understanding trauma after betrayal

Everybody seems to be talking about trauma and triggers, but what does “being traumatized” or “experiencing a trigger” really mean? Having a bad day, feeling upset or uncomfortable is not trauma. Experiencing something that renders you unable to function the way you previously functioned is.

Trauma is not linear or logical and is stored in the body and brain subconsciously as well as consciously. Working with a coach, counselor, therapist, or member of the clergy who is trained in, and understands trauma is essential if you want to heal! Why? Because even the most loving, kind, talented and caring individual can inadvertently cause harm if they don’t understand trauma.

YES! Both Lora, and today’s guest, Trey Malicoat, are trained in trauma.

Top take-a-ways:
  • What is trauma, and how does it impact you after infidelity?
  • What does “healing from trauma” mean and how do you become emotional responsible and create healing?
  • Knowing the difference between triggers and hurt feelings,
  • Why working with professionals who understand trauma is essential!

 

Join my Facebook Group, Affair Recovery for Women and get in on the healing action!

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About Lora

Attorney, speaker and Burnout & Betrayal Recovery Coach, Lora Cheadle believes that betrayal uncovers the truth of what’s possible when we stop focusing on what was done to us and start showing up unapologetically for ourselves. She helps women rebuild their identity and self-worth after infidelity so they can reclaim (or find for the very first time) their confidence, clarity, and connection to source and create their own kind of happily ever after.

About Trey Malicoat, MS

 

In the aftermath of emotional devastation, Trey Malicoat is a beacon of unwavering hope. For 26 years, he has been leading individuals and communities from the darkness of trauma toward the liberating embrace of joy, peace, and purpose. Therapist, crisis responder, nonprofit director, healthcare executive, professor, author, and motivational speaker, Trey’s mission is to empower human hearts to rewrite their stories of pain into narratives of resilience.

 

Trey has witnessed the impact of trauma firsthand, from national tragedies like Columbine, 9/11, and the Pulse nightclub shooting where he provided trauma response and site-directed care, to leading nonprofits serving youth and families scarred by violence and grief, amassing an intimate understanding of trauma.

 

This fueled the creation of the Restoration Model for Emotional Healing and the Restoration Academy– a transformative process for liberating limiting subconscious beliefs, and personal suffering, and creating lives of profound peace. Many describe the intensive experiences of the Restoration Model as “rebirths,” allowing them to finally thrive, unbound from the shackles of past wounds.

 

Do you feel ready to reclaim your narrative? Take the first step towards your boundless life today. www.treymalicoat.com www.restorationcoaches.com treymalicoat@gmail.com

 

Thank you to BetterHelp for sponsoring this podcast! Take charge of your mental health and get 10% off your first month of therapy at https://BetterHelp.com/FLAUNT

 

 

Untangle yourself from the past, reclaim your power, and own your worth so you can create a future you love on your own terms. All with a wink and a smile! Learn more at www.loracheadle.com and follow me across all social!

 

 

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Transcript

 

Narrator [00:00:01]:
You’re listening to Flaunt. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal, a podcast for women who’ve been betrayed by their intimate partner and want to turn their devastation into an invitation to reclaim themselves and their worth. Tune in weekly so you can start making sense of it all and learn how to be okay on the inside no matter what goes on on the outside. Download your free betrayal recovery toolkit@betrayalrecoveryguide.com.

Lora Cheadle [00:00:35]:
This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp. Have you been struggling lately? Relationship issues impact every area of your life. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity, I was so devastated. I could barely function. Sleeping was impossible because I couldn’t shut off my brain. Eating was a challenge because I felt nauseous all the time. And for the 1st month or so, everything felt pointless. Whether you’re having trouble sleeping, feeling hopeless, or just can’t focus, BetterHelp is here to help you.

Lora Cheadle [00:01:07]:
Better Help offers licensed therapists who are trained to listen and help. You can talk to your therapist in a private online environment at your convenience. There’s a broad range of expertise in BetterHelp’s 20,000 plus therapist network that gives you access to help that might not be available in your area. Just fill out a questionnaire to help assess your specific needs, and then you’ll be matched with a therapist in under 24 hours. Then you can schedule secure video and phone sessions. Plus, you can exchange unlimited messages, and everything you share is completely confidential. I know the confidentiality was important for me, especially early on when I couldn’t even get my own mind wrapped around what was happening. And it was so comforting To be able to speak with someone candidly about everything I was going through, to validate that what I was feeling and experiencing was completely normal.

Lora Cheadle [00:02:03]:
You can request a new therapist at no additional charge anytime. Join the 2,000,000 plus people who have taken charge of their mental health with an experienced BetterHelp therapist. Special offer to flaunt. Create a life you love after Infidelity and betrayal listeners. You get 10% off your 1st month at better help .com/flaunt. That’s better help, he l p, .com Slash flaunt, f l a u n t. Thanks again to BetterHelp for sponsoring this podcast.

Lora Cheadle [00:02:51]:
Hello, and welcome to Flaunt. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal. I am Lora Cheadle, and Today, we’ve got a really interesting guest. His name is Trey Malecote and I’m going to have him tell you a little bit more about himself later on. But the reason I asked him to come on to my show is because he knows trauma. He understands trauma And how I found him was when I was searching for more resources for myself as a coach, As somebody who deals with infidelity and betrayal, as you know, if you are in my Facebook group, if you listen to my podcast, If you’ve worked with me before, I always say reach out to somebody who is trauma informed, Trauma aware. Reach out to somebody who understands trauma. Infidelity and betrayal is traumatic and There are great people out there, but unless they understand trauma, chances are they are not going to help you In the way that you need to be helped and in service of that, I am always seeking to further my education around trauma So I can better pinpoint what is a traumatic reaction? What is outside of my scope of practice? Where can I be of service to you? So with that, we are going to have Tre Malacote talk today about Trauma.

Lora Cheadle [00:04:30]:
What it means in all things trauma. So welcome to the show, Trey. I’m really glad you’re here.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:04:37]:
Thank you so much, Lora. And I’ve gotta tell you, It is so fantastic to see the work you’re doing, and I’m really very, very grateful to for the opportunity to talk about trauma, to Hopefully, help your audience understand what it’s all about. So let me lay a little bit of foundation about who I am first

Lora Cheadle [00:04:54]:
of all. Please. That’s exactly what I was hoping

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:04:58]:
When I was a younger man in the late nineties, I saw an opportunity, and it was really pretty simple. My best friend was in the Columbine High School shooting, and as a result, he asked for support. I was already a therapist at the time, but I realized after dealing with Columbine and seeing all of these school shootings popping up all over the country, I said, I think there’s gonna be a need for trauma services, And I kinda fell into it. Maybe that was the best decision I’ve ever made. Now over the last 25 years, I’ve done all sorts to things ranging from teaching on the university level, writing curriculum for programs, individual 1 on 1 work with people. And in my processes, I have learned that actually and I’m I’m about to say something pretty bold. The entire mental health institution establishment has lost the mark because they don’t think about trauma enough. And when you really get right down to it, I believe that trauma undergirds almost Every bit of dysfunction we have emotionally, relationally, spiritually, intellectually.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:06:12]:
So I’m so glad to talk about trauma, And that’s a little bit about me. I live in Denver. I work all over the country. In fact, I work internationally and I write. I teach. I do intensives with people, and my whole focus is really helping people master Where they’ve been so that they can create lives of joy, peace, and purpose. Okay. I’ll take a breath.

Lora Cheadle [00:06:41]:
Wonderful. Thank you. And I just have to say I agree wholeheartedly with you that trauma underpins so many different things because We have trauma whether we recognize that it’s trauma or not, we have trauma and Something that I also wanna talk about is and we’ll just go right here. What is trauma? Because sometimes people will say, well, because I wasn’t In the Columbine High School shooting, I guess I don’t have trauma because I have a good childhood, because I had a good marriage, I didn’t have trauma. So Talk to us about what is trauma, big t trauma, little t trauma. What are we even talking about when we talk about trauma?

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:07:21]:
Okay. Great. Thank you. I so appreciate that because trauma is a catchword right now. And, frankly, everybody in the world thinks they’re traumatized. And I gotta tell you, if you lose your keys or you have a flat tire, you’re not traumatized. You’re just having a bad day or a bad 5 minutes. Now The way I look at trauma, trauma is an experience that causes a sensorial blow To the body, to the mind that is so overwhelming that we don’t understand how to actually manage it.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:07:53]:
Okay. Now that sounds kind of academic. Here’s what it really comes down to. Trauma is an experience that forces us into fight or flight response. It activates the limbic system. It puts us into a chemical whirlwind, and all of a sudden, we feel powerless And unable to function the way we had previously. Now trauma is is it runs the spectrum. You know? On one level, Just having, you know, seeing a death, that can be traumatizing.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:08:27]:
Experiencing someone holding you at gunpoint, that’s Traumatizing. Going through a relationship do you know, the work you do, Lora, around infidelity and betrayal. There are elements of that that are traumatic all the time. Abuse, violence, what we see on TV. And And the thing that I do know is that trauma is so pervasive that now we’re looking at it and we’re saying, we better figure this stuff out. So trauma is not, feeling like you can’t handle things emotionally. You’re just emotionally overwhelmed. Trauma is not feeling paralyzed because you’re sad or anxious.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:09:07]:
Those are normal things. Trauma shakes you to the core. Yeah.

Lora Cheadle [00:09:13]:
It does. It absolutely does. So we’ve defined what trauma is. It’s something that shakes you to the core. It’s something that renders you unable to function the way that you did before. So what does that mean going forward? Because so many of the women listening to this podcast will say, I can’t go on. I’m too traumatized. This has been too big of a blow.

Lora Cheadle [00:09:43]:
I can’t go on. And here’s the thing that I know. I know that we will go on. It’s a matter of will we go on in a healthy manner or will we go on in a way that That leaves us dysfunctional. So let’s talk about those 2 paths.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:09:59]:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Perfect. Okay. Well, first of all, When someone has a traumatizing experience, it it shakes you it shakes all your senses. You don’t know what you’re seeing or hearing or tasting or touching or smelling. It creates pervasive fear.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:10:14]:
Automatically, the fight or flight response kicks into gear, and we move into survival state. Now that’s innate to human beings. We have our senses because they keep us alive. But what happens with Trauma is we move into an experience that throws us into survival state, and all of a sudden, we start to adapt To that fear, to that powerlessness, to that uncertainty. Now that being said, What I want you to think about is that trauma activates something that’s incredibly primal within us. But as we make meaning out of that trauma, those Experiences. What did it mean? Why did it happen? How did it happen? What you know, from existential to practical, When we’re making meaning, we actually create a new identity. So who a person was pretrauma And who a person is post trauma, they’re not the same people.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:11:15]:
Now, oddly, people think they are the same people. They’ve just had a really bad experience, But Right. That’s not how it unfolds. So in the creation of this identity coming out of fear, what we’re really doing is saying to ourselves on a Subconscious level. How do I keep myself safe? How do I maintain an, a sense that I’m powerful and capable? And how do I function emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, physically, etcetera? Now I said 1 pivotal word in there, Subconscious. What happens is the identity begins to develop the trauma identity, and you develop all sorts of rules About how to function in the world, but these rules are not a conscious decision. It’s a subconscious belief, for instance. And I I do wanna clarify that today, I know I’m gonna say some things.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:12:08]:
And if I trigger some folks, I’m sorry about that. That’s not my intention. But to use to talk about trauma, I’ve gotta give you an example. Right? So when I think about that identity, if a woman is Attacked or sexually assaulted. Who that woman thought she was prior to that assault is different than who she is after that assault. Now she’s gonna look at her body differently, her relationships, her social connections, her sense of identity, her sense of permanence, All sorts of things. And as a result, she’s going to create stories and beliefs. For instance, All men are unsafe.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:12:48]:
Mhmm. All men are a threat. All men need to be defended against. I’m not Safe with men. If I’m in an environment with certain type of men, I’m I’m gonna freak out. Right? And it’s the subconscious rules that lay the foundation for the entire identity. So what happens is people come out of a trauma. They develop this new identity.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:13:14]:
It’s undergirded by enormous subconscious beliefs. And in the process of trying to heal, what we typically do is heal the experience. We don’t rewrite the subconscious narrative and Heal the wound of the soul. That’s what we’ve gotta do.

Lora Cheadle [00:13:31]:
Right. Yeah. Absolutely. Because otherwise, you move forward With all of these beliefs that are truly not serving you, and they are not necessarily even accurate.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:13:44]:
Mhmm. Absolutely. Now let me give you an example of a client that I had that really illustrates this So perfectly. Now as a therapist, you know, in graduate school, we we we learn things like somebody’s gonna eventually suicide, so you better be prepared for it. And, You know, we’re trying to anticipate any type of problem that we’d see in a room. I thought I had it all dialed in. The woman came into my office. I began to ask her questions.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:14:10]:
And when she sat down on the couch, she had a bag of pills that Maybe 30 30 different types of pills. And as I was doing the intake, you know, what are all the pills about? They were respiratory treatments. They were anxiety treatments, depression treatments, and I started thinking, okay. There’s a correlation between her meds and what happened to her. Yeah. In the process of peeling the onion with her and, you know, I’m telling you this in an accelerated way. This took weeks to do this. Oh, absolutely.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:14:45]:
In the process of the experience with her, what she disclosed to me was that at a Certain point when she was assaulted, she was hogtied. And as a result, Every time certain things happened, and I don’t need to go into the detail. Yeah. But every time something happened to her physically, It caused her to not breathe. Right. Her brain, her subconscious mind then said, Okay. The systems are messed up, so we better medically address the, you know, the the body is sick, Basic. Right.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:15:22]:
So in that process of working with her, we dug deeply into all of the stories She had. Now here’s the other interesting piece of her. When she pre sexual assault, she weighed a £125. When she came in to see me, she was well over 3.50. Oh, yeah. And so fast forward, 6 or 7 years later, I saw her, And she was back to about a £140. And in my process of inquiry, I said, what really shifted? And she said, I didn’t realize that I was putting on this armor, armor of thought, armor physically, armor spiritually, and all we did was Peel off her subconscious armor and that allowed her to heal. Now that’s an extreme example, but we all have these stories That and, you know, when you think about, for instance, if you have stories about men, those stories influence how you interact with other women, Your society, your workmates, anybody that’s male

Lora Cheadle [00:16:25]:
Yeah.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:16:26]:
It lays the even how you see Politics or music or movies, it all is influenced. Every bit of it. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:16:34]:
Yeah. Everything. And like that, having that understanding As a professional, whether it’s a therapist or a coach or a counselor or a clergy person, like, if you understand Trauma can create that armoring. Trauma will change your identity. Trauma will cause you to rewrite The stories, the narratives, your beliefs, your feelings, the way you’re showing up in the world. When you understand that as a professional, Then you will approach treatment and that person, I think, with a different level of curiosity, with

Lora Cheadle [00:17:09]:
a different level of understanding,

Lora Cheadle [00:17:11]:
And you will start digging deeper. In your terms, peel the onion. In my terms, strip it down. As opposed to somebody who doesn’t understand trauma, they might be treating the person as they see them on your on the face. You’re someone with medical issues.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:17:27]:
Right.

Lora Cheadle [00:17:28]:
You’re not someone with medical issues. You are someone with trauma.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:17:32]:
Mhmm. With an experience you don’t know how know how to make meaning of. Yeah. When I think about the work that I do with people, there are a few things that I think are really pivotal. First of all, when somebody has had a traumatic experience, They need to have a sense of safety and security out of that experience and living life on a day to day basis. So safety and security is the first thing. The 2nd piece of the equation is that people need an opportunity to vent their experiences, ventilate, and be validated. So what happened, and I’m so sorry that happened to you, being heard.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:18:10]:
And then the 3rd piece of this is to be equipped to predict and prepare for things that will create fear once again. Okay. Now with that, though, what we wanna do is look at how that punk that person is function. And there are layers and layers of the analysis that I do. In fact, I’m looking at 20 different data points at any given time When I’m analyzing someone. But, nevertheless, what we wanna do is is look at how the trauma has affected them, How it’s showing up emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually, but we’re not treating it on a surface level. We’ve gotta get down under it And figure out why it’s driving the bus the way that it’s driving it. And when I think about if somebody said, Trey, what’s the single most important thing That you’ve learned as a as a a traumatologist and someone who thinks about trauma, and it comes down to one thing.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:19:11]:
We have been indoctrinated away from bearing witness and holding and hearing the stories of others. And when you deal with trauma in your life, there are experiences that you desperately yearn for someone to simply hear, To hold, to bear witness to the story. Now I don’t wanna diminish it and say that’s all you’ve gotta do. Just tell me the story and it’ll all be good. What I want you to think about is that traumatized people need to have the opportunity to be fully heard, and they also need the opportunity To have their subconscious beliefs mined up, explored, and then given a path on how to create a new identity, A new life, a new purpose outside of that.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:01]:
Yes. Yes. So much to say around this. So so so so so much. First of all, for anybody who is not necessarily understanding or knowing what we mean when we talk about subconscious versus conscious Beliefs. I’m just gonna take a little detour and throw this in. Yeah. Conscious is something like, I am going to go pick up my glass of water and I’m going to take a sip of water.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:24]:
And you think the thought, I’m thirsty, I’m gonna have some water, and you just pick it up. Mhmm. Subconscious is not something that you’re thinking, not something that you’re self Directing. It’s just a response that you have, and you’re not really quite sure why you have it. Like, sometimes people who smoke, they’ll say, well, consciously, I wanted to quit smoking. I understand the health risks. My friends and family don’t like how I smell. All of a sudden, I literally just looked down and there’s a cigarette in my hand.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:52]:
I have no idea how it got there.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:20:55]:
Right.

Lora Cheadle [00:20:55]:
There’s these layers of belief and we can’t just think ourselves out of it. And it’s not that we’re not smart enough. It’s not that we don’t have willpower. It’s that operating system that is running the show, and We do get hijacked by that. So I I just wanted to put a little bookmark in here and talk a little bit about the difference between subconscious and conscious Actions and beliefs and habits. So if you ever

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:21:20]:
Yeah. I’m sorry. Please.

Lora Cheadle [00:21:21]:
No. I was just gonna say if you’ve ever not known why you’ve done something, We’ve all said that. I don’t know why I said that. I don’t know why I feel this way. It doesn’t make sense.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:21:31]:
Right. The way I look at it, and you you beautifully articulated it. The subconscious mind is, some say, responsible for up to 90% of our functioning. I actually think that’s very, very true. And it’s odd nomic behaviors like you’re saying, picking up a glass, driving somewhere, But it’s also these stories that we live with. The subconscious is the silent protector, The warning system, the protector that thinks it knows how to keep you safe, And your subconscious will consistently override your conscious until you liberate the subconscious The subconscious. Now while ago, I was talking about the institution of mental health. And one of the reasons that I don’t call myself a therapist is because in the world of mental health, we we look at someone.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:22:27]:
They come in. We say, what’s wrong with you? They say, I’m anxious. I’m having a relationship problem. I have a substance problem. I’m depressed, whatever it may be. And that’s what we Try to deal with. Well, let’s give you some tools on managing your anxiety. Let’s talk through your communication problems, and we’re going down about 4 inches into that person’s experience.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:22:48]:
When in fact, let’s take a relationship issue for instance. How many people have relationship problems that show up over and over and over and over and over. The same pattern over and over. And we scratch our heads and we say, I’ve tried so hard to not do that. Why do I still feel so stuck? That’s because your silent protector is driving your bus, but you don’t even know they’re driving it. Right. So what we wanna do is help people give well, actually, frankly, my entire life career has been focused on giving people The tools they need to liberate their subconscious. And if you can mine it up, understand it, Change your belief structure, make new meaning, and create a different life.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:23:38]:
That’s the fastest path to joy, peace, and purpose.

Lora Cheadle [00:23:41]:
Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. And, I mean, that’s why I do hypnotherapy. You know, it it targets the subconscious. It’s a lot faster. If it was so easy that we could just decide to do something or decide to get over it, If I were just to tell people, you know what? Yeah. Your partner had an affair.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:01]:
Just choose to get over it. Yep. You’re right. I’m choosing to get over it. Bam. It’s done. Wouldn’t that be nice? But it’s not that. I mean, yes, we first have to make the choice.

Lora Cheadle [00:24:09]:
I’m always telling my people, you do have to choose. You do have to choose. And if you choose to get over it, then, like you were saying, there’s tools that you can use to liberate that subconscious. And You could spend 10 years in talk therapy and, again, nothing is wrong with talk therapy. The mental health profession has got a lot of positives. But sometimes you could spend 10 years in talk therapy or a couple of months really doing some of the subconscious deeply focused Work and have a faster result.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:24:41]:
Absolutely. Well, let me drill that down and explain the function I have said the subconscious is the silent protector. Yeah. Here’s how powerful it is. We have a subconscious belief system, and that subconscious belief system is created by how we were raised, the way our parents indoctrinated us, and here’s the secret. Our parents, as they raise us, Teach us their fears. Fears about other people, fears about society, fears about politics, religion, peep you name it. Right.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:25:16]:
That’s one way that we develop our belief structures. The second way is through experiences. And if you have good experiences, then you Have a little bit of memory that says, oh, that felt good. If you have bad experiences, you say, I don’t ever want to feel that again. And before you know it, you’ve got, an elaborate set of rules. Now let’s make a note because at one point, I wanna tell you how we crack those rules. Okay? Perfect. Well, that’s the first piece.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:25:41]:
Where’d your rules come from? Your beliefs. Now those are the subconscious foundation. What happens as a result of that is Every thought you have, every emotion you have, and every action you have ties directly back To that core belief.

Lora Cheadle [00:26:02]:
Mhmm.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:26:03]:
So here’s how it works. Subconscious beliefs drive the thoughts, The cognitive thoughts, the conscious thoughts, which drive the emotions, conscious or unconscious, not subconscious, unconscious Right. Which drive the actions and behaviors. Mhmm. And the behaviors and the emotions and the thoughts Incessually reinforce the subconscious belief. Yes. So if you wanna deal with your emotions or how you act, You have to you’re actually wasting your time. You have to get to what those core beliefs Now let me just take it a step deeper.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:26:46]:
I think given the population you work with and that I work with, We know one thing about women. Mhmm. In fact, I’ll generalize this to everyone in society today, but, Specifically, women are indoctrinated to hate themselves.

Lora Cheadle [00:27:03]:
Mhmm.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:27:03]:
Women are taught that they’re imperfect, unworthy, unattractive, Less than there’s a constant social indoctrination that says you aren’t as good as your male peers. Right. As a result of that, women grow up and they say, I’m I’m just not quite as good. And they Then put themselves in positions. They think I’m not as smart, I’m not as powerful, I’m not as capable, and they feel oppressed, Neglected, minimized, denied, and they behave in a submissive way or a retaliatory way, whatever it may be. But that shows the lineage. If you wanna fix that, you gotta get to the unworthiness.

Lora Cheadle [00:27:50]:
Right. And I wanna hop in on that too because I’m sure some listeners are pushing back on that and saying, no, I don’t, but here’s what I wanna say around that. On the conscious level, you might be saying, I am worthy. I am smart. I deserve equal pay. It’s the patriarchy. That’s your conscious voice. Mhmm.

Lora Cheadle [00:28:10]:
But we still have this entire multi 1000 year old history of women being oppressed, Of women not being safe. So, yes, consciously, you might be saying, no. I was raised by a feminist. I am a feminist. I actually believe women are better than men. Yes. And that is that cognitive dissonance that underlying all of your empowered Beliefs is this whole history of it’s not really so, it’s not really safe, it’s not really, And that creates internal conflict as well.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:28:47]:
Absolutely. In fact, I’m so glad you brought that up because the bulk of the women that I work with Typically are very high performers, high high success, and would be the people that would say, there’s not a man that controls me or has any you know? But when we get right down to it in fact, I was just on a call with a client this morning. Her mother set such a standard for how she was supposed to act and how smart She was supposed to be in the type of husband that would make her feel valued and the type of house and the type of kids that she spent 50 years of her life Playing a role in a performance Mhmm. Of unworthiness. And when we think on a conscious level, we can See it. On a subconscious level, we don’t even know we’re moving that direction. Now let me give you another example that I think will Take it about take it out of the gender orientation. When I came out as a gay man, I was sitting in a boardroom.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:29:46]:
I was one of 8 presidents of a of a large regional health care company. And I remember sitting in my early days, I would be sitting at this boardroom table with the CFO and CEO and all these presidents. And there was a little thing inside of me that said, You’re not strong. You’re not as strong. You’re not as masculine. You’re not as capable. You’ve got to try harder. Don’t take any shit from anybody.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:30:15]:
You better prove yourself. You better mark the territory. They’re going to abuse you. They do hate you. They are homophobic. They the list goes on and on and on. Yeah. And one day, I you know, someone made a joke about me needing to wear high heels, and it triggered something.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:30:35]:
And I spun around. I said, I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, but you better check yourself on that. And then he looked at me and said, Tre, I wasn’t even talking about you, And I wasn’t even inferring anything. And why do you jump so fast? That’s a subconscious step. Yeah. Yeah. I had to say all those stories I’ve been taught about what it means to be a gay man are untrue.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:00]:
Yes. And you can’t, yeah, and you can’t just say to yourself they are untrue. You have to know it at that deep subconscious level.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:31:08]:
Absolutely.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:10]:
Yeah. Now you said something about, you know, you turning and you having that response. What are the again, it’s a buzz phrase. Well, that’s a trauma response. That’s a trauma response. That’s a trauma response. Explain what is a trauma ex ex response. How can listeners know if they are having a, I mean, again, trigger is a buzzword.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:29]:
Yeah. If they’re having a trigger, if they’re having a trauma response, if they’re just angry, Give them some tools to understand and sort what does that even mean to have a trauma response? What does that even really, really truly mean to have a trigger? And like you were saying, but the difference between you’re not traumatized if you lose your car keys.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:31:48]:
Right.

Lora Cheadle [00:31:49]:
What is the difference if a woman sees a text from her husband’s affair partner, and it’s 5 years down the road and she feels emotion. What is a trauma response? What is a trigger? And what is just, wow, it’s normal to have some unsettling emotions in that Okay. In the grief.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:32:08]:
Yeah. Yeah. What a beautiful question, and I will tell you that I’m about to get inflammatory. I’m about to say some things that would probably get me banned from TikTok Instagram, and I would be chastised. Here’s what it comes down to. We now live in a social cultural environment that embraces emotional irresponsibility. Let me use an example. If I say to you, I’m gonna give you a trigger warning About what you can and cannot say around me, I’m being emotionally irresponsible.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:32:42]:
I don’t need to give you a warning about how to act around me. I need to heal myself and manage my own triggers. Right. We do live in a society where people are saying you’ve gotta be, you know, so sensitive to everyone. What I propose is that we should be sensitive and kind and and, compassionate and understanding. But but if you expect another person to adapt the way they communicate and the way they live because it makes you uncomfortable, you’re the problem, Not that person. You’re the problem. Right? Right.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:33:20]:
So that being said, a trauma response here’s how it breaks down. A true trauma will instigate a sense of fear that reactivates the fight or flight mechanism. It might cause a a panic attack, might short respirations, rapid heart rate, all sorts of different things. It brings about that fight or flight response. Most people do not have trauma responses unless they’re within the 1st year or 2 years of that original trauma, And then that’s also predicated on how extreme the trauma was, what kind of trauma it was. So many factors. Okay. So most of the time, you’re not having a trauma response.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:34:05]:
Now a trigger is something you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch That’s similar to the original trauma experience. So going back to the example I was giving you, The when and by the way, the sense of smell is the most power and powerful and predominant.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:24]:
Yes.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:34:25]:
When I asked that client, the woman that had been attacked in hogtied, I said, what do you remember smelling? And she said, oh, that’s clear. I can smell beer and bad breath. Now if she were to hear smell beer and bad breath now, it would still trigger her back into a memory. So Right.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:45]:
The

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:34:45]:
trigger is, oh my god. I’ve just been activated back into fear, but I’m not having a physiological response, But I’m remembering some stuff. Right? Mhmm.

Lora Cheadle [00:34:56]:
And it’s not comfortable to remember it. It’s not comfortable.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:35:00]:
Right. Right. Now we have triggers every single day, and we can’t expect somebody else to manage our triggers. We know we need to know what and how brings them about and how when we are triggered, we navigate that. Right? Ask. So okay. So trauma response triggers. And then what about just getting your feelings hurt? Little been out of shape.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:35:27]:
He shouldn’t have said that. That was rude. You’re a jerk, etcetera. That is normal emotional functioning. Yes. Now what I get frustrated about is that society today tells us that we’re saying some of the same stuff that I’m saying. Everyone has a trauma experience. Yes.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:35:48]:
To some degree. Some people have more significant trauma than others. That’s true. But When it comes to emotional responsibility, we’re actually teaching people to be irresponsible.

Lora Cheadle [00:36:03]:
Right. Right.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:36:04]:
So what we wanna do is move to a place where we say, if I’m thrown back into fear, how am I gonna ground myself? If I’m being triggered, what am I gonna do to ground myself? And if I’m having an emotional response, what am I gonna do to navigate it?

Lora Cheadle [00:36:20]:
Right. And what I like about that too is it is 2 parts if you were rebuilding the relationship. If you were wanting to move forward with the same partner, you can have that give and take. These are the things that are triggering for me now. These are the things that are retraumatizing for me now. These are the things that are hurting my feelings now. So you get that communication and that understanding. So early on, it can be a heightened level of sensitivity.

Lora Cheadle [00:36:49]:
It can be a heightened level of awareness, and you can each take care of the other person Because you love the other person, because you want to care for the other person. And then as your skills grow And you can manage your triggers better and you can communicate better. It starts becoming a little bit less So because we don’t wanna live our entire life with this

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:37:14]:
Yeah. Response. You know, what you’re Scribing is really you know, I do think in the context of a relationship, it’s very important to have your partner know When you might go down the highway of of triggering. Right. Now that’s a communication thing. What I wanna invite people to do is to remember that when we are truly being triggered or revisiting the trauma, There is a physiological effect in our bodies. And part of the reason that partners continue to they get Stuck and they can’t seem to get beyond the things that their therapist has told them to fix, that’s because they are physiologically triggering each other. And as a result, they click into their limbic system, their monkey brain, and then we try to have thoughtful, reasonable conversations with our limbic System trying to keep us safe.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:38:12]:
It would be better when you feel triggered in the context of a relationship. It would be better For you to stop, to check-in, to say, I need about 5 minutes just to reground myself. I’m reacting now, and I need to Figure out why and how. I want you to know that I’m gonna do this work for about 5 minutes, and then we’ll reengage. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Or if you are both triggered into a limbic fight or flight situation, Here’s the crazy thing. Once spider flan is initiated, it the the the neurochemical processes Stay in your body for at least 24 hours.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:38:55]:
So if you get triggered, you’re not going to have a more thoughtful question, I mean, conversation 2 hours later. You really need to say, we will revisit this tomorrow. Okay?

Lora Cheadle [00:39:07]:
Thank you for saying that because when you find out about your partner’s affair, there’s a couple of things that I hear all the time. They wanna people wanna figure it out. I wanted to figure it out. I wanted the phone. I wanted the email. I wanted the text. I wanted Facebook back. Like, You flood yourself because you want it figured out, and then you start in on the questions.

Lora Cheadle [00:39:29]:
What about this and what did this mean and and it ramps up and up And up and up. And then people will say to me, okay, it’s been 6 months. It’s been a week, a year, whatever, And you know what he said to me? And it doesn’t match what he originally told me. Mhmm. And it’s like, But it’s my guess that when you were originally having these conversations, you were both so flooded. You were both so overwhelmed. You are probably speaking, not that he’s intentionally lying to you, maybe he is, but in so many Circumstances, people aren’t intentionally lying to you. They aren’t they’re just giving you what they can because it’s it’s a survival thing, and they’re not thinking either and stuff is coming Out.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:40:17]:
Yeah. Absolutely. What you’re describing, the seeking of information, the checking of the social media, watching and monitoring and all of that, There are 2 things that are going on psychologically. 1 is you’re trying to reassure yourself when you’re in a state of fear. Right. If I keep checking the phone and I don’t see another message, then I’m okay. That’s illusionary. That’s revolutionary.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:40:44]:
The other thing the other reason we do that though, it’s a form of what’s called rehearsal. And so we will check and check and check and check and check so many times until we can finally take a breath and say, they’ve finally changed.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:00]:
Right. But here’s the problem. Right?

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:41:04]:
Here’s the problem. People that have been traumatized have got To learn how to release their past. Mhmm. You are not the Same person and even in the context of a relationship. If you’ve had infidelity and betrayal in your life, you had a pre Infidelity relationship, and you have a post infidelity relationship.

Lora Cheadle [00:41:30]:
Absolutely. Relationship with yourself And relationship with the other person.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:41:35]:
100%. Yeah. Now the problem is though that we start collecting data And then we start monitoring. And effectively, what we do with our partners is we say, okay. Let’s heal. But for us to heal, I need to fix you in a certain way of thinking, behaving, acting, etcetera. I’ll give you an example. Working with a couple right now, and she when they first got together, he talked about her you know, all of his Proclivities, the coke he used, the girls he dated, the how much of a player he was.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:42:13]:
And He you know, which by the way, couples should never ever ever ever talk about the junk of their previous relationships on the 1st date of a new relationship. That’s insanity. But he did all of this, and she, because she had been abused in a previous relationship, gathered all this data. And then they began to have relational difficulties between the 2 of them that looked similar to the information she had gathered. And as a result, she then it’s called confirmation bias. She then started saying, okay. I see that he’s about to Call a hooker. I see that he’s about to get stupid.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:42:54]:
I see, and so, therefore, we’ve got a bigger problem. And effectively, she created the problem. Right. But he created the problem originally thinking that he should disclose his proclivities. People don’t need to know. Leave the past alone. Get out of it. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:43:13]:
Right. Yeah. There’s so there’s so many different layers Around trauma, around relationships, around human nature, and we all want something simple.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:43:25]:
Sure.

Lora Cheadle [00:43:25]:
You know, we all do, and and that’s the other thing too. Like, one of the one of my taglines, one of the things that I What my promise is in my coaching programs is to help people be okay on the inside even when things aren’t okay on the outside. Because like that, you know, you talk about that safety. We live in an inherently unsafe world, and it’s too bad. It’s really too bad, and we can take steps to control our environment, and we can take steps to protect ourselves. But look at the COVID pandemic. You know? There’s things that happen that we have no control over. We just don’t.

Lora Cheadle [00:44:09]:
And we can make ourselves crazy trying to control the other person and trying to set up rules for them and boundaries for them, Or we can really start looking inward and realizing what can I do to become healthier and stronger and more capable Myself? And also around that, there are certain ways and times and places where we all will break. I cannot Constantly keep myself regulated. My job as a human is not to be a 100% regulated a 100% of the time. That’s not gonna happen. So how do we learn to tumble? How do we learn to rule? How do we learn to be okay not being okay?

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:44:52]:
Beautiful question. The 1st place I would start is with one simple statement. You make me feel. Okay. Now let’s dissect that a little bit. You make me feel angry. You make me feel unseen. You make me feel unworthy.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:45:07]:
You make me feel stupid. On a surface level, there might be communication and relational dynamics that lead that lend to you feeling certain ways. But fundamentally, you we cannot make someone else someone else cannot make us feel a certain way. We choose to feel a certain way Mhmm. Because it’s familiar or because it’s subconscious. You make me feel so insignificant. Well, then you need to heal the wound of insignificance. Now you can say that to your partner.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:45:45]:
When you say that, I I trigger and it makes me feel small, but I also want you to know, sweetheart, that I’m working on that. Yes. Right? Yes. That’s the 1st place we start. And then you said it best, Lora. The peep the struggle that most people have is that they, first of all, they don’t allow themselves the time to look inward. The doom scrolling TV, Netflix, etcetera, so much activity, so many people. We have a a Scarcity of silence right now.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:46:20]:
And in order to really make sense of those deeper emotional struggles that we have, we have to turn off the noise. So Nobody makes you feel a certain way, and you gotta turn off the noise. Now the 3rd piece and this really if you’ll indulge me, let me tell you how I came about this. I was trying to figure out how to really understand my belief systems, knowing beliefs drive thoughts, drive emotions, drive actions. Yep. And so how could I do that? Well, I decided to go to the mall. I got one of those great big 17 inch cookies, a 78 Alan’s doctor Pepper, 4,000 calories sitting in front of me, and I sat right on a major thoroughfare where everyone was walking by the food court. I turned on my audio recorder on my phone, and then all I did was speak what I was thinking.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:47:12]:
That woman’s hair looks like a hot mess. Those kids should be better behaved. Why would he ever choose those shoes? Did she really think that bag and that and I know I’m sounding really critical. God, she stinks. She smells stupid. He’s dumb. All of these opinions, and then I thought, woah. I went back and listened to it.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:47:36]:
And the pervasive question was, why did it matter? Okay. Now Mhmm. Here’s the interesting thing. The opinions we hold about everyone and everything are nothing more than conditions, judgments, Expectations that we hold for ourselves. Yes. So if you wanna heal, You’ve got to heal your own rules, conditions, judgments, and expectations.

Lora Cheadle [00:48:08]:
Yes.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:48:08]:
And then when you do that, you’ll show up Way, way differently. Right? What you do is you allow people the space to actually allow the You allow people to love you and show up in a way that is innate to who they are, not how you need them to love you. Right. Right? Right. Now here’s the fourth thing. When we say I need this from you in order to feel whole, You’ve lost your mind. Totally. You don’t need anything from another human.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:48:41]:
And the sooner you can get clear with the fact that You came in alone and you’ll go out alone. And part of it, you no matter how many people you have around you, you’re still alone. So do what you need to do to create comfort with aloneness And not look to the external world to give you validation or make you feel pretty or make you feel smart or make you feel none of that matters. Right? And, effectively, when we think about standing in our power, standing in our power is not relegating our power to other people. Nope. It’s saying, this is who I am in this 4 foot square, and I am gonna live it, and I’m not gonna apologize. That’s that’s not licensed to be a jerk. No.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:49:27]:
That’s living authentically. Right?

Lora Cheadle [00:49:30]:
Absolutely. And, you know, I wanna wrap up with this little piece, And I wanna make sure that it comes out the way that I intend. Mhmm. Yes to everything that you’ve said. We can only control us. We can only do us. We can only heal us. Looking at your partner, Which is that’s just why I was like, I I don’t wanna shift that focus.

Lora Cheadle [00:49:55]:
But looking at your partner, can you see how the person who betrayed you, How the person who hurt you is just a flawed, traumatized, in pain person too and that they didn’t do this to you. I think the biggest thing in breaking that victim mentality is when you see yourself that way and when you see the your partner that way, You start to understand nobody did this to me. Mhmm. I’m doing my best. Yeah. You’re doing your best. Bam. We had a collision.

Lora Cheadle [00:50:26]:
It was horrible, but this wasn’t about me. It was about you and you.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:50:31]:
That’s right. Yeah. You know, I do this thing with couples where I pull them together and, basically, I do this this comprehensive analysis of how they both function subconsciously, and then we share the data. And when a person’s able to say, oh, I see that you drink and you take pills When you’re feeling insecure and you’re afraid Yeah. Because of the trauma. When we in partnership can understand The traumatic and painful and difficult and wounding experiences of the people that we love, we realize that it has nothing to do with us. Nope. Let me give you an example.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:51:12]:
When Angel and I were moving to Denver, I did a calculation and said, we need to sell all of our furniture and move. It’ll be cheaper. He went into a fear response, and I came back. I say, what’s that all about? Well, what that was really about was that furniture meant Something different to him because he didn’t have it Yeah. When he was younger. Right? Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. I think that the best thing a person can do is, in the context of relationship, understand their own subconscious narratives, their wounds, Their their stories, their conditions, judgments, expectations, how they function, and in the context of relationship, understand that about your partner.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:51:52]:
And then the byproduct of that is I can allow you to show up. I can love you unconditionally, and we can cocreate something brilliant.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:02]:
Yes. Yes. And, again, going to that subconscious because you didn’t tell your partner Angel, you know, that’s a stupid belief in that. That’s not right. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. It is his belief based on his past just as your beliefs are your beliefs based on your past. So Right. Yeah.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:20]:
It’s that cocreation of how do we make this work knowing where you stand is here and where I stand is there.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:52:27]:
That’s right.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:28]:
Yeah. Let me

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:52:29]:
leave you with one final thought. The act we all pursue unconditional love. We talk about it. We write about it. We listen to people talk about it. But unconditional love is really the suspension of your opinions, your judgments, your conditions, your expectations for yourself. And when you’re able to do that, You then can allow people to show up in their authentic essence. And as a result, what flourishes is unconditional love.

Lora Cheadle [00:52:56]:
Beautiful. Thank you so much for that.

Trey Malicoat. MS [00:52:59]:
You bet.

Lora Cheadle [00:53:00]:
Yeah. Listeners, I’m gonna put all of Trey’s information in the show notes so you can connect with him. I hope this has been illuminative to you. I hope you have a different Understanding and appreciation, quite frankly, for yourself, for the person who betrayed you, whether you’re together or not, just an appreciation and understanding for them as a human. Continue to look inwards. Cocreate whether it’s cocreating with you and your own subconscious cocreating with your conscious mind Or whether you are doing that with a partner, have an amazing week. And as usual, always remember to flaunt Exactly who you are because who you are is always more than enough.

Lora Cheadle [00:53:45]:
To all the women who have in the shower, smiled when they wanted to scream, and couldn’t wait to get home and unhook their bra. Flaunt is the definitive guidebook on how to get back in touch with who you are Underneath your labels, roles, and scripts, fall in love with yourself right now. Breathe life into the dreams you left behind And live each day with uninhibited joy. Pick up a copy of Lora Cheadle’s number 1 best selling book, Flaunt. Drop your cover and reveal your smart, Sexy and spiritual self wherever books are sold. It’s available in print, digital, and audio formats, and comes with 2 downloadable meditations.

Narrator [00:54:26]:
Tune in next time to flaunt. Find your sparkle and create a life you love after infidelity or betrayal with Lora Cheadle every Wednesday at 7 AM and 7 PM Eastern Standard Time on syndicated DreamVision 7 Radio Network. Uncover the truth of what’s possible for you on the other side of betrayal, and develop the skills and strategies necessary to embrace the future and flourish today. Download your free betrayal recovery toolkit at betrayalrecoveryguide.com.