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The person I thought you were.

When someone breaks our trust it can feel like the world around us comes tumbling down. We thought we knew someone. We thought we could rely on them. We felt safe with them. Maybe depended on them or turned to them in times of need. We may have even looked up to them. Adored them. Seen them as someone very special. Someone we admired, cared about and even loved very deeply.

But what happens when that image is shattered? Suddenly the person we thought we knew. The person we thought we could trust. The one we believed. Well they no longer exist. And the one standing in front of us feels like a stranger. Someone we once knew. Someone we had a sense of. But now they are no longer familiar to us. They are distant. There is emptiness. Something has broken. Something has changed.

Trust is everything. In friendships. In family. In romantic relationships. With colleagues. Peers. You name it. Trust. Well. We cant exist without it. Part of knowing someone is trusting them. Part of understanding someone is being able to share with them. To open up with them. To invite them in to your world , as you step in to theirs. You communicate. You laugh. You talk. You spend quality time together. And you share. You share the things that are truly important to you. Trust – the solid foundation of all relationships.

When someone breaks your trust it can hurt you so deeply. Maybe they lie to you. Maybe they speak to you in a way you never imagined anyone ever possibly could. Perhaps they let you down at a hugely important time. Perhaps their absence speaks volumes. Betrayal. However it looks – it hurts. Beyond measure.

When we feel betrayed. When we feel let down and hurt. Our world stops spinning. We may even shut down for a while. Step back. Go quiet. We might stop communicating. We may hurt, we may be angry and perhaps both together and then repeat the same cycle. The chances are we will need to process the hurt, to talk about it and to work through it. It isn’t easy. Not at all. It can only be done one step at a time. Gradually we can work through things until we make peace with them.

But even as we heal – we will still be reminded that the person we thought we knew. The one we felt so close too. Well they are not the same person. That person is gone. And for them we have to grieve. We have to find a way of processing and letting go.

Forgiveness is a choice. An individual has the right to choose if they want to forgive. They may never forget something – but choose to forgive and move forward in the relationship. They may choose not to forgive and step back from the person that has hurt them in order to protect themselves. They may choose to never see the person again, to continue the relationship and open up about all the pain that was caused. Or they may choose to quietly walk away. Its all totally individual and there is no right or wrong way.

The important thing to consider is the concept of knowing someone. Knowing who they truly are. That’s hard to process. That’s difficult to contemplate. That’s hard to work through and understand. When we thought we knew someone and then they do something totally out of character and hurt us deeply. We are left with an illusion. We might ask ourselves. Did we ever really know that person???

The truth is – we all have a shadow side. Its what we do with it that truly matters. None of us are perfect – far from it. But we all have a choice. We can choose how we treat people and we can choose how we behave. That’s the important part.

When someone lets us down, we might be left wondering why. Why did they do that to us? Why did they take things out on us? Why were those choices made? Did we do something wrong we might ask? In our search for answers we may only hurt ourselves more deeply.

If the illusion of someone close shatters. If you find yourself grieving for someone you thought you knew. Then remind yourself of this –

  • It is not your fault
  • You are more than good enough
  • You didn’t do anything wrong
  • They have a choice about how they behaved
  • There is always a choice – not an excuse
  • Their behaviour says more about them then it does about you
  • You are worth more
  • Step back if you need too
  • Process and reflect when you need too
  • Tell them how you feel if you think it will help
  • Remind yourself that this is part of them – not all of them
  • None of us are perfect
  • We are all capable of making mistakes
  • Its what they do about their mistakes that matters
  • Is there remorse? Is there reparation? If there is then healing is possible
  • You can never change anyone else – they must want to change themselves
  • A person is made up of several parts – integration of those parts is key
  • Are you able to see the different parts of them and accept them for who they are
  • Remember that acceptance doesn’t mean putting up with unacceptable behaviour
  • Healing comes when we acknowledge all of the above and start to move forward
  • Focus on you and all that you need

Your life. Your rules.

Finally remember – sometimes we need to grieve for the person we thought we once knew. That process can be painful. But healing and acceptance will come as a result of it. Take your time. Follow the path that you need too. Step by step. Day by day. The answers will come to you.