Wound of Betrayal

note: this is a sister post
to my previous post
on “wound of rejection”

on nights like tonight, 
i have to force myself 
to face the pain.

i have to scream and swear 
and act out of character;

to test myself, to feel 
the weight of the betrayal;

to push myself
into my own humanity
that i try to avoid. 

i am human.
i am vulnerable. 

i am allowed
to be hurt by betrayal.

 i am allowed
to cry. 

so i stand in the shower
and try to cry.

i have to force myself.
i have to talk myself into it.
i have to allow myself
to feel the pain.

and i feel.
the pain.

i feel it.
i am it.

the pain
washes over me
like the water.

until suddenly,
i am the water.

and the water
falls from me.

my eyes running raw
my heart aching and pulsing 
with the truth of this,
the pain of this:

the hurt of
being hurt

the pain of
being pained

the wound of
being wounded

the wound of betrayal, i realise,
is different than the wound of rejection.

i thought they were the same blood,
but one is a sting that strikes in the moment,
and one is a stinger that gets stuck inside of you.

the sting goes deeper and deeper.

betrayal is a wound with a band-aid on it.
it doesn’t look painful, but it hurts more than rejection.

at least when you’re rejected, the band-aid is ripped away
and the pain is instant, and subsides.

but betrayal is all under the surface. the unspoken.

it sinks in slowly, and you can
try to ignore the wound.

but eventually
you will be reminded.

it can easily get infected
when you don’t expose it
to the open air.

the scars will never heal if:

you allow the betrayal to become you,
you allow the stinger to still sting you.

you need to acknowledge it. grieve it. allow the pain to scar.

let those scars be worn
as spoken swords.

don’t let those scars
attack from within.

don’t keep them under armour,
as sealed shields.

let your wounds of war
be seen and grieved and healed.

i don’t want
to cry anymore

i don’t want
to feel anymore

i don’t want
to be close

i don’t want
to open up

i don’t want
to hurt anymore

i can’t bear
anymore pain

in the early stages of betrayal:

survival means denial
abandonment means avoidance

emotional shutdown
is the ultimate form
of survival mode 
of protection

a heart trying
to armour herself
to avoid the attack

a heart trying to
focus on the warfare
that is being waged 
against her heart

no distraction
no social connection

nothing is allowed
only self preservation

the pain is too great

and to be attacked
in the trenches?

there is nothing

more terrifying
more rattling

nothing else
could send you
further into the ground

you are already
covered in gravel

rain falls on your face
strangers walk by

and you cry and
cry and cry

nothing else
could make you throb
with endless sobs

like the wounds
of this kind of war

the wounds of words

words spoken that were
unspoken for so long
that they had become
the deadliest weapons

words that when spoken,
and directed to their target,
would pierce
opening the wound
of being misunderstood

i have realised
that when i feel
an immense sense
of betrayal and hurt

that my wounding
does not come from
a place of fearing betrayal
but the deep hurt
of being misunderstood

this is a unique
kind of rejection

a rejection of understanding

looks likes another heart
not asking questions
of your heart

looks like another heart
starting to act
from a place of assumption

looks like another heart
speaking into your life
with a tone of accusation

looks like another heart
attaching their own interpretation
to your intentions

all because
they have not
sought to ask
after your heart

earlier this year i had to
spend time off socials
because i had discovered
the most dangerous
injury we can inflict
onto another soul:

misinterpretation of intention 

this kind of injury
is inflicted by words, actions

that present as
assumption and accusation

when we fail
to believe the best of another

we attach and apply
our own worst case scenarios
as weapons against the other

we start to see and think
according to our interpretation
of their intentions

we demonise the other

because we do not believe
there could be another scenario
apart from the worst case

we believe what we perceive to be
(or rather, conceive to be) the reality

and as we believe, so we see;

and because our beliefs inform
what we see and how we see

we see the other only through
our limited lens of understanding

this next section may be a little confronting;
it is raw, but it is necessary to expose betrayal for the bitterness it brings.

this section, is of course, from the heat of the moment, the scar throbs.
i don’t want to unintentionally sugar-coat the pain with poetry.
but how else are we to give a voice to our weakness?

it hurts like a mother fucking bitch
to see you not even try
to tiptoe around this betrayal

instead you flaunt it in my face
it is as though you don’t see

how you excluding me
how you replacing me

could hurt me

it is as though you
expect me to be


or maybe
you just think i am


you don’t see me
so you don’t see

how much you have hurt
and continue to hurt me

maybe you never wanted me
you just wanted the idea of me

so as soon as another ideal of me
came along you just replaced me

you don’t see me
so you don’t see

how i’m hurting
and burning

i cook those red hot flames
as they decompress
into deep seated rage

smoke stirs
and then i touch
my eyes
as tear start to form

and i am left
with chilli eyes

unable to see
what we used to be
apart from this

blood red betrayal
torture in tears

in the next section, lets explore the journey from hurting to healing.

i’ve heard it said:

that holding onto things
can only hurt you.

that it can prevent you
from being free, open.

to carry more
to feel more
to be more

but what i’ve seen
doesn’t align
to what I’ve heard.

b e c a u s e

the longer someone
holds onto something,
the more that something
starts to become them

it shapes them.

it becomes not only
what they carry,
but what they wear.

how they are seen,
and what they see.

it becomes a bigger thing
than it needs to be.

it holds more weight.

until it comes to the time
when they choose to let go.

to release the weight,
to offload what they’ve been carrying.

but in offloading
they think it will free them.

when all it does
is transfer the hurt
to the other person.

holding onto something
against another person
doesn’t only hurt you,

it hurts the other person.

the words we hold
in our hearts
have more weight
than the words we release

b e c a u s e

by the time
we release those words
from their cages

we will realise that
it is not us who
was imprisoned

but us who
imprisoned others
by holding on

if we hold on
too tightly to lies;

that we believe
about ourselves,
and about others;

then we will start
to see them

and over time;
there will be the
evolution of lies.


until someone
releases them,
and sends those
lies like swords
to their source.

betrayal stings

b e c a u s e

it represents a series of rejections
it leaves a deeper wound

betrayal sears the soul deeper
than rejection slices the heart.

b u t

it is not only others
who many betray us;

we may betray ourselves.

and this is the kind of
wound of betrayal
we are most blind to:

“we learn wholeness, more often than not,
when our boundaries are shattered,
when our disciplines fail us, when our theologies stump us,
when our supposedly wise choices betray us.
we learn by un-learning, by stumbling and falling into

the very thing we attempted to gain on our own terms.”

[wholeheartedness by chuck degroat]

in this book, the author explores how
we must recognise that both our
wounding and our wholeness
exist within the matrix of relationship

relationship with others
relationship with self
relationship with God

the desire to live whole-hearted
means also being exposed to heart-wounds.

the desire to live from our deepest core
means learning to navigate the depths.

to reconcile with our heart-wounds
(whether the wound of betrayal or the wound of rejection)

we need to:

invite desire
into the depths

allow healing
in the hurts

create space for
the scars to shape

our scars are our stories

don’t let them own you.

but let them show you
the pathway from pain.

can be birthed
from injury

we do not find
wholeness by rising
but falling

surrender your whole-hearts and heart-wounds
to the One who holds your hearts and fills us
with a deep current flowing within,
a never-ending source of life and hope.

no matter where you are on the journey from hurting to healing:

you are not alone


Respond from the Heart