Excerpt About Betrayal

The Unconscious Sense of Betrayal

Because the child experiences the parents’ expectations as different from who he actually is, he feels betrayed by the parents. Even the general narcissistic condition of the parents is perceived as a betrayal. Because the child is completely dependent on the parents, this situation leads to his betraying himself to avoid aloneness and the loss of love of the parents. This, the greatest of all betrayals, is an important part of the development of narcissism, and constitutes an emotional issue central to the resolution of narcissism. In general, this sense of betrayal is completely unconscious until later developments take place, for instance when a person is in the process of individuation and separation from the parents’ expectations, he may feel then the cost of his accommodation to the parents’ defining of him. Another level of development is the process of spiritual realization, in which glimpses of essential nature tend to reveal the emotional pain involved with the parents’ failure to support and mirror this true nature. Seeing one’s essential nature gives one a painful awareness of what was betrayed by the parents and by the self’s accommodation of the parents’ world.

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