Is Trust a Necessary Key to Emotional Healing?

trust and emotional healing
Mutual Trust

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,

Darlene Ouimet

Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

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48 response to "Is Trust a Necessary Key to Emotional Healing?"

  1. By: theresa Posted: 19th February

    Not able to trust, or not willing to trust, is often equated ( by people who think they are helping) as a flaw, a character defect. The truth is that people who understand that trust has to be EARNED rarely (if ever) mention it. They just go about earning it.

  2. By: gordon Posted: 10th February

    I have a comment ON the love in the picture, REAL life.

    On my farm I had cows, and we were doing “Artificial Insemination” This big white Pet. (Also that was her name Big White). Was her day. In the bottom of the tank was some OLD semen, from a bull with great qualities only one defect, he had horns. 5$ bought her a vial. She gave birth to a son. Peter (after his father). 10 days after his birth, he showed odd traits he followed my Dad was a pet. At fixing time for little calves I said. I think I will spare him, take my chances. Peter grew up as a Bull. Yes a pet, 10 year old son could take an ear or a horn and he followed. Many times he was a daddy. It was time for him to be shipped! Buyer told me “Do not worry about that bull, we have seen his calves. And I am under orders to buy him for the community pasture. With his horns and temperament. THEY want him as “Peace Keeper”.

  3. By: Lora Posted: 8th February

    Darlene…you have totally inspired me to continue writing my story and one day I hope I”m brave enough to publish it. For now I continue to write and share my healing process. Writing has saved my life and has become my life line to the Universe. You create such loving, nurturing energy in your words and I am soaking them all in. You have no idea how much value I think you have and it’s an honor to be on the receiving end of it. Namaste!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th February

      Hi Celine
      Thats awful! This story reminds me of my life too. My mother always bragged about how protective she was, but yet I was abused by the babysitter, my grandmother, we were taken to visit her pedophile step father, the doctor had to threaten to call a lawyer because of a teacher who was abusing me and my parents ‘didn’t want to make waves’. I didn’t know what trust was till closer to the end of the healing process. For me it comes down to learning to trust myself to take care of myself when someone shows signs of taking advantage of me or misusing my trust in them. I know that I won’t accept abuse anymore!
      Hugs, Darlene

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th February

      Hi Lora
      Thank you! I appreciate your lovely words!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Celine Posted: 8th February

    My mother in all of her insecurities, told my siblings and I when we were little that she’d never go out to dinner or whatever with my father because she didn’t trust anyone to watch after us. She used to say it a lot as if it was an excuse for her not to go out because she simply couldn’t and didn’t want to. On the other hand, I was to trust doctors, teachers, etc. just for the fact that they were SMART. Turned out that most of my abusers were, well you guessed it. Doctors and teachers. What a confusing message for a kid. To this day, trust is such an issue for me, it literally paralyzes me with fear when someone asks me if I trust them. I don’t know what trust really means! It’s pretty subjective.

  5. By: gordon Posted: 8th February

    I must say. In the beginning. They day you were born. You TRUSTED everything. Soon you learned DO NOT TRUST!! And the list grew Yes some were valid, others were not. When the one you most trusted gave you Abuse and mistrust. It did not figure.

    My children learned but Mom was not right. She said things that were wrong, did things that didn’t make scene. Etc.

    They learned simple things. Like “do not trust the dog to hold your cookie.” So I invented some sayings.

    “no secrets no lies”. Was good ment you do not have time to make excuses for a lie and on and on.” My daughter took that to heart. and when she made a mistake she would say “I did that, sorry”. Now issue was over punishment not required etc.
    On with life.
    The other was.
    DO NOT argue with! “clocks, calenders or thermometers”. FOR they are always right.

    There was the day in the war with “X’s control and abuse tactics.”. Mom had bribed her with a new spring jacket. I said NO wear the winter one!! She started “It’s because Mom bought it and she said you would be angry!! I said NO “mr thermometer said winter jacket, look at the dog her fur is all blown to one side of her back”. Was just OK Dad I need the winter one.

    And well it goes on. How do you trust a counselor to advice you on fixing what they know not of. Was the negative counseling of the abuser who caused this!! So some “paid so-called professional is gonna tell you it’s all OK. NO it’s the learned DO NOT TRUST. etc.

    So again we are lost.

    I will end with a quote from my daughter. “? Dad ? Why do animals know people? They all come to You and me, but they hate Mom”. Yes Dad “Animals know people”. she said

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 9th February

      Hi Gordon
      Welcome to EFB
      Thank you for sharing, Hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Dave Posted: 25th March

    Trust may be the least well communicated value in our society. we here so much about peace, love, unity, value, acceptance but so little about trust. I dont think most people really know what trust is. I was never taught about it growing up. i just blindly gave my trust away like it was not even an option not to trust. I got hurt and abused over and over again by trusting people i didnt even know. I trusted my parents and they abused me worse than anyone else. I dont ever remember anyone questioning – why do you trust them or why do you give your trust away so easily. I never even thought of it as a choice. I just thought it was something you naturally did – you just trusted people until they proved untrustworthy. I trusted my cousin to let him sleep with me on a pull out sofa bed when i was 8 and he molested me 3 or 4 nights in a row. I never questioned it. I just blindly trusted people throughout my life. My trust was betrayed over and over but i still trusted people. No one ever said that i had a choice. i didnt understand that it was a choice. I always gave my power away. NO more. If you dont earn my trust you dont get it, simple as that. If you dont show that you are trustworthy then forget it. Took a long time to learn a very hard lesson that so many young people need to be taught about early on in life. So much abuse and bad situations could be avoided if trust was talked about early on in life and how to know whether someone is trustworthy or not rather than just blindly trusting them for no reason.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th March

      Hi Dave
      I think we are taught to blindly trust as part of the grooming process that makes us so compliant and easy to control and manipulate. That is why we are taugh that we MUST trust. It is a lie that enables others who are more powerful to get us to do what they want.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Libby Posted: 5th March

    Wow – It has been very interesting to re-read this post a month later…So much has been going on.
    I have been really thinking about trust – since my first session with the new therapist. Interesting.
    After that session I was off the wall – for days – completely de-stabilised all over again, very freaked out.And then I got mad. REALLY mad!
    I had trusted the previous therapist – I had had to work through some boundary issues with her and then we had gotten down to work. She urged me to try working with this man – she had trained him and was his supervisor – she rated him highly. She threw down the gauntlet ad challenged me to work with a man. On paper he has strings of qualifications, lots of published work… and I am really uncomfortable. I am aware of my habitual ambivalence towards the change (actually ANY change), but everything in me is screaming NOoooooo!
    So the trust thing: Do I listen to myself – listen to my guts? Bearing in mind that when I have ignored my gut instincts I have gotten into serious difficulty on many occasions in the past. Do I TRUST myself to look after me apporpriately?
    Do I listen to my guts but also think through what I am reacting to, and continue to work with this man – afterall, we have only met once so far…. DO I accept my ambivalence as evidence that I am aware of myself and accept that I may need to be challenged in therapy? Do I, therefore, TRUST that I can negotiate an effective therapuetic relationship with this guy??
    OR do I look at what happened in that first session as being a true indicator of how things are going to progress? Do I TRUST that what transpired in that session is an accurate indicator of (a) how the man works (b) that I feel that his response to me was appropriate, beneficial (c) that my discomfort will ease.
    I really don’t know what to do – our next session is not due for another 10 days. I have spent all thsi time between sessions on a roller coaster of emotions – he has stirred up more emotional stuff than anything in the last two years! Some of that I can see as positive – I have, for example, been angry – enraged even.
    I was angry that I felt the therapist didn’t listen to me, had not read my case notes (actually the previous therapist also let me down by not keeping detailed notes), and was apparently trying to fit me into a box – to make me conform to a stereotype of PTSD without understanding how I had got to this place.
    I am angry that I am going to be limited to a fixed way of working.. which I think negates all that I have been doing already; papering over the cracks rather than helping me to tear down the wall and rebuild it more healthily.
    I am writing a list of things I now need to check out with him in an effort to understand just where he is coming from and where he thinks I am coming from. If it then seems that we are not going to be able to reach some accommodation, well, then I am walking out and not going back. For which there are likely to be consequences, but I am not going to sit in a room with a therapist who is not listening, not validating my efforts/experience, who thinks I should TRUST him just because he is so well qualified!
    Trust may not be essential for healing EXCEPT I need to be able to trust that I will heal; I need to be able to have some hope that the things that I am doing are in MY best interests, and that the people I am working with have my best interests in mind too – and not just the best interests of the institution for whom they work.
    Brenda – thanks for the reference – I looked it up, and fond it really helpful:))

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th March

      Why did you have to switch therapists in the first place?
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Faith Posted: 5th March

    I am finding more and more relief when I come to this site and read the postings of both the article plus the comments. Today I found myself relating a lot to Pam, who posted about her parents. My situation was similar in that my father knew I knew what had happened to my mother while growing up in their household. Plus the fact that he was able to get one of moms’ sister to side with him along with having his sister cover a few things up. I’ve had my trust broken by a couple therapists and am thankful for finding this site. It now looks like I am able to start letting go and forgive in ways that I was not able to do before either subconsciously or consciously. It is such a relief to be able to let go of the mistreatments. Now, I must do my best to re-train myself with help of the people from this website and hopefully with the new therapist that I will be seeing in a couple of weeks. My perspective is changing for the better and I have Darlene and others here who comment for that new perspective.

    Thanks for sharing and allowing me to share back.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th March

      Hi Faith!
      YAY for a changing perspective! That is great! Thanks for sharing.
      Hugs, Darlene

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