Learning to Trust After Betrayal
There is nothing easy about divorce. Especially when ones trust has been betrayed. Anyone that believes you can (and should) immediately bounce back from that is projecting a miseducation that even Lauryn Hill couldn’t sing over.
Instead of processing my hurt and pain, by dealing with my emotions head on, I decided it would be easier to run. I kept myself busy from the moment I woke up until late at night. Over committing and proving to the world that I was fine, when in fact, I was doing myself more harm than good. Choosing to suffer in silence, only led to these harmful emotions embedding themselves within me. Once it reached its peak, I did what any person would do, I broke down.
While dealing with the betrayal of my husband, I also betrayed myself. I stopped trusting myself. I believed my decision making capabilities to be lacking, I started questioning everything about myself and the people closest to me.
As you try to process the emotions that come from betrayal, these happen very quickly inside you:
1. Their words trigger your thoughts.
2. You pay attention to your thoughts.
3. You believe nothing can be trusted.
4. You have some negative emotions
5. You were calm before these internal events
It’s the neverending loop from hell.
Rewriting the Future and Finding Your Value
When someone has betrayed your trust you fight to prove your value to them, yourself, and anyone else you may feel is watching.
Rewrite your story, not for them, but for you. As I sit, I think about the two little ones lying in bed upstairs and I can’t help but think, then smile at the fact that I have chosen to dig deep within myself, better myself for their sake.
When it comes to taking the steps that will help you reclaim your life, there is not magic system that will get you through this unscathed. You will hurt, you will cry, you will feel as if the world around you is falling a part. But at the end of this journey on the other side lies a beautiful new you, aching with joy and promise. Betrayal leaves us at fork in the road: we can either choose to move forward and act in a way that allows us to grow, or remain stuck, forever repeating this same cycle.
Focus on the now. When I notice my mind starting to wander, I do my best to focus on my breaths. This has helped immensely in bringing me back to where I need to be.
Giving thanks. A grateful heart is a beautiful thing. While things have not been perfect, I'm confident in know that its significantly better than what it was. I wake up every morning and very often throughout the day, say thanks for the little things and the very big things. Happiness is something I've been most grateful for as of late. How about you?
Appreciate the silence. Sitting in quiet is the one way you can accurately assess your thoughts. The mind is not always a better guide than the heart; taking the time to balance out your own inner guidance system will prove useful in the future.
Have faith. This seems to be the most obvious, but it's also the absolute hardest thing to maintain. I'm not going to lie: it's not all sunshine and rainbows every day. Some mornings I'm jolted awake by sudden anxiety to the point where the first half (if not whole) of my day is ruined. I have to constantly remind myself this is only for a season. Sometimes that season is not as pleasant as we like, but we have to endure in order to grow. Which leads me to the final point.
Affirm. The best way to have faith and believe is to tell yourself. "ACCEPT CHANGE GRACEFULLY". When my world suddenly fell a part, I posted a note with these words to the wall near my bed. Yes, some days it went right out the window and I was not as "graceful" as I should have been. But I've learned now what's done is done. Its best just to work through it as you move on.
As a single mother of two, living with my parents and trying to climb her way out of debt -one student loan payment at a time- I wake up every morning grateful for where I am. Is this where I imagined myself? Absolutely not, but it’s where I am; I’ve learned not to dwell on the ‘what ifs’ and to just live in the moment.
Part of trusting the process is having the ability to let go of what you think or feel things should be. Simply experiencing life as it is instead of as you want it to be is the easiest way to put it. Your trust was not destroyed in one day. The careful eroding took place over the course of your relationship, expect it to take time to rebuild what you lost.
By listening and trusting yourself you will know which way is the right way to go. Don’t lose faith in others, there is still goodness in this world.
Your heart may feel like a broken china dish, but it can be mended.