Monday, December 10, 2007

Trust - Faith - Hope

I don't think there is any issue more difficult for a victim to work through than trust. The mere act of victimization blows trust to smithereens. Once you've been hurt how do you trust anyone, let alone yourself.

I hear from so many victims that they don't really care for people. As a matter of fact, when I hear that statement from someone, I'm pretty sure they are a victim whether they know it or not. It's one of those characteristics of victimization.

I know particularly the victims of childhood abuse tend to find themselves faced with offender type personalities throughout their lives. Instead of considering the possibility that it might be something about them that they seek out that type of person, they think that it is just all people are bad.

I wonder if the more severe childhood trauma ends with more severe adult trauma. I guess the reason that I wonder that is my history sounds like something out of fiction instead of real life.
Aside from being a victim of ritual abuse, I was molested by a creepy old man on the way to school and by my brother. And as an adult, I married not one, but two, batterers and child molesters. And as if that isn't enough, I have been raped as a young adult more times than I can remember. Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say more times than I care to count.

So if anyone was not going to trust human beings across the board, you'd think it would be me. But it's not. I've actually learned that people in general in this world have pretty good hearts! I not only think that in my head, I feel that in my heart.

However, I know that it is easier to put up high walls because the world is bad than face the fact that we might have some control over our lives. But to do so and shut out all help definitely keeps us trapped in our own victim behavior.

Victims are so used to not having control, they don't really know how to exercise it. Just like the self talk they have learned to keep themselves trapped, feeling like they are powerless to change their lives because it's everyone else out there is also a trap learned from their offenders.

The fact is that victims do tend to gravitate towards relationships where they will be victimized. Whether it be friends, love interests, business connections or professionals etc. abuse is our comfort zone. Just as we find making healthy changes difficult, we find surrounding ourselves with people who act in a healthy manner frightening. It is far easier to walk into a crowd of abusers than to walk into a crowd of nurturing people. We know how to act with the abusers. While nurturing people can be downright terrifying.

Just like the children of alcoholics think they are never going to grow up and be like their alcoholic parents only to find themselves caught in that trap. Victims of child abuse grow up and find themselves in unhealthy relationships. It is our behaviors that keep us trapped and we seek out those with similar behaviors. The ying and yang would be victims and offender. The key to getting free is by changing those behaviors.

We have to learn to step outside our comfort zone and trust that we will find help. That's a pretty tall order when our trust has been blown to smithereens. But we have to have faith. I don't know if it's faith in God or faith in others who have healed or just plain old blind faith, but to take that risk, or yet another risk, in the hopes of healing is the only way that we can be free of all of that childhood crap.


jumpinginpuddles said...

it takes only one thing to screw our trust of anyone and anotehr six months ot trya nd build it up again.
Trust is soemthing we just dont get and never will, we let out enough to make realtionship but never enough to lose out completely if trust is broken. Thus we remain alone yet surrounded by people

Fallen Angels said...

I believe trust may be the single biggest issue to deal with! There are few people I truly trust and a handful more that I mostly trust. By mostly vs truly I mean there are a few people that I can talk to about anything (T, npdoc, partner, best friend) and then there are a handful of people that I can say "I am having a really hard time" to...and leave it at that. What is nice about that handful is that if I say that, I can trust that they will only persue that as far as I am willing.

It took me 3 years to be able to call T...and I still have times when I don't do it when I should. It took 4 years to be able to see npdoc without fear and without T calling her before the appointment. It's only been in the semester I am currently in that I have been able to actually making a probably lasting friendship with a classmate, attend study groups and go out with classmates after exams. Partly this is due to overwhelming shyness and partly due to trust issues. Really, the shyness is also a trust issue to a degree.

My abuse past is remarkably similar to yours...not "just" the RA. I may blog about that...after my semester ends. :P


Rising Rainbow said...

jip, yes in the beginning it can be tough learning how to build trust.

And you are right that trust can affect our feelings of being alone. Intimacy is definitely directly affected by trust.

fallen angels, I think that most victims feel the same way. It is hard to learn to trust. But it is essential to the healing process.

It doesn't suprise me that your abuse past is similiar to mine. Like I said, I think there is a corelation between how severe the abuse was and how much carries over into our adult lives.

Lynn said...

In my case, the problem of unconsciously drawing perp types is not there like it used to be. I think it's because I've changed and don't seem approachable. I'm not one of those polite and maleable looking strangers anymore. Perp types just don't like me. THEY KNOW. If I am a victim of crime again, it will more than likely be one of those random disorganized things and not some unconscious sitting duck syndrome.

As for me, not all of my trauma came from the relational in the way you are talking about. I did not choose the nurses who took care of me when my son was born. They just happened to be on duty when I went into labor. I almost had a repeat performace when the twins were born, too. I had already changed quite a bit by then without even knowing why. My girls were born early, but healthy and in good shape. The doctors and nurses wanted to keep me on a drip that was seriously endangering my health in order to stall the birth. I lost my vision and a major organ had begun to fail because of the medication to stop the labor and they were ignoring my requests to stop it and were brow-beating me over the issue when I was physically depleated. I still had my mind, though. I made a phone call to a lawyer with the phone by my bed and the next time a nurse came in more medication, I told her NO. When she started trying to coerce me, I told her a lawyer was on his way over and if they did not cease and disist, I would be getting a judge out of bed to have an injunction issued against them that very night and I MEANT IT AND KNEW HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. My healthy babies were born three hours later.

Rising Rainbow said...

Wow, Lynn, that sounds really terrible. I'm sorry that you had to go through that. I'm glad that you were able to take back control and save your babies.

Unfortunately there are bad people out there that any of us can bump into. All we can hope is that we have the skills to get through it without it ruining our lives.

I think the saddest part is that when we, as victims, bump against those kinds of people, we tend to believe that somehow we deserved it. Then we use it as one more weapon against ourselves instead of understanding that sometimes s**t just happens in life and it's really not about who we are as much as mere coincidence.

I hope that you are feeling better. You don't deserve to be so weighted down.

Cheesemeister said...

I just get sick of being screwed over so no, I don't trust people. There are a few that I will allow in to some degree but generally speaking my attitude says STAY THE HELL AWAY! And I don't actually have any intention of changing that. Better safe than sorry.