I HAVE TO PROTECT MYSELF AT ALL COSTS
– even if it keeps me from being loved!I
PREVIOUS: UNDER-Trusting (Part 3)
It’s very important to remember: we are not to blame for being deeply mistrustful of everyone.
At the same time we need to be clear about how we perpetuate the patterns set down for us by our trauma (see CDs: INFO & the Brain) so we can stop beating ourselves up, feeling ashamed, & limiting our options. Instead we can try out new internal beliefs & external actions
• We have experienced many, many betrayals by the important people in our lives – whether by family, friends, spouse, school, church or government. Some or all of these betrayals are so extreme that we may never be able to forgive, regardless of what the ‘gurus’ tell us. This is not to deny the benefits of forgiveness – just that if we are not able to do it (yet) but believe we should, ‘or else’, we unfairly add to our self-hate & sense of failure.
PATTERNS* of Mistrust
* All of these are being generated by the WIC in an attempt to protect ourselves from further harm, but are totally unsuccessful, since they prevent us from getting the closeness & love we so desperately need – AND have a right to. And all are forms of control – based on trying to stave off more PMES abandonment.
We clearly got the message that who & what we were as a child was unacceptable to our parents. So as adults, when interacting with others, we try to ‘improve’ our personality by twisting ourselves unnaturally into something we think this present-day person or group is going to want – the WIC dressed up
• We spend a lot of time trying to figure out “how I should feel”, “what I should wear”, “what I’m going to say”…… & never get it quite right, because it’s artificial. Of course, if we are being run by our WIC, we don’t know who we are or how to relate from a place of empowerment, so it is very hard to be healthy and safe at the same time
Some of us decide at the beginning of a relationship (potential friend or lover) what kind it’s going to be, without having enough information about the other person or giving it enough time to develop organically. We may think:
• “This is just going to be a friendship” • “This one is just for sex”
• “This one isn’t going to last” • “This is just casual”
• “This is permanent” • “This is the one I can’t live without” • “This one I’ll hate forever”……
Again, this is trying to control the outcome and be prepared for the inevitable abandonment we expect. Preconceived notions may –
• actually create a self-fulfilling prophecy of loss because we prevented it from growing into something positive
• shock us with unexpected results, if we have illusions about it
• severely disappoint all unrealistic expectations
• occasionally surprise us by turning into something better than hoped for
Because we were so often hurt as a child, we conclude that for the rest of our lives everyone* will inevitably do us harm, sooner or later. So we assume the worst of everyone we meet, men & women, altho’ some of us may be more afraid of one gender than another, depending on which parent was more consistently damaging or crueler.
• We actually scan our environment for the potential danger we’re sure is there & – of course – we find it.
• We ALSO ignore all the neutral or positive people & things around us, so we can maintain our ‘story’: “The whole world is dangerous”, in order to validate our childhood trauma
* This is our reaction even with people who have proven to consistently treat us well, making it hard to benefit from anyone who can be there for us – in healthy ways
NEXT: Patterns of Mistrust (Part 2)