Understanding Trust and Getting Trust and Love Mixed Up


Getting trust and love mixed up


I found it easier to understand the concept of Trust, by looking at what I had been taught about trust. It was the experiences that I’d had to do with the word and definition of trust that were at the root of my understanding of the concept and meaning of the word trust.

I remember being scared half out of my wits while being yelled at “TRUST ME, I know what YOU need”. (which translated to me that I “needed” the spanking, the strap, the punishment)

I was told to trust teachers and leaders who were bullies and predators simply because they were “my elders”. Being taught to blindly trust only taught me that I was not worth much. Being “told” to trust people who were not trustworthy left me very confused about what trust really was.

I had a boyfriend who accused me of not trusting him when he was driving drunk. I felt shame and guilt even though drunk driving is illegal, I had been “groomed” to believe that questioning someone meant that I didn’t love him or her.   He went to jail for impaired driving.  

I didn’t make the connection that trust has nothing to do with love. 

I had another boyfriend who accused me of not trusting him when I found a girls phone number on his dresser. Once again I felt guilt and shame because as I already mentioned, I had been taught that if I didn’t trust, I didn’t love.  It turned out that he was cheating on me, just as I suspected. I didn’t find out for a long time because I was too busy trying to prove that I “trusted” and “loved him.”  I had several boyfriends who accused me of not trusting them. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to admit even to myself that I didn’t trust them.  There were reasons that I asked the questions I asked; questions such as “where were you all night?” “why did a woman phone for you?” Why didn’t you phone me to say you were going out with the boys?”  

By getting angry and accusing me of accusing HIM of something and trying to “control him” he got me off the actual subject and put me on the defense where in the end I was assuring him that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, it was that I just wanted to know where he was but that question never got a real answer. He deflected it by accusing me of not trusting him! And I spent all my time and energy making it up to HIM that I had made him feel like I didn’t trust him!  

This “rabbit trail” that we went down was about how it was MY fault we had problems because **I** didn’t trust. And I was told that if I didn’t trust him then I mustn’t love him. If I didn’t love him then he would leave me to find someone who WOULD love him. And love meant trust so back to square one; I trusted him, he cheated and did what he wanted and I stayed in the fog of dysfunctional relationship feeling guilty for not trusting him and making him feel unloved.   

 I was accused of not trusting and totally guilt tripped and reprimanded by those people only to find out that they were actually NOT trustworthy, just as I suspected.

I was told to trust abusive manipulative people while they were hurting me, all the while “soothing me” in quiet “loving” hushed tones with “trust me, I won’t hurt you”.  “Trust me” I am doing this because “I love you”.  My definitions and understanding of the words “trust” and “love” grew from these false statements from others. Seeing where they were rooted and the lies that grounded them was huge for me. I was told by other adults that I was wrong to be afraid of these “trustworthy” people who were hurting me. When stuff like this happens, it is no wonder why our definitions and understanding of words like trust get confused.

Having the false definition of the word trust in my belief system made it easy for manipulative people to get away with many things without question.  I was caught in the spin of feeling guilty for NOT trusting them without a “real reason”.  The spotlight was always turned back on me and I found myself drilling myself with accusations like “what is wrong with you Darlene, why can’t you trust him or her?” I had learned and in fact been taught to ignore my intuition until it was way too late.

The spin around this whole false belief system was huge!

In that false normal system, trust meant that I had to let someone hurt me and pretended it didn’t hurt me. Trust meant that I didn’t tell on the person hurting me because if I told I would damage the trust and especially the chance of “love” in our relationship. Physical, emotional, spiritual or sexual hurt, it didn’t matter. Trust meant that they were right and I had no rights.

Should trust, must trust… WHY? What does that MEAN? When there is a history of damage around the word trust, that damage has to be faced and the “action” of trust needs to be examined for what it really is.  By understanding how my belief system falsely formed about the word trust I was able to heal from the damage caused by living under the control of that false definition.

Trust is earned over time by each person and in each individual relationship. Trust takes time to grow and being uncertain about to trust or not to trust is not an indication of suspicion or accusation.

 And the action of trust needs to be examined for what it really IS NOT.

Trust is not a right. Trust is not love. Trust is not letting someone devalue you to prove love or loyalty. Trust does not hurt. Trust is not mandatory!

In the dysfunctional system that I grew up in, trust meant that I didn’t count. Trust meant that I protected the very person who was mistreating me. Trusting him meant that I “loved him” or so I misunderstood because that was what I had been taught and how I had been groomed. 

I was taught that I had no right NOT to trust. That version of trust was another false teaching that I had been taught that in the end meant that I was not worthy. I was always wrong. I was always the problem and I was responsible for the success and or failure of ALL relationships. 

See how mixed up “trust” was in my belief system? Can you see why I had to come to understand how I had been taught the wrong definition of trust?

In my case, having so many mixed up and false understandings of so many words and concepts I had no choice but to disconnect and dissociate more and more. I withdrew into the “fog” and dissociated from life in order to cope, in order to survive and in order to carry the burden of all these dysfunctional and often toxic relationships.

What are the trust messages that you have received?

Please feel free to share your thoughts. Please remember that you are welcome to use any name that you wish when you comment. Your identity is safe here; only the name you use will be seen by the public.

Facing the truth on the road to freedom;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken bookThe Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing” is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

see links in colour and bold print for related posts  Emotional Healing and Busting through Brainwashing

More Related Posts ~  

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



“Why can’t you trust me?”
“I did but you lied to me, broke promises and physically hurt me.”

I never said that because I hadn’t fully realized what was going on. It’s difficult when the other person doesn’t recognise their behaviour and you get sucked into “it’s my fault I cannot trust”. In fact it’s not true,some people I feel I can trust and some not. Now I try to trust my instincts more and trust myself that I can cope with being wrong.

Crucially who I do or do not trust is my choice. I don’t have to justify it. Just because someone wants my trust doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

In the above scenario it hit them hard to realize how things actually were.


This blog amazes me every single day – no sooner am I pondering one of the bubbles of memories that have particularly imprinted themselves on me and up pops another wonderfully written, honest and couragous post that resonates so much with me.

I’m not usually given to gushing by the way, can’t help voicing it for this place though 🙂

Anyway, I remember an argument with a recent-ish boyfriend, this happened quite a few years ago now but it’s still as fresh as the proverbial daisy.

We were together for ten years and for the first three years (up until this argument) I would tell him ‘I trust you with anything, even with my life’ (and I really don’t trust easily) to which his retort would always be ‘oh, you don’t want to trust me, I’m trouble/not worth it’ and so on.

Well, having been told this often enough in the end I really didn’t trust him. I can’t clearly remember how the row started but I remember him asking me very angrily ‘don’t you trust me’ and me (being honest for once) said no, I don’t and told him why.

The resulting fall-out from that was horrendous – he was mortally wounded that after all his batting away of my declarations of trust I’d decided to believe him and of course it was all my fault, he was only joking, I’d got it all wrong and of course that meant I didnt’ love him and never had. Urgh!

Of course it turned out that I was absolutely right not to trust him and never should have in the first place.

Loads of examples in my childhood of the ‘trust me, this is for your own good’ variety too (usually resulting in physical pain of one sort or another which I’m just starting to discover and unravel now.


Hi Mike
This is very true!
I also had to learn to listen to my gut feeling again. I have really good intuition, but it had been shut down by others for years. I am so thankful that it recovered along with the rest of me!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi R
Thank you for your lovely “gushing” and words of encouragement. It makes me smile. Thank you for sharing your examples on this topic too!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene –

WOW. This was an eye opening revelation to me! I, like you, had an abusive childhood with trust issues. And through abusive experiences, from childhood through adulthood, I learned to view trust through such a distorted lens. I have faced many issues and emerged with healing in areas…but trust has ALWAYS been an issue with me. I have come to the realization that I do not trust my husband, although I have no reason to distrust him. He is a good man who loves me. I don’t KNOW how to trust. I want to learn.

What I value so much in your post is the reasoning behind why I think the way I think. It makes perfect sense, and you’ve provided a light shining into darkness that I’ve been wanting to expose but didn’t even realize how it got distorted from the beginning.

Thank you – I really appreciate your candor and honesty. 🙂 🙂


Hi Darlene

Trust for me is a very very hard thing to do.. I have had so many things.. even so recent that its not something that comes natural

I like how you said that trust is earned over time. I have always trusted too much.. now am afraid to trust at all. It’s awful to be afraid of people, not knowing whether someone is going to hurt you again.

I am in a constant trigger ..when people begin to invite and be nice. .am wanting to run away .. far away.. Afraid to be hurt again. I wet from trusting to not trusting

I have been trying to make some valiant attempts to trust but many times end up falling flat on my face. I make a little progress then fall back and have to start again.

I hope some day I don’t have to fear people as much as I do now. I know it’s necessary to trust to heal.. to move on . or whatever else. I know trust is something that happens when there is no more fear.. so I have a long way to go. I have so many fears yet.




Hi Darlene,

Once again, your post triggered a memory/incident I had about 4 years ago. My sister in law falsely accused my husband of hurting her boys in my parents’ pool. She yelled at him in front of her kids & mine and then, ran to my parents crying, when we left. I felt betrayed and it was a double betrayal because my parents believed her. I was there & I did not see any wrong doing by my husband. What I did see was her kids jumping on my husband’s back from the side of the pool into the water, where he was standing.

My husband admitted to me that he pushed them away, after getting jumped on. Well, I’m sure that was a defensive move/knee jerk reaction to being jumped from behind. It was obvious that my nephews were rough housing, but their mom said nothing to them about their behavior. Anyway, I discussed my thoughts about what happened with my mom and she said, “Were you even there?” That felt like a slap in the face- the message was clear…she did Not believe me! She already made up her mind, based on what my s-i-l said to her, behind my back. My husband was banned in going over, when my sister in law was there.

Anyway, my mom doesn’t understand why I don’t let it go…it happened years ago…Well, she didn’t believe me and my TRUST in her & my sister in law was broken….My mom expects me to pretend it didn’t hurt me. The message is I’m wrong for not trusting and that I’m responsible for the failure of the relationship. I don’t have a relationship with my sister-in-law anymore. My choice has been to distance myself, my intuition screams “stay away”! I don’t trust what she could do next…she is manipulative & spiteful….My son & his friend also confirmed, that nothing hurtful happened in the pool. Also, no one was crying from being hurt. Sister-in-law did nothing to comfort her so called hurt son and to this day, I don’t even know what one, of her 3 boys was hurt….that’s telling in itself…

I asked my mom who was hurt & she was vague about it. She was covering for my sister-in-law. The whole incident is so mixed up, but I feel I’m seeing it clearer by looking at my false definition of Trust. This time, I did not pretend it didn’t hurt me. After reading your post and commenting, I’m uncovering more lies, and I start second guessing & doubting my intuition. I can’t stand when that happens!..Just another red flag that I’ve been programmed…UGH!!


Another poem : Have you seen her?

Feeling unloved and unwanted she wept deep inside
The little girl was silent to the whole world outisde
She carried the secrets that teachers would never hear
In her own little world she was a prisoner to fear

Every day presented problems; mom was always mad
She didn’t have to do anything.. she wasn’t ever bad
Mom never wanted her she was a big mistake
Each day had its terrors; each day she would break

Why did they put her back in a place such as this
Mommy didn’t love her and never gave her a kiss…
Why did she have to stay there; her siblings ran away
SHe was too frightened to speak up; too afraid not to stay

She would have to carry on, with her hurts deep inside
She alone would get to have all the anger mom let outside
She was the only one left now; her silence she must keep
No one should ever know why she was so quick to weep

(c) joy

Perhaps this is why i find it hard to trust…


Darlene, I’m having a trust issue with a teacher at the moment. I’m in a mental fog and unable to think clearly in her subject which I hate. From the beginning of her class in January I have resisted the subject beside it is horrible. It’s Development which, it seems to me, is another word for exploitation. It’s about how the rich western countries use the poor “third world” countries. Because of the abuse in my childhood I have all these big feelings that overwhelm me in class. At first I stated my opinion but everything I said was argued with by the teacher, Emma. Then, in one of the lessons as she was about to show us a dvd she said she thought about me as she chose the dvd. I laughed, thinking she had my best interests at heart and that she would be showing us something to balance out the horror of what we’d already been shown. No. It was awful. It was about rich, white male colonisation of a mange tout farm in Kenya in the modern day guise of a transnational corporation – Tesco. These white men sat at a table in the beautiful sunlight as the black children danced and sang a song for them thanking Tesco for buying their mange tout. After the dvd was finished Emma wondered whether the men got to pick which of the little girls that wanted to come to their room at night. This comment sent me away and I remember focussing intently on the grain of my yellow paper. The next day I wondered why she had thought of me when she picked that dvd and also why she had thought of me when she gave out the handout, which she also said. I emailed her to ask. No reply. I spoke to my classmates about her. Some of them had emailed her for various reasons and had not received a reply either. The conversation degenerated into a character assassination of Emma which, I’m ashamed to say, I joined in. It briefly created a sense of camaraderie but didn’t deal with the problem which is a fear that I have of offering my opinion in class. I’m afraid that she’ll “bring me down”. She said in one class that on an off day she rants at one of the 16 or 17 year old in her other classes and stated that that is okay and normal. I said nothing. I didn’t feel able to protest that it’s actually bullying. I felt very young and trapped when she said that. When I am in a fig and behave vulnerably she is kind and patient with me. When I am feeling strong and know my views and can articulate them she is cold and mean. Like my mother. It’s very hard.


Hi Debby
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
In a nut shell what worked for me was understanding WHAT happened in the first place. Where the false definitions of words got into my brain. I used many methods of getting the false definitions changed to true, but that is what got me over having all those issues. It took me a long time to trust again but it came from the deep healing within me.
Glad you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Joy
I too was a person who trusted too much. That was “trained or groomed” into me too! (because the bottom line is that I didn’t know I had a right to make up my own mind about it in the first place and I wanted to believe that people were good so badly. You bring up a good point; I know what you mean about going from trusting to not trusting, that happened to me too. It was a “stage in healing” that had to do with coming out of the fog and beginning to grow up and see things more clearly. It was not safe for me to blindly trust everyone. Seeing that was not a bad thing! There were some trustworthy people that I didn’t trust right away, but that didn’t make me a bad person. It takes time to KNOW when someone is trustworthy.
Hugs, Darlene
p.s. I wrote another post recently about this also ~ “Is trust a necessary key to emotional healing?”


I saw everything more clearly by understanding false definitions. I looked at many words and did a lot of writing about what MY definition of those words were according to what I had been taught. The main ones just off the top of my head were; love, relationship, respect, trust, equality, and truth. This was a huge part of healing for me because as I always talk about it was my belief system that was all messed up so I had to find out what was in there that was all wrong, so I could set it back right.
It takes a while but it is so worth it!
hugs, Darlene

Joy ~
Thank you so much for sharing your poem!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Julia
It interesting that you have realized that when you behave vulnerable, Emma is kind and when you feel strong and know your views she is cold and mean. That sounds like most of the abusers I have ever had. That was part of the grooming process. It is a type of behaviour modification ~ “when you need me I will be nice, when you are independant and individual, I will be mean and nasty”. (kids catch on to this pretty quick and in my case I didn’t just grow out of it ~ it was how the world worked.) And they use the fear that you have (of reporting or whatever) against you. This is about them and not about you, but realizing what is going on (as it sounds like you are) is very helpful in making the decisions about how you are going to respond!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,

It’s good to know it’s normal to find it hard to trust.. Strange enough it took quiet a few knocks for me to let go of trusting every one. now its taking all I have to trust who I should.. At least my feet are pointed in the right direction.


Wow! you said a mouthful on this one Darlene. Many memories flooding back……….thanks and have a happy day. CAL


Yes, I remember when my mother- so called mother , said-It’s only me who tell you the truth and told me that I’ m the worst girl in the world, everybothy laugh at me, everybody has better daughter than me, and every woman always goes together with his\her daughter to church , church was near to my hause so “everybody looked at my home going to church because “‘this’ (she called me ‘this’) lives here”. I couldn’t draw my courtains because she said that everybody who was going to church thought; “what is she doing here?” and said to me that even criminals and rapiests go to church, exept me. And of course it was only her who told me the “truth’nobody else. I’ve felt like a shit, worst even than rapists-criminals, and because of it I could’t even look at the people at the street without thinking: oh she or he thinks that there is sth wrong with me.” Nobody else will tell you the truth” -“of couse”!! I should have trust her!!’ – she showed me making strange gestures that I looked like a monster and everybody saw it, slapped me in the face in the market because I squeezed my jacket at the neck because I was cold and she started to show weird faces to me showing that I looked like, rather horrible than strange, but then I always felt that everybody watched me and I’m unworthy, ugly, shitty person and I look strange and everybody is looking at me and is right, and I’m bad. And these thoughts still make a mess inside of me..


Hi Calvin
great to hear from you!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Anetta
All these things that your mother told you are so hurtful and devaluing to you. My goodness! I am so sorry this happened to you. What you have shared here are great examples of what goes on in these dysfunctional relationships!
Thank you for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


This message about trust is so important: That’s it’s not mandatory and can’t be forced or willed. It’s up to the other person to gain your trust. It’s not up to you to give it because someone demands it. In fact, demanding it makes it impossible. Can you explain to me, though, how trust has nothing to do with love? It’s not possible to love someone you can’t trust, but — trust is so rare — why would you not love someone you can trust?


What is love?


Exactly ~ as I went through these definitions that were taught to me full of lies, there were always secondary questions. I decided that “love” was acting in a way that was best for all. And then I had to look at the definition of the word “best” (I have written a lot on this site about the false definition of love if you use the search tool or the tag cloud may also help)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
Thanks so much for your advice on finding My definition of the words “Love, Relationship, Trust, Respect & Equality.” I will work on this to find My Truth.
Thanks Darlene!


Hi Julia,

You made a great point when you said, “When I’m in a fig and behave vulnerably, she is kind & patient with me. When I am feeling strong and know my views and can articulate them, she is cold & mean.” Your so on the mark!…I experience this too with my mom- the message is come close, when I’m vulnerable, and go away, when I’m feeling strong. Definitely mixed messages and it’s hard to trust that!…It is hard & frustrating!


Hi Darlene,I’m not one to trust easily but I know I’ve gotten myself hurt when I trusted too soon and have not been hurt when I trusted too little. In general, I try to put my trust in God and love people but that only goes so far. Close relationships require trust and I have few of them. I don’t think that is unhealthy.



Hi Darlene,

I’m confused & second questioning myself, about what I wrote on Trust in #6. I do believe I was taught Trust, Forgiveness,& Love go together. When my parents make mistakes and break my trust, they still expect me to get over my betrayal or hurt feeling and forgive. The words Love, Trust & Forgiveness are tightly tied together, with my parents. I’ve been confused about this, because I don’t really trust my parents- they have hurt me in so many ways and they view Love as conditional on what I do for them. It is one sided. They will occasionally throw money my way, but they are not there for me, when I need emotional support.

My definition of Love is that it is unconditional. I tend to swing from trusting too much to trusting too little. This is so hard because it gets confusing to me who to trust. If I can’t trust my parents, who can I trust?…This is a root issue for me. I have always kept trying harder & harder to please and it still wasn’t good enough. They show me in so many ways, that they don’t value me, especially my feelings & thoughts.

Whenever I disclose too much personal info, it comes back to bite me. I have learned to be discerning on what I do share to protect myself. If you can’t trust someone does that mean you can’t love them?…Or are they separate?..I tend to separate the two, which is not what I was taught in my family. Does this make sense? & Can you clarify if this is faulty thinking?…I can take the Truth….
Sincerely Confused,


Hi Darlene & Everyone,

Just wanted to share this from Facebook:

Smiles and Rainbows: Positive Ways with Patricia Love
Strength isn’t about never having been broken, but more about the COURAGE it takes to grow strong again in the broken places…:)

So True!


Hi Darlene,
Thank you for putting into words what my mind and heart know and feel but find difficult to express.
You’re always hitting it on the mark.


Hi Cer
Welcome to EFB
Thank you for your note! Hugs, Darlene

You said If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust?? It that a true statement? (II don’t mean true for you I mean if I can’t trust my parents does that mean I can’t trust anyone? ~ that is not true for me because the truth is that I can’t trust them ~ but there are other people that I can trust. (and again, this all got sorted out for me when I built my trust relationship with ME back up. I had to learn to trust me to take care of me, and to know when someone was devaluing me and saying NO to that treatment.)

I had to separate trust and love. I had to separate EVERYTHING in order to see how it fit together. That was my process. All things false were entangled together to make an even more complicated mess. My understanding of trust went hand in had with my false definition of love ~ which is what I was trying to say in this blog post.
I had to learn NOT to say too much. I had to learn that it was okay NOT to tell my mother everything (and I didn’t know that it was okay not to tell her things, even though I already knew she would use them against me!)
Hope this helps,
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks for clarifying trust. It is the truth that I can’t trust my family, but that doesn’t mean I can’t trust other people, because I do. I was in “the fog”, when I said, “If you can’t trust someone does that mean you can’t love them?…I was referring to My parents because I was taught that Trust & Love go hand & hand, but what I’ve come to realize is that is not the truth for Me. I’m also going to look more closely at my definition of Love. I’m going to continue working with my counselor & on EFB, to sort this mess out…I get so confused & frustrated!…Thanks for breaking it all down Darlene.
Sincerely, SMD


“I had another boyfriend who accused me of not trusting him when I found a girls phone number on his dresser. Once again I felt guilt and shame because as I already mentioned, I had been taught that if I didn’t trust, I didn’t love. It turned out that he was cheating on me, just as I suspected. I didn’t find out for a long time because I was too busy trying to prove that I “trusted” and “loved him.” I had several boyfriends who accused me of not trusting them. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to admit even to myself that I didn’t trust them. There were reasons that I asked the questions I asked; questions such as “where were you all night?” “why did a woman phone for you?” Why didn’t you phone me to say you were going out with the boys?”

By getting angry and accusing me of accusing HIM of something and trying to “control him” he got me off the actual subject and put me on the defense where in the end I was assuring him that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, it was that I just wanted to know where he was but that question never got a real answer. He deflected it by accusing me of not trusting him! And I spent all my time and energy making it up to HIM that I had made him feel like I didn’t trust him!”

Oh my God, you just described my ex-husband. While I was busy running around like a chicken with my head cut off PROVING I loved him, he was busy screwing around with everything in sight. My abusive parents led me down this rabbit trail (love this!) and I have SO MANY DYSFUNCTIONAL DEFINITIONS in my life. I get so frustrated and angry as these issues peel open one after another. Angry that I have been abused in so many different ways and by so many different people. Angry that I now have to “fix” this mess of a life I didn’t ask for and certainly didn’t deserve.

How do I reprogram and reparent myself?


Hi Kelly
to answer your question “how do I reprogram and reparent myself?” I have written almost 300 artilces in this site about the “how” part.. how I did it. It takes time and it unfolded for me a little bit at a time over time as I did the work to find out where the broken began and where (how) my self esteem got so damaged in the first place. It was there that I found the answers to healing. I hope you will read more for insights into the answers to your questions..
p.s. I have also written about feeling very angry that I had to FIX what I didn’t break, but no one esle was going to fix it 🙁 so in the end it was up to me!
You are not alone!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi everyone,

This made me think of a song I love called “Chasing Rainbows”, here’s some of the lyrics:

“Will you do anything to satisfy your so-called friend? There’s something you ought to know before you explode…”
“All I wanna do is make sure you stop chasing rainbows. Trusting those around you is an easy thing to do. I’m not saying don’t believe in someone that you don’t know, just don’t go on thinking that the whole world tells the truth….”
“All I wanna do is make sure you stop chasing rainbows. Letting everybody crawl inside your heart and mind. Kicking you is easy when you’re down, that’s when the weak go to release their anger on someone who will not try to stand up & give them a fight.”


“I’ve felt like a shit, worst even than rapists-criminals, and because of it I could’t even look at the people at the street without thinking: oh she or he thinks that there is sth wrong with me.” Nobody else will tell you the truth” -”of couse”!!”

Oh, Anetta, I had a really big pang of recognition there, as a former ‘it’ and ‘beast’ I can really understand what that feels like.

So sorry that happened to you and really hope this blog will help you along the path of really knowing that you are none of the things your hideous mother made you out to be!

It struck me tonight that the person I most need to learn to trust is me.

Although I’m feeling much better in myself since reading all of the soul saving articles on here, doubting myself and especially what I’m feeling about a situation or person etc is always subject to very strict self questioning and thinking that someone else knows better.

Once I know for certain that I can trust myself and my perceptions then the rest will fall into place much easier (I hope)

“Trust is not mandatory!” – that was a real shocker for me to read – never come across that written or spoken. What a revelation!


Hi R
The biggest key in my healing was in learning to value my relationship with me. Everything began there; I had to validate me where I only knew invalidation. I had to listen to myself. I had to learn to take care of my needs and then self love began to grow. I see now that the healthy love I have for my children grew out of learning to love me. It is the “action” that speaks so much louder than words and my family sees me live it. Learning self care, self trust and self love has had the most extraordinary ripple effect. So very powerful.
Hugs, Darlene


The whole problem of how to trust people was turned on it’s head for me when I realised I was trusting one of my support workers because I was trusting my gut intuition and what it was telling me about her because I’ve learned over the last few months that my gut intuition is always right. It is possible to trust someone not because you trust them but because you know you can trust yourself and what you inner you feels about them. That was really revealing to me.


Fi, Thanks for putting that so clearly. That is such a healthy way to view trust.



Darlene, I think when I say I put my trust in God, I’m saying much the same thing you said in #32. I believe that Jesus lives in me, that I am becoming more like Jesus and more trustworthy. It’s the personal relationship I have with Him that gives me the insight I need. I wasn’t raise with good morality. Good and evil was based on what pleased or displeased my dad. It all seemed up for grabs to me. I needed to build a solid view of right and wrong before I could understand what kind of behavior was worthy of trust and what wasn’t. Before, if someone said they loved me, I put my trust in that declaration and then busted my hump to do everything I could to please them. As a teenager, it didn’t matter what they asked me to do because I saw right and wrong as being what pleased or displeased them. If they broke my trust, I blamed myself.I never thought of what they asked me to do as being wrong or that they wronged me. I don’t know if what I wrote made sense but that is the process I’ve come up through.



Hi Fi
Very well said! That is what I found too. The key has always been about validating myself ~ learning to listen to what I need and how I feel. When I learned to trust me; that I could and would stick up for me if someone broke my trust or whatever, then it didn’t matter so much if I trust others or not ~ I know that I can depend on ME to take care of me.

Hi Pam
That is the process that I have come through too and yes it makes sense! When all the definitions of this stuff was wrong from the first breath, lots has to be sorted out in order to GET to the truth. When I examined my faith I realized that it was “taught to me” in the same abusive false ways as everything else was.. so trusting God meant nothing to me. It was another guilt trip. I had to find the true definitions of words like trust and love and relationship in order to sort everything out, including the faith stuff.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I guess I lucked out that my faith wasn’t taught to me. I’ve always defined it as, God and me. I’m sure that if faith had been a part of my family of origin, I would have been really confused there, as well.



Hi Pam,

I experienced a different spin on the “trust” issue in my dysfunctional family. Because of random uncertainty, nonsensical whims,angry outbursts and the general unpredictability of my mother I learned not to trust. That left me distrustful but at the same time wanting to find someone I could trust. I made some mistakes and misplaced my trust a number of times. But I have still never come to trust my mother and likely never will. I found that the “respect authority” was particularly problematic for me. In my view trust and respect both need to be earned and can be easily lost.

Peace and wholeness to all!



Hi Victoria
I can relate to what you said here too. hugs, Darlene

It wasn’t my family that delevered the false messages about spiritual things. I was actually a young adult when people were tyring to “save me” and the guilt and shame and not good enough stuff was so similar to what I had grown up with, that I just fell right into line with it. I had to learn that people were not god in my life or in anyone else’s life because the way they played God was how I ended up relating to God for many years. There was a lot of damage done there.
I think you are lucky that you had the understanding you talk about and I think it is rare.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, I didn’t go to church for ten years after I believed. I studied on my own. You’d think I’d be well armed against people who want to play Holy Spirit in the lives of others but I wasn’t. I still had to learn how religion differed from a personal relationship with God but because of my habit of studying on my own and seeking the truth for myself, I passed through that pretty quickly. Now I think it is just part of the spiritual journey and all why seek out that which is spiritual go through it. It hurts to be abused by religious people but we are in good company because they abused, Jesus too.The hyper-religious are abusers, wolves in sheeps clothing. I think when we learn to spot them and defend ourselves against them, no other abuser has a chance!



This is such a good example of how words change their meanings with contexts. WHO said it, HOW did they say it, WHAT did they mean by it, WHAT was the result in the relationship? Reminds me of church, and how the words used didn’t really mean what they are “supposed” to mean. Trust God means obey the church, etc.


I know what you mean. I had this big ah ha moment one time when I realized that my mother was “god” and that adults in my life (including peers when I was an adult) had set themselves up as “god” and I didn’t KNOW “god” and that I was taught a whole whack of stuff about a “false god” taught how to worship that false god which was what people wanted me to do. They wanted me to believe a certain way so that I would submit to them. And that was actually the message of Christ ~ he told the people in power to give up their power because they were using it to push people around and Christ was all for equality and equal value for all people ~ but the people in power didn’t want to give up their power, so they rejected that part of the message and warped it into what worked in their favor. Sad really.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, That was the exact reason why the Pharasses had to have Jesus killed, to maintain their power. Jesus is the mediator between God and human beings, there’s no need for a religious hiararchy and no need for one person to rule above another. Jesus is about equality and self-rule. Jesus is about freedom. Is it any wonder that the truth He taught is buried beneath religion by those who like the power and the presense that religion gives them? Jesus is as much of a threat today as He was over two thousand years ago!



Trust. Wow. We grow up so misguided about trust and our self-worth, we end up attracting the worst kind of people: The controlling, manipulative type you shouldn’t trust. The ones that make you feel worse about yourself and even more confused.

It’s like we have a target painted on us, or they have special radar to seek us out just by our body language, voice and words that tell them… here’s an easy victim. And because their treatment of us is familiar, we think it’s “right.” My trust issues and self-worth were so messed up that I didn’t get married until I was 49!!!

On a side note, my controlling parent stunted my emotional growth which I think contributed to the fact I married a man much younger than I (and mother refused to meet him for the first 2 and 1/2 years we were together because she opposed our relationship. She tried to shame me into breaking up with him. Well, that didn’t work and we’re still happily married.)


Trust wow is all i can say–reading this brought tears-that is us–still us–and now get told with “help”, “healing” the same darn crap–ugh a vicious cycle that it is—i will try to remember what you said—tnd the whole concept you have a “right” to not trust—-really???????


The Head teacher that first assaulted me was a charmer – he charmed my mother (an me, a little 6yr old) by telling us he would be my 9-4 Daddy while my real Daddy was on an overseas tour of duty. He knew our home was miles form anywhere, with no phone and he knew I was an only child so he knew that I was isolated aNd pretty much alone…easy pickings. Because my mum trusted him, I trusted him – until it was too late adn I had been hurt beyond belief. My Mother was very sick at the time, so in my little girls’ mind I couldn’t tell…I had no one TO tell…..
It became “normal” when I WAS abused again – at the next school. AS a military family we moved a lot. THAT time I truanted – for months – until I was found out. No one asked me WHY I did it, they were jsut yelling at me NOT to do it again. No one told the teacher NOT to do it again. So I swallowed the hurt, and the anger at the injustice, and the message that what I felt didn’t matter.. Then it happened again at a third school – this was much more severe and dangerous a place and I totally blanked it all out. Not to trust anyone to save me, not to trust anyone at all – again…It coloured decades of my life – I did marry, in my late 30’s, to a man who was hurting as much as I was.
“Trust me, I am a….” was a mantra that was oft repeated to me as a kid. Doctors, teachers, whoever….I resolved never to say that to a child in my care – I knew I had to EARN their trust by being honest. I could no longer “trust” my intuition in relation to myself, as I had been so well disabled by my family and other “responsible” adutls around me. But it has always worked for other people: my patients, my foster kids – etc. But not for me….until very recently. I am finally starting to listen to my gut instincts – its SO scary!! Amazingly so.. but IT WORKS!


Libby, It makes me feel so sad that all that happened to you. I’m glad you’re finding your way to reconnecting with your inner instincts. I wish all of that never happened but I’m glad you survived and I’m glad you’re beginning to heal.



Hi Drained
Yes, but it isn’t because we have a “target” painted on us, but partly it is because we are so used to “being the one who complies” that manipulators and controllers “sense how easy we are” and also because since this all began for us very young, we are comfortable… what was normal and familiar becomes comfortable even when it is dysfunctional.

Hello “Broken”
Welcome to EFB ~ Yes, really, you have a right not to “trust” and you can decide what is right for you.
Please feel free to share often, you are not alone.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Libby
Oh gosh, these kinds of stories get to me. I am so sorry that happened and thank you for sharing it with us. This is exactly what happens too.
Your insight is right on and thank you for sharing the victory parts at the end!!
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene – that phrase “you have a right NOT to trust” sent shivers up my spine! “Broken” I can understand your questionning it too! I had never seen this before….never thought of it as possible,let a lone a right.
I have a new therapist, a man, who I really don’t trust (we have met 3 times so far). I have been swinging from one place where I fire him, to another place where I try to work with him, try to see it as a challenge….. The change has raised so many issues, and I have been agitated and off the wall the whole time between sessions. The change came about because my previous therapist retired suddenly and recommended this guy. But it has been handled badly – botched. At our session last week I challenged HIM – where was HE coming from? What was HIS experience of working with people like me – and WHY is he doing this work? Previously I had felt he was not hearing me at the level I needed to be heard, but this time he did, he really did. I saw the change in his body language…..He came down from his high horse of academic authority and was more authentic. He knows I don’t trust him, that for me this feels like a huge risk…
I think , like most people, I want to trust – I want to be able to connect with other people. However, the number of times that my trust has been mis-placed means I often don’t trust myself either…. My husband jokes that we only got together because my dog liked him and trusted him! Funny, but actually not far from the truth. Learning to trust is a slow process. The right NOT to trust is a relief…I will remember that.


Hi Libby
It was a huge relief to me too! Permission NOT to trust. Wow. I had to keep in in mind until it was part of my thinking process. There is NO shame in not trusting or in taking time (lots of time) to decide!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi, Libby, I love that you challenged your therapist!


Darlene, as usual, your post is addressing something I am going through. I really get what you mean. I do have a question, though (as usual!).

A friend of mine who is a fellow-survivor and advocate for victims tells me that she went “the other” way and had a lot of trouble with her marriage with her second non-abusive husband (which ended up with a temporary separation) because she didn’t trust him. Her ability to trust any man had been demolished and though he was a gentle giant (I can vouch for this) she mistook a lot of his behavior as abusive.

Now she often warns victims not to go the other way and that there are many trustworthy people around. She told my son to “never think that people can’t be trusted” and when my son replied “why would I think that if they are trustworthy”, she replied that she would have never admitted to not trusting and that it was something subconscious and she was implying that he might be subconsciously inclined to go that way because victims just do that.

I am not comfortable with telling victims that. What do you think?


Hi Krissy
I think that the trust thing goes deeper than “deciding” to trust or not to trust. I would not tell someone “never think that people can’t be trusted” because the way I see it now, trust is something that we become comfortable with in a new relationship over time. I would ask your friend what exactly she means by “trust”. What is she refering to when she says that we should trust? sometimes we all have a different idea of what the conversation is even about.
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks, Darlene. I think my friend is talking about trust like you are. I have since read another blogpost you wrote about trust and I so get what you mean. But I think my friend feels like she should warn others not to go where she went, which is to have trouble in relationships because of inability to trust, even if they were not abusive people. She would not trust that her new husband had her best interest at heart, and constantly misread his behavior as abusive behavior. Eg, he was quiet, and she mistook it for not caring. Their relationship was very rocky until she uncovered her lack of trust as the root of the issues.

As for my own experience, how’s this for an abuser demanding trust – my ex said that just as God could not work His goodness in a person’s life until that person trusted Him, so I could not experience his goodness or goodwill to me and the kids until I started to trust him! He somehow believes that he has a right to be trusted, and when I don’t it is something insulting. He often asks me not to insult, demean or hurt him but if not trusting is hurtful, then I’m sorry, there’s something very very wrong that sort of thinking.


Yes, thats what I am talking about.. that trust is not a “right” ~ Ask you ex what he thinks “trust” is. He is the one who distroyed your trust in him so perhaps God needs to work His goodness in your EX ~ perhaps he should look more closely at HOW he harmed the trust in the first place. Abusers don’t need to tell you that they have changed IF they have indeed changed. We see it. but when there is a history proving that we need to be on gaurd it takes time to trust again. Abusers are addicted to making everything the fault of the other person. You are right; there is something very wrong with that sort of thinking.
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene! I’ve come to accept that pretty much everything I’ve been taught by my parents comes from “their” wounds. I inherited their wounds and that’s what I am healing from now. I am going through a “dumping” process right now of old beliefs and lies and I’m slowly able to receive truths that are in alignment with my true, higher self. Even religion had a toxic spin on it and I now understand why I felt I couldn’t even turn to god for help and guidance. I’m in a spiritual mentorship that is really helping me be more open to having a relationship with myself and god. I didn’t realize how little trust I had in myself because I was taught that adults or people in higher roles held all the power. I have a lot of child hood wounds that kept me locked in time and made me easy prey to predators. My first boyfriend at 15 was an abuser, cheater and manipulator which set the tone for most of my relationships. Each relationship I had put me in a position to look at myself and my behaviour and what I was doing wrong. I did not make the connection that it was my choices of men that caused me my pain, I thought there was something fundamentally wrong with me and that I got what I deserved. Shifting my thinking and changing my belief system has been very challenging but I’m beginning to see some real progress. I won’t give up on myself and I know without a doubt that god is present in my life and is fighting for my me, for that I am truly grateful and am starting to believe I have value. Slow and steady is my healing process and I no longer feel like I need to compete or compare my life against anyone else. This is my personal healing journey and I don’t feel the need to involve my family in the process anymore. My family is not interested in the truth and for that I feel sad for them. Everyone has their own choice to live the way they want and it’s clear that what I believe to be the truth just gets in their way. I feel so blessed to be part of group of like minded people who support and encourage healing. I wish everyone an abundance of joy and love and hope you discover how truly brilliant you all are. Namaste to you all!


Hi Lora
Excellent comments here! Excellent points, connections and highlights!
Thanks for sharing ~
Hugs, Darlene

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