injuries.
Dr. Omar Minwalla, trauma and addiction expert
Can I Heal From Betrayal Trauma?
Victims of betrayal and emotional abuse often wonder if they will ever feel okay again. After such traumatizing experiences, it may feel impossible to ever be “yourself” or be happy.
The good news is, that with support, self-care, and safety (boundaries), women can heal from betrayal trauma. Most often, healing is gradual. Women who are able to process their trauma with others, express their emotions to safe people, and become empowered through knowledge about trauma and abuse generally find the journey to healing quickly.
Betrayal Trauma Recovery Supports Victims of Betrayal and Abuse
At BTR, we know how important it is for betrayed women to have a safe place to process their trauma and express their emotions with safe people who validate and empower them. The Betrayal Trauma Recovery Group offers community, validation, and support to women all over the world. Join today and find the community you need as you embark on the journey to healing.
Tune in to the free Betrayal Trauma Recovery podcast to hear other victims’ powerful stories of triumph over trauma and the realities of finding safety from abusive relationships.
Remember, you are not alone.