Lack of trusting yourself can manifest itself in a lack of trusting others and ultimately a lack of trust in your relationships.
Many victims of child abuse are fearful of expressing their emotions, inner needs and feelings. As a result there is a lack of communication. This includes not talking about the abuse and results in that veil of secrecy being extended and reinforced. Perhaps it is because to show emotions is like a show of weakness, perhaps you are afraid of complete rejection. Do you think your partner has the time to deal with the abuse you suffered?
Don’t underestimate the strength of your relationship. If there is a foundation of caring, love and mutual respect then the relationship will be able to withstand a problem such as this. There will inevitably be times when you regret having said anything at all, but really the whole thing will bring you closer together and cement your bond. If your partner is interested in you then they will take the time to listen and deal with your problems and feelings. Don’t use your fears as an excuse not to take the first step to develop trust in your relationship.
Learning to trust yourself and others is a big step – it takes time and practise – don’t expect just to be able to start trusting people because you have changed your mind set (although that is a good start!). These are the steps you need to take:
Listen to your feelings and honour them.
Communicate these feelings either to your partner, close ally or write them into a journal.
Listen to the voice within, it will tell you how you are feeling, but learn not to listen to it when it puts you down or tells you that you are stupid or unimportant. This is the work of your inner abuser
Challenge the Inner Abuser, combat his negative messages with positive, realistic ones
Use affirmations to challenge these negative thoughts.
Take risks: act as though you do trust – be very guarded and then see the result. If you find out you can’t trust that individual then you have learnt from the experience and will be unlikely to repeat the mistake again with the same individual.