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PTSD and Betrayal Trauma By Shelby Frederick

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Many people of various ages have experienced a wide range of traumatic events that often go undiagnosed and untreated. From the abandoned child to domestic violence, and even natural disasters leave scars and holes in the souls of many people. Some are able to manage their triggers through self-care practices. But others are plagued with prolonged symptoms that if left untreated, throw them into a cycle of poor day-to-day functioning.

What is Trauma?

“Trauma is defined as a deeply distressing or overwhelming experience that is commonly followed by emotional and physical shock. If left unresolved or untreated, traumatic experiences can lead to short and long-term challenges.” (

What is PTSD?

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.” (Mayo Clinic -

Symptoms include memories of the traumatic experience, avoidance from people, places or things that remind you of the event, negative thinking and mood swings including detachment from key relationships, awakened physical and emotional symptoms and intensification of any of the aforementioned.

Doctor intervention is critical if having disturbing thoughts for longer than a month and you feel like your life is out of control. If you have suicidal thoughts, get help right away from the nearest hospital. While doctors aren’t sure why some get PTSD, it could be a mix of stressful experiences, inherited mental health risks, or the way your brain regulates chemicals and hormones in your body in response to stress.

What is Betrayal Trauma?

“Betrayal trauma occurs when someone we depend on for survival, or are significantly attached to, violates our trust in a critical way. Although betrayal trauma shares many of the same psychological, physiological and neurological symptoms associated with fear-based traumas, it is distinct in two important ways: The perpetrator is in close relationship with the victim. Due to the personalized nature of the betrayal, betrayal trauma can be more destabilizing to one’s social schema than a strictly fear-based trauma. Research has also shown betrayal trauma to be associated with more physical illness, anxiety, dissociation and depression than traumas low in betrayal.[1]” The symptoms of betrayal trauma are consistent with PTSD.

[1] Jennifer J. Freyd, Bridget Klest & Carolyn B. Allard (2005) Betrayal Trauma: Relationship to Physical Health, Psychological Distress, and a Written Disclosure Intervention, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 6:3, 83-104, DOI: 10.1300/J229v06n03_04

There is also a high risk of reoccurrence. Due to the close and interconnected relationship between the perpetrator and the victim, it can be can be difficult to confront or sever ties with the perpetrator. As a result, victims may feel trapped and remain in the relationship out of necessity, thereby making the risk of future reoccurrence of betrayal trauma higher than with random or accidental traumas.

A person who is physically assaulted by a stranger, for instance, is unlikely to encounter the same aggressor a second time. A betrayed spouse, on the other hand, typically shares a life, home, children, extended family, and finances with the perpetrator. These life ties make extrication infinitely more complex and prolonged — even if the victim chooses to divorce the perpetrator.

Betrayal trauma is a deeply shattering experience. Many symptoms arise immediately after a betrayal trauma, while other symptoms have a delayed onset. For example, depression, grief reactions, skepticism, shame, and engagement in high-risk behavior are common delayed reactions to betrayal trauma. Delayed reactions may start months, and sometimes years, after the initial discovery of a betrayal.” (

Healing from PTSD and Betrayal Trauma is possible. Let me introduce you to “7 Wisdom Keys of Soul Care” as taken from my Emotional Healing Training Series. These 7 wisdom keys have been uniquely selected to call forth your greatness and transform your life through the renewing of your mind. By using the S.A.S. Principle, you will effectively change the way you think about your past and move into new thought patterns based off of who you are and not what you have been through.

Wisdom Key #1

Connect Heart to Heart

Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; 10 for if [a]either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 AMP

Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor; 10 for if [a]either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and does not have another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, then they keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

• Whenever we are faced with a situation that triggers an old emotional trauma, we must know that

• We have help

• Christ and the Holy Spirit is making intercession for us

• The weapons may form but they will not prosper because they are our shield

• Our life is to be intertwined into this three strand cord.

We have a heart to heart connection with the Father. It takes heart to confront the ties that have bound us to our path.

Wisdom Key #2

Make Empowering Choices

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Philippians 4:13 AMP

• God has called us to live in freedom! John 8:36

• Strength

• opposes every weakness

• Beefs us up

• Fortifies us against the attacks of the mind while it is being renewed

• Empowers

• We are sceptered meaning we receive a staff or rod which is a symbol of authority against the enemy when he tries to rise up against us

Infused – we are made FULL of Holy Spirit and ALL of Christ’s authority IN US. Christ in you the hope of glory! Colossians 1:27

Wisdom Key #3

Aim For The Goal | Embrace The Process

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained. Philippians 3: 13-16 AMP

● We must forget what we have been delivered from.

● We waste too much energy looking behind, which gets us off track.

● We have no need to look behind when goodness and mercy is following us ALL the days of our life. Not part-time. Not some time. Not occasionally. ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE. Psalm 23:6

● Everyone’s process is different. Focus on YOUR process so that you can do it with joy.

Wisdom Key #4

Speak Empowering Language

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,

And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words. Proverbs 18:21 AMP

● We must watch the words that we speak about ourselves.

● We are speaking spirits.

● We must speak “I Am” Scriptures, which speak to our identity in Christ Jesus and removes the accusations of the enemy

● We heal our soul by applying the life giving balm of the Word of the Lord to the fractures and holes of our soul while we are going through the healing process.

Wisdom Key #5

Be Committed To Transformation

● When we commit, we are investing, entrusting, dedicating, consecrate (give entirely to a specific person, activity or cause), dedication (making a pledge), we are binding ourselves intellectually or emotionally to a course of action)

● We have to submit this process of soul care to the Lord, THEN our plan of action, as we respond to His will and guidance will succeed.

Wisdom Key #6

Call Forth Greatness

Declaring the end and the result from the beginning, And from ancient times the things which have not [yet] been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will do all that pleases Me and fulfills My purpose,’ Isaiah 46:10 AMP

● Papa God already knows the end AND the result when He calls forth greatness. This greatness is HIS not ours.

● The purpose for which you were created CANNOT BE ABORTED if you use the previous wisdom keys.

● God is declaring HIS intentions for your life

● When God declares His purpose, HE is letting you know that HE is married to His purpose for your life

● He is an avower of his own great intelligence

● If it pleased Him to bruise His own Son to redeem the world, what makes us think that He won’t get the glory out of redeeming us back to His purpose for our lives?????

Wisdom Key #7

Hold Them BIG

The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s [a]Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence, and upholding and maintaining and propelling all things [the entire physical and spiritual universe] by His powerful word [carrying the universe along to its predetermined goal]. When He [Himself and no other] had [by offering Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for sin] accomplished purification from sins and established our freedom from guilt, He sat down [revealing His completed work] at the right hand of the Majesty on high [revealing His Divine authority], 4 having become as much superior to angels, since He has inherited a more excellent and glorious [b]name than they [that is, Son—the name above all names]. Hebrews 1: 3-4 AMP

● Everything about who you are is upheld by the expression of God’s glory, through Christ Jesus

● Our purpose is “voice activated” by the rhema Word of the Lord

● We inherited all power, strength and ability to overcome all things opposed to His plan for our lives. And this includes ALL TRAUMA

S.A.S. Principle

Romans 12:2:And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Write the Scripture:

Word Study: “And be not conformed to this world”


1. What is God speaking to you regarding this Scripture?

2. What questions or revelation do you seek to know?

3. What is the principle to be learned?

4. Write out a short affirmation to help you remember the principle that you have learned.


1. How does this passage apply to my life? (past or present)


1. How can I share the principle with others in a practical way?

Journal additional thoughts:

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