How can you trust anyone ever again?
This has been a question asked of me for years. Especially by women.
It seems like I don’t know a single woman who has not experienced some form of intimate or nonintimate violence. To her body, her mind, her spirit. Rape, stalking, molestation, sex-trafficking, forced marriages, domestic servitude, body-shaming, female genital mutilation, financial and emotional and psychological and physical abuse. Just google search “types of abuse” and you will be given a plethora of examples. It’s overwhelming.
The definition of trust from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: the reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
After I experienced intimate partner violence, I found it challenging to trust others. But even worse was the feeling that I couldn’t trust myself. I’d been tricked. Fooled. Manipulated. Gaslighted. How do you know someone’s true character? I often ask myself this.
If you are scared and cautious out in the world, it could create a limiting reality for yourself. If you are too vulnerable and open you could be bamboozled.
This is what I realized about myself. Something I lacked when I was younger, and something I’m growing into now. Discernment. The ability to judge well. I typically meet people and assume they are incredible and see the beauty of their spirit. I’m a joy-junkie and love human connection. But not all people are good for me, know matter how much I can see their light. I realized that only seeing the good can be a detriment to my well-being.
I need time to slow down and evaluate my relationships. How are these people making me feel? What did I get from the experience? How much do they take and how much do they give? Do I see any red flags? What do I want?
In the end, the last question is paramount to my self-worth. What do I want?
Such a simple question. Something a lot of women ignore so that they can nurture and caretake others. Let’s turn towards ourselves. Let’s take time to nurture what we need and what we want. Let’s shine that eternal light back onto ourselves.