Is Trust Mandatory in Healthy Relationship? The True definition of Trust

The definition of trust

Trust Me… by Theodora MacLeod

One of the biggest stick points on the journey to emotional healing has to do with the subject of TRUST. Somewhere along the way I came to believe that I had to trust people until they were proven untrustworthy. That is a false understanding of trust. It was through understanding how I learned the meaning of the word ‘trust’ in a manipulative way that really only served the ones teaching me that false definition of the word trust, that I was able to realize the truth;  I didn’t have to trust anyone until they proved to be trustworthy. By the same token, I do not expect people to blindly trust me either. Trust in healthy relationship develops over time. Trust in healthy relationship is not mandatory and ‘blind trust’ does not prove acceptance or love. NOT trusting someone does not mean anything ‘bad’ and it is not a judgement against that person. Not trusting someone that you don’t know well enough to decide about trusting or not, is healthy. When I am expected or required to trust someone blindly, I consider that a red flag about the person who has this expectation of me.

From the Free Dictionary.com ~  Here is the definition of trust:

1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

2. Custody; care.

3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.

Noun~ Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something

Verb~ Believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of

Based on this definition of Trust, I can see how I had the false understanding of the word and concept in the first place.

Trust is optional. Trust is something that needs to be earned more than it needs to be freely given without any knowledge of the persons ability, strength or reliability. As children, everyone older than us has ‘positional power’ over us. We learn to submit to that positional power because NOT submitting to it is a sure way to bring on a punishment, rejection, physical abuse and a host of other unwanted results. I learned to submit to positional power and I got my learned understanding of submission mixed up with the concept of trust.

As children we are taught to trust through other people; the people in charge of our welfare communicate that we will be safe with those people. If these people are untrustworthy, what choice do we have in the matter anyway? How many of you remember not wanting to ‘go with someone’ or not wanting to be babysat by someone, but having no choice (or power) to change the situation.

In this way I learned ‘blind trust’ and basically I learned that everyone was worthy of my trust. It was shocking for me to learn in my forties that through the truthful understanding of what trust is, my mother wasn’t trustworthy. She did not prove herself to be reliable, truthful or even able when it came to me. I had a few friends that were not trustworthy. In fact most of the people in my life, including my husband were not trustworthy when it came to having a relationship with me based on equal value and mutual respect.  But I had been taught, groomed and brainwashed to believe in “the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something” of those people. Blindly. Not believing in their reliability, ability, truth and strength was ‘disrespectful’ and there were unwanted consequences to that ‘disrespect’.

I ‘trusted’ the baby sitter who sexually abused me. I was a little kid; I trusted my parents and they trusted her. The fact that my parents trusted her was enough for me to trust her. And as a child it would not have done any good if I didn’t trust her; she was in a power position over me, I had no choice but to submit to her.

And since I believed my parents would protect me, (or I wanted to believe that) it was pretty confusing when someone that they have left me in the care of, abused me.

I trusted my grandmother because I was taught to; when she violated me I got really confused about what trust really was.

My parents warned me NOT to trust my grandfather who was a pedophile and had been caught sexually molesting my cousin. They continued to expose me to him by taking me to his home to visit. This caused me more confusion about trust. Why did they take me to visit there if he was dangerous and untrustworthy when it came to children? If he was untrustworthy, why did they want us to have a relationship with him?

I trusted the doctor who told me that nothing was wrong with me and treated me like a dramatic hypochondriac who was wasting his time, which caused me to invalidate how I felt and how sick I felt, which in turn caused me to ignore my needs which in truth were the beginning of a serious illness. The illness went undiagnosed until it was in the later stages at which time it was much more difficult to heal. I trusted that he was right, instead of trusting myself that I needed a second opinion because I was sure that I was sick.

I ‘trusted’ a co-worker I had who was a police officer just because he was a police officer in charge of the security in the large hospital where I worked. The fact that he was a police officer didn’t stop him from assaulting me as soon as he got me alone. The positional power he had over me because he was a police officer prevented me from reporting him. I believed that he would be the one ‘trusted’ in the situation. I was used to taking the blame for whatever happened to me. Had I NOT trusted him, I would not have gone with him where he could get me alone.

I think that we are brainwashed into believing we have to trust straight away. (Controllers who misuse their power have set it up this way since the dawn of time)  I have learned to trust when I feel that a person is ‘trust-worthy’ not because they have a degree or title. My clients don’t automatically trust me just because I say that I know what I am doing. Many of them begin to trust me because they have read enough of my blog to catch a glimpse of my beliefs and my integrity, but that doesn’t mean they have to trust me. They come along with trust as our relationship progresses. And I don’t ask them to trust me. That is up to them. Trusting until proven un-trustworthy is a backwards way of entering into relationship. Trust is not mandatory in a healthy relationship. Trust happens over time when people prove their reliability, truth, ability (and) or strength.

My biggest problem with trust turned out to be that I didn’t trust myself to know when to trust or not trust. I had learned the wrong definitions of ‘trust’ and ‘love’ and I learned to discount my needs, my feelings and even my intuition. I had not had permission to feel most emotions or permission to have my own thoughts. Having permission NOT to trust, was a very big beginning on the path to freedom! Having a choice and permission to have a choice in the matter of trust put things into a different perspective.

At the end of the day, learning to trust myself and building my relationship with myself to the point where I knew that I could actually depend on me was a huge layer of recovery which resolved all my misunderstandings about trust.

Please share your thoughts about ‘Trust’. Were you taught that trust was a must in relationship? Did you have a choice when it came to trust? Did you believe that not trusting was wrong? Do you now or did you ever believe the other big lie; that you have to ‘trust someone’ in order to heal? It was in changing the way that I looked at and understood things that I was able to change my default and mistaken understanding of words and concepts like ‘trust’.

Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

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Categories : Freedom & Wholeness



I agree with everything written in this article! I was also expected to trust blindly and completely everything and everyone who was in some position of authority over me….my elders, parents, baby-sitters, relatives, friend’s parents, church leaders, bosses, etc etc…and when I was married, I blindly trusted my husband because of course I assumed that he was 100% trustworthy. Because of this, I also didnt learn how to trust MY feelings, thoughts, and most of all….myself. Because of this, I was also abused sexually, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

Trust is a huge deal…and this last year has been an eye-opener for me about trusting myself and what I want and dont want…how I feel and dont feel…what I know to be right and wrong for ME. Even in very basic ways like food and exercise, what I wore and didnt wear…how I cleaned or didnt clean the house….and all of the people I met and tried to forge relationships with.

I am only now beginning to go back to church….overall the people are friendly and warm, but I have so many church experiences in my background that I understand the way ppl behave in church, so I keep myself pretty much to myself this time around, and that is because this time around it is on MY terms. I have my relationship with my God and going to church is something I am choosing to do because of that….NOT to try to please anyone. It has taken me years to reach this point, and it is only because of being healed more and more that I feel the confidence to go again. Since I have been going the last two months, I have already encountered situations with people that are very familiar…and they always stem from that person trying to feel more important. I see ppl at church who are volunteers only, and they are somehow inflating themselves in their own minds because of their own insecurity that they are some sort of a paid employee of the church…like they are a church leader! I see ppl who try to subtly put me down for the same reasons…and I used to never see those things …in fact, I blindly trusted that in church it was “love”…and I was supposed to respect those ppl and turn the other cheek. Well, my church is in for a surprise from me if that is how they believe, because I am determined to simply be myself there. The good, bad and ugly. I am trusting ME this time and this is part of it. I have been behaving like ME and the surprise on certain people’s faces when I dont react the way they expected would be funny if it wasnt so pathetic to me.

I have a friend I have known nearly 30 years who recently told me that she is jealous of my life. Now she wont talk to me. We have been through so much together, but as I look back, she has had a tendency to not be as happy for ME when something good happens, but when her life is going great, she loves it that I am very happy for her. It hasnt been equal sometimes. Since she has pulled away, after the first and second and third time trying to reach out to her…and her not meeting me in the middle, so to speak, I have decided NOT to chase her down. It hurts, but I now trust myself that I deserve to not have to worry about this. This is HER issue and I am not going to make it mine. It feels painful that she is choosing this, but it also feels so great that now I can trust myself enough not to stress, worry, chase, try to change etc etc myself like I used to. There is such freedom in trusting myself now.

Even in my marriage, I am finding that freedom since I am beginning to trust myself. This is a harder one for me since we have had such a pattern going on day in and day out for nearly 20 years together, but I am learning!!

I wanted to use those examples because I think this is another powerful article and issue! Not instantly trusting someone is a good thing and also very freeing…and realizing that I do have the choice to NOT trust is very liberating to me since I was so controlled and abused for most of my life in different ways.


Brilliant article Darlene… very illuminating. I need to read it again tomorrow when I’m less tired, and ruminate on it.

I also thought Diane’s comment was very interesting too; I could really relate, especially with the issue of Church attendance. I don’t feel “safe” enough to go back, not yet anyway.


Hi Darlene, The foundation for my inability to make judgements about who was trustworthy and who wasn’t, was my inability to trust myself. I know that came from never having the bad behavior that I witnessed and endured at the hands of my parents, validated. I was made to feel that my perceptions of reality were unreliable. I was also, constantly accused of doing things that I hadn’t done but they became self-actualized prophecy because it was part of how I learned to view myself, as bad, unreliable, and kind of crazy. I accepted any criticism as ultimate truth even though, I didn’t do or want to do things I was accused of. Trust wasn’t demonstrated to me and it wasn’t so much that I trusted the wrong people, as it seemed normal to me to be in a relationship without trust. I did this without realizing it for most of my life. I so mistrusted my dad, since my twenties, that I could never talk to him and look him in the eye. I didn’t want him to see any uncontrolled thought or feeling in me that he could use against me. When I read about how you felt about your grandfather, it was like a knife in my heart because I know I did something simular to my children. I didn’t have any concrete proof of my dad molesting his grandchildren but I did have suspicion and since I didn’t view trust as a necessary part of relationship, I was blind to what I did. I never left my children alone with him but I’m sure it was confusing for them to know how deeply, I mistrusted him but continued to allow him a place in our lives. I know having to survive as a teenager, on the streets, taught me to also, continue in relationships with people that I didn’t trust.If there is no trust the relationship is not only, unhealthy but unsafe. It’s amazing that I’ve survived the number of unsafe relationships that have colored a big part of my life and sometimes, I feel like it is a miracle that my children survived me.



I just wanted to comment on the picture of the dog “winking”…lol…I laughed out loud be ause it was so cute and went with this article so perfectly! 🙂


Pam…you touch on another layer of this subject so well! I appreciated what you wrote about that ” it was normal to be in a relationship without trust”. There were definitely certain relatives and others where it was the norm to be on guard and not trust. Very well put!


Unfortunatley churches are full of broken people, i guess if they weren’t there would be no need for them. So are many therapists and others in helping professions. There is a certain amount of trust involved…simpley to step through the doors to these various places. trying to find a way to even dialouge with a therapist after betrayal and abandonment almost a year ago. i tried a therapist for a few months but when she cut me off from even mentioning ritual abuse i decided that i needed to pay off the bill and that getting christmas gifts for my family was more important. decided to not go back at all and have an assessment at a place i am comfortable stepping through the doors and sliding fee scale is better. only discomfort is the counselor graduated from high school with my brother. but he lives out of state and has no contact so really not an issue.
just thinking “on paper” here…just some thoughts. wondering how i will know when i can tell this therapist about the ritual abuse and did…since the last one didn’t think i was…like anyone is going to talk to her when she cuts me off.


Diane, I share you feelings in how wonderful self-trust is and it is so much more important than the ability to trust others. I can’t help but feel bad for the people I love and have let down by not trusting in myself to be able to perceive what was the right thing to do and go with it. Self-trust is basic to everything we think about ourselves and expect from others.



Hi Darlene, I liked this article and agree with what you had to say; and would like to expound on the topic if I may. While no one should be blindly trusted with your personal security, you are dead on about that, not even the police in some cases, I believe that , over time, trust is not so much earned by others as it is learned by us ourselves. In other words, no one can hide their true self indefinitely, and as you get to know people, you will eventually discover weather or not you can place your faith in another person to be a loving supporter and/or protector. We all fail others from time to time, even those close to us. This is an ugly reality of the human condition. However, insomuch as we are hurt by the actions of those people who are truly and regularly untrustworthy, we should all endeavor to be trustworthy to eachother, even to those who don’t know us and have no reason to trust us. If I witnessed a terrible injustice being comitted, even to someone I don’t know, would I intervene? I’ve never really been in that position, so its hard to answer; but my heart tells me that I should. Anyway, your articles have helped my wife to come to some stunning realizations and have helped her to navigate the road to recovery, so thank you and keep up the good work.

Nathan Jones


Wow. I didn’t really realize that I felt I had to trust people until they were proven untrustworthy until I read this post. How freeing to think that I can be slower to trust!

I think that many of my “gut instincts” are correct, but the manipulators in my life had “rewritten my reality,” making me feel that what I think and feel and do is wrong, so I struggle greatly with self-doubt, especially when I am feeling vulnerable and fragile. I think I need to learn to trust myself more and others more slowly.


Pam, I think you are so right about self-trust being basic to everything in our relationship with ourself and others. I also starting thinking of something I think I remember reading that you wrote some time ago about being “hyper vigilant”…or something similar? If that wasnt you, I apologize, but it struck a chord in me. I never knew many of the terms that people use here on EFB and it took me awhile to catch up! That term of being hyper vigilant was something that I now think goes along with someone who has had their trust so violated as a child that they become overly (hyper) sensitive/vigilant and definitely untrusting ….always on guard and suspitious. I know that I was as a child and even into adulthood for many years. I never felt I could lower my guard on the one hand, but on the other I was still trying to believe that people were totally trustworthy, if that makes sense? So the end result was that I was a mess emotionally in many ways! Very conflicted about my relationships internally. I thought there was something wrong with ME in this area of my relationships because I didnt realize what Darlene just wrote as being truth…and so I was constantly beating myself up for not being more trusting of others…believing that it was always going to me MY fault if the relationship soured….instead of realizing that maybe that other person couldnt be trusted in the ways that I was assuming that they could be. I felt guilty for not trusting them immediately.

I dont feel that way anymore!!! Not at all, and it makes me happy to understand all of these issues and to see them so clearly. 🙂


Hi Diane
I am so very familiar with friends who were not happy for me. I actually downplayed some of my “wins” to make sure that I did not make them uncomfortable. WOW. But when I think about that today, that is exactly how my mother was. She was not happy for me, she tore me down and made my wins into something dirty or lucky but not about something I was capable of doing on my own. I chose so many of my friends through the grid of familiar instead of through the grid of love. (esp. self love!)
Thanks for sharing Diane! There is so much more I could respond to!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Dominique
Thanks for your comments. Looking forward to your expansion of them.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Pam
The inability to trust myself was not something that I was born with, it was something that had been ‘taught to me’ and therefore I don’t see it as the foundation of my inability to trust others. I was taught that ‘trust’ was something that it wasn’t. Yes, as you say, taught that your preceptions were ‘unreliable’.
What you said about your father; that is something that is a huge stick point for survivors who are also parents and that is why I concentrate on personal healing first. I made mistakes with my life and I was stuck on them as the proof that I was ‘bad’ but when I realizd where those mistakes originated, and what my belief system was that caused them, I can still be accountable and make amends for them, but I am not so hard on myself about them and was able to forgive myself.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Sojourner
Welcome to EFB ~ When a therapist says that a subject is out of bounds, then you have the wrong therapist. I wish these people would say “I’m sorry, that is out of my area of expertise, I will help you find a new therapist that would be better able to assist you”. Jeeze!
Thanks for shaing.
Hugs, Darlene

Glad you liked the picture of the winking dog… I thought it was fitting! lol


Hi Nathan
Welcome to emerging from broken
Thank you for your comments.
Hugs, Darene

Awesome! And yes, it is a huge relief isn’t it! Permission was a huge thing for me in so many areas! Just seeing that I had been brainwashed in the wrong definitions of certain things was so freeing!
Hugs, Darlene


Diane, I really relate to what you wrote in #10—that combination of trusting untrustworthy people and yet being hyper-vigilant and on guard. I was completely brainwashed into thinking my mom was this great mom, so I suspect I didn’t even know what trust meant and would have assumed that I did trust her and that she was without a doubt trustworthy. I didn’t understand compliance and obedience as I do now. I wouldn’t have thought that that’s what I was doing. I wouldn’t have accurately identified any feeling I had or action I took throughout my childhood (or I would have doubted/questioned myself—especially as I got older, overriding instincts). I’d submit to whatever treatment, not knowing it was wrong or bad but just that that’s what I had to do. I’d impose my mom’s ideas of what was happening on my own, so later on with other people, my brain would do the same—telling myself to submit, trust, etc…. But then to keep myself to some degree safe, of course instinctively (as a coping mechanism) I would grow that barrier of being on guard and hyper-vigilant, just to brace myself for whatever I might “have to” endure, usually some kind of emotional invasion, as emotional abuse was where I came from (but none of that was conscious because I wouldn’t have even believed that I was “enduring” anything, I was so brainwashed). Anyway…. I am also glad to now be able to see this stuff and not have to live in that reality anymore!

…Thanks for writing this, Darlene! …For some reason, I just thought about the opposite, too—about being taught not to trust. I have no idea why or when this started but when I was really young, probably a baby, my mom decided that I hated men and would announce this to people. I’ve had a couple relatives tell me about the first time they met me, how the first thing my mom said to them was how I hated men. Like—-watch out! Alaina hates men! It was so weird! It actually followed me into my late teens with her either saying it or insinuating it. I remember being confused by it all. I distinctly remember sitting in kindergarten laughing at something a boy in my class said and thinking, “but… I like him….?” and being quite confused. I’d want to tell my mom she was wrong, but I didn’t want everyone to make fun of me—because then it would become the opposite, like Alaina likes boys/men, oooh, cooties! (you know how it is)… But anyway, in some ways because it went on for so long and was so insistent, it became an identity marker and it was like there must have been some reason for me to supposedly hate men, like I had to be protected from them for some reason particular to me and who I was, they weren’t to be trusted. Maybe when I was a baby a few times I cried when I was picked up or something, I don’t know. It was just weird…. It didn’t help that in my teens, I got no talks about dating or sex, anything like that, even though my mom isn’t particularly “conservative”—-it was more like the subject matter just wasn’t applicable to me…. Anyway, I’ve gone off on a bit of a tangent… I hope you’re having a good day! I’m doing better, cooling down from all my communication with my mom…. xox, Alaina


Alaina…I am glad you are doing better! I know exactly what you are saying! I wonder if that is also a tactic of most abusers because similar things were also said about me …the main one being that I am so “angry” all of the time. I have to laugh at that one now because I wasnt angry all of the time….but my parents sure seemed to be! I had three brothers and maybe they heard me yelling at them at times or maybe I acted sulky with my parents….but I wasnt very angry at all as a child. I think I did develop a defense of sorts so that I would try not to show any emotions with my parents so that they could not take advantage of me if I was happy, so maybe that was where it stemmed from? Anyway, that conflict that you also experienced…I think you wrote about it so well! Very well described. I was trying to describe it , but I wasnt sure if it came out clearly or not…but I think you described it perfectly!

This is such an interesting and helpful topic! I am very glad for you Alaina…that you are healing and finding your way through the fog!!! 🙂


Thanks, Diane! It sure is nice to be finding my way! I’m not sure what all that was about with my mom’s statement. Not sure that it was a tactic. She’d just get an impression in her head and then that was how it was. She always spoke for me. I never got to decide/define who I was. I think I just didn’t know what to do with that statement—why or what it was for that she would say it. Anyway, it wasn’t true and I’ll just toss that one away with all the other false definitions!


Most of my healing and understanding of “how I learned the false messages about myself” was about seeing things in the oposite way. ie: how I recovered my self esteem was by seeing the truth about how it got damaged. That is why I write the way I write!:) I learned about trust through false teachings about trust. It’s very confusing!
About this particular discovery you have just shared; that is quite a thing to have in your belief system. “Alaina doesn’t like men… and Alaina hates men” and then being afraid to correct that statement. And then not being taught about MEN becasue it doesn’t apply to you. Talk about damaging your self esteem when it comes to men/romance/relationships!
I am having a wonderful day! Thanks! (I am working on my e-book!)
Hugs, Darlene


Diane, Yep, I am the hyper vigilent one.:0)Anxiety like that is hell and trust is an important part of being able to calm that down. Not trust in others but trust in myself to be able to discern certain siturations and act accordingly. I always let other people set the terms of my relationships but no more and that is empowering and helps me build further trust in myself. Even the people I am close to don’t have the trust that I have in myself and God because I trust myself to discern their weaknesses and with-hold my trust of them in those areas. I have a much more finely, defined and realistic view of trust. Like Darlene, the manipulation that was an every day part of my life as a child, confused me about what was real and what wasn’t real, when it came to trust and really, every other aspect of relationship. I despise manipulation and when I spot it now, I’m not confused anymore and the walls go up. It’s wonderful to whack off those puppet strings!:0)



Thanks, Darlene.
Yes, to be honest my self-esteem when it comes to men/romance/relationships is pretty close to non-existent. There’s what I shared, plus my mom’s general possessive and desire to keep me her “baby girl,” plus a dad who pretty much stopped being a dad when I was a teenager, who didn’t seem to care about my emotional wellbeing so long as I was doing what my mom wanted and would throw me aside to support her abuse, betray me, etc. And then having the one man in my life with whom I had a really good, strong connection/identification kill himself when I was 8 (that’s one of the reasons why my mom’s statement made no sense because it was always clear that that relationship was important, real, etc.)… It’s definitely an area in my life I need to look at because basically I’m just a ball of nerves and have almost no trust in myself or men in this context whatsoever. I put it to the side to deal with other issues first (mainly my issues with my mom and her control, etc.) because I could only deal with one thing at a time, really, and I guess trying to break free of my mom had to come first…. Anyway, I don’t want to rush into all this, as I’ve had so much emotional intensity lately confronting my parents, but it is on my agenda! Thanks again. I just finished a painting today and am doing pretty wonderful too, all things considered. xo, A


Again Darlene this post means alot to me. I have severe trust issues and never could define why. Since this whole family system was brought into light, now I see that my not trusting ANYONE has a reason from the past. Sometimes I see others, friends and people that I know, making decisions so easily and quickly. I take forever to make a change or a decision, this is because I don’t trust anyone enough to not be skeptical of their motives. I go over and over any opportunity to see if it is safe for me to pursue it. Since I was messed with emotionally and hurt my entire life, I can see that I don’t trust anyone. (I don’t want to be hurt again, the avoidance of hurt is what rules my daily thinking.) Red flagging people is also what I do, if they start showing a controlling or judgemental side towards me, I completely back off. I know it is connected to my parents shaming me my whole life.
Alaina, I also identify with being on guard and doubting my own instincts.
This is just another part of a huge puzzle that is finally coming together. Thanks much…peace…


Darlene, My reaction to what you wrote was about how my kids must have felt and shock that I was so blind to it. I don’t remember having trust for my dad except when I was very small. It was so normal for me to be suspicious of him and guarded but still try to maintain the relationship. It’s a new angle for me and in the old days, I would have made it about me and beat myself up over it but it isn’t about me. It’s about my children and how it must have made them feel. My kids are so used to me taking all the responsibility that when I go to them with something like this, they don’t want to hear me say I’m sorry for it. I understand now why they feel that way but I struggle with how to say it in a way that keeps the focus on them and not on my guilt over it. They’re both in their 30’s now too so a lot of it depends on when they want to talk about it. It frustrates me because I feel I have so much more understanding and answers but they have their own process and sometimes, they don’t want me involved in it. I think part of it is because they are men and they want to be tough about it. They aren’t a mess like I was but I see things in them that I think they could be free of and have more inner peace. I often find myself at a loss at how to support them and help them see. At this point, it has to be from a position of support because that’s the role I fill in their lives now. Sometimes, they come to me and want me to give them motherly, advice but that is short-lived and the opportunites are few and far between. I still have faith though that things will continue to improve.:0)I didn’t meant to write a book, it just kind of poured out…



Hi Melody
Yes, there is always a reason, always a ‘root’ when there is an issue. I’m happy to hear that the puzzle is coming together!
Hugs, Darlene


When it just ‘pours out’ those are the best! I love it when that happens. When it comes to the kid thing, I like the expression ‘living amends’. My kids are younger than yours and that does make a difference. 2 out of 3 of mine were young teens when I began this whole process. In some way that made it harder, and in others easier. But either way, I keep trying to communicate my love and respect for them; that I LIVE in equal value and it pays off. It’s a process. 🙂 All we can ask of ourselves is continued awareness and respect ~ like the golden rule!
Hugs, Darlene


I’m at the exact opposite when it comes to trust. I have always
trusted immediately and completely. Maybe it is from being so
obedient and compliant. I have never questioned motives even
after I have been hurt. I think it was because I blamed myself for
the problem, not the person who broke my trust.
I look back at several situations where I
trusted strangers, that were actually quite dangerous. I guess I
never gave trust much thought. To me trust wasnt even a choice
or option. An interesting topic to consider.
My father was trustworthy. My mother never was ever.
My brother is afraid to trust anyone or anything. He questions
everything and is exactly opposite of me. He was hurt badly in
his divoirce and is afraid to be hurt again. If I dont have a
trust issue does that mean I trust myself? Or is it a negative sign?


Thanks, Darlene.:0)I’ve had an epiphony(sp?)since leaving this comment and then reading your reply. So many of the mistakes I made with my kids were in trying not to do what my parents had done. I didn’t realize it then but I was trying to fix my childhood through how I parented my own children. Sometimes, it made me blind to what they really needed. I have to focus on not repeating that process by the way I relate to them as an adult. I spent my adult years trying to get my parents to take responsibility but if my children need that, they will ask for it. I need to look and listen for what they need from me and stop filtering it through what I needed from my parents. Sometimes, they need nothing from mom and that’s okay too. I’m very blessed to have raised sons who still allow me to be a part of their lives and that is more than enough.:0)



Hi Karen
I don’t know that you are the oposite of what I am talking about at all. I used to be exactly like that too ~ that is what was taught to me. (and I was always willing to take responsibility for whatever happend also) Trusting strangers to me made sense back then because it was how I had been taught. (ie the babysitter or friends of my parents, my mothers boyfrineds etc) It was when I began to heal that I realized I didn’t HAVE to trust and that it was healthier that I didn’t trust right away. As far as do you trust yourself, that isn’t about having or not having a trust issue. Do you keep agreements with yourself? Do you trust yourself to keep yourself safe? Do you know that if someone disrespects you, that you will stand up for you. That is more along the lines of the self trust that I am talking about here 🙂 Does that make sense?
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Pam
I have had that breakthrough more that once!!! Isn’t it wonderful? Some of my realizations were about just plain being oposite of ‘them’ even if it was not healthy. I wrote a post about it somehwere in here; about trying to do the oposite of what my mother did sometimes was for the wrong motive! Because I didn’t want to be like her; I think the post was about self care; that because my mother only cared about herself, I would never care for myself so that I would be oposite of her. When it came to my kids I hesitated to ask for ‘respect’ because I had the idea that would be abusive. The process is ever evolving! I am happy about that!
Hugs, Darlene


Well, I did two things today. I wrote a letter to my dad, venting, confronting, which I won’t send. I went through the “reckoning process,” as Pam calls it, with my mom but not my dad. My dad wrote me an angry letter, which I replied to in a calm, rational and understanding way, but he never responded with just about a three month lapse. His abuse was passive, and I will not chase after him. So I did what I had to do for me—write him and vent out the anger. He doesn’t have to hear for me to get it out if he’s not willing to work things out. And then I wrote my uncle (a very short) letter… Once upon a time I had the kind of love and relationship you talk about, Darlene—equal value, respect. He showed me adventure, fun and curiosity. Creativity. I was never “just a little kid.” I was an equal, as important as any adult. I had things to say that he wanted to hear. He showed me who I was and that that person (me!) was great. Then he killed himself and I lost trust in everything—in people, in life, in the “universe”—if God existed, he didn’t anymore. It was never so much that I every really trusted untrustworthy people, so much as I’d lost hope that there was anything or anyone to trust and instead just submitted myself to whatever life was because that’s what it was and that’s what I thought I deserved. Without him, my parent’s version of love, which was so toxic, which held me as subservient to them, which asked me to give away my life to feed their needs, took over. But more than anything, I lost trust in who I was. My last therapist told me that it was very rare that people who grow up in circumstances like mine would even know who they are, outside the role they play, but I always knew and it was because of my uncle—what he gave me before he died. Suicide rocked my foundation; it took everything that I’d shared with him away from me, and it linked my identity to suicide, to death and illness, something bad, wrong, hurtful, secret. Something I had to hide and keep quiet. I didn’t trust anymore who I was innately, at core. I submitted myself to my parents’ vision and definition of me, which was based in what they wanted me to be and not who I actually was because they could not see me as I was and because I could not anymore trust what my uncle had given me, what he saw in me…. But I was wrong. My parents were wrong. My uncle did see me—and I was great and I was loveable. So what that it was suicide? That doesn’t change who he was to me and that doesn’t change who I was. My letter to him went like this: “I loved you so much. Thank you for everything you gave me. Thank you for seeing me.” That simple. That fuzzy maxim everyone says when people die—that you carry them in your hearts—it doesn’t mean much to me… until I thought, maybe it’s like this: who you were with that person, what they gave you, you allow that to exist, to live and grow inside you and shine out into the world, so that that continues living and growing in the world, too. What he gave me was good, and who I was was good and true and right. I can trust me. He broke down and chose death; I broke down and chose life. The choice itself is not reflective of the goodness of our character. It’s just what happened. He was a good person. And I’m a good person. And I can trust me to take care of me and to find my way in this world on my own, with friends and good people at my side, who believe in me, who see me and know that who I am is good. I can do this because I have choice. I can choose the life I want. I can choose to take care of me, to do what I need to do for myself and to pursue my goals. There’s nothing wrong with me and there never was.
Thanks for listening.
Love, Alaina


Alaina, My grandparents are for me what your uncle is for you. They weren’t perfect either but they gave me what I needed to survive, an alternative definition of me, from how my parents and other abusers defined me. They do live on in my heart and I am very much the person who they taught me that I am. There’s no day that goes by that I don’t think of them and who they were still plays an important role in the decisions I make. They weren’t perfect either but they loved me and they gave of themselves and those gifts never wear out. I’m glad you found your way to trusting your uncle again. You seem to be making rapid progress.:0)



Darlene, Yes, it is wonderful and having a new way to think is so vital in negotiating the continuing process.:0)Thank you for helping me find that ability. I had a lot of professional people offer me pills and techniques to dull the symptoms of my emotional illnesses but you taught me how to rid myself of those ‘symptoms’ by riding myself of the disease that infected me through confused thinking. New patterns of thinking make a huge difference in figuring things out. It compares to giving a hungry person fish or teaching them to fish for themselves. Thank you for teaching me how to heal myself.:0)



Thanks so much, Pam! I like what you wrote: “I’m glad you found your way to trusting your uncle again.” I didn’t think of it that way, but that’s exactly it. And beyond the nature of his death, he was also not perfect, but he was still everything that I said he was… which is great! Because look what that says—that you can be imperfect and still be that important, that good, in another person’s life (and in your own)…. Anyway, I actually picked up my short letter to him and have been writing more, so I want to continue that. Thanks again for your response. I’m glad you had your grandparents and I’m glad I understand now how I can carry him with me in my heart always…. I’m really feeling the progress, too! It’s pretty great!! xo, A


I had (have) a very twisted view of trust. I was always told that I was wrong, with everything so I learned to ignore my very strong gut instincts and go with “trust” what everyone else thought was right for me. This was finally brought to my awareness when I was seeing a therapist, who did me a great disservice, and she told me that because I was suicidal and not improving with high doses of medication that I was becoming phycotic, that my depression was untreatable and that my only option was to enter a long term treatment facility where they would try electric shock therapy. I knew this was wrong, very wrong. At first I believed her, she was my therapist and I was suppose to trust her opinion and diagnosis, but my gut told me not to trust this. When I verbalized my diagreement with her diagnosis she dumped me (only after having me commited for a few days, which is really a long, long story). The next month I found a doctor who said “You are sick and suffering, I believe you and I am going to try to help you”. 6 months later I am off all phyciatric drugs, no longer suffering from a lifetime long insomnia and I am thriving! Im sad to think about where I would be today if I had continued to trust her. Always trust your gut, it is almost always right!!


I have a huge problem with trust. I don’t trust myself, but I am trying. I have a hard time trusting anyone for anything, and at the same time, I instantly give my trust to others like a reflex, because I was taught the same thing about blindly trusting authority figures no matter how bad they really were. My parents expected trust and respect regardless of how abusive they were. So I seem to be conditioned to allow this in others without even thinking about it. I have also been criticized for my “trust issues” and told that I have a problem because I can’t trust anyone. All the while I would give my complete trust to anyone while simultaniously hating myself for it and not trusting them (rightfully), and them blaming myself for having an issue about it. Trusting myself is the hardest part. I blindly trust others, but I can’t trust myself or my gut. I work on trusting myself every day. It is comforting to see in words how it is OK to not blindly trust others, especially the ones who tell me I have issues if I don’t trust them.


I have had a lot of disappointing sessions with therapists, so I am not necessarily offering advice from success in my own life. But, if we approached the whole process up front in an initial interview of some sort, and asked questions that would help determine if this person is willing to help us with the specific issues we determine, might that help? I am asking aloud here.


kate…good idea. i have an assessment with a new counselor in 2 weeks…couldn’t get in any sooner. if i had i might not have lost my job tuesday. i think the last counselor wanted me to have some coping skills before we addressed the ritual abuse and she did not believe i was did. i was thinking i wasn’t even going to mention the ritual abuse up front,let alone the did. maybe i will ask her about the RA and leave the did alone for now. i don’t know.


This has been such a wonderful topic! Yesterday morning I was at a meeting and a woman that I dont know very well asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch with her so that we could get to know each other better. We had been getting along so well each time we interacted, so I agreed. She asked me all sorts of questions about myself ( and I asked her questions too)…nothing too invasive, but the usual kind…and as I was answering, I found myself realizing over and over again how differently I was relating to this woman, and in fact,because I was realizing that I dont HAVE to trust her. I realized with such clarity that I can choose how much to divulge and that I wasnt feeling like I had to try and please her at all. Up until reading this article, I hadnt thought much about the definition of trust, or that I didnt have to trust people…and how reverse it all has been in my world before. To have the understanding of this felt empowering to me! It made me feel EQUAL.

I wanted to write this because this came out of a place of brokenness for me…I never expected to feel this way even though it is something I have been working towards. Trust is a huge key to feeling equal…trusting myself first and foremost, and then realizing that I dont have to trust people…in fact, I am now thinkingt that there should be a lack of trust until you get to really know someone and find out how or if they are realiable. And that it isnt wrong or bad not to trust, but to instead begin by building trust.

Before we parted, she said to me something about someone she knows that she was feeling badly about not trusting. She is also a christian and the belief is strong amongst christians that I have known that to not trust someone is somehow sinful or akin to not loving them according to scriptures and commandments in the Bible. I spoke up and told her that I think it is okay not to trust people right away, but that they should earn our trust…and she looked so surprised when I said that, but then she agreed.

This has brought me to thinking about the friend who now doesnt talk with me…the one I wrote about in an earlier comment. I have thought about our relationship “through the grid” of this article, and realize that my perspective is changing. I was so hurt before, but now I am not. Before, I felt the distrust when I would share something good about my life with her…I knew she would become unhappy for some reason. I knew that I had to downplay my joy a LOT in order for her not to be so unhappy and “sad”. This always bothered me but I didnt view it like I do now. I was hurt by this and confused. NOW, however, I am seeing it more as a choice I now have in relationships..including her and I…that I dont have to feel like I MUST trust her, and therefore I dont have to EXPECT her to respond with happiness for good in my life. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it does for me! I feel freer now to enjoy our relationship…I might even reach out to her again! Now knowing that she will likely never change, but now I dont need that from her because I realize that I will never trust her to be happy for me, so i am free to say whatever I want to her or to choose not to say things to her, and it is okay now! This topic is setting me free in ways and at different levels that amaze me! Thank you so much Darlene! 🙂


Hi Alaina
Great comments, great processing work here too! I had a mentor in my early twenties who killed himself and it was a life changing exp. for me. I understand a little bit what you are sharing. I questioned everything that he ever told me and all the ‘difference’ that he made in my life. I love your letter to your uncle! I think that is a wonderful acknowledgement to him and to yourself.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this way!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Tracy
Welcome to EFB
HOLY smokes about what the therapist did. I hear these stories all the time and they make me cringe! I am so happy that you listened to our gut and later you found the right doctor!!
And you are right about the gut instinct. Part of the grooming process in childhood is to get the child to self doubt (because what do you know?) and believe others who have more power, knowledge, life exp. It is so very important that we begin to listen to our gut again. I too was very very intuitive and yet that part of me was totally shut down. Getting it back was an interesting part of my journey to wholeness.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Alice
Learning self-trust is still a big part of my journey. I had been so well taught NOT to trust me and combine that with the message that I was always to blame and alwasy wrong, no wonder I didn’t trust myself. Suspecting that people were actually not trustworthy contributed to my never wanting to trust anyone and the familiar comfortable feelings that I had with ‘abusers/controllers’ enabled me to trust the wrong people ~ always! Self-trust comes with seeing the roots of all the dysfunction, validating the pain and damage, and learning how to take care of your own needs. It has been about re-parenting me. When someone shows me a red flag today, I trust that I can take care of me and not let them take advantage and my confidence comes from the validation that I never was who ‘they’ defined me to be. (and that happens in the process)
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Diane
Thanks for sharing this! That is awesome! I love the way that you have written it all out!
Hugs, Darlene


Thanks, Darlene.
…I’m wondering about something here. For me this post is about not trusting people right away without first establishing whether there is reason to trust the person, which is different than going along in a relationship and then along the way finding reason to not trust the person but then saying that’s okay, I don’t have to trust the person and can still have a relationship with them even if I know they are untrustworthy—I just have to remember that they’re untrustworthy in whatever particular way. I mean, if it’s a little thing, okay, you might just keep it in mind and let it pass but otherwise… It’s just that I read Diane’s comments and they made me a bit nervous. I’m not sure if I’m intruding and I certainly don’t mean to break boundaries here, but for me, if I had a friend who couldn’t be happy for me when good things happened in my life, that would sound off alarm bells. I would think that person is in competition with me, maybe, or doesn’t really care about me because if they cared about me, they would be happy for me when good things happened, so I would feel apprehensive around that person for, what I think would be, good reason. The idea of just telling myself that, well, I don’t have to trust this person, so that’s okay, and I’ll go back to reach out to her… that doesn’t seem right to me. At least for me. If I had reason to become apprehensive around someone and didn’t think there was any reason to expect them to change, and there was no necessary reason to have that person in my life, yes, I would pull away because to me, yes, in the long run to answer the question of your blog post, I think trust is mandatory in a healthy relationship—at least for a relationship of any depth and substance. But it’s something you slowly build towards and don’t just blindly jump into that place of trust—which is what I understood your post to really be about. And yes, trust can be broken and then slowly reestablished through action, etc., but…. Do you see what I’m saying?


Sorry, make that “necessary” for a healthy relationship of any depth and substance, not “mandatory.” “Mandatory” has the connotation of you being forced to do it and that’s not what I meant. I just meant that trust would be a natural occurrence in a good, healthy relationship of depth and substance and so from that angle trust is necessary.


Hi Alaina….I don’t want to go into the very long and tedious explanation of my nearly 30 year friendship with the person mentioned, but I will say this….we have an incredibly long history with a lot of great times that aren’t solely focused on my life and my happiness…we have done and experienced most of my life together…and the relationship isn’t entirely dysfunctional, although it may seem that way based on the few things written here that I have definitely struggled with. I have problems articulating exactly what I mean so this may not have come out quite right or in a way that anyone here who doesn’t know me, my history or friend may understand. I am sorry for being unclear….and I hope you will not focus too strongly on what I wrote and remain nervous! This process is so different for me, and in my excitement at seeing something in my journey so clearly….I think I should have edited what I wrote!! I realized after I submitted it that I had been so excited and happy that I didn’t look it over first. Peace and comfort to you! 🙂


No worries, Diane! I didn’t actually become nervous outside the blog into my own life, because, you know, she’s not my friend and it’s not my life. Anyway, I get what you’re saying— after 30 years of friendship, and there being more to it, etc.
xo, A


Hi Alaina
I understand what you are saying. I became aware of many unhealthy relationships that were ‘one sided’ when I came out of the fog. As for freindships, there were not ‘lifetime’ friendships but the lifetime or longtime friendship thing reminds me of the parent thing which HAS been a lifetime of relationship/history. For me this was the difficulty in the whole decision about drawing a boundary. My mother was never happy for me, never celebrated with me, was often jealous of me, but because she was my mother……. Something that I realized along the way was that I had a lot of freinds/relationships that mirrored the one that I had with my mother. ALL of it had to change and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be because I am not the same person anymore and I am not happy in relationships with people who are not interested in me, don’t care about me, etc. There was a process after coming to the realization that someone was not actually trust worthy; it took me a little time to ‘decide’ what to do, just like it did with my mother. I went throught all the self doubt, self questioning, reasoning, FEAR etc. And it’s okay to be IN the process! In the end none of my friendships with untrustworthy people continued except with people who met me half way.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene and Alaina, I appreciate what you both are communicating. I think what is not being understood, or maybe it is and I am still so in the middle of the process that I am the one not understanding this topic as fully as I thought I was….is that certain people are in my life for certain reasons. One thing I feel I just learned is that the level of intimacy is something I choose..and want to choose and I think that is based on trust. With my friend, I had an epiphany of sorts yesterday and was so happy and excited about it that I shared it here…but didnt go into detail in explanation because I didnt feel it necessary then.( and I didnt edit! ) What I think about my friendships is that they dont all have to be super intimate. There are ppl I go out to lunch or dinner with and we get to know each other to a certain level , and there are ppl I have to or choose to socialize with and we rarely see one another, but I count them as my friends, although we arent deeply intimate in what we share.( I have grown up with and been around social situations my entire life where it is fun, but not deeply intimate…country clubs, book clubs, church things etc) I have had issues with trust on the deeper levels with this friend… and with others that I thought I wanted …and tried…to be closest to in my past. I have also felt used many times..and not known how to stop that. Maybe I am totally off here, but I now dont see that choosing to not be as close and intimately sharing things that I am aware of that will make my long-time friend react the way she does as a bad thing. I dont feel that I need at this time to throw her completely away and go no contact. We have done many many fun things together that dont center around my personal happiness. Shopping, coffee, hair appts,lunches, couples things, etc and we worked together for many years. I guess what I think is that we have a decent enough history to still do things together. My epiphany is that I can still have a healthy relationship with her, without there being THAT level of trust. I dont feel now that I NEED her in that deeper way in my life because it isnt fair to me. I dont know how to explain how that will work for ME, but I dont have to be super deep with HER, if that makes sense, to still enjoy her company doing things together. I dont fear losing her anymore either. It is a total shift in my thinking about trust with her….and with everyone. I am excited to develop this in my life and I am excited to understand this for myself and “practice” it with others in an equal way. Maybe to some, what I have going in my life isnt what they would ever want in theirs…and I understand that….but I am happy to be in this process and feeling victory and new levels of confidence that I never had before. A feeling of assurance that I can handle myself with people now…and that I am not always second guessing myself! That is a huge deal for me. I havent made any permanant decisions about my friend, but I am thinking on it in this manner.


I was only responding to what Alaina said; that I could relate to the content in her comment. I am not saying you are wrong. I understand what you are relating in your comments here too. Of course you can have a healthy relationship without having to be ‘super deep’. I get that and I do it too! But I didn’t think that is what Alaina was saying her comments. She was saying that someone that was not interested in HER was not someone she would be comfortable with and that is how I feel too. I wasn’t actually responding to what you said in your prior comments. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
Hugs, Darlene


Hello Diane,
I have just been reading your reply(37) with interest.Its seems your friend is never pleased or happy for you is because it is JEALOUSY.You are a thorn in her side.When you try to share something good about yourself I bet her face is like a jar of worms,until the conversation turns back to her.
This last couple of weeks my lovely beautiful cat has been really poorly and we have cried buckets.Today I met up with an old old friend from when we were 3yrs old. I told her about my cat and she turned the conversation to her dog that died years ago.She never actually asked what was wrong with puss.We sat there had lunch whilst she told me all about her family her holidays everything about the cost of all of it.In other words it was an “audience with A–“.3 hours later I managed to mention something good about us.What did she do? Put a dampner on everything to do with my good news.Her face was a jar of worms.Well Diane I joined this site at Christmas time just past and believe me it is doing me the world of good. Regarding my friend of who has always thought herself better I stood up for myself and let her know some good things about me.Always in the past I have felt as if I should not upset her with my good news because that was the gut feeling I always had that she couldnt cope with my pleasure.Remember Diane when you have a gut feeling about something be brave and take the challenge stand up to so called jealous friends because GUT feelings have a solemn way of being right.Thank you for reading this if it is no relevant to what is being discussed sorry.xxx
Darlene have you ever done a blog on jealousy??


Hello Tracy,
Just noticed that you have mentioned gut feelings.
Apologies to all I have been grasshopping through the comments insted of reading from the begining.xxx


Hi Wendy
I don’t think that I have written specifically about jealously. I have mentioned it I know, but I think it is lumped in with all the messages that squish a person down and remind them that they are NOT as ‘valid’ as everyone else or the message that ‘your win’ is making someone else uncomfortable.
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you Darlene xx


Darlene, it’s okay with me…I actually just felt a tad misunderstood so I wanted to explain more. I appreciate your comments and insights greatly, and I also understand what Alaina was saying….but I felt since she brought my name into it, I wanted to explain it too! 🙂


Hi Diane,
I’m sorry about this and I totally understand why you would feel like I was questioning what you in particular were doing with this particular friend, as if I were telling you that you shouldn’t be doing what you want to do here, which is why I was worried about saying something in the first place because I didn’t want to break boundaries or intrude, and I knew that my words would be walking right along that line because I was speaking straight to your scenario. It’s just that when I read your comments, the IDEA behind them made me nervous or didn’t sit right with me if I were to take it and apply it to my own life and I wanted to talk about that. I knew it was tricky like that and I probably should’ve written more last night, when I realized that you thought I was nervous about your exact scenario and what you were doing/going through, but I was on my way to work and didn’t have to time to think/write. I totally respect what you are saying and the kind of relationship you would like to have—particularly after all the history with her, if you can do it, want it and feel completely comfortable with it, it makes sense and would be worth pursuing, and I can imagine it would be a kind of revelation and relief, that you can have a relationship with her if you want to, when you thought before that you couldn’t. For me, I couldn’t or at least it would be difficult, uncomfortable, and so I wouldn’t want to pursue that kind of relationship. Putting myself in that kind of situation would be unhealthy for me because of who I am and how I would feel, which is not necessarily true for you or anyone else. At the time of reading your comments, however, I suppose I was wrestling with what you were saying as they might pertain to me in my life and I guess that’s where my need to talk about it and state my own feelings about it came from—to ascertain where I stood vis-a-vis myself, to figure myself out. Again, I’m sorry about all this and totally understand the way you took it because of how close my words were to seeming like judgment or advice. But, yes, it was like Darlene said—it was about me and what’s true for me isn’t necessarily true for others. I hope that clears it up!
xo, A


Hi Diane,
I was typing up my response before I saw your comment. I’m glad you understand!


Alaina…I enjoy a good discussion…and I think part of having a good one is to clarify when necessary…when there are feelings of misunderstandings. I appreciate what you wrote and like I commented to Darlene…I felt a bit misunderstood and wanted to explain further since you specifically named my name. Everything’s okay on my side of this! 🙂


Great! I’m glad everything is okay! And I understand why you would want to explain further—I’m sure I would, too, in that position. I wanted initially to try to write what I wrote without reference to you, but it seemed impossible, that it would be obviously coming off of what you wrote, anyway. If I could go back in time, I’d write my comments differently to make it more clear that there’s room for differences in people and situations, where you might be coming from, etc., but to be honest I just wasn’t there yet in my thinking. xo, A


My mother raised myself or my sisters that it was expected of us to trust anybody and in fact, each of us raised, that when it came to trust, that nobody who it was, whether it be a family member, friends and/or even people in the community – that trust was an emotion that was not ever easily to be given – but one emotion especially that had to be earned. Even then, it can be difficult to judge if people that try to earn your trust, are worthy of it.

I have had many friends over my life-time to come and go, now in the past 20 years, I would have to say that most of them go. They at first try to appear as genuine friends, but once they really get to know me – they plain on my emotions – make excuses as to why they cannot get together with me and yes sometimes I can wear my heart on my sleeve and want to trust too easily, but in the past 5 years, I have been trying to be more, and more cautious about trusting people and who I befriend. I would rather be alone and not trust anybody, then be taken too often for granted, and played for a vulnerable fool ..


Hi Charmaine
Welcome to EFB!
All too often that is the story. That we are taught that NOT trusting is wrong. I decided (at one point) that I would rather be alone too. And it was then that I began to grow! I was willing to let go of dysfunction (first with friendships and then later with family) ~ that was like a beginning for me.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Thank you so much for commenting back to me. I just looked at my comment to you and noticed allot of typo’s and realized it was rather late when I commented on your blog and I had also at that time just taken my psych meds, so they too were taking affect on me. I knew in my mind what I was intending to type, but they were coming out as different words. But I saw that you still got the jest of what I was trying to bring across.

I have been in a relationship with something for nearly 12 years now and as a result of the more downs than ups we have had in this relationship, I unfortunately do not trust him completely. Sad but true and am at a stage of this relationship now that I do not know what the future for 2013 holds for us. I just lost my mother Christmas day 2012, and losing her has forced me to re-evaluate my life too.

Will for sure continue to follow your blog.


* Tried to comment back to you vie e-mail, when I got the notification at my email that you had commented back to me on your blog and the server bounced the email back at me that you did not have a rogers account at rogers


Hi Charmaine
To comment on the blog one has to be on the blog. Replying to the notification email should be sent to the current email I associate with this blog so I am not sure why that email address came up; it is very old and I no longer have it, but even if your comment was sent to the new address, it would not be posted here and I get hundreds of emails so I screen them anyway. I only read the comments here in the site.
I am sorry to hear that you have lost your mother, that is always a tough thing to deal with.
Hugs, Darlene


Originally when replying to the comment, I was not going to reply on the group site, but to you only vie the notification email.

Through the notification email I got once again, this is how it shows:

Emerging From Broken (email address has been removed)

Yes it was tough losing my mother, I was very close to her. She spent the last three years of her life, due to dementia in a nursing home. The past year before she passed away, her health was declining. We were surprised that she made it to Christmas Day. The first couple of weeks after her passing away, was especially difficult for me, but I am doing much better now. I have thought allot about discussion my mother and I have had in the past – she would not want for me to have a mental health setback when she passed away and would want for me to carry on with my life, so that is what I am trying to do.



Hi Charmaine
I looked into this and the subscribe to comments aplication had the old email address so thank you for pointing it out to me! (It has been fixed now however, like I said before I can’t read what comes to me that way because I have run out of time and have to screen personal emails that have to do with EFB)

I am so glad to hear that you are carrying on with your life.
Hugs, Darlene


Your writing is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! You are helping me out SO much!
No doubt you are helping so many others!


Thanks for writing this! I agree that trust needs to be earned. I don’t trust many people (maybe not anyone, I’m not sure!). when I feel like someone seems creepy at the grocery store or wherever, I stay away from them. I’ve been told that I think everyone is creepy. I guess I need to ignore what people say and trust my own feelings. I think when you’ve been abused it is hard to trust anyone. You see your abuser in strangers. (At least I do). Of course my “parents” made it seem like everyone was going to kidnap or rape us, so I learned not to trust anyone from that. For me doing things that people I saw as an authority figure wasn’t about trust, it was about being to afraid to go against what they said, for fear they might do something worse.


Hi Karen
Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
I am so glad that my work is resonating with you!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Tember
yes, being abused or mistreated in any way causes there to be trust issues. And there is nothing wrong with that. I totally agree with you that doing things required of us from authority was not about trust, but about the fear of going against them ~ that is what gets so mixed up about trust. We learn to discount our intuition/gut feelings and comply out of fear.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene


WOW, what an eye opener this article was! I have been burnt so many times by entrusting another physically, emotionally, and financially.

I became closer friends with my mother’s friend (dangerous I know), but I trusted her because she has great wisdom and told me the “other side of the story” which I believed was helpful. She kept telling me “it’s just not normal” for her to be jealous that you are visiting me – even to the extent to tell me “RUN, THIS WOMAN IS CRAZY”! It seemed that eventually she would end her relationship with my mother and therefore I “TRUSTED” her with every detail of my life. Now, after a blow-out between the two and an apology from my mother to her I was told that our relationship (friend and I) has to end unless my “mother is deceased” then we can be friends. So needless to say I “trusted” and got bit now I am suffering the feelings associated with being valued and respected.

I have ended my relationship with my mother about a month ago so I am new at this whole new world of freedom. I really wish there was a black and white list to embrace this process.

Thank you so much Darlene for your article it surely helps!

Hugs, Taz


To add to my last post, I wanted to say that I no-longer “trust” myself to know who and who not to trust! I have struggled with this the entire weekend along with the idea that my mother may soon know almost every detail of my daily life as it is. I want her to know absolutely “nothing” that I do because I do not “trust” her! UGH, the relationship still feels so icky, I just want it to go away so I can embrace the happiness that crosses my very path.


Hi Taz
Ya, I hear you about ‘black and white’. This is not an easy thing to untangle!
Why do mothers think they get to decide who you are friends with? That is such an example of control over someone else!
Thanks for sharing,
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene,
Thanks for commenting it really helps to know someone hears me. I am somehow her “posession”, yet the very one she goes out of her way to harm!
Hugs, Taz


Ah, I know them well. Those that are loyal to my parents and pretend to friend me. Their lies never end.


I too didn’t really realize that I trust people until they are proven untrustworthy. This has gotten me into so many dangerous places…….
WHile I think I trust my gut instincts, the fact is, that time after time I over-road them and did not trust myself….
That the abusers in my life had “rewritten my reality,” making me feel that what I think and feel and do is wrong, so I struggle greatly with self-doubt. The only feelings I learned to trust were fear, shame and self-loathing….
But I am learning to change all that.. its slow progress and so easily de-railed, but I now recognise and acknowledge my warning signs more.. I don’t always get it right – but I do keep myself safe.


You have such a wonderful gift of really getting to the heart of the matter. For me, trust is such a huge thing. I rememeber throughout my life, there were many times where my little voice or intuition would whisper to me that this person, event, etc., was not trustworthy, and my parents, especially my mum, would tell me I was wrong. I learned that I had to give trust and not expect it back, or worse, take whatever was given back and be thankful for it. (Beggars can’t be choosers was my mum’s saying) I have learned too many times that my voice, my intuition is right more than anyone else’s opinion or belief. I too can identify with so many others who have posted here about false friends. My problem is now and has been, that there aren’t a lot of trustworthy people out there. If I am trustworthy to someone and they prove not to be with me, then I have to re-evaluate the whole relationship and decide whether or not they can be trusted in the future. When I have done this, people all of a sudden get really upset and expect me to be open with no reservations. They have gotten upset and I find myself alone.
My stepfather called me a perpetual liar, anything and everything that ever came our of my mouth was lies. In reality, I didn’t lie, and when I look at him and how he lives his life, he is the liar. If I had lied like he has, I’d be beaten. I’d have been made an example.
To trust in one’s self is the greatest gift and freedom that anyone can give themselves. My problem is I can’t find any really trustworthy people. I hate being so alone. My grandfather who I really loved would say, he’d rather be lonely than live with mean and deceitful people. I think I am living my life this way.
One person I know says she doesn’t trust in people, this way, she won’t get disappointed if they hurt her. This isn’t a way to live. In the climate of people today, when it seems as if everyone is out to step on everyone to get ahead, it is so hard to trust much less expose one’s self to what ever’s out there. Where are the decent people? (where I live, I mean, not on this website… 🙂 )


Hi Libby
That is awesome; I hear your willingness to keep going and esp. love your statement “I don’t always get it right – but I do keep myself safe.”
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Raven
Yes, and being defined as a ‘begger’ was part of the problem in the first place! Being brainwashed to believe that we had no right to expect anything BUT the crumbs!
Isn’t it interesting to see that most of the insults hurled at you were in reality the truth about them!
I have found that I can be in relationship with people as long as I have my boundry in place while the truth unfolds about trust stuff. Thats what I mean about trust not being mandatory. Trusting me has been huge; trusting me means that I know that I will keep myself safe and stand up to anything that hurts me or devalues me in relationship. I also know that I value other people the same way.
About ‘decent people’ ~ It was amazing how when I drew my boundaries and saw the truth more clearly that I attracted a different type of person and I found some of those decent people!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I have been ill with some sort of stomach but but today I am feeling better and I have published a new post!!
This one is about the ‘why’ behind people who refuse to hear what you are trying to explian. It also talks about my marriage and how my husband Jim, at first, refused to hear what I was trying to tell him too.

You can read it here: “The Reason that People don’t Hear what You are Trying to say”

Hugs, Darlene


Hi Everyone
I just published a new post about how victims are not heard; It is called “Abusers who Blame Victims and the People who Support Them”
Yesterday this subject was being discussed on several different posts in the website and I used some of the comments to highlight how this looks.
Looking forward to the conversation,


All, There has been a new development in my dysfunctional family system. My brother who lives away just sent out a heavily guilt laden email to us 3 sisters who cannot get along. Since I trust no contact I get from my FOO anyway, I feel no guilt for bowing out of it all. I do find ir hilarious that he actually thinks it’s all our fault that we don’t get along. Nothing to do with his perfect little angel of a mothers’ behavior. So my sisters are now feeling belittled like I have been for years. I will not respond to the ridiculous attempt to get Nmom’s family back together after she’s been destroying it for years. Wow that didn’t take long at all for mommy dearest to enlist the boy’s help. He’s been out of town or overseas since high school and doesn’t know how she operates.I expect one of my sisters to call me soon and try to patch things up because they are hurt now also . I’m not taking that bait as I’ve been betrayed and badmouthed to my Nmom for years by both of these sisters. The youngest brother was spared this email as he is the golden child. This makes me even stronger in my resolve to stay away. Mother made her bed and must lay in it…peace all…


Hi Darlene-
Another great article. I love the comments on Self trust. That’s a biggie. I’m at the beginning of my awakened out of the fog journey. But I have some starts behind me. I have bee awake, but didn’t invest myself in healing at that time. But I’m doing it now and learning so much more I ever thought there was to learn. It’s scary the damage that one can do to oneself just by being asleep.

Anyway, trust is a big one for me and one of my first lessons I came to realize I had neglected. Trust is something earned not just freely given. I have been doing it backward all this time and just this one lesson was a huge aha moment for me. Even bigger, was realizing a little bit further down the road that FOO doesn’t just get it because their your FOO.

I seriously thought I could trust them all. But I now know I was a real fool in believing that. (Ha! Notice the first three letters in the word fool?) 😉

I am really just becoming fully awake so it’s like, “Oh, now I get why my life hasn’t been working.” And although it’s alarming, it’s also freeing. It is also a relief to now feel justified in my shakes of the head when I was met with phrases like, “Just let it go and other similar phrases. I thought something was wrong with me since everyone else in the fam was saying the same thing.


Hi Annie
It IS alarming and freeing.
Thanks for sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Everyone
I just published a new post about the process of changing my thinking on the healing journey; when where and why the fear would come up when I DID shift my thinking.. You can read it here: “Shifting my Thinking on the Journey to Overcoming Emotional Damage”
As I always I look forward to your thoughts.
Hugs, Darlene


I am so glad you keep all of the posts on here. I needed some help with trust today and being able to go back and find a subject that is relevant to my current pace is so great. I have been so ashamed to admit this, but I think that since no one on here will know who I am, I can say it somehow into the universe and it will, at least, be released out of me. I do not trust myself. I sabotage every good thing that happens. As soon as it becomes evident that I am going to show how well I can do something, I shrink back in deliberate humiliation. I have been taught not to outshine my mother or my older sister. I cannot be smarter, prettier, happier, or more accomplished. I didn’t even pursue my dreams of going away to college and becoming a Psychiatrist, because my family members told me that I was not special enough to work with the mental health population. They were so wrong. I have a son with Autism and worked for four years with special ed students, and loved it. It felt like home. The thing that I am most embarrassed to admit, is that I don’t trust God. I can remember sitting in church watching other people cry and feel moved by a song or a sermon. I remember feeling nothing. I was convinced that the only way I could go to heaven was by default. I thought that God was a narcissist too, and that if I dotted my i’s and crossed all my t’s then I would be acceptable enough to let in, but that my family was deserving of entry. Then there were times that I felt that even He would get my hopes up about it and then change His mind and send me packing to the heat. I still struggle with this. I think I have always accepted it as my lot in life. I was to live my life as a slave to my family, never know happiness, and when it was all over the real suffering would begin. I have read several posts about people moving away and healing. There is no other answer for me. I have moved back in with my parents. I gave in and proved them right again. I became pathetic so my mother would accept me. I didn’t even realize I was doing it, until I went online and found information like this. I live in fear of her rage and sabotage. She recently caused me to lose everything. She manipulates so well. Distance is my answer, even if it is for just enough time to hear my own voice inside my own head. Thank you for the mental empowerment, now to put that into action. I’m scared, but all it takes sometimes is the first step, right?


My mom complains that I don’t trust people. OF COURSE I don’t trust people. How can I when my own mom LIED to me about an OB/GYN exam I had to have at the age of 12. (The exam was necessary, but mom didn’t tell me everything, she just “lied by omission.”) And then when I was traumatized from it, she had the audacity to SCOLD me for being rude to the MALE doctor. HELL, I WAS TRAUMATIZED! No the doctor didn’t do anything wrong. I just got lied to about what was going to happen.


Very thought provoking article. I had been too trusting of people all my life and was hurt when they weren’t what I thought they were. Reading this article made me aware of some of my beliefs like there has to be trust in all relationships, if I cannot trust somebody then I cannot have a relationship with them etc. I mean this mostly in friendships. I also did not realise that I had this pattern of trusting someone until they had proven untrustworthy. This explains lot of the emotional pain I suffered from backstabbing colleagues and jealous “friends”. I had blindly and somewhat naively accepted good nature as part of people and became upset and pained when they turned out to be not so good natured after all.

I know now that all people in my ??? friendships and relationships including work were very similar to biological parents.


Hi Sahitha
Yes, I didn’t magically grow up and find healthy relationships. The model of relationship that I grew up with was one sided. (I talk about this a lot in my early work) I was very attracted to relationships that were familiar to me ~ I was comfortable with being the one who served in the relationship; the one who tried harder. This was a result of being in the position that I was in in childhood. It took me a while to change that default system but I did it!
Hugs, Darlene


It took me a while to change that default system but I did it!

Darlene, what gave you the “kick in the b*** to make the change? I still struggle with it.


I don’t think there was any one thing that got me ~ it was everything. I was so dang tired of always being the one who tried harder and suddenly I thought “HEY” something is wrong here. My 12 year old son who was my eldest child rolled his eyes at me one day and said in a very soft and voice (like I was crazy and he had to be careful with me, just like my husband had talked to me in the past) “it’s okay mom, just calm down” (or something like that) and I thought OH MY GOD, I can’t take it from my kids too. I decided to leave my family and that they would be better off without me. A friend of mine talked me into seeking help one last time before I ran. Something that the therapist said twigged with me and I was seeing the truth about how I got broken in the first place soon after that. My early work tells the whole story better but it was all uphill from there. That son is 21 now and no one treats me like that anymore but by the same token I don’t treat myself like that anymore either. My kids saw me stand up to my parents and to my husband as well as his abusive family and stick up for myself, they witnessed my recovery, how I overcame depression, how I became strong and functioning again, and I try to the best of my ability to model equal value for all people. I and my family are light years away from the way it used to be!
Hugs, Darlene


I am having a hard time even thinking about getting to know new men because of the trust issue. I’m 62 years old (or young) and have been divorced for nine years (was married 28 hard years). I love and have much reason to trust our three grown and married sons. But though it’s been awhile, and I’ve read many books on what went wrong, I don’t know how to know if I have good discernment today. I have good, solid friendships, and I have a life teaching Bible at church, mentoring a Messianic Jewish young man my son’s age, and teaching Bible at my apartments, but I don’t know if I’m healed enough to get to know eligible single men. Any comments?


Barb, I’m never married (by choice), but I’m still dealing with the same issue. From reading a blog called baggagereclaim.com, I learned that you play out your family dynamics in relationships. I can see how I did just that. I wanted Mom to love ME (not the person I had to “pretend” to be) and yet I revert to “pretending” in relationships the minute I “hear” any “disapproval” in a guy’s voice.

I’m taking the stand that, “If it’s meant for me to have a guy, one will show up, if not, I have better things to do.”


I have seen some really good second marriages after horrible first marriages, but each time it seems the man has to have extraordinary patience so that the wife can rewrite her script for godly relations. It will have to be orchestrated by God for it to work. So I too am going to continue growing myself and my life, and I’ll see what happens!


Yes! I have now revised the definition of trust in my head. Thank you Darlene for posting the dictionary meaning of trust. It certainly helped me redefine it. I was acting like the small kid I was when forming new friendships and relationships. It was more like someone held a promise of friendship/romance, then I would give away trust because I was so desperate for people in my life. The little kid in me wanted nothing more than people and did not want to be alone. Thankfully after many healing sessions, I am beginning to feel comfortable being alone.


Yes! I have now revised the definition of trust in my head. Thank you Darlene for posting the dictionary meaning of trust. It certainly helped me redefine it. I was acting like the small kid I was when forming new friendships and relationships. It was more like someone held a promise of friendship/romance, then I would give away trust because I was so desperate for people in my life. The little kid in me wanted nothing more than people and did not want to be alone. Thankfully after many healing sessions, I am beginning to feel comfortable being alone with myself.

My previous definition of trust was based on whether that person was good or bad, and even then I had no proper criteria to discern that.


Trust….. my mom wonders why I don’t trust people. How can I? She lied (by omission) to me about something MAJOR. She failed to adequately prepare me for an ob/gyn exam I HAD to have at age 12 (it was necessary….). At first she did the “I didn’t realize it would be THAT kind of exam….” When I pressed further as to why she just “stood there and said nothing” when the horribly mean pinched face nurse called me a baby because I didn’t want to take off my clothes, that’s when I got the truth: “Well, if I told you what was REALLY going to happen, you would have refused to go.”

But the worst part was how she CHASTISED me for being “rude” to HER DOCTOR. Like, she cared more about what the (MALE) doctor thought then she did about my feelings of being traumatized for having to take off my clothes for a doctor exam at the age of 12…..

I’ve posted this story before, and for years, I hadn’t thought about it. But all of a sudden, this issue really irritates me. And I realize that my Mom has always “tricked” people to get what she wants. I watched her do it during my childhood. And she thinks this is ok!


I realize how difficult it was for me to trust as a young adult. I was criticized for not trusting – as if trust is something you can conjure up when a person demands it, but acts in an untrustworthy manner. Of course, I didn’t have any basis for developing trust. I couldn’t figure out why I was criticized for not trusting the people in the church. I felt as though trust – like respect – needed to be earned or developed over time. How could I trust this person to have my best interest at heart when what I heard from his mouth was arrogance and a judgmental spirit? I couldn’t have explained that at the time, but I knew I wasn’t safe with him. It seemed like all the wild, out of character, unverified stories about people who had parted ways with the church group came from him and those who hung around with him. I was quite fragmented while I was with them, but when I was separated from the group for awhile, I heard some wild stories about myself that if a person tried to trace them, would not have checked out. Then I realized that the man simply made up stories to cut communication between the folks who had a good reason to leave and the folks that were staying. This slander was intentional, and was a fear tactic used to control those in the group.

Although damaged people might tell you differently, there is nothing wrong with waiting to learn if you can trust someone and watching them to see if they are trustworthy… When the man who is now my husband asked to court me, he offered me the contact information of people he had lived with and worked with for 10-20 years. He wanted me to know his character and that I would be safe with him. It was like he was giving me a resume and wanted us to get to know one another to see if we would be compatible. It wasn’t just a one-sided deal where I was expected to simply be whatever he thought he wanted while he treated me as though I was a commodity… And my life with him is so sweet now… 😉 It was worth the wait…

I think, though, that one of the things I had to work out was learning to trust our Creator when so many who claimed His name were untrustworthy, and I had confused them in my mind… I can love people just because they are – because He puts that love in me – but I cannot just trust people because they represent themselves as His… They have to show a trustworthy character to back up the claim… 😉


This is so awesome! Therapist and I never talked a lot on trust, but we did talk about trust at times. I hated going places with my parents as I don’t trust them and still don’t. They are so unreliable, always making false promises to me/us, and told ‘to suck it up and deal with it. People disappoint others all the time!’

I think in this country and probably elsewhere, we don’t talk about trust enough and we need to. My “mom” told to never trust my dad because all he does is tell a bunch of lies (so does she) yet always go to him for info on cars. An idiot who buys crap cars is now an expert on cars and tells multiple stories and got the nerve to say ‘I never said that!’ That’s both of them! So, why do we always have to go to him about a certain subject when he will just monopolize it like a typical narc always does? She (mom) can’t tell me because she has zero knowledge about life and has no work ethic – is also a hermit crab!

It also shows in the Bible how there were untrustworthy people and being asked by God ‘why do you put your trust and faith into these unworthy people?’ Hmm, my boyfriend and I were talking about something. He asked me ‘why do I trust my mom or dad?’ Who am I trust then? I trust him, but boyfriend is the one I can trust and don’t have anybody else to trust. I couldn’t tell some past friends about my deepest darkest secrets, but would end up telling one ex narc friend about it anyway. Ha, then people could never understand why I won’t tell them anything.

We have the word trust so skewed and messed up in this country. No wonder people can’t distinguish who is who and what is what at times. I do agree that trust is earned and takes time between individuals, it is all about their actions as a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, coworkers/bosses, hubby, wife, aunts, etc. I was at times trusting someone I just met more like being codependent towards them. I told boyfriend ‘since I am the only one living in their home, who am I suppose to trust? I don’t know anybody else.’

I couldn’t seem to trust myself because I was told not to and according to my parents ‘since you’re an adult, you don’t know what it means to trust yourself.’ I asked them ‘do you know what it means to trust yourself?’ That led to a huge fight! I always end up making bad decisions just like them all because trust was not taught. Boyfriend asks me ‘why do I share some of my info with my mom?’ I told him ‘I just wish I had those wonderful conversations like a mom and daughter should have, but we both know that will never happen.’ He is a guy and not easy to talk to a guy about girly things.

I know m parents are not trustworthy far from it and they have no interest in changing. They said ‘we didn’t do anything wrong and don’t know why my kids treat us this way.’ Talk about believing your own lies!


Very accurate deconstruction of the mistaken way our society has set up teaching of children. I would think your description would apply to everyone broken or not. I suspect now that I have read this that I have been focusing on my inability to trust others and completely missing the fact that I do not trust myself for the same reasons you lay out. It is in fact shockingly similar to me how much your own experience is familiar to me. I have complete confidence in myself and my opinions and perceptions but I do not trust myself. Huh. Neat, Thanks. I’ll see what comes of it I process slowly.
I was thinking the other day about Dylan Allen and her being discounted and how so many people talk with confidence as if it were proven fact about how unreliable children are. I know what I remember from age 4 and 5 how is it age 7 is supposed to be so unreliable?
We start school at age 5 how could that be possible if our memories were so unreliable?
I think as you propose in your description of falsely teaching trust that those with power set it up this way. People with an interest in discounting what children say have created and promoted the idea and feathered that bed with the practices we use to this day of teaching the children to believe in fantasies we create which are clearly untrue and must be confusing to them. And yet we lie and lie about them for our own entertainment and the false joy it might bring them. How does that do anything but make the child unable to trust themselves properly? Which will then make them seem an unreliable reporter of what they take in via the 5 senses as they try to incorporate the fantasies they have been given as real into their descriptions of what their 5 senses tell them. I remind you that if a child could not properly use their 5 senses they could not be effective in school at age 5.


Hi Chris,
What a fantastic point about the age children begin school!
Thank you for your comments and welcome to emerging from broken!
Hugs, Darlene


I suspect that to learn to trust myself I am going to have to learn the things I was denied by the abuse. That’ll be a trick as my abuse was meant to prevent me from learning exactly what it did so that I would be as messed up as I am as an adult. I know I can seem clear on paper its in relating to others and interacting verbally that the results of what they did to me have their effect.
I have taken to blogging my story in hopes that some witness will recognise it and step up to help me and the others get justice. It is my belief that systematic abuse of children took place at this local for decades before I was placed there in the mid 60’s and right up until it closed in 1981.


oh my, well the more i read the more that comes right to the surface and smacks me upside the head… after a lengthy absence from work, I came back to a different job, different boss, different area, different everything. I trusted my new supervisor without even thinking about it, like taught.. I was supremely disappointed when very upset when I found that she was about the most untrustworthy person that I could have ever have put any trust or faith into… then today I find this sure wish I knew before I STOPPED trusting her at all. Now she’s going to have to gain my respect & trust but it really should have been the other way around…
Learning & applying hard , extremely hard and exhausting… Does the “Tired to the Very Core” ever go away?


I was just journaling about this today. About how I used to automatically trust people, and then be constantly disappointed that they let me down or proved to be untrustworthy. Then I would get hurt, beat myself up for trusting them and wonder what was wrong with me. Lately, I just don’t have any hope of trusting anyone which doesn’t feel right either. I wrote a better solution was to trust in layers, start out with none, then if its appropriate grant a little, and then a little more and so forth. And I could stop at any layer and if there wasn’t enough trust to move forward with more, than that was the extent of the relationship. And that was that. I can always know exactly where I am in any relationship. I don’t have to try and fix myself to trust others and all that crap I’ve been doing, so exhausting. This article has just solidified these thoughts and made it real. I feel like I’ve just discovered a way to have all kinds of new relationships and I can trust myself to know how to do that, and that there is an opportunity to have a deep relationship eventually. Yeay. It’s exciting to know there is a way to have a relationships.


My therapist had failed so many times on so many subjects and denied doing that. Than after 2 years of so called therapy she said that she understoond very well her mistakes, she’s very sorry and she would try to help me. So we got along fine, she worked fine but after a year she had her failure again and I lost my trust in her again and I told her about it.and that time she told me that she can’t fix that relationship only by herself and I don’t want to do it, I just don’t want to believe in her. Trust her. How can I help her, I have a great lump in my throat since i have met her last time. Too many storms in my life ..With her


Hi Annette,

My ex-therapist didn’t take responsibility for anything she would say/use against me that I “let myself become so angry.” I thought I was close to her in the beginning, but my god, the more she kept talking the less connected I felt to her. I don’t know why I told her I trusted her yet I knew she was using manipulation, fear, and guilt against me because she didn’t want to help me “unless I forgive.”

It took me a long time to even figure out if I did or not. She made the sessions into a codependency relationship because apparently she can’t do her own job even with that Masters she has! I am much more closer to my social worker at the women’s center than I was with my ex-therapist! I saw that woman (ex-therapist) in July 2012 and ended Feb 2014 thank god! It was nothing but a bunch of fighting/arguing because she had to be always right using her parental and marital arrogance! Very bruised ego which I told her she might need to see someone herself.


“It took me a long time to even figure out if I did or not.” oops, I meant if I trusted her or not is what I meant.


As I was reading this article, I remember really struggling with the issue of trust. People who were part of my church would say things like ‘You don’t trust people’ as though it was a sin or some kind of character defect, implying that once I got my relationship right with God I would trust them. I remember thinking in response to that criticism by one of the ministers, that I had watched him and the way he interacted with folks for years, and couldn’t think of any reason I should trust him. The emotional toll was tremendous because of that man’s evil surmising stories about people – which I wouldn’t listen to after the first time when I asked if he had talked to them about it… and in the end his stories about me and the effect it had on the relationships with people that I thought there was a good foundation of friendship and trust with.

Years later, I went to another church where a lady who had been through similar damage – sexual abuse when young by someone, and perhaps other types of abuse by people she should have been able to trust – who said that people told her she had trust issues. This seemed to be a criticism of her. I told her that the Bible says not to trust the arm of flesh, and I don’t trust anyone! I trust our loving Heavenly Father to guide me in relationships with people, but now I don’t even try to trust anyone anymore. If they are trustworthy, that will become evident – but just because someone says that they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy. I used to try and trust, and it was simply convoluting to my feelings and thinking, and I always felt off-balance and insecure…

This idea of trusting until there is some reason not to trust may sound good, but it is a crazy way to go through life, and I did it for too long to think it is reasonable any more. You don’t want to be married to someone before you find out their character is not trustworthy – I have learned this the hard way, and unfortunately, didn’t get it the first time – or the second or the third time through… Just because someone claims to be a Christian – which should translate to loving like Christ – doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy like He is!

My husband, whom I have known for close to 9 years, and am coming up to our seventh wedding anniversary in the spring, made sure that I had plenty of time to get to know him and some of the people who knew him and worked closely with him before we were engaged. He even gave me a contact list of people he had lived with and worked with for 20 or more years for references when he asked to court me! He knew from our developing relationship and friendship that it would be best for me to take the time to learn that he was trustworthy, because I was healing from some pretty difficult violations of trust in my past.

If someone criticizes us for not trusting, and doesn’t want to take the time to earn our trust, he or she is not healthy. If we choose to trust without knowing someone’s track record, just know that immaturity may just blow up in our faces, and the damage control may be devastating. A healthy person will not demand that you trust him or her before you have time to observe their track record and get to know them!

Anyway, these are the thoughts that went through my mind in relationship to the issue of trust. Thank-you for starting this thread. It has helped me see how far I have come in healing. A lot of it may be because my counselor at a Christian BWS told me that it would be best to wait for at least a year before I started dating so I had time to heal, and then to get to know a man for at least a year before considering him as a potential husband because it takes that long for the mask to come down. Our Heavenly Father brought me a man who decided that I needed time to get to know him and the way he operates before inviting me to trust him… 😉

I would like to add that there is hope and healing…




As I was reading this article, I remember really struggling with the issue of trust. People who were part of my church would say things like ‘You don’t trust people’ as though it was a sin or some kind of character defect, implying that once I got my relationship right with God I would trust them. I remember thinking in response to that criticism by one of the ministers, that I had watched him and the way he interacted with folks for years, and couldn’t think of any reason I should trust him. [But even then, I wondered if something was wrong with me! Which shows how mixed up I was at the time.] The emotional toll was tremendous because of that man’s evil surmising stories about people – which I wouldn’t listen to after the first time when I asked if he had talked to them about it… and in the end his stories about me and the effect it had on the relationships with people that I thought there was a good foundation of friendship and trust with.

Years later, I went to another church where a lady who had been through similar damage – sexual abuse when young by someone, and perhaps other types of abuse by people she should have been able to trust – who said that people told her she had trust issues. This seemed to be a criticism of her. I told her that the Bible says not to trust the arm of flesh, and I don’t trust anyone! I trust our loving Heavenly Father to guide me into proper relationships with people, but now I don’t even try to trust anyone anymore. If they are trustworthy, that will become evident – but just because someone says that they are a Christian doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy. I used to try and trust, and it was simply convoluting to my feelings and thinking, and I always felt off-balance and insecure…

This idea of trusting until there is some reason not to trust may sound good, but it is a crazy way to go through life, and I did it for too long to think it is reasonable any more. You don’t want to be married to someone before you find out their character is not trustworthy – I have learned this the hard way, and unfortunately went through an incredible amount of pain, confusion, and broken family relationships because of it. Just because someone claims to be a Christian – which should translate to loving like Christ – doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy like He is!

My husband, whom I have known for 9 years, and am coming up to our seventh wedding anniversary in the spring, made sure that I had plenty of time to get to know him and some of the people who knew him and worked closely with him before we were engaged. He even gave me a contact list of people he had lived with and worked with for 20 or more years for references when he asked to court me! He knew from our developing relationship and friendship that it would be best for me to take the time to learn that he was trustworthy, because I was healing from some pretty difficult violations of trust in my past.

If someone criticizes us for not trusting, and doesn’t want to take the time to show themselves worthy of our trust, he or she is not healthy. If we choose to trust a person ‘on demand’ without knowing someone’s track record, we should recognize going into it that this immaturity may just blow up in our faces, and the damage control may be devastating. Better to love them ‘from a distance’. The Scriptures tell us who to spend time with and who to avoid in the Psalms and Proverbs etc… They also tell us who not to eat with in I Corinthians 5:11-13 – and this counsel can save us a lot of grief if we take it to heart. Healthy folks will not demand that you trust them before you have time to observe their track record and get to know them!

Anyway, these are the thoughts and reflections that came to mind in relationship to the issue of trust. Thank-you for starting this thread. It has helped me see how far I have come in healing. Part of it may be because my counselor at a Christian BWS told me that it would be best to wait for at least a year before I started dating so I had time to heal, and then to get to know a man for at least a year before considering him as a potential husband because it takes that long for the mask to come down. Our Heavenly Father brought me a man who decided that I needed time to get to know him and the way he operates before inviting me to trust him… 😉

I would like to add that there is hope and healing, and our Heavenly Father’s heart is available to comfort us, walk through our pain with us, and grow us up into the trustworthy character that He designs us to be…




“The subject of wills brings to mind how my father handled things. My father is obsessed with money like your father, but expressed it differently. My father never trusted my husband and I.”

My dad, mom too, is obessesed with money always making sure they had it and never me. My dad would sell us if it meant free rent or free anything nevermind our feelings! My mom is always about his assets and her own kids never mattered still don’t today as she is “still fighting for dad’s assets.” She bought herself a useless, fake watch all because “she thinks she is so rich”

Someone said something about being humble and that it would mean the parents would be better parents forgot how the rest of their statement was phrased. My parents think they are the greatest since slice bread and would kill anyone if they didn’t tell them otherwise. Someone mentioned how a will is used as a weapon and manipulation which is very true seen it myself. My mom would always threaten about her “will.” What will? She never had one to begin with , how could she had one when she NEVER had any money in the first place?! She (both of them) keeps dangling all of this money, again what money? That’s money we have NEVER benefited nor seen it and told her to show me the cash! Never saw it.

Like I tell people: if your parents don’t leave you shit in the will, that’s fine, remember as long as they are dead you can still sue their estate and get their assets. Also, as long as they are alive, you don’t get anything – think of it that way. Now, my mom has it where she is gonna leave us 25% of her assets in the bank and stupid her had my dad to sign the papers as it is community property state. However, all of this fraud he’s been doing for years, she never even consulted with a lawyer now. She always says you don’t sign papers without a lawyer, well she did and now dad is entitled to what she has in her checking and savings.


Hi Marquis , thank you for your response. I have been thinking about leaving this therapist but I know i won’t get a better shrink in my town. My first therapist was so much empowering but she left after a half a year of therapy. After that I was meeting about 5 therapists and every one was horrible. I ve been thinking about reading this page only but i’m scared that it won’t be enough. I was raising by a ‘mother’ who used to tell me ‘ You are the worst, everyone is better than you, everyone is looking at you because you don’t behave normally, you are strange, everyone in talking to everyone except her. Nobody wants to speak to you, There is nobody such as you on the street, everyone is watching her because she is so bad..etc.. So I learned to exclude myself from others and think that I’m THE WORST. So even here I’m thinking That I’m different from other survivors and I’m bad. Everything turned out fine for others because they were good but I’M bad, my experience is different from others..So I need my issues to be adressed directly to me.. unfortunately I can’t find any other therapists, because everywhere I have a red flag.. and I know it’s very hard.. But since last time we had an argument she told me that a solution in that relationship depends on me and relationships are different, stormy blah blah blah..and it takes two parties to resolve the question…Although she validated my childhood abuse, yes, but during last row she told me I want to hold a grudge towards her and I asked her ‘so do you think that I want to hold the grudge towards my mother too?-she answered: ” well it’s a very interesting question” I asked: So you think so? She said ;”I didn’t tell that. I’ve just found that very interesting” I didn’t understand nothing from that conversatin except that maybe I really want hold that grudge.It ‘s too much burden to me. Every time I meet her she thinks I see my mother in her so it interferes with resolving the problem but every time she told me ‘ I’m not going to explain it you, I told you once and I’m not going to repeat it to you, Im not obliged to…it was her not mine..I dont know what to do with this situation and I ‘m coming to conclusion that I would never heal. sad…


Hey Darlene! well this was a tough read for me and it shined a light on a part of my life I wished I could just bury and forget about. Being raised in a family with no sexual boundaries and adapting to that, then finding out that what I learned was inappropriate and making the shift feels like hell.

I’m beginning to understand why some people choose to stay sick instead of facing their past. I feel like the bravest person I know in my family for taking accountability and responsibility for healing and forgiving my past.

Forgiving myself has been my greatest challenge, it’s a double edge sword when it comes to this work because not only did I need to forgive them for their part, I had to forgive myself for repeating what was does to me. I had to grow up real fast in some areas, while I was stunted in other areas. I was punished for repeating what was done to me while what others did to me was not acknowledged. I had no idea what I was doing was bad or wrong, it’s only when I received the proper education.

there are no words to express how deep the damage goes with all this, I’m just grateful that I still have enough light in me to stay in groups like this and continue to heal and grow. Thank you Darlene for showing me a better way to live my life.


Hi Lora!
Thanks for sharing! You are the bravest person!! It shocks me how many people would rather live in the sick fog, then to take that chance to live in freedom.
Hugs, Darlene


No I believe trust is just like respect, in the sense that it should be earned and not given for free. I no longer trust my maternal grandmother and my father when it comes to talking about anything in my life. My grandmother? Boy how funny was it for her to start recommending kitchen-hand like jobs to me, when she was the first one to drag me down when I applied for such jobs, to the point that she stated that it was a waste of time for me to be at Universtiy and that she should have just placed me in a restaurant ages ago. Now she’s “washing her hands” by encouraging me to apply for jobs that she bagged down in the first place? I don’t have problems with those jobs, but now you don’t as well? Okay whatever helps you sleep at night.

As for father dear, talking to him about my plans will consist of the following:
-2 seconds of me time
-Him criticising my ambitions and life decisions, until
-The rest of the conversation is dominated by him talking about his achievements at work.
-Then change topic and repeat the whole cycle all over again hooray!

Add to the fact that he once exposed how much of a “wuss” I was, when he was training me for karate, to my maternal uncle, while we were on a family picnic. Yes I can definitely give him a trustworthy trophy for a prize! (Thankfully other members of the family, just casually listen to whatever nonsense he has to say and are smart enough to not absord his perceptions of people).

Nowadays, whilst me being secretive may seem as if I’m insecure, terrified and not trusting enough, I’d like to interpret my act as a solution, which will ensure that “my walls” will no longer be crushed relentlessly again by those who “necessarily” felt the need to do so.

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