ACoAs: Early Trust Betrayal (Part 2)


PREVIOUS: ACoAs: Early Trust Betrayal (Part 1)

SITE5 Quick Lessons About Betrayal & Trust

QUOTE: “To be betrayed, the person must first experience trust in the betrayer….. Betrayal is probably the most devastating loss a person can experience.”


“Betrayal blindness is the un-awareness, not-knowing, & forgetting exhibited by people towards betrayal….. may extend to betrayals not traditionally considered “traumas,” such as gossip, inequities in the workplace & society….
• Victims, perpetrators & witnesses may have betrayal blindness to preserve relationships, institutions or social systems they depend on…..

• Besides internal reasons for ‘not-knowing’, there may be external reasons for not-knowing & silence. One such are demands for silence from a perpetrator & others (family, society), to the point of never having the ‘event’ even mentioned – much less acknowledged. More….)

🌧 Experiences that have never been shared with anyone else may create a different internal structure than shared experiences”
BTW: Al-anon slogan “You’re only as sick as you secrets”
BETRAYAL ways (cont)
a. Our caretakers

b. Programing : We were taught to not trust our own observations, opinions, emotions & conclusions.  We were:
• told “you don’t feel that way /  that’s not how it is / I don’t know why you think that / Oh, nothing (is going on)” ….. OR

• not given important information about what was really happening in the family, leaving us with an uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, wondering what’s wrong, making up scenarios & blaming ourselves

• expected to go along with the program, no matter how harmful to our mental & emotional health, did not fit our native personality, nor how little it allowed us to explore options & possibilities in the world, or find out what our true purpose is

EXP: “The Judds” was a reality show on the OWN tv channel (2011).
Mother Naomi slowly spilled all the ugly family secrets she’s been protecting for the past 60 yrs – murder, incest, suicide, neglect…. Daughter Wynona finally has an understanding of the problems between the two, & came to have compassion for & a new trust in her mother

c. Higher Power also became untrustworthy. John Bradshaw’s stated:
“Until the age of 7 we deify our parents (our gods). After age 7 we parentalize our deity”.

So if all children model their idea of God on their parents – & our parents were unloving & unsafe, then we concluded, at a profound level, that God (as we understand Him) is also unloving & unsafe!

• Some ACoAs whose father was an abusive drunk &/or rage-aholic have trouble with a ‘male’ God, & feel more of an affinity with the idea of God as female. In reality, God is Spirit, & can be connected with in Spirit.
In ACoA meetings we say “God is not an alcoholic parent”.

• Other ACoAs may have been raised in a conservative religion, with no room for questioning, so we blame God for all our suffering (instead of our parents) & turn away from faith completely, or find a metaphysical path in another form. Eventually we have to face the actual source of our pain.

EXP: Some children pray fervently for years that their suffering end, but as long as they’re trapped with damaging parents – it never does. This leaves them with the conviction that God is not listening, or that God is punishing them because they’re soooo evil. Since kids can’t really face that their parents are responsible for their suffering, they usually conclude God had abandoned them & therefore is not to be trusted!

HEALTH :  Denying our need for a faith-based life of any kind is a tragedy, because people are made up of Mental, Physical, Emotional & Spiritual aspects (PMES). We need a spiritual connection to be complete.

• Also, recovering from deep childhood wounds is such a difficult undertaking that we need help from “a power greater than ourselves” to heal at the deepest levels of our being.  Anyone who has a regular spiritual practice can attest to the fact that it soothes the emotions, help us think more clearly & makes us better able to cope with life’s stresses.

NEXT: Trust –

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