Healing from Betrayal

“Anung gagawin ko?” “Saan ako pupunta?”

One woman broke down and cried, “Ayoko ng mabuhay!”

Betrayal. Violation of the intimate bond.

For many years, I’ve done “battle” in my sessions helping individuals heal from this deepest cut.

Infidelity. Emotional abuse. Verbal aggression. Physical Violence. Deception.

It’s tragic to note that most suicides and homicides are borne out of the betrayal wound. If left untreated, it can lead to irretrievable destruction.

Yet, there are so few places you can go to where you can truly heal. More so, very few professional and personal supports competently able to provide help.

I’ve always noticed that when people suffer the betrayal wound, they tend to focus more on the perpetrator of the hurt – one’s partner.

However, the real work does not lie on the other person. It lies on one’s self and the process that needs to be started, sustained, and completed to heal.

If you’re experiencing this pain, would you like to join me in a travel, hiking, or adventure healing journey?

I call it “Healing from Betrayal: How to Be Free from Infidelity, Abuse, Deception, and Bitterness.”

In this journey, you receive priceless gifts of wisdom, insight, and tools, such as:

… my own personal and professional story
… intimate betrayal and psycho-trauma stress:
footprints in the heart and soul
… 5 common reasons why betrayal happens
… 3 steps to develop your healing identity
… 4 basic tools to start healing and empowerment
… 7 keys to retraining your betrayed heart and soul
… how to live and love again!
… top 1 secret for total recovery: final thoughts on healing from betrayal

Feel free to drop me a note for further information or a discovery call!

When Giving Too Much Turns Wrong

I woke up this morning thinking about a mother and son in my session not too long ago. Well, it’s like watching a story in a movie. Expert clinicians in the psych field have dealt with their condition, which they call “affluenza” or “rich kid syndrome.”

Entitlement. Addiction. These two words pretty much describe the current condition of the now middle-aged son. A college drop-out and never held a job in his life, he has become addicted to drugs, alcohol, car racing, women, and casino gambling. Heir of family wealth, he feels entitled to too much money without having to work for it.

The mother brought her son to me because she’s confused about what’s happening to him. For over a decade now, her son has been under psychiatric medication, in and out of psych facilities. She doesn’t see her son recovering but worsening day by day with depressive and nervous breakdowns. Since he was a little child onwards to adulthood, it’s his mother who’d be by his side, protecting and insulating him with access to lots of money, bailing him out when he does something wrong, and seeing to it that everything is done for him.

As it turns out, the mother never realizes the “abuse” she’s been doing to her son for so many years. When I started inviting them to explore the “roots” of their situation, they got nervous. The mother stopped me. The son did not want to let go of his usual “comforts” so he can begin healing. Truth hurts. Both mother and son, in this case, are in dire need of appropriate help and support. Unfortunately, they rejected it and would rather prefer to remain in bondage and misery outside of truth.

Let’s stop for a moment and think about our own family situation. Our parenting. Our children. Do we abuse our kids by giving them too much? By the way, this disease is not only common among the wealthy or middle-class families. It can be as common too even in poor families. It is no respecter of persons or status. It’s a hot battle in the mind.

Therapy via Skype

Distance is dead!

I was having an emotionally-charged psychotherapy session with a foreign couple when the woman partner told me she’s moving back to her home country. She could not bear the infidelity of her man. We were both disappointed. Sessions had been going well, but incomplete. No significant momentum yet.

Then, a few days after, she phoned me. She thought of a practical alternative – session via Skype. This provided her hope and continuity, which she needed a lot during that time. It’s like face to face too such as in traditional sessions. The medium of video and voice conferencing through Skype then became instrumental for her eventual healing and stabilization – personally and relationally.

We do live in a different time now. With the fast rise of Internet and technology, psychotherapy and other mental health services have been moving in with the times. For the final sessions with this hurting couple, we did meet in person again, which felt like a more appropriate way to end the sessions.

Both the couple and myself felt “upbeat” and at ease. Such seemed to be a reflection of our Skype sessions at processing issues and maintaining therapist-patient relationship. We commented that our face to face sessions did not feel that much different from our previous Skype sessions.
Overall, I think that being able to continue our sessions via Skype was incredibly useful for both the patient and me. Distance was no longer an obstacle to heal. In both my and the couple patient’s opinion the therapy had been successful. Skype played a role in this.

The use Skype and other modern forms of distance communication technologies could improve access to psychotherapies for people living in remote areas or foreign countries. It’s helpful to those who are busy traveling or working, those housebound, disabled, or bedridden. In my observation and opinion, the role of online therapy delivery is going to expand and is likely to continue to do so due to people’s needs and our changing times.

Sad After Sex

I surmise that countless people experience sadness after sex. Psychologists call this psychological phenomenon “postcoital tristresse.” It’s a feeling of unfulfillment in the sexual act, especially when something deeper or permanent is desired or hungered for in the physical expression of love.

It’s a familiar scene.

A woman in her 40s, Georgina tries to experience love by giving herself away sexually to men. She goes to one sexual relationship after another, yet never feeling satisfied.

Lito is a gay law student. He lives in with a boyfriend, with whom he has frequent sex. Most of the time, he admits feelings of emptiness in his life despite the relationship. One day, his boyfriend abandoned him, leaving him suicidally depressed.

A married family man, Pedro, goes to the condo of his girlfriend with lots of passionate kissing. Compared to his bad mouthed wife, his girlfriend takes care of him, cooks for him, and laughs with him. Still, something constantly disturbs him within.

Tito goes from one massage parlor and spa to another, paying women for extra service. These women, with fake names to declog him of stress, seem to give him a temporary feeling of being loved or embraced as he is. He keeps coming back for he’s never full.

Here is one horny senior citizen, Cesar, at age 68. He looks for girls who are 18 to feed his lust. The more he gets what he wants, the more he feels lonely and unconnected. He eventually sees a psychotherapist who helps him sort out his long time unresolved pains.

Such is the loneliness and emptiness of a sexual seeker who continues to search for satisfaction in a series of static encounters. Here is what’s common: in the addicted, fixed sexual pattern of behavior, what always comes out is the feeling of “futility of going nowhere.” At times, it’s conscience that bothers.

What’s wrong with the picture?

Ultimately, it’s intimacy that we long for in our relationships. Deeper waters, getting close emotionally to someone other than sex. To be able to experience genuine connection – a feeling of being unconditionally loved as you are, as a whole being. As psychotherapist and writer, Dr. Rolls May put it, “In remembering our sexual experiences, it’s the intimacy that is remembered, not the orgasm.”

But, even as best as it can be, human connection remains limited. No human intimacy can give you 100% satisfaction. We’re all created to need more than what is human – psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Depression Is Not A Medical Illness

If you are feeling depressed and low, I got one important advice for you: avoid a medical doctor or psychiatrist. 95% of the time, he or she is the one most unqualified to deal with your depression.

I say this because a medical doctor is predominantly “biochemical” in training and protocol. After a mere 10 or 15 minutes talking, the psychiatrist gets his prescription pad and issues you a drug. That is, because he believes that your depression is a physical/medical illness.

How mistaken and dangerous to your health! With depression, there is no scientific or objective proof that something is wrong with the tissues of the physical body. Even the label “chemical imbalance” (serotonin abnormality) in the brain most often blamed causing depression remains a theory, not a fact, up to this day. There are no laboratory tests (empirical evidence) that will show damage or breakdown of any body tissues when you are depressed.

The diagnosis “clinical depression” is based on thinking, feeling, and behavior – not on something wrong in the physical body. So when a psychiatrist gives you an organic or synthetic drug to treat your depression, he is really unable to help you. You’re given something your body does not need and may actually just contribute to worsening your condition (as I’ve witnessed in so many patients!).

Of course, there are physical illnesses (e.g. cancer) that can lead to depression, but they will have a truly medical disease label and laboratory evidence. It’s not just the stand-alone label “depression.” In that case, you treat the physical problem with organic drugs – but not the depression. The depression is treated in another way based on the patient’s unhealthy attitudes or responses in thought, feeling, and behavior to his or her various life situations.

Be careful!

Can you handle it by your self?

“I can handle it by myself.”

“Let’s not talk about it.”

I don’t know about you, but I never miss untreated addicts – alcoholics, gamblers, sex/affair addicts, etc. – saying these two “cover-ups.” These are common “walls” constructed by those who are unwilling to heal.

When a spouse or family members realize that the problem has worsened, they’ve already lived in a delusional world of denial and lies with their addicted loved one.

Addicts lie. They rationalize a lot to cover up evidences of the intensity of their addiction. They avoid responsibility, claiming nothing can be done and yet trying everything possible to hide the problem. Denial and minimization are an addict’s major weapons.

Never believe an untreated addict. If you’re a loved one, it’s healthier for you to listen more to what they do than what they say … unless you want your misery to continue on.

Helping yourself or an addicted loved one move into recovery can be a complicated endeavor. What has taken many years or months to develop cannot be undone overnight or in a day.

Rehabilitation can be a long process. Yet compared to the progression and life damage of the addiction, it’s an easy and long-term solution.

The spouse or family members need to move out of denial and enabling. They must be willing to do what it takes and expend as much energy as possible to rehabilitate their addicted loved one.

Working With The Therapist

Therapist.

It’s a generic term. A word that may refer to any of the following: pastoral counselor, social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, priest, life coach, or mental health consultant.

Therapist does a number of things to help heal. Interprets. Reflects. Confronts. Challenges. Comforts. Role plays. Whatever he or she does, including the techniques etc, they’re geared towards helping someone come out different.

More than what he or she does, a foremost element of change and healing is the therapist’s “presence.” It’s who he or she is, regardless of his or her theoretical allegiances, that makes the main difference in a mind and soul in torment.

Psychotherapist/author Dr. Rollo May speaks of presence as a “complete experiencing of the patient’s being–not of his symptoms or problems but of his essence.” A therapist who is wise, loving, sincere, or inspirational comes fully prepared to enter a patient’s world.

Therapist and patient or client are partners in a life journey.