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I want to talk about betrayal. I think it’s important, because it is something we must all face, at some point or another, in our lives. It can be seen as an opportunity for self-growth, and something to learn significant lessons from. The deceit can be big or small, and it can sometimes cause lasting repercussions outside our control. But I believe that its effects can be mitigated by actions we take to heal ourselves.

Media and entertainment often focus on school years for their material, whether it be grade school, high school, or university. High school years get particular attention, probably because it’s a highly transformative period, one during which we transition from childhood to young adulthood. Things are felt so intensely when we’re children, even as teens and young adults. Along with our changing bodies, and hormonal levels, the sheer importance of our peers and their perception of us, can feel overwhelming. At that age, our whole world seems to play out within school walls and its ensuing social hierarchy.

For some, our first brush with betrayal happens on school grounds, i.e., your best-friend-forever, decides to be someone else’s bestie. And, leaves you on your lonesome until you make a new friend, and learn not to ‘put all of your eggs in one basket’ as a result. It’s a crushing experience that can lead you to learn a positive way to deal with deception early on. ‘Deceit’ can also come in the form of bullying. If we’re picked on, and isolated in our school(s), it’ll absolutely cause lasting changes to our personhood, and how we now view the world. Because we may not have been able to form close bonds during this developmental period of our lives, it can lead us to shun social settings as grownups, have trust issues, etc. It can also lead to childhood anxiety, and social anxiety, all stemming from others’ actions towards us.

Kids find all kinds of reasons to be mean to each other, and to put others down. Popular excuses that have withstood the test of time include; appearance, social class, and any visible sign of otherness (it could be race, religion, sexuality, ideology, artistic talent, illness, etc.). A lot of the issues that can feel unsurmountable for the youth, can be resolved by going to a different school (if one can afford to), getting a makeover (if one wants to), finding clubs or groups that will support that ‘otherness,’ and speaking to a counsellor to properly heal from this ordeal.

Most, if not all, of these options require parental assistance. If one’s parents are poor, uninformed, not in their lives, or living in underserved areas where local alternatives are not available, then it can be tough for a youth to know things are unlikely to change for the better, anytime soon. In other cases, parents choose to be uninvolved in their offspring’s life, and are uninterested in any of the challenges they may be going through. Some parents take it as a personal affront if their child is not ‘popular’ in school. They might even blame their offspring for the bullying they’re going through. Thus leaving them with the belief that they’re at fault and that adults won’t intercede, since the grownups closest to them are refusing to help.

Being left alone to suffer at the hands of your peers, and being blamed for that abuse by the people that brought you into this world, is a huge deception. One that can have lifelong effects not only on your relationship with your parents and/or family moving forward, but on how you choose to change in order to survive.

  • Will you fall into delinquency to vanquish your bullies?
  • Will you repress parts of yourself to fit in?
  • How long will changes, made in response to betrayal during your formative years, affect the rest of your life?
  • How will mistakes made, before your frontal lobes fully form (around the age of 25) alter your existence?
  • What kind of adult will the sum of your experiences turn you into? Text Box: Illustration 3 by Choconstant on Instagram

I think that if we’re lucky enough to survive; grade school, high school, and the environments we were born into, part of our personal growth as adults lies in healing from wounds received during childhood. By disentangling negative external forces from our personal trajectory, we can rectify the past, and ensure that our present is truly what we want it to be. It won’t necessarily be easy, and this work may not be completed quickly, but it is absolutely necessary. And I truly believe that whatever we endure as youths, can be transformed into fuel for a stronger version of who we are meant to be.

                                                            An original blog by: