A major loss is lack of appropriate trust. We read mostly about those who can’t trust anyone. But some of us remained susceptible, almost as if we’re saying, “Take advantage of me.”
Most of the time, naiveté described me. Even today as an adult, people occasionally castigate me for trusting others and call me too trusting. For a long time, my response was, “I can’t help it.”
And for many, many years I couldn’t. I’ve had to work quite hard at questioning the motivations and intentions of others. The other extreme (and more common response) is assuming everyone wants to exploit or hurt us.
One of my survivor-friends said, “I tend to believe everyone until they fail or let me down in some way.” He went on to say that one failure and he’s unable to trust them again. Once hurt, he can’t forget what they’ve done.
Those are all consequences of our stolen and broken childhoods.
I’ll pass on something that helped me. When I have any strong sense of faith or doubt about anyone, I try to wait until I can get alone and process it. What was going on inside me, I ask myself, that I had that reaction? Was it my self-protective inner wisdom? Was it the old pattern of willing to be exploited?
Not that an answer pops up immediately, because it rarely does. Instead, the tendency is for me to quote a famous line from the 1943 film, Casablanca, “Round up the usual suspects.”
When I discern that I’m doing that, I try to get with one of my friends to help me discern the truth.
Our abuse has powerful ramifications.
We can learn to defeat our warped understanding.