Trusting someone after you have experienced such deeply wounding trauma feels a bit difficult… to say the least.
Whether you are a survivor yourself or it’s your partner who has experienced trauma, it’s important you know that struggling with trust after such deeply wounding pain is a completely normal response to experiencing a traumatic event.
Why does that happen?
Because as relational creatures, we look to others to help us build safety and personal self-esteem. As much as our society tries to promote the myth of self-love, we are neurobiologically hardwired to seek out connection and care and love from others. In fact, connection and care and a sense of belonging are actually coded in the brain as a safety cue.
Conversely, a lack of connection has historically meant lower survival rates for humans, since we couldn’t access food or fight off threats as easily if we were on our own. So when we go without safe and loving connection, we can truly experience a physiological panic in the body.
This panic will be heightened even further when past connections are marked by betrayal and abandonment, as the body is trying to prevent you from getting hurt again. To put it simply, if you burn your hand on the stove, you aren’t going to want to cook for a while, even though you may be completely famished.
The key(s) to starting to trust again after experiencing trauma are 1.) accept where you are / that you are struggling and 2.) take tiny steps towards trust in a way that does feel safe. If step two feels too difficult, it is okay to hang out for a while at step one; there is no need to beat yourself up or to criticize yourself or panic over the fact that you are struggling with relationships. In fact, unconditionally accepting that you are struggling (and that it is perfectly OKAY that you are struggling) often gets us much further than fighting it or avoiding it.
I know this can all seem like a lot. (Trauma and healing is a neuro-biological science, so it is very normal to be overwhelmed). Luckily for you, we will be going over all of that at the next masterclass launch. (Date to be announced in the coming weeks!)
Until next time!