Thursday, July 20, 2017

7 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I've worked, I've discovered a deeper reason for exploring each "Thing." Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I've worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I've made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I've come. It's important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:

7. "I have problems trusting people. I keep people at [an] arm's length. I never really let them into my life. I don't allow them to know of my health problems and my mental illnesses. If I do let them in, it is rare and they [will] have known me for years. It takes a long time [for me] to build trust."

My sister's response combines 6 and 7:

My response:

Trust has been a huge issue. I didn't trust anyone, not others, not myself, and not God. It's difficult to build trust when the people who you are supposed to be able to trust the most prove themselves untrustworthy. To complicate matters, people keep telling you that you should trust these untrustworthy people because those who aren't in the abuse often don't see the abuse.

Abusers have absolutely no trouble taking advantage of those who trust. In fact, trust is a necessary factor. Abusers will lie without thought in order to gain their own ends, and if it breaks trust, so be it, as long as they attain what they want. Trust is a toy to be played on and manipulated. Is it any wonder that a victim struggles with something that's been so severely twisted?

I refused to stay a victim.

One of my church leaders told me that all I needed to heal was Jesus. I replied, "If I don't trust anyone, including Jesus, how is it possible for Him to heal me?" My counselors taught me about healthy trust. I tentatively trusted them because it was trust them or give up. I didn't hand over my trust. They were required to earn it. I started with doing the assignments they gave me. As I saw progress, I trusted them a little more. With the first two, we quickly reached the point where we could progress no further. My last counselor picked up where they left off and helped me apply what I'd been learning.

I realized that my lack of faith in God and lack of faith in anything, for that matter, was really about a lack of faith in myself. I didn't trust myself to make good decisions. I didn't trust myself to take care of myself. I didn't trust myself to protect myself from harm. It surprises me now to realize that it was this very lack of trust that helped me trust God. I knew He was the same yesterday, today, and forever. I knew He was honest, all-knowing, trustworthy. This knowledge allowed me to step back and self-examine where I was lacking. If it wasn't Him, then it was me.

Comment 7 above doesn't realize that their attitude is healthy in an unhealthy situation. If you are in an abusive situation, you shouldn't allow the abuser within arm's length. You shouldn't let them into your life. You definitely shouldn't let them know about your weaknesses. It's a great starting place for building healthy boundaries. It isn't a bad thing to take time to build trust. As healthy boundaries are built, trust grows. Trust grows with healthy boundaries.

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