Is it possible to completely trust another person again? Can you learn to trust yourself and your decisions? How do you recognize what is true and real? How do you ensure that you do not become entangled and ensnared with a narcissistic abuser again without holding yourself in a small stuck place?
There may be a disconnection within that continues to persist, even after a substantial amount of time passes. Perhaps this dullness and detachment continue long after the divorce is final.
You may not notice its presence all the time. You continue to tend to the details of your life, continue with your responsibilities, go to work, care for children, and attempt to “fill the calendar”- and yet there may still be this lingering effect. Life feels shallow, unstable, unsteady and out of balance.
After trauma, you may notice that this disconnection from your true feelings and emotions impacts your ability to bring focus to your future, your decision-making, and your true identity. This, in turn, impacts your sense of trust.
There can be this intense desperation, clinging, and almost an underlying panic that is pervasive and impacts your motivation and decision-making. Perhaps you are afraid to take a clear look at your finances, you may procrastinate and avoid the tiny steps need to reach short-term goals because you are afraid to make a mistake, you doubt yourself.
You may tolerate and excuse unacceptable behavior from others because you fear
This can show up on a number of fronts.
You can start dating anyone and everyone. Desperately trying to fill a hole that still resides within. You can turn to substances. Drugs, alcohol, food, over-exercise, over work, or apathy, listlessness, and an on-going sound-track in our mind that plays and replays: I will never love again, I will be alone forever, Who will ever love me, I don’t care just give me another ___.
Or you start handing over your body – not with conscious choice -but with a driving need to feel “taken care of”.
We have been conditioned and layered over with such limiting beliefs about what we can and cannot do, after suffering from a long-term cycle of punishment, reward, control, and abuse, that we may look to someone else to fill this space for us. Many types of toxic, controlling people including narcissistic abusers can spot this in an instant.
You can build up your awareness and question your motivations with a clear discernment for what is true. Not looking for someone else who appears to have all the answers, who has no fear, and appears “perfect”.
Not searching for this dream or mystical knight who can rescue us from the feelings of worthlessness that may continue to haunt, but strengthening from within so you can begin to rediscover and re-remember who you are.
When you begin to strengthen your voice, the harsh controlling voice of the abuser will begin to diminish in your mind. You will begin to trust yourself again.
Ask yourself: Can I trust my instincts, my intuition, and my true, core self? Can I discern when someone tests the water, dips his toe in and begins the subtle attempts at control, watching for my reaction? Do I stand for myself when someone crosses my boundary lines? Understanding that I do not learn to set boundaries while dating.
Do I apologize for something I did not do and/or blame, shame, and/or chastise myself when I stand up for my own wants and needs? Do I beg for forgiveness, crumble, and cling desperately when I sense I am losing something? Do I make excuses when someone treats me poorly? Do I habitually push other people away?
A toxic abuser can run a couple of test runs with a new victim and soon enough they know that doubt, fear, and lack of boundaries is fertile ground for exerting control and quite frankly getting whatever they want without consequences.
In a quiet moment consider: Am I continuing with habits and patterns that are sabotaging my future? Do I need to begin setting boundaries with myself? Do I need to learn how to set clear boundaries with others? Do I know deeply what I want for my life moving forward? Am I bringing genuine care to the wholeness of who I am; body, mind, and spirit.
Am I holding myself in a state of anger, despair, and resentment that is keeping me contracted and miserable?
You may think it doesn’t matter. You may become apathetic to the path of your own life.
Without support, you may continue to look and try to fill the pieces and parts that you feel are missing or that you don’t feel strong enough to take on our own.
This is where you can take a step to regain your strength.
You can learn to tap into the power that lies within you. You can begin to recognize that the limiting voices that have stifled and dimmed your light are not true.
You can learn to closely listen for and to see clearly.
Remembering that setting any long-term goals and envisioning the micro-steps involved in reaching those goals is like setting a compass. This compass can be truly aligned with our integrity, our character, and
These long-term intentions for our lives can transform our path.
We can set this direction with a clear understanding bringing discernment to our actions.
Truly examining the underlying meaning behind our motivations and our choices. Holding space for all the feelings and the truth that is present. Everything. Knowing that when we know ourselves, know our motivations, and get clear, we can learn to trust ourselves and our decisions again.