Betrayal.

“It was a mistake,” you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.”

David Levithan

1️⃣ If a health worker betrays you,your trust in the goodness of the world breaks.

Betrayal is the hurt and confusion caused when healthcare professionals repeatedly and without justification act in ways that deviates from society’s expectations of the behaviour of healthcare workers.

Which is that healthcare workers and hospital staff can be trusted to

▶️ protect and

▶️ look after sick members of society. 

Being surprised and taken off guard by the frequency and audacity of the red flag behaviour metered out to you by the ‘safe and caring’ health and complaint handlers brigade. Leaves you feeling confused and hurt.

1️⃣.1️⃣ Betrayal Info-graphic

emotions and behaviour of betrayal
The end result of multiple breaches of your trust. click on image to enlarge.

If these breaches of trust and red flag professional behaviours keep on coming at you. Never giving you time to catch your breath so you can make sense of why this is happening to you. These unhealed emotional wounds that cause your behaviour to change are known as trauma.

Your ‘crime’ was to trust healthcare services. They betrayed your trust.

2️⃣ IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. 

When you are betrayed, your first thought is to disbelieve that a healthcare worker or a health related worker in the complaints field would treat you like this.

You try to come to terms with this rush of conflicting emotions of

▶️ horror and

▶️ betrayal

and make excuses for their behaviour.

Followed by a considerable emotional and, at times, behavioral investment in somehow making things right again or in making sense of a senseless, malicious act. 

You feel confused as no one believes you so the only response that makes sense of your experience is

▶️ you must have misunderstood things

▶️ and to shame and blame yourself.  

You begin to wonder what else

▶️ you have misunderstood and

▶️ begin to react to people and

▶️ respond to places

in ways you would not normally. 

It is not your fault. Yet you are unlikely to receive the ▶️comfort,

▶️ support and

▶️ acceptance from your friends, significant others, family and society.

Due to the way healthcare providers are portrayed as angels, selfless and saviours.  

3️⃣ Betrayal makes closure harder.

Betrayal takes away your sense of security which puts you in a state of emotional free fall. It is severely emotionally distressing.

You have to deal with a double whammy of being betrayed by the Institution and your friends and family. Being betrayed is earth shattering. What is even more heart breaking is that the failure to provide you with answers leaves you more emotional wounds. To add to your original collection of emotional wounds. Also known as emotional trauma.

Closure and healing are easier to find if you understand why this happened to you. In cases of natural disasters or accidents, you may still seek answers but you instinctively know you are unlikely to find out who was to blame. This is not the case with misdiagnosis or avoidable harm.

Investigations by complaint handlers can provide you with answers If this knowledge is withheld from you by the healthcare service and complaint handlers, it becomes a stumbling block to your recovery.

This often leads you to react by isolating yourself from your friends and family to safeguard yourself from the shock and anger that their disbelief and your feelings of helplessness arouses.  

4️⃣ How to get over being Betrayed?

▶️ Put some space between you and the person and/or organisation who betrayed you.  Both mental and physical.

▶️ Don’t act as if you’re feeling worse than you really are. Or better.

It requires a good deal of objectivity but:

▶️ Don’t fixate on the past or what might have been.

▶️ Try not to obsess on how you were wronged.

Try to:

▶️ Find a source of support from a group who has survived the same betrayal and has come out on the other side.

▶️ Do activities that re build your self-esteem.