How Our Hearts Are Changed By Betrayal

You haven’t always been this way.

You haven’t always been a body lined with thorns, a heart wrapped in razor wire; hard lines and jaded eyes.

Distant, aloof, guarded.

There was a time you were shades of pastel; when your heart knew love, and trust rested freely upon your fingertips.

There was a time your days were painted with innocence. Where eager eyes gazed at the world with hope and wonder, your heart still shiny and new.

But all of this changed the moment you were betrayed by someone you loved.

Someone you trusted. Someone who should have protected you. Someone who hurt you instead. Someone who allowed you to be hurt by others.

There is little else that shatters a heart as much as the pain of betrayal. It tears you open, rips your heart out of your chest. You don’t want to put it back, you want to leave it on the floor to bleed until there is nothing left until the blood runs dry and you no longer have to feel a damn thing anymore.

But you can’t. You have to go on. So you pick your heart off the floor and place it back inside your hollow chest.

Except, the heart that you put back is never the same heart. It is wounded, war-torn. It no longer seeks love, but only to protect itself from the pain of ever being betrayed again.

A heart that is betrayed is changed forever.

No longer will it trust anyone again, but greets every person with reservation and fear; wary of the world that has proven to only take advantage for its own benefit. It remains hyper-vigilant in its desperate need to prove itself right; forever searching for the cracks inside another person that prove they too are unworthy of trust. It needs to know its enemy.

It needs to remain one step in front at all times. Kindness is met with suspicion, for your heart has learned nothing comes without a cost – there are always strings, always an agenda. Your heart rejects kindness, remains cynical of it, refuses to accept it. It would rather suffer on its own than accept kindness that allows it to become vulnerable to another.

Your heart no longer knows how to trust itself either, and it makes vows to stay hard, to stay tough. Never will I want again. Never will I need again. Never will I trust again.

Never will I love again.

These vows are the cornerstones of the fortress it builds around itself, the strongholds that keep the walls in place. It gives up hope of ever being protected and instead learns to protect itself.

It becomes a slave to its independence, its autonomy. Here, in its fortress, it is safe. Here, behind its walls, it can remain distant, removed.

Here, your heart can trust itself not to feel. 

For betrayal has taught your heart how dangerous it is to feel. To want, to need. To desire love, relationship, connection. No, your heart must deaden itself to its desires. It must wake each morning with one goal of attack – to kill your hungry soul.

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Writer. Poet. Survivor. Warrior. Word Alchemist.
Kathy Parker is a lover of beautiful words and wide open spaces; a wild heart, passionate soul and gentle spirit. She is a survivor of abuse, sufferer of Complex-PTSD. Her greatest desire is to see all women empowered with the truth of their glorious worth.
She is a contributor for The Mighty, Thought Catalog, Truth Code, Lessons Learned In Life and The Minds Journal and also has writing published at Huffington Post Australia and Elephant Journal.
Her first book, The Unravelled Heart, available worldwide December 2017.
She is married to a farmer in the Limestone Coast of South Australia and is a mother to four astonishing children.