Is Trust a Necessary Key to Emotional Healing?By
I didn’t have to learn how to trust in order to heal. In fact if trust had been the criteria or even part of the requirement for healing, I may not have ever achieved emotional healing. I had to take a few chances, I had to reveal a few secrets and take the chance that doing that might have negative results, but honestly, looking back over it, I didn’t actually have to trust.
I didn’t trust anyone when I began this journey. I had learned that trust was a dangerous thing to do. I got by alright without trust.
There are different ways to look at this I suppose. Two of my children were born via cesarean section. I suppose that it could be assumed that I had to trust that the surgeon would do the job right, but the truth is that I had no choice. It was either let him do the surgery, or die. That was not the same as putting my trust in him. In this same way as a child I had no choice but to “trust” that the adults in my life were doing the best that they could too. Rebelling against them surely meant death. I accepted their wishes and for the most part complied with what they wished from me. But that is not exactly trust in the way that we think of it as adults. Through my childhood and the way that I was so ill regarded, I learned a false definition of trust.
You don’t have to trust me. I believe that I am trust worthy, but how would you know that for yourself? I have had a few angry people on this website, so you may be able to find people that would suggest that you should NOT trust me. It doesn’t really matter though because trusting me is not the key. I have very intentionally written the articles in this website to inspire HOPE for healing without trying to convince anyone that they have to “trust me” in order to achieve emotional healing. I write the way that I speak trying to communicate that this process is what worked for me. The things I write about are the processes and insights that have worked for me in my emotional growth and healing processes and that is all I can convey to the reader. I let my work speak for itself, but you have a choice about how you feel or react towards what I present here.
I had to think about what “trust” meant to me. Trusting meant that I believed this “new person” would not invalidate me like I had been invalidated for most of my life. The problem was; how could I do that when invalidation was so much of what I had been raised on? I was used to it. It was familiar and comfortable. How was I to believe that the next person (who had an answer for me) was going to be any different in the way they regarded me?
For me, having to “trust” someone else in the healing process produced further anxiety and fear. So I thought about “why do I have to trust??” The truth is that I don’t have to trust.
All that I needed in the beginning was the hope that I could recover and heal from the past. I had a glimmer of hope that I could overcome depressions and dissociative issues. I had an inkling that I might find healing if I faced the reasons why I had so many trust issues. As always, it was at the roots of the damage where I found the keys to freedom.
I gave myself permission NOT to trust until I had good reason to trust. I trusted people a little bit at a time when they continued to prove themselves trustworthy. People earned my trust when they treated me with respect and equal value. When people invalidated me or treated me as though I were beneath them, that was when I knew NOT to trust them. Those people are no longer worthy of my trust.
I learned to trust myself way before I learned to trust anyone else. I learned to trust myself by realizing all the lies that I had come to believe about myself and setting the truth straight. I was convinced by the actions and inactions of others that I was invalid and unworthy of love and that was what I knew as truth. Invalidation was all I knew. Empowerment and validation of my human worth had not been taught to me. I trusted that I could face the truth about how that happened and I faced it one step at a time. Through that process, I began to trust that I could learn to love myself and I trusted that I could learn to take care of my own needs.
I began to trust myself when I started to change the way that I regarded me. I no longer regard myself the way “they” taught me to regard myself.
It was when I achieved some progress in self love and self trust that I was finally able to trust a few other people in my life because once I trusted myself, it wasn’t such a big risk to trust others. As I grew stronger, I knew that I could protect myself if someone violated my trust. I knew that I could stand up to that kind of invalidation. I knew that I could be there for me. I was no longer a victim of the world and its people.
Today I know that “trust” was not a key in the healing process. I didn’t trust most of the people who helped me. I gave myself permission NOT to trust which gave me the freedom to move forward without the usual fears I had when I was with other people. I had to go through the process of trial and error. I had to take those little steps forward, testing the foundation, testing the waters, checking my feelings and asking myself if I was safe and if I didn’t feel safe was that a real feeling or a belief system leftover feeling?
This has been a big part of the process of “Emerging from Broken”.
Please feel welcome to share your thoughts in the comments here. Please remember that the name you use in the comment form will be the name the other readers will see therefore you are welcome to use any name you wish here. (first name only, or even a fake name) Your email address (which is only asked for to validate that you are a real person) will remain private.
There is freedom on the other side of broken,
Please visit “Emerging from Broken” on Facebook ~ although EFB has an active facebook page, your comments here will not be published there.