I am excited to have guest blogger and frequent contributor to Emerging from Broken, Shanyn Silinski from “the Scarred Seeker” blog sharing with my readers today on the topic of Betrayal. Please help me welcome Shanyn and as always, please feel free to contribute your comments and feedback in the comments section of this blog post. ~ Darlene Ouimet, founder of Emerging from Broken
Betrayal and Reflections of Betrayal by Shanyn Silinski
I’m floating in a pool. There is a waterfall feeding it and a dark cave with an underground stream that leaves it. The sides are high, slippery and covered in just out of reach hand holds. A face looks down and says, “If you try harder you can get out.” I jump, I try to climb. I try to do it their way. I fall back into the pool. Exhausted. I’m ready to give up. I’m ready to admit I cannot do it. I cannot do what they want, be what they want. I’m a failure. I drift away from the sides and I hear a bird, it is flying closer to the water, and it seems to say to me, ”if you can get through the dark cave you can be free”
I look up, and tell them I’m going to try. I’m told, “do it our way or you’ll fail” Failure is assured because I’m not trying and failing their way. The risk of success without them is terrifying. Death in this pool, with them not reaching further to get me, them not trying to pull me out, seems to be the only option. I look at the cave and determine that it can’t be worse than death here.
I take a deep breath, and I let the water carry me. The rocks bang and bruise me. I think I’m going to burst from holding my breath. Then as the water gets stronger and faster and I’m about to quit I feel myself drop into another pool. One with sandy beaches, shady trees and many hands, reaching out to pull me from the water. Reaching out to me. Helping me.
If I had to make my healing journey so far into a mini movie it would be like this. There are many levels of betrayal that we go through. The two that have been the hardest for me were an old betrayal and a newer one.
There is a feeling I get when someone has stabbed me in the back. It is a cold chill knowing that my trust has been ripped apart. Trusting isn’t easy, opening up isn’t easy. When someone teaches you to expect betrayal and then blames you for not trusting them life can be a confusing place.
Passive aggressive betrayers are the hardest to handle because they lure you in with their need and then they shank you with their need. It’s like being thrown a life vest covered in steak while swimming in a shark pool. It’s a supposed help and yet it is meant to destroy you.
“Girls who stay out late get raped. They always ask for it. I’d be so embarrassed if that happened to you. It would destroy our reputation and you would be labeled forever.”
“If you stay out late and something bad happens don’t tell me because you asked for it. You had it coming.”
The lecture I got, coming back late not from being at a party but from looking for my younger sibling, slammed my mouth shut. For years. I never told them that that night, looking to protect someone else, I was raped. People saw, people laughed at me for months. High school can be hell. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, my word against his, theirs and I would have had it coming. I asked for it. REALLY? How in the world could I have asked for THAT?
Betrayal…knowing they want you to trust them so they can use what you trusted them with to hurt you. The lie: You can tell me anything. The truth: anything you tell me can be used against you. Forever.
Looking back, with the clarity of healing hindsight, I see an enormous competition for attention, for control. They didn’t hate each other because one was good and one was evil. They hated each other because they were in competition to see who could control the longest, the deepest, the slyest.
The times when I was told, I’ll help you were really times when ammunition was being gathered and the wonders of passive aggressive betrayal were being finely tuned. I did not realize the manipulations between relationships that was going on. None of those three women wanted any of their possessions talking to their other possessions. We might find out things we weren’t supposed to know. Keep us in conflict and apart. Always have someone to blame and always be ready to start a fight.
I know this because when I dove down into the healing waters, pushed through the dark I burst through to something unheard of and wonderful – PEACE. Trust! Breathing. I was able to see so much when I looked back, and understood more.
When it feels like someone is stabbing you in the back – trust that instinct! They may be stabbing you, and using the sweetest words and excuses you can find. It’s all dipped in poison. When you are healing even those who think they want to help may actually really need to control you and your healing. They aren’t happy when you can swim, walk or fly on your own.
The freedom of not having that in my life is amazing! Melissa Etheridge said it best, “Freedom is lonely but it is sweet.” I don’t have their close knit family anymore. But I am free! And free to heal, free to fly and free to be is the best place for me!
Shanyn Silinski is an outspoken survivor who writes, creates and lives life as fully as she can with her husband, son and the animals on their small ranch in Manitoba. The author of a number of blogs, a book of poetry with two more in the works, Shanyn also sculpts, scrapbooks and loves having fun with photography. Please visit her recovery blog “The Scarred Seeker”
Related posts by Shanyn “want me need me and relationship dysfunction”