SEE, I TOLD YOU –
PREVIOUS: Lack of Trust (Part 1)
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
CAUSES of ACoA DISTRUST
WE have EXPERIENCED:
• growing up in a neglectful, unpredictable &/or volatile family
• being chronically put down for the way we felt or for what we believed
• emotional, physical &/or sexual abuse at the hands of our caretakers
• constantly subjected to undeserved bullying & victimization, by individuals & institutions
• hostile relationship between parents, with siblings & with step-parents
• parental infidelity, bitter divorce or loss of a long-term relationship
• our own painful relationships, being belittled, misunderstood, abused or ignored
• being cheated on / betrayed – sexually, emotionally, financially
• our confidential information betrayed by a trusted friend, relative, spouse or professional …..
• death or loss of one or more loved-ones
• having developed low self-esteem, we can’t believe we’re deserving of the attention, care and concern of anyone
• we get so caught up in unresolved grief that we can’t open ourselves up to others, terrified we’ll be left alone again
• we’re not wiling to risk getting hurt in the future by trusting any person, situations or institutions for fear of being re-victimized
• even if a parent, sibling, spouse or friend finally recognizes & accepts their responsibility to change their harmful behavior, we’re sure that if we let our guard down, they’ll hurt & disappoint us again (understandably). Of course some say they will but never do change!
• we don’t believe or trust anyone who opens up to us in a new, committed relationship
• we have problems trusting even the positive, healthy & consistent behavior of someone who is sincere
ACoA thoughts/beliefs about NOT Trusting
• there’s no such thing as a healthy relationship
OR – I wouldn’t know a healthy relationship if it fell on me!
• marriage is a prison sentence – I’ll be trapped & used
• I can’t seem to find any good friends or good partners – so why bother looking?
• as soon as you let yourself care about someone – they leave you!
• I’m never letting anyone ever get close enough to me again so I won’t be vulnerable anymore
• People don’t really improve or change & any ‘reforming’ is temporary or just fake (like an alcoholic getting sober). No matter what they say, it’s all about manipulating to get their way. If I let myself believe & relax my defenses, I’ll be devastated when they go back to their old ways
The only way to survive & protect myself is to live alone for the rest of my life – avoiding people as much as possible, because:
• I’ve been hurt so much & by so many in the past
• all men / all women are dishonest
• everyone’s out to get the most they can (from me)
• no one respects me
• if I let my guard down someone will step on me OR all hell will break loose
• if I open myself up people will use that info against me
…. so how can I trust anyone?
REALITY – LACK OF TRUST can CAUSE:
• Arguments with others, because of intruding on their privacy, what we think are their ‘suspicious’ activities, their lack of openness – often leading to retaliation from them
• Anxiety in us, especially when we don’t know where a loved-one is & we’re convinced they’re not being honest
• Deception by a partner or child who’s being controlled & boundary invaded. They may sneak around, either to do the bad things they’re accused of OR just to get some privacy & peace of mind
• Fear of reprisals, from ourselves for our accusations (guilt, shame, S-H), & AT them for not being what we want (trying not to punish them)
• Fear of risk, because we never got the mirroring, support & feedback to make scary changes, AND which we can’t receive in the present if we don’t trust anyone
• Low self-esteem in others, which we create by constantly always investigating them, questioning, following – since suspicion is the opposite of acceptance
• Miscommunication, or lack of communication, because we’re afraid to let others know what we really need, want or feel
MOVIE: “All This & Heaven Too”, 1940, staring Bette Davis. An excellent portrayal of a disturbed personality – the Count’s wife, played by Barbara O’Neil – a needy, narcissistic, desperately clingy & demanding shrew. She has a deep fear of abandonment, is constantly suspicious of her husband, & rejects her children because they interfere with having him all to herself. This drives the children away from her & the Count into the arms the loving nanny – the very thing that makes her even more distrustful & enraged – leading to tragedy.
NEXT: ACoAs – OVER-Trusting (#1)