Excerpt of Reading at Many Rivers Bookstore: “Tackling the Desire for Revenge After Betrayal Trauma”
American Freedom Radio Interview: Betrayal, spiritual recovery
Many Rivers Bookstore Talk: “Angels or Demons? Engaging Affliction and Suffering” 81.24 minutes.
The Mystical Positivist Radio Show: Interview with Sandra Lee Dennis
Interview on Making My Mark – “Why I Write Books” – written interview
Interview on Reading to Distraction “Interview with the Author” – written interview
Interview on The Book Adventures of Emily – written interview
Interview on Blog Talk Radio – with Sage Adderly, 30 minutes
Interview Topics/ Questions
1. What motivated you to write Love and the Mystery of Betrayal ?
2. Would you call this a self-help book? Who would benefit from reading this book?
3. You describe betrayal as “the most underrated trauma.” Why is betrayal so traumatic?
4. What are the signs that one is suffering from PTSD and what can they do about it?
5. You call betrayal an “emotional rape,” a misuse of power and intimacy granted in trust. You also discuss how we as a culture do not recognize how betrayal can be a violent act. Tell me more about that.
6. You talk about the stigma and shame of being the victim of abandonment or betrayal. Where does this stigma come from and how can someone who’s been betrayed be true to their experience despite others telling them to just move on.
7. You talk in the book about the energetic connections created when two people have sex, even casually. Can you talk more about this and how it relates to betrayal?
8. You talk in the book about how the betrayal you experienced provoked an existential crisis and led you on a spiritual journey. Can you tell me more about that?
9. You emphasis the importance of turning toward suffering to heal a broken heart, but that seems counterintutitive. Could you please explain?
10. If someone who had just experienced intimate betrayal came to you for help, what advice would you give her or him?
11. What do you wish you knew when you were going through the trauma of deception and betrayal that you know now?
12. You describe the experience as a “dark night of the soul”? How do you know you’ve entered the dark night? What can you do to make it through it?
13. You talk about how betrayal destroys basic trust. Have you learned to trust again and what can someone who’s been betrayed do to learn to trust again?
14. Why was surrender and prayer such an important part of your recovery? What do you mean when you say that heartbreak and longing are “prayers of the heart”?
15. How can connecting with God, or your Higher Power, help one recover from the wounds of abandonment, betrayal and broken trust?
A Reader’s Guide
QUESTIONS & TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Why is telling your story an important part of healing from the trauma of betrayal or abandonment? Have you told your story to others who have gone through a similar experience? These are the people most likely to believe you and to understand your pain.
2. Have you had times when you thought you understood someone else’s situation and later discovered when you went through the same thing yourself that you had no idea?
3. What metaphors best fit your experience of betrayal?
4. Discuss examples of how the culture: a) reveres power over love, b) stigmatizes victims and overlooks perpetrators, and 3) downplays the emotional violence and devastation of betrayal.
5. What aspects of your experience do you now understand as symptoms of post-traumatic stress?
6. Have you experienced the conflicting emotions of pain and longing that often arise after a partner’s betrayal, and, if so, how have you dealt with them?
7. What do you think of the idea that sex is like super glue that binds you energetically to your sexual partner? Relate to your experience. What are the implications for you?
8. Do you agree that you do not “heal” from betrayal, like you do from an illness? Has it been your experience that betrayal changes you; that something in you must die, and you come out a new and different person?
9. How have you experienced the “time-release poison” at work altering your memories in light of the deception you were living?
10. How has shame held you back from sharing the truth of whatever emotional or physical abuse you have gone through?
11. In what ways has betrayal put you in touch with the core wounds or “primal agonies” of your infancy and childhood?
12. What did betrayal show you about yourself you had not seen before? Do you think being cracked open helped you become more aware of and identify less with your “basic flaw”?
13. Take a few minutes to tune into any discomfort or pain you are experiencing right now. What do you notice when you bring attention, curiosity and caring to these unpleasant sensations? Can you discern the yearning for freedom and love in pain?
14. Discuss: Nothing is more precious than trusting your own perceptions. How did betrayal undermine your trust in your own perceptions? What are you doing to re-establish that trust?
15. What does “uncovering the grief of a lifetime” mean to you? Betrayal can tap into more grief than you imagined possible. Discuss possible sources of all that unlived pain. How can we make room for regular, healthy grieving in our lives?
16. What practical ways have you found to manage and diffuse resentment, the most common long-term residue of betrayal?
17. Do you blame and castigate yourself for not seeing the signs that your partner was not who they appeared to be? If so, what ways have you found to forgive yourself and find acceptance?
18. What does it mean to you that betrayal and abandonment are “calls of the soul?” What graces have you received in your dark night of the soul?
19. Reflect on any positive shift you have noticed in your inner life as a result of living through the experience of betrayal.
20. Did your betrayal bring on a crisis of faith? In what ways has the crisis brought you closer to God or your Higher Power?