A few nights ago, I was thinking about the different aspects of my life and how they had changed after my own image abuse experience.
I remembered how I used to trust pretty much everybody, after all why on earth would someone want to purposefully betray your trust by initiating a set of conditions where you have been ‘set up’ with the intent to cause premeditated damage and distress to your life? I mean that’s a pretty mentally twisted concept, isn’t it? For most of us it’s beyond comprehension, it’s an action so alien that it seems almost otherworldly.
Trust is something we learn from the first day of our lives and becomes part of our survival tool kit. Trust forms the primary foundation of friendships and relationships.
So, what happens when you find that you cannot trust? Not one damn bit.
You have no other option but to socially retreat, and disconnect from the world around you. To cut off friends and family, even those that you love. Despite their best intentions to be empathic, they cannot help you because you have mentally locked yourself down. It’s a protective mechanism that accompanies traumatic experiences, that are beyond emotional understanding.
That was me a few years ago, although I’m not clear as to when, precisely, that began to change for the better.
Today, whilst there are many scars still left, I hardly recognise the person that I once was. Don’t get me wrong, I am still suspicious of people’s motives…even though there may be none. Of the ‘scars’ that I mentioned earlier, my newfound suspicious nature is representative of just one of them.
Whilst it’s probably a good thing to regard people with an ounce or two of suspicion, it’s not so helpful when you are nurturing new relationships or attempting to navigate your way around workplace issues.
4 years ago, I honestly thought that I would never be able to find any sense of physical intimacy again. I thought that had been stolen from me, along with other parts of my life, as a result of my experience. Today I find myself 1 year into a new and loving relationship.
Which is why the subject of ‘trust’ entered my mind. Every now and then life rewards you with someone who patiently helps you work through the damaged parts of your soul. You expose them to your tears; you tell them repetitively that this is “not the person that you used to be” and how much you wish you could automatically trust once again, without issue. The most loving person of all is the one who becomes your lover, your little rock and the person that helps you to find the better aspects of your character that, once upon a time, you thought might be lost forever.
I wanted to share these thoughts, because the very night that I thought about ‘trust’ was the same night that I felt that someone out there, might need to read them.
As someone once said to me, those who matter don’t mind….and those who mind, simply don’t matter.
A life damaged by the thoughtless act of another individual, can be repaired. It’s important to hold onto that thought, and have faith that it will happen – eventually. You will always feel anger towards the individual that has abused you, but anger can be re focussed into something more helpful and creative. Like writing, or given time, the ability to snatch back some of the power that was taken away from you – by standing up and speaking out about image based abuse crimes. There are so many of us out there, and we’ll be there long after the journalists have written their articles – fighting for legislative changes to protect the victims of tomorrow….so that they can become survivors in the future.