Betrayal underlies all psychic trauma, whether sexual abuse or profound neglect, violence or treachery, extramarital affair or embezzlement. When we betray others, we violate their confidence in us. When others betray us, they pierce the veil of our innocent reliance. Betraying and feeling betrayed are ubiquitous to the scenarios of trauma and yet surprisingly neglected as a topic of specific attention by psychoanalysis. This book fills this gap. The first part deals with developmental aspects and notes that while the experience of betrayal might be ubiquitous in childhood, its lack of recognition by the parents is what leads to fixation upon it. Attention is also given to Oedipally-indulged and seduced children who feel betrayed later in the course of their development. Feelings of betrayal during early adolescence are also discussed. This section of the book closes with an account of situations where our bodies betray us. The realms of body image betrayal, body self betrayal, and the body's ultimate betrayal via physical death are addressed.
Introduction , Developmental Realm , Betrayal in childhood , A seduced child is a betrayed child , Betrayal, shifting loyalties, identity, and love in adolescence , When the body betrays , Literary Realm , The theme of betrayal in the works of “William Shakespeare” , Betrayal as the creative force behind Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” , Clinical Realm , The compulsion to betray and the need to be betrayed , Sexual abuse of children as the betrayal of a sacred trust , The extramarital affair and the betrayal of a spouse , The injured bystander in analytic betrayal