It should be noted that, while not all trauma is technically betrayal trauma, statistics cited by Freyd, Klest and Allard show studies document how 85.5% of child abuse is perpetrated by caregivers.
Memories of betrayal trauma bypass the cortex, where they might be processed by the rational part of the brain.
Whether they are stuck in the instinctive sections of the brain or in some other part of the body, when the emotions are not processed and brought into consciousness, especially in the case of betrayal trauma, Dayton says, "The experience of care and attention is confused with pain and abuse" (Dayton, 2000, Ch.
52) Dayton, as well as Zimberoff and Hartman, contend that the end result of betrayal trauma, and the shock that ensues, can often lead to dissociation and other behaviors that allow the victim to separate from the feelings evoked by the original trauma.
The second complication that occurs as a result of betrayal trauma, and which also can foster circumstances that lead to addiction, is a difficulty on the part of the affected person in determining and/or heeding risk.
The lack of a sense of what is risky to oneself or others can stem from betrayal, and lead to substance abuse, because survivors of betrayal trauma not only have difficulty determining what is risky; they may have yet another pathological device at work.
The third, and perhaps most devastating of the things a person suffering betrayal trauma might do, is develop a pattern of self-destructive behavior.
Self-destructive ideation behavior, which can encompass self-harm and tendency toward suicide, has been linked to betrayal trauma. Delker and Freyd base their conclusions on studies by Bornovalova, Tull, Gratz, Levy, & Lejuez, (2010); and Edwards, Freyd, Dube, Anda, & Felitti (2012).
Betrayal trauma, such as living with an abusive parent or being sexually assaulted by an authority figure, can often lead to self-destructive behavior.
Another dimension to betrayal trauma, which often makes it more severe, involves the manner in which victims will find ways of repeating the trauma through similar experiences throughout life.
I realized, at that time, that the betrayal trauma I had suffered was what was responsible for my picking up the substances to begin with.