Distrusting ourselves can show up in many ways, from ignoring our intuition to imposter syndrome, from not believing our own lived experiences and memories to ignoring our triggers, from not having a clear sense of our own boundaries to being disconnected from our bodies and not trusting what they are telling us.
So, whatever each of us enters into the work of processing our trauma or healing, with whatever sense we use or whoever we look to for support, I believe learning to trust ourselves should be a fundamental aspect of the process.
We hear about “doing the work” a lot these days, and “doing the work, of trauma processing, of coming back into our bodies, of anti-oppression needs to include learning and relearning self-trust at its core. If has to if we are going to break the patterns and systems of trauma and oppression.
I know the return to self- trust can be a complex experience.
Many narratives in wellness tell us we can unlearn or process deep conditioning once and we will be healed. When in the reality of living with trauma, of having lived through decades of abuse of living in a oppressive culture living in a body that needs the support of systems that teach us to not trust ourselves is often that we must learn and relearn to trust ourselves over and over.
Their are so many still living with trauma and oppression, so the process of returning to self-trust is going to be complex.
It is one always going against the grain of our already learned conditioning and living cultures and systems that are not designed to support us in this process of trusting ourselves and this often doing things the complete opposite.
I know this is true because I have to live this way I chose because I don’t ever want to be who I was before.
I believe learning to trust ourselves is a practice we can return to again and again. Each time, hopefully with a deeper level of trusting in our knowing what worth, in our bodies, in our full selves.
I know while I do have many moments of defaulting back to my lifetime of conditioning and of allowing the voices of the culture that’s around me continually still live in to take hold, I do now, at my core believe I can trust myself.
Reaching this place of trusting myself of returning here, has not something I have done alone. Just like I did not learn to distrust and disbelieve myself alone. I did not return to trusting and believing in myself alone either.
Sometimes we need another trusted person or a group to mirror back to us the belief we want to find in ourselves. Sometimes we need others to remind us that they trust us that they trust us, and our capacity to trust ourselves before we can fully land in the space of trusting ourselves.
My moment was when I chose to go to church, I have to admit I made this choice to do this to get away from my husband for a few hours a week. Our married life was in such despair. I had to do something to try and get some alone time.
At church I made a few friends and one in particular that helped me know I was valuable and loved. And how to love myself hence I began the journey to trust myself again, but it took a long time coming.
I had to trust myself enough to realize I needed more help than I was getting. I changed doctors out of the town I was living. I needed trauma healing. While it took many years and some health issues along the way. I made it by telling the doctors everything I had bottled up inside me for so many years, all the pain, broken hearted ness, and my deepest thoughts I wasn’t ever going to tell anyone, I let it all out.
Once I chose to not want to live the way I was living. And letting everything out. And starting to pray and talking to Father God. Asking for forgiveness for everything. My life started to change for the better.
Yes, I had a lot of apologies to do to the people in my life and the other’s I had hurt badly who refused to speak to me. While most forgave me, their we a few who chose not to, but my conscience was finally clear and I had to work hard to regain some trust from people. But it was so worth it, I have become a new creation. As long as I follow my own path and not try to walk anyone else’s.
The first thing to have to do before you can change anything in your life is you want to have to change. Without that you will succeed in anything.