Real Talk: Am I The Only One Working Through Trust Issues While Recovering from Trauma?
I have trust issues.
When I say that, my inner voice automatically goes, “Duuuhh!! Look at the hell you’ve been through!” That reaction is what self-compassion sounds like in my head.
I've been recovering from trauma for a few years now.
I’m a survivor (not a victim) of narcissistic abuse, childhood neglect, sexual assault, and betrayal (including self-betrayal.) So, it makes complete sense that I would have a hard time trusting.
But the problem with that is it prevents me, an advocate for mindfulness and all things YOLO, from experiencing my relationships to the fullest.
I rarely give anyone a chance to “be there” for me because I’m so afraid they’ll let me down when I’m in deep need. Since I started recovering from trauma my biggest fear has been going back to the rock bottom place I dug myself out of four years ago.
And while that was an extremely painful solo endeavor, I still see it as a blessing. It forced me to build a deep, loving relationship with myself after spending several years hiding from my own inner truths. I’d smoke and drink to silence my own thoughts and take care of others to avoid “dealing with myself.” I was afraid to explore who I was on the inside.
So, yes, to reach a point where I love myself too much to carry unhealed trauma around and simply accept that I have trust issues is a big deal. And I truly cherish the self-love relationship I’ve built over the past four deeply transformative years.
I love that I went from feeling stuck and unfulfilled in toxic codependent relationships to pouring love into myself with ease.
And my confidence is so unshakable that naysayers don’t have the power to make me question my ability to reach my goals. More importantly, I love that I’m now able to teach other women the process of how I got there when they enroll in my Be Your Own Hero Method because I truly believe that the first step in recovering from trauma is to take responsibility for your own healing.
My experience has taught me the importance of spending time alone to give myself space to digest my emotions without polluting my experience with the opinions of the outside world and its fears around growth and self-development.
Now, I’m learning the importance of balance. And being able to trust others outside of myself is an uncomfortable thought, but it is also an indication that I still have some work to do.
My goal is to be able to fully experience my relationships and I can see that my trust issues are byproducts of the abusive relationships I'd previously encountered.
Recovering from trauma isn't a quick one-and-done process. I've seen in myself and my clients that it requires consistency and growth over time.
The most valuable lesson I've learned from witnessing these journeys is that I don’t need to protect my past damage because it's hurting me more than it's helping me.
Freedom is on the other side of breaking through your comfort zone and allowing that old pain to fall away.
In the case of healing from trust issues, longer hugs, conversations with more depth, enriching bonds, and more love and compassion are on the other side of letting go.
Yes, the risk of betrayal and heartache is there. But when isn’t it? I leave my house all the time despite the high chance that I could be the next victim of a violent crime on the 10 o'clock news.
We have to draw a line between allowing the fear of the unknown to trap us and simply living our lives.
I’m not getting into cars with strangers or walking down sketchy alleys in the middle of the night. I am safe without being paranoid or reclusive to decrease my chances of becoming the next victim of a violent crime on the 10 o'clock news, right?
Life doesn’t offer any guarantees either way though.
Being “too vulnerable” and “too open” about my life has scared me because I’m reminded of times when the things I shared were used against me and they broke me down.
Those people aren’t in my life anymore though. And I’m no longer that little girl, teenager, or 20-something.
I’m a very wise, emotionally intelligent, strong-ass woman in her 30s whose survival of heartache and betrayal has equipped her with the ability to heal her own wounds like Wolverine.
So, really, what is there to fear?
I love growth, especially when it hurts because that means I will receive more enlightenment from it.
I’ve been really good about holding myself accountable to make the changes I want to see in my life without needing to be reminded. But this time around, I chose to share it as it’s happening for a few reasons.
- What’s a better way to face a fear of vulnerability than to turn a very private journal entry about the topic into a blog post to be published on the internet for the masses to see?
- There is someone who needs to know they aren’t alone on their journey. This could be a reader’s “ah-ha moment” or the motivational piece that keeps them from giving up on themselves. Who am I to selfishly hide my story behind pride when I could be helping?
- It literally just felt right. For real. Again, I was journaling this morning and this all came to me. I copied most of this post from my journal and only made a couple of small edits, including this list.
- This just feels good and liberating.
I want to have the full experience of living life untethered, (Read "The Untethered Soul" and "Living Untethered" by Michael A. Singer!) and be aware of the gifts that are present in every moment, from my moments of solitude to each opportunity I have to connect with another person.
My inner world is peaceful and what I do to maintain it is sacred, but there is still so much love and advice to share from those discussions I have within myself.
In my world, there’s no such thing as “I’ve always been this way, so it’s just the way I’ll always be.” or “That’s too scary or too difficult, so I’m going to avoid it.” That’s ignorance. WE are all way more powerful than that!
We can change our way of thinking by choosing to make a habit out of shifting our thoughts and beliefs. We just have to let go of the “truths” we’ve been telling ourselves. They’re lies!
When I teach my Be Your Own Hero Method, I share the real truth. It’s that our beliefs are based on our past experiences, not facts. And our brains are wired to seek comfort and familiarity, not discomfort and growth.
This is why it’s easy to repeat the same negative thought patterns and why it’s difficult to change. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck. We can always choose differently. It just takes time, patience, and repetition –things our microwave society likes to avoid.
This is a very important shift for anyone who is recovering from trauma.
I’m choosing to let go though. And if you’re joining me, I’d love to hear about your journey, so leave a comment so that I can cheer you on!