Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who Can We Trust?

Betrayed! Unsafe! Dangerous! Abuse hammers into us the lesson that we cannot trust people. Almost all abuse happens at the hands of people whom we thought loved us, people whom we thought we could trust. Until they showed us otherwise.

Even those who are abused by a stranger still struggle with trust issues. Someone, who might have been anyone, stripped away their feelings of security. Suddenly humanity did not seem safe or trustworthy any longer. A member of society felt free to attack.

So what do we do? How do we heal? How do we learn to trust again? Can we ever regain our innocent trust? Is it even wise to trust?

Trust is a foundation stone in every relationship. So if we want to have relationships, we have to learn to trust again. But how?

I turned to God, and he has enabled me to trust again. It has been a learning process with my Good Shepherd right there with me. I don't know how others learn to trust without His help. I feel sure that I would have turned into a bitter, distrusting woman if God hadn't answered my cries for healing and help.

I am blessed beyond measure by the healing that has taken place. I have female friends, I have a non-abusive husband who cherishes me, I have relationships with my children that exceed anything I ever dared to hope for. Trusting is growing in relationships with small risks and new behaviors tried. God empowers me to try, despite my fears. Courage in small bite size pieces slowly builds healthy behaviors and relationships.

I've also made more mistakes of extending too much of myself to folks who aren't trustworthy--but I've learned more with each error. I've learned that some people are just too wounded or messed up to function in a healthy way.

I've learned to focus the majority of my energy and time on the relationships that are healthy or are growing healthier. I am learning to trust myself again--to value my gut feelings and my perseptions. I can relax with trustworthy people and enjoy the gift of friendship and healthy love.

Trusting isn't easy after abuse--but it is possible, and rather lovely.


Jan Parrish said...

Great post. I've also learned that there are relationships that will drain me, one-sided relationships in which I am doing all the giving. These are also unhealthy. Recovery is a long, slow but rewarding process.

Cynthia said...

This was beautiful and heartfelt, as usual...and I too can say with you that
"God empowers me to try, despite my fears: !!

Tanya T. Warrington said...

Jan, you are so right about one-sided relationships, they drain much energy from me as well. I care deeply about several people who promote the one-sidedness, but I have finally recognized that I could pour all my compassion and time out and it would still not be enough. It makes me sad. But I am learning to recognize how unhealthy one-sided relationships are and to recognize the situation and change my behavior.

Keep on with all of your own recovery and your great blog that helps others in their healing journey, Jan!

Tanya T. Warrington said...

Girl in a Glass House,

Thank you. You are a great encourager!

Isn't it amazing how God can help us to trust and grow? I'm so glad that you are on the healing journey with God and me (through the gift of blogging technology).

God bless your healing process.

Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft