Betrayal seems to be at the heart of 95% of all cases of mental ‘illness’. When I reflect on my life, especially the low points in my life, betrayal in some form or another was the driving force behind me not wanting to go on. But this betrayal was not always blatant, nor was it always a result of a romantic relationship.
Being betrayed by someone you love as a soul mate or companion in life just simply makes you want to kill, or die, or kill first and then die! But so often we seek affirmation from our partners to make up for the insecurities established in ourselves through interactions with a much broader audience of significant others, that I believe betrayal by a lover or partner is so much more hurtful and destructive, because we expose our fragility that much more.
But more often than not, the betrayal that is likely to set the wheels in motion for a healthy dose of mental ‘illness’ is experienced much earlier in life. Sometimes, I believe, it’s as early as when we’re still toddlers just growing into our conscious states. I often test my rationale around this by observing babies because that is the most innocent and sincere state any person can ever be in. They act purely out of instinct and respond entirely based on their inherent nature without having been tainted by life yet. While they may be selective about who they allow to cuddle them and comfort them, they nonetheless respond to those affections without restraint. But when they are shunned in deliberate ways by the care givers that they naturally expect such affection from, it starts building the sub-conscious processes required to protect themselves from such harshness which eventually manifests as defence mechanisms or survival instincts. The more the pattern is maintained throughout childhood and into adolescence, the more deeply ingrained this sense of emotional starvation becomes.
I think that the earlier in life that these experiences occur, the greater the chances are for teenagers and adults to be diagnosed with mental illnesses that seemingly have no direct correlation to their life’s experiences. For this reason, I believe that reflection and honest, sincere introspection is the greatest weapon we can employ in avoiding such a pitfall. But society seems to enforce the idea that unless you’re affirmed by others, you’re wrong or worthless. So in this process of reflection, we judge ourselves based on our perception of what is or is not appreciated by others and use that as a benchmark against which to determine our self-worth.
(Just some random thoughts I needed to write down)