I found it easier to understand the concept of Trust, by looking at what I had been taught about trust. It was the experiences that I’d had to do with the word and definition of trust that were at the root of my understanding of the concept and meaning of the word trust.
I remember being scared half out of my wits while being yelled at “TRUST ME, I know what YOU need”. (which translated to me that I “needed” the spanking, the strap, the punishment)
I was told to trust teachers and leaders who were bullies and predators simply because they were “my elders”. Being taught to blindly trust only taught me that I was not worth much. Being “told” to trust people who were not trustworthy left me very confused about what trust really was.
I had a boyfriend who accused me of not trusting him when he was driving drunk. I felt shame and guilt even though drunk driving is illegal, I had been “groomed” to believe that questioning someone meant that I didn’t love him or her. He went to jail for impaired driving.
I didn’t make the connection that trust has nothing to do with love.
I had another boyfriend who accused me of not trusting him when I found a girls phone number on his dresser. Once again I felt guilt and shame because as I already mentioned, I had been taught that if I didn’t trust, I didn’t love. It turned out that he was cheating on me, just as I suspected. I didn’t find out for a long time because I was too busy trying to prove that I “trusted” and “loved him.” I had several boyfriends who accused me of not trusting them. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to admit even to myself that I didn’t trust them. There were reasons that I asked the questions I asked; questions such as “where were you all night?” “why did a woman phone for you?” Why didn’t you phone me to say you were going out with the boys?”
By getting angry and accusing me of accusing HIM of something and trying to “control him” he got me off the actual subject and put me on the defense where in the end I was assuring him that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, it was that I just wanted to know where he was but that question never got a real answer. He deflected it by accusing me of not trusting him! And I spent all my time and energy making it up to HIM that I had made him feel like I didn’t trust him!
This “rabbit trail” that we went down was about how it was MY fault we had problems because **I** didn’t trust. And I was told that if I didn’t trust him then I mustn’t love him. If I didn’t love him then he would leave me to find someone who WOULD love him. And love meant trust so back to square one; I trusted him, he cheated and did what he wanted and I stayed in the fog of dysfunctional relationship feeling guilty for not trusting him and making him feel unloved.
I was accused of not trusting and totally guilt tripped and reprimanded by those people only to find out that they were actually NOT trustworthy, just as I suspected.
I was told to trust abusive manipulative people while they were hurting me, all the while “soothing me” in quiet “loving” hushed tones with “trust me, I won’t hurt you”. “Trust me” I am doing this because “I love you”. My definitions and understanding of the words “trust” and “love” grew from these false statements from others. Seeing where they were rooted and the lies that grounded them was huge for me. I was told by other adults that I was wrong to be afraid of these “trustworthy” people who were hurting me. When stuff like this happens, it is no wonder why our definitions and understanding of words like trust get confused.
Having the false definition of the word trust in my belief system made it easy for manipulative people to get away with many things without question. I was caught in the spin of feeling guilty for NOT trusting them without a “real reason”. The spotlight was always turned back on me and I found myself drilling myself with accusations like “what is wrong with you Darlene, why can’t you trust him or her?” I had learned and in fact been taught to ignore my intuition until it was way too late.
The spin around this whole false belief system was huge!
In that false normal system, trust meant that I had to let someone hurt me and pretended it didn’t hurt me. Trust meant that I didn’t tell on the person hurting me because if I told I would damage the trust and especially the chance of “love” in our relationship. Physical, emotional, spiritual or sexual hurt, it didn’t matter. Trust meant that they were right and I had no rights.
Should trust, must trust… WHY? What does that MEAN? When there is a history of damage around the word trust, that damage has to be faced and the “action” of trust needs to be examined for what it really is. By understanding how my belief system falsely formed about the word trust I was able to heal from the damage caused by living under the control of that false definition.
Trust is earned over time by each person and in each individual relationship. Trust takes time to grow and being uncertain about to trust or not to trust is not an indication of suspicion or accusation.
And the action of trust needs to be examined for what it really IS NOT.
Trust is not a right. Trust is not love. Trust is not letting someone devalue you to prove love or loyalty. Trust does not hurt. Trust is not mandatory!
In the dysfunctional system that I grew up in, trust meant that I didn’t count. Trust meant that I protected the very person who was mistreating me. Trusting him meant that I “loved him” or so I misunderstood because that was what I had been taught and how I had been groomed.
I was taught that I had no right NOT to trust. That version of trust was another false teaching that I had been taught that in the end meant that I was not worthy. I was always wrong. I was always the problem and I was responsible for the success and or failure of ALL relationships.
See how mixed up “trust” was in my belief system? Can you see why I had to come to understand how I had been taught the wrong definition of trust?
In my case, having so many mixed up and false understandings of so many words and concepts I had no choice but to disconnect and dissociate more and more. I withdrew into the “fog” and dissociated from life in order to cope, in order to survive and in order to carry the burden of all these dysfunctional and often toxic relationships.
What are the trust messages that you have received?
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Facing the truth on the road to freedom;
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