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Can I ask what may seem like a silly question? How have you

Can I ask what may seem like a silly question? How have you all moved on from betrayal? How have you started living your lives having faith in others? I have been cheated on before in relationships... But it wasn't to this caliber obviously. I am finding that I am now just.. Distrustful of everything. I won't call someone out on it... But I won't invest in anyone either. Baby steps? I just don't know how to do it.

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NowImNarcFree's picture
[26570]
Apr 17

It's something I'm still working on, but... I think trust is earned with time, when you can see their actions and how they respond to you and interact with you. I start to trust when I see someone respects my boundaries, doesn't push them or try to manipulate me. I think you have to have some trust and ability to be vulnerable, to open up, in order to be close to someone whether it's a friend, family, or romantic relationship.
The other thing that helps me is knowing how much I've learned from my abusive situation. Especially about spotting red flags. They were there the whole time, and I did notice them at the time but I didn't know what they meant. Now I spot red flags early. If there's something that makes me feel bad or violated or uncomfortable somehow... I make a note of it. Even if I don't understand it then, I remember it and reflect on it. So I'm not trusting too early.

The other thing is that I don't think trusting someone means you give up on your boundaries. We have to realize that we can never control other people's actions. So someone we trust could cheat on us or do some uncharacteristic behavior... And then we revoke that trust. I think I'm getting to a place where if that happens, it's terrible for that relationship-- but it's not going to harm me at my core. What harmed me at my core with my abuser was that in spite of repeated abuse and betrayals....I kept hanging on to that relationship. Now I feel good enough about myself that I can let go when I need to, because my own well being is the priority. So I think, "no matter what anyone in my life does, I can handle it." But I will let go of those relationships when I need to.

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NowImNarcFree's picture
[26570]
Apr 17

Oh I think one other thing that helps me is thinking of how I would treat someone. I'm not perfect, but I know that I'm capable of empathy and support and treating someone with kindness. I know that I don't abuse anyone or try to hurt them to make myself feel good, and that I don't want to manipulate anyone. And that if I'm called out on something that bothers someone else, I'll do my best to reflect on it and change it. So I expect that treatment from others. And I think there are other people out there who have that same level of decency and kindness in them. However, we also know that many, many people do NOT have that and are actively harmful. So it's learning to tell the difference and using evidence--actions--to help us know.

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[10890]
Apr 17

@NowImNarcFree True. I am the same way. I reflect on it. But not to the degrading level that I did with my narc.

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