How do you put the pieces of your story back together after finding out about a great betrayal? How do you reclaim a past when you find out it was seemingly built around a longstanding lie? In her article ‘Great Betrayals’, Anna Fels explores how ‘robbing someone of his or her story’ through a longstanding lie or betrayal may be ‘the greatest tragedy of all’.
FREQUENTLY, a year or even less after the discovery of a longstanding lie, the victims are counseled to move on, to put it all behind them and stay focused on the future. But it’s not so easy to move on when there’s no solid narrative ground to stand on. Perhaps this is why many patients conclude in their therapy that it’s not the actions or betrayal that they most resent, it’s the lies.
She recognizes the incredibly different recovery experiences which the ‘betrayed’ and the ‘betrayer’ walk through after the outing of a deception. In particular, it is the often unaccepted experienced of the betrayed which she focuses on:
But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didn’t suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naïve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.
The importance of telling your story, which affirms your actual experience while at the same time recognizing the depths of the deception, is a critical part of what allows us to move forward towards restoration and growth.
To read more of what she has to say click this link: http://nyti.ms/1bx9OtR
Article Summary by Branden Henry