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Trust After Emotional Abuse

When we have faith in ourselves, we also have faith in humanity. So there is hope and happiness to be found on the other side of the darkness.

  1. HealingJourney
    When you are thrown away by a psychopath, or when you choose to leave him or her, you are devastated and numb. You feel shattered, and you really have no idea how to reassemble the pieces of your broken life. Before your encounter with evil, you may have believed in the inherent goodness of others. And you probably thought you could correctly identify those who are worthy of your love and devotion. As you begin to realize how deeply you were betrayed, and you learn about the depravity that characterizes psychopathic behavior, you will probably have a strong urge to build protective armor around your heart. You may even believe that you will never—can never—trust anyone new ever again. But if you allow yourself to stay in such a hopeless place, you will become forever isolated and unhappy. Authentic trust is essential in loving, intimate relationships. So, how do you move past your fear and trust again?

    Finding Self-Forgiveness
    The realization that you were duped and manipulated by a predator generates strong feelings of shame, guilt, and confusion. You wonder how you could have made such a terrible mistake, and you probably feel so, so stupid! You may tend to beat yourself up and sometimes become your own worst enemy. It is important, first, to acknowledge that all of these emotions are normal and okay. It takes much time to feel them fully and work through them, and the process is far from neat and tidy. Try to be patient with yourself and with life in general. It is impossible to rush through recovery. It is also so critical to be very gentle with yourself and become your own best friend. You can give yourself positive affirmations and make a deliberate effort to stop the negative thoughts that might creep in. This is the challenging path toward self-forgiveness and self-love. You trusted the wrong person because you did not know such monsters existed. The abuse was never your fault! When you internalize these truths, and when you begin to listen more carefully to your heart, you will discover something deep within you that is extremely valuable…your intuition.

    Listening To Your Intuition
    Your intuition has cried out to you in varying degrees and at many points in your life. You simply did not always know how to correctly interpret what it was telling you. That is because intuition is naturally an unclear, hazy phenomenon, and listening well to it requires practice through life experiences. It is helpful to pay attention to your gut feelings in retrospect. For example, you can start by thinking back to the beginnings of your previous romantic relationships, including your encounter with the psychopath. Did your body give you any warnings that something was wrong? If so, think carefully about those warnings and how they connected to later problems. Your intuition not only is useful in keeping you safe from toxic people, it also lets you know when any situation is not right for you, even if the circumstances are relatively danger-free. So by identifying gut feelings and the reasons for them in a variety of past experiences, you become better equipped to listen to your intuition in the future. And your new understanding of predatory behavior gives you the knowledge you need to ensure that you will tune into your gut from now on and never become emotionally involved with another psychopath. However, even though your intuition is there to guide you, so often you doubt it because you doubt yourself. In order to listen to it effectively, you need to build up your self-confidence.

    Building New Confidence
    Perhaps the most daunting task during the recovery process is developing a new sense of confidence in yourself. You may have felt good about life when you met the psychopath. You may have thought you were in a “good place.” And even if you were not very happy then, your emotional state at that time cannot be compared to the despair you feel once you are finally free of the abuse. After the psychopath discards you so callously, you feel completely worthless, and climbing out of that hole probably seems impossible. But, there is hope! You begin to build yourself up again by following the steps above: forgiving yourself and listening to your intuition. As you do that, you develop a new kind of self-awareness. You identify your strengths and weaknesses at a deeper level, and as a result, you determine how, exactly, the psychopaths exploited you. This self-exploration is painful, but in the end it enables you to get in touch with the best parts of yourself and cultivate those wonderful qualities. In addition, you cannot become appropriately confident without looking at the upsetting experiences you endured from the time you were a child. All normal human beings suffer traumas at various points in their lives, and it is so important to work through the emotional fallout of those traumas. This can and should be accomplished through reaching out to others (therapists, friends, family, other survivors) and through self-reflection. You will not find any easy solutions, but it is absolutely possible to transform yourself in ways you cannot imagine at the height of your pain. Your greatness is inside of you, just waiting to be nurtured.

    Patiently facing the pain, forgiving and loving yourself, tuning into your gut feelings, and developing appropriate confidence in yourself as a unique and capable individual…that is how you begin to trust again. By following these steps, you start to trust yourself, and authentic self-trust is necessary before you can put your faith in new people. You can find great joy in life by discovering your own worth and trusting in it. Unfortunately, these steps are not a guarantee that you will never be hurt again. All normal human beings have doubts and insecurities; all normal people are imperfect and make mistakes. Although future pain is inevitable, future entanglements with psychopathic people are not. You might encounter them, but you will spot them quickly and not allow them into your heart. When you realize how special you truly are, your life will become richer, you will make better decisions, and you will establish loving, meaningful connections with others. And when you have faith in yourself, that is how you rebuild your faith in humanity. So there is hope and happiness to be found on the other side of the darkness. Just remember, it comes from within.

    For more recovery support, read The Survivor's Quest, available through Amazon:

Article Author: HealingJourney