Trust Issues

Something that is difficult to explain to those who have not lived through violation as a child is the monumental effort it requires to try to trust anyone or anything in life.

I’m fairly certain that I have never experienced a “healthy” relationship.

Ever.

I don’t even know what that means.

I wasn’t given the tools to build trust or to engage in productive connection building outside of the hell I was trying to navigate as a young child. That was my normal. My reality. My “healthy”.

I have often heard other survivors express that they feel as if they have a target on their backs. That predators, sexual or otherwise, can sense us from miles away and are able to find and easily exploit our weakness. Hurt us over and over again.

I would love nothing more than to say this isn’t true, but in my experience it is incredibly accurate.

If you are taught from an early age that your own needs don’t matter and that your sole purpose is to gratify the physical needs of others, your sense of security when it comes to anything outside of humiliation makes it challenging to have a healthy relationship.

If you were conditioned to feel guilty beyond measure and manipulated to not think about what your individual needs might be outside of your abusers, chances are you are going to attract further abuse.

Too Many People Pray on This Particular Weakness

Far too many people in life pray on this particular weakness. They thrive on power and control.

Too many times I have experienced re victimization by those I falsely believed were different only to be exploited again. Not just in physical relationships, but in any way possible. Professionally, within “friendships”, from agencies that are meant to help, doctors, therapists, family members. The list goes on and on.

How do you trust when not given the opportunity to do so without being betrayed and how do you heal when either subconsciously or forcefully repeating the same patterns of dysfunction over and over?

How do you articulate that you just don’t have the energy to be manipulated or hurt anymore? That you walk with your shoulders down staring at the ground because it is easier than making eye contact with anyone that is bound to try to destroy what little of yourself might be left? That you feel like a walking chalk outline, just waiting for the next person to come along and breathe in your direction, blowing away any false hope that might be holding you together?

Rebuilding My Relationship with Myself

How do you explain this to others without possibly sounding a bit insane?

No. I don’t know how to have a healthy relationship. I have absolutely no idea what that even means.

But I’m working on it.

I’m going to start by attempting to rebuild the one I never had with myself. Hopefully if I go back that far and learn to trust and listen to that little girl first, I will find that not everyone in the world is out to re victimize the broken.

At the very least, I will be confident enough to look up from the ground long enough to see them coming.



8 Replies to “Trust Issues”

  1. I can understand why you ‘over protected.’ But it is not the way to go. It is better to equip the children with the tools of life, how to. I think that if a mother gives 100% support and a listening ear, encouragement, it is a better option.
    Easier said than done! If you haven’t gown up in a healthy family how do you know which is the correct way to go?
    Dysfunctional families send all the wrong messages!
    As I explained to a victim of narcissism she stated on a minus, say, minus 10, while her lovely daughter started on zero. In other words her daughter was miles in front because she was in a good home and also had a mentor and support.

  2. I understand this from the other side of the fence. I am a retired pastor. I am engaged to a person who grew up (in years only, no direction for life) in a dysfunctional family. At an age now but has no idea what a good relationship means. It is both sad and tragic.
    I have worked with another lady who was in a dysfunctional family, narcissistic to the core. It has taken her many (I mean many) years to work through it.
    To have no healthy childhood is a disgrace on the so called ‘parents.’
    I have advised that this behaviour is so unnatural and bizarre that others will not understand the dilemma.

    1. Thank you for this, I have seen the fallout take many forms as well. One of the blessings of me talking about it and trying to figure it out, though I know saying blessings is strange, is that it has helped me to let go of some judgements I didn’t realize I even had. I’ve met many who are anxious, some who are narcissistic, some who are promiscuous, some just completely detached, some too attached. Though we all present and handle life differently due to the abuse it has shown me to be more compassionate towards others I may have been dismissive towards before. I don’t like even admitting that, but it’s true. I hate that so many suffer now because of then. And many of them are parents now themselves with no help or therapy and the cycle continues. Thank you again for sharing

    2. The reason I read your article was that the lady (of many years) I referred to in my response sent it to me. In your reply you said a very crucial and very important thing, ‘the cycle continues.’ You must break the cycle! It is not an option! The lady has a beautiful daughter. Fortunately the cycle was broken. I now say if you have any doubts or regrets just look as your daughter.
      I am very critical of ‘parents’ who have ‘created’ dysfunctional homes for no reason other than their gain. Make no mistake, regardless of what might have happened to them, they are now responsible for their own actions. I have seen the damage and it continues for a very long time. For those who don’t get help, they will take it to the grave without much enjoyment (limited) in life.

      1. You have a grammatical. You have written,
        Far too many people in life pray on this particular weakness.
        I think the word you are looking for is ‘prey.’
        I say it another way but it is the same, women (and men) have come and use me ‘written on their forehead.’
        There are a lot if users out there, in both sexes.

      2. I never caught that before. Pray and prey. I’m glad you noticed and it made me chuckle for a few different reasons. I want to thank you again for your wisdom and for reading my writing. I do think and strongly believe that not everyone born into these situations was ever given the tools needed to know there is a cycle to break. That is why speaking about this publicly and without shame is so crucial. If you’re born into abuse and never know anything else, it’s not easy to break cycles. I over protected my children to the point where my anxiety over their safety has probably not been healthy. But my overcompensating was in an effort to make sure they never endured what I did. What if parents were so severely abused they think it’s normal? I pray about this issue all the time and I think the best way to give every child a chance is to talk about it just as we are doing now and to never again turn away or make it a shameful topic. Those are the tools to help break the cycle for good. I think. It’s just my opinion though. But I’m seriously grateful for every opinion on this topic

    1. So very true and I’m hoping pages like this make it less of a topic of shame for anyone of any gender. Traditionally it was unheard of for boys or men to be able to share any of their abuse due to stigma. I know that is changing and I know sexual abuse does not and never will discriminate. Thank you so much for sharing with us!

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