Trust after abuse
Trust after trauma, especially interpersonal trauma like abuse, can be extremely difficult. When your abuser appeared to the world to be a good person, it makes it really difficult to trust people. I have struggled with this in an extreme way my whole life. Every person I meet I wonder if they have hidden bad motives or if I they are just deceiving me like my abusers deceived everyone around us. Even when I’ve tried to tell myself that someone is probably sincerely good and trustworthy, the anxiety from my PTSD is so crippling that I just can’t do it—I can’t trust.
This is something I’ve been working on for years, and I have made a little progress.
I’ve received some insights that I hope will help me continue on that journey toward being able to trust other people again, and hope they will help anyone else struggling with trust after abuse. They may not help right now, because healing is individual and takes times, but maybe these words will come back into your memory when you’ve healed enough to let them in.
Here are the thoughts:
- I really can’t control if people are going to betray me. I can try, but if that is what I’m focused on, its just gonna make my life more stressful. It will serve me better to focus on what can make my life better and happier and how to progress.
- Really it is impossible to tell if someone is secretly bad, but if we don’t trust anyone, we won’t trust and become close to and help and be helped by good people too.
- I know I have been hurt in the past, to trust is always a gamble. But what about when I chose to trust my current friends? Was it worth the gamble? Yes!
- To be betrayed by a deceptive bad person happens less often than being blessed by a good-hearted person.
- I guess what we’ve gotta do is exercise faith—faith in other people, based on what we can see and how we feel, and also faith in God, that He will help us deal with and heal from deceiving people if we find out someone we trusted was a fraud.
- Sometimes God will let us know through a feeling to not trust someone who appears good. And usually people are good and sincere and doing their best.
- But if you end up trusting someone who is secretly bad, it is just one of the trials of life we all have to experience and which are usually unavoidable, and God will heal you from it just like He will heal you from all other things, and He will help you deal with it.
- God’s grace is sufficient, for whatever we face in life, even betrayal and abuse. If we trust in Him, and have faith, hope, and charity, we will end up okay in the end.
- We can’t protect ourselves from trusting people who are untrustworthy. We can’t be psychic, we can’t know whether they are manipulating or lying to us or not. Sometimes there are signs, but sometimes there isn’t. But, if they do trick us, there aren’t eternal consequences. Eternal consequences are based on our own choices. No matter what others do or whether they choose to deceive or abuse, we still make our own choices. If we’re always striving to make good choices, even if based on false information, we’re gonna be okay in the end. We don’t have to feel humiliated or ashamed if we believe someone who it ends up was tricking us. We were doing our best, we were trying to be good people. God is going to heal us, help us, and take care of us. God doesn’t command us to make sure we’re not manipulated by others. He commands us to love, serve, and be kind. If we do what He says, whether the people deserve it or not, He will be pleased with us and our honest good hearts.
- Distrust and mistrust lead to isolation and its easier to feel depressed and to be torn down by satan when we are isolated.