Note: This is the 3rd part of a continuing story about my healing from childhood sexual abuse. Please read the first part here https://theroamingmind.com/2015/09/21/my-story-breaking-the-cycle/ and continue from there.
We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy. – Walter Anderson
Recovering from trust issues has been one of the challenging parts of my healing. Because my abuser was such an integral part of my life, it became extremely difficult to trust anyone tied to that person. When I revealed my story to my wife, it was as if a switch had been flipped in my head. I could no longer trust anyone, I had to start from zero. I couldn’t even trust myself! I knew I would have to rebuild every relationship in my life. My nature was to trust people. But my conscience just wouldn’t allow it.
As I began to tell my story to certain people, I had instances where some of them would offer their support to me yet they would continue to have close relationships with my abuser. I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. It really is none of my business who these people want to associate with. Yet, it just didn’t feel right to me. I would rather have had these people tell me that they didn’t believe me to my face. In the end, I just couldn’t continue to have a close friendship with these folks. I just didn’t know if I could trust them for fear they would relay information back to my abuser. It was very difficult to let those relationships go, but I had to. I eventually couldn’t trust any of my friends, I had begun to feel paranoid. It wasn’t a good place to be.
My world had become very dark, lonely and fearful when I could not trust anyone but my close family. I was continually second guessing everyone and driving myself mad in the process. It took time, but I began to trust new people that came into my life, those who did not know my life before I told my story. I was able to get past the shame, the questions and the guilt. Those people would be the foundation of trust in others that has to lead me to where I am today. I am so thankful for these new people in my life.
I still have a mistrust of people (particularly men) around my son in one-on-one situations. Just recently, my son’s daycare had hired a male caregiver. Initially, I felt very uncomfortable about this news. I had to hold myself back from letting this seed of doubt grow into something that it shouldn’t. Why would a man want to take care of young kids? I knew this was a very sexist view, but because of my past, I was very uncomfortable with the situation. I hope that all the knowledge that I have passed on to my son that he will know what to do in any situation that he feels uncomfortable. I have to let him live his life and not shackle his world with my mistrust issues.
At the core of all of this; I really have to trust myself. If I can’t do that, how can I expect to trust others? I had to relearn that I needed to live life for myself and nobody else (including my abuser). I had to get to the point that I didn’t care if that person reads this blog or knows anything about my new life. I am my own person with my own thoughts and that everyone in my life has a part in my healing. Those who aren’t apart of my healing will not be in my life, I have that choice. It took a lot of time and emotional pain, but I cannot believe the freedom that comes with having control over the relationships in my life. That built-up confidence in myself has proven to me that I can trust again, but it has taken time…. a lot of time.
976 / 1000 KMs walked | 43 / 50 blog posts |
17 / 10 books read