I'm not going to say that trust is easy for me because it's not. But that basic elemental trust that life is worth living and that the whole world is not out to get us is very important. Opening the door to the possibility that such information might be valid is a huge step in the quest for freedom from the pain of childhood abuse.
This basic trust I am rock solid about. I know in my heart that life is worth living and that there isn't someone waiting around every corner trying to make my life miserable. The more I have learned about human nature, the more I realize many of those people out there are just as afraid of me as I was of them. Their fears take up so much of their time they have no time to devote to harming me.
Being able to see that many, many people have problems that consume them, made it easier for me to dispel my all or nothing thinking that everyone would do me some harm given the opportunity. I didn't have to be afraid to take some risks for fear something bad might happen to me. Life can be scary enough without thinking that every person out there is bad.
But I don't give my trust away either to everyone and anyone who comes along. I regard it as something to be earned and that is done in degrees. It doesn't have to be given in blanket form to anyone that comes along. It doesn't have to be given at all, only as I see fit.
While I try to go into new situations with an open mind, I don't want to give myself away only to be hurt because I trusted too soon. So I start off slow and adjust as I go along. Sometimes I screw up and get my feelings hurt but usually it's because I didn't read the signs that are right in front of me. Healing from those things is difficult but it doesn't happen often. Learning to understand how and why I was victimized has really given me great tools for reading people.
Getting hurt by someone that I trusted can be devastating. Having someone I don't particularly care for do something unkind only reassures me that my observations about that person are correct. Since I have nothing vested in the relationship, I have nothing to lose. I refuse to let the fact that there are such people stop me from participating in life. To do so, would be to let my abusers win. That will never happen, I can assure you.
I tend to live one day at a time trying not to get so caught up in a plan that I miss out on life. I'm open to the possibility that maybe I'll met a new friend out there and maybe I'll get burned but either way it will be as I live life on my terms and not those drilled into me as a victim.
I think about my first experiences in group therapy. Many of those women hugged each other when they arrived and when they departed. But touch me, you've got to be kidding. I didn't want any stranger touching me. I did find women that I would allow to hug me through that experience but believe me they worked hard to get to that place.
Even now I don't give casual hugs. Nor do I make casual friends. You are either in my inner circle or you are an acquaintance. There is no middle ground. If I call someone my friend, I mean it. It isn't a title given lightly.
To me being or having a friend is a commitment to be there in times of need. I trust those who have reached my inner circle will be there if I need them. So far I have not been disappointed. They may not always be able to be there in exactly the way that I need at a particular time but they will give me all that they have to give. Sometimes that is all that matters, that they want to be there even though they can't.
Because I speak openly about my victimization, people will often find themselves telling me things they have never told anyone. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard the words, "I was never molested but........." followed by a story of molestation. From those ranks usually come my friends.
Who better understands victims and their idiosyncrasies than other victims? I don't have to act like I'm interested in cliquey girl things when I can't relate to that stuff at all. For me life is about getting through each day with some kind of grace not shopping and lunches and trivial stuff. Learning to navigate the world of my psyche in a manner that I didn't self destruct used to take my full attention.
Today, following my dreams and being there for my friends takes my precious time. Since most of my life I spent caught in the trap of victimization, I feel like my life really didn't get started until I was finally free. I have a lot of living to make up for.
multiple personality disorder MPD dissociative Identity disorder did