Building on Broken Foundation

Published on 2 April 2023 at 23:13

I will never forget the day that my concept of truth and trust, changed forever. The idea that if I just tell the truth, people will believe me and I will have done the right thing. But instead it turned to, the truth is bad and unwanted, I have to say things that are untrue to keep me safe, and those around me are not able to be trusted. Do you have or remember a defining moment that created a sense of distrust in you?

I couldn't tell you how old I was, but I was pretty young. My dad had gotten very angry at my sister for talking back to him and in return he had thrown a keyring with at least 10-15 keys at her in response. This throw was not a gentle toss, there was no warning, he was not more than 10 feet away so it had some speed, and it was absolutely meant to hit and hurt her. It got her upper leg and the bruise that it left was about the size of a softball, black and blue. He had no remorse, in fact, he blamed my sister for her behavior as the reason he did it. This was not an out of character act, so neither my sister nor myself were surprised. Fast forward a day or two and a neighbor noticed my sister's leg and asked what happened. I  innocently explained exactly what had happened thinking nothing of it, as it was a normal thing in our house, I assumed it was normal for everyone. My mother overheard me talking and quickly jumped in to deny what I had said, that wasn't really what had happened, then I got in trouble for "lying". I was incredibly confused and felt betrayed. My mother had thrown me under the bus to protect my dad. All ideas that I might have a safe parent or someone to trust, were gone. 


How does a child determine who to trust when the people that are supposed to protect them are the very ones putting them in harms way? Their entire sense of identity comes into question. Some may learn to trust no one, others may trust all the wrong people because they are seeing the people that hurt them and that feels familiar in a sense and you just long for that feeling of "home" even when home hurt. Or you turn that mistrust inward.


Growing up in a house where I was taught not to trust my safety or that I would be fulfilled in my needs/wants, it followed me every relationship. I have constantly questioned the intentions of those around me. Whether it be a friend, a relative, a partner, at work, or even my own children. I can't help but wonder, do they really accept me? Do they really love me? Are they going to hurt me whether emotionally or physically? Am I doing enough to stay safe? 


Instead of being able to hold others accountable, I have turned others actions inward and blamed myself. What did I do wrong that caused them to treat me negatively? This lack of trust within myself has rippled into every thought and decision I have made since that moment as a kid. How many times have you had to stop and ask yourself, is this true or trauma? It is never too late to take back your life from trauma, one step at a time. If your issue is that you can't trust anyone, next time you are talking with a friend or partner, share something personal that you haven't shared before. If you are trust too easily, set some boundaries. Write them down so you can refer back to them and USE them when a situation necessary arises. If those around you react negatively, explain why you are setting boundaries, if it continues to be negative, they probably aren't someone you wanted/needed in your life. If your trust issue is with yourself, step outside your comfort zone and try something you haven't done before. It can be something small, just something you didn't think you could do, to show yourself YOU CAN! 


We didn't choose to have traumatic things happen to us. The survival tactics and trauma traits we learned are NOT our fault. But it doesn't have to be permanent. We can choose to start healing. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I'm saying it's possible, and it's worth it. Because we are worth it. 

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