When you have had a childhood, where danger was present, where you did not form the correct attachments with caregivers and grew during all the formative, core development years knowing you could not rely on, or trust your parents, it impacts your life in a profound way.
For me, this led to the search for a ‘father figure’ during my childhood and teens.
As a child, I remember clearly having ‘crushes’ on my male teachers, especially if they were the more caring type, idolising them in a way that was no doubt unhealthy.
During my teens, I grew into knowing that much of the stuff going on around me was not okay, but not being able to process, or understand why, but having that hyper vigilance so young due to abuse, led me to challenge my step father and know his behaviours were in-appropriate. Like talking to paedophiles that abused his children, discussing my teenage friends bodies in a sexual manner, talking about my body in terms of a sexual manner, walking in on me while getting undressed too often, discussing sex openly etc. And many more things, that made me feel unsafe. I felt unsafe since I was very young.
A girls relationship with her father role person, will ultimately have a great affect on a teenage girl, especially when the mother condones and enables damaging behaviour.
My poor relationship with my parents, their lack of empathy about abuse I had suffered, their blaming and scapegoating me for things they had failed themselves as parents to provide, like protection against paedophiles who clearly had bad motives/intentions, and my severe depression, led me to that search for someone – a father figure – to look after me and protect me.
That led me to to being groomed by a psychopath, who took complete advantage of my vulnerability and my parents lack of caring, to his advantage and further severe abuse, so damaging I have amnesia due to dissociation, and ultimately ended in his prison term.
After this, I continued a life of complete distrust of every person, but the deeper need of wanting to find those people who I could trust, who would care appropriately and when I felt this was something I had found in people, I put them on a pedestal – like a child – with disastrous results in getting hurt and feeling this hurt deeply.
Throughout my life I have seen other friends Mum’s and Dad’s and felt a desperate sadness that I haven’t had that type of relationship, someone to turn to with unconditional love and acceptance.
I am now in a situation I have never been in before, I have support – professional support – which is excellent and I trust them, but even this is bordering a ‘pedestal’ situation, as has been pointed out to me. I see these women as people who understand me, where no one else ever has, who want the best for me and don’t have any intentions other than to help me heal from my life/pain/suffering. They are also very professional and they are mature Christians as well who think more of the way I do than a lot I know, so a huge added bonus of being people I can ‘trust’.
Their actions have continually proven themselves to me, something I have learned to think about in terms of my trust issues. I talk about them a lot, because they have had a huge impact in my life. They believe me about stuff, they validate my opinions, they don’t judge me for how I feel, they understand why I do what I do and think how I do. And they believe in me to use my life to help others, where other people in my life don’t seem to support what I do here on this, which is more of a reflection on their hearts than mine.
These are all things that have been missing in my life – validation, support, belief in me, non judgement, helping me, wanting the best for me, being able to trust, as they don’t have an emotional connection to me the way friends or relatives would. So I know there are no ulterior motives, in a lifetime of people always having ulterior motives to want to get close to me.
The therapist/doctor relationship with a complex trauma survivor has to be one where a fair amount of trust builds, one that they know I need and their actions, particularly in helping me through recent stressful events – being there to back me fully, continues to build my trust and respect in them.
But, I do know that all human beings, including me, including them, everyone – we are all fallible, capable of letting someone down, capable of mistakes.
But, trust for me is earned and I trust my doctor and counselor in a way I need, but need to not put them on a pedestal and to know to trust God, as only He will never fail me.
But, in a world of ulterior motives, wrong intentions, emotional entanglement etc, I need ‘people’ who I can trust and I will continue to trust them.
They are there to help me and they do, but my hero is Jesus, no-one else.