ACoAs: Lack of TRUST (Part 1)

con man
for sure NOT my family!

 Early Trust Betrayal

REVIEW post: ‘Parents Blaming us


LIFE STAGES Erik Erikson, a German psychoanalyst heavily influenced by Freud, developed a psycho-social theory of personality development, which included the impact of external factors (parents & society) ON our:
• ego identity (the self)
• personal identity (what distinguishes one person from another)
• social/cultural identity (social roles we might play)

Erikson’s theory says every person must pass through a series of inter-related stages over the entire life cycle —>   AGES:
1. Infant   (Hope) – Basic Trust vs. Mistrust 
Birth to 18 mths
2. Toddler  (Will)    – Autonomy vs. Shame
18 mths to 3 yrs (MORE….)

IN Infancy (Stage 1) the main emphasis is on parental ability to nurture & care for the child, especially using visual contact & touch, so that :
• in a safe environment the child will develop confidence, optimism, security & trust
• in an unsafe home, they’ll develop insecurity, worthlessness & general mistrust of the world

In an episode of LIE TO ME, (TV series, Fall 2010), Dr. Lightman says:
“The way to make a disturbed personality is: Constant Criticism & Lack of Affection – it works every time” !

DEF. of Legitimate Trust
• be able to rely on our own observations, judgement & intuition
• when exposing vulnerabilities to someone, assume they won’t take advantage of or abuse our openness, but know we can’t control their reactions
• have confidence placed in us by someone else, & accepting the obligation that entails
• identify how someone is going to act (predictably good or bad) & gauge our probable losses & gains. It’s based on what we already know about them, using their past performance as a guide
• have a firm belief in the integrity, ability or character of a person or thing, from our own experience, or based on accepting the opinion of a highly reliable source
• Hope: to be able to rely on something or someone in the future / to expect a specific outcome with assurance

• The Healthy Adult ego state knows no one can be perfectly dependable, & that the wish for it isn’t possible – so we wouldn’t expect it.
Secretly demanding others to be absolutely 100% ‘safe’ (before we can trust) is UNrealistic,  which makes us vulnerable to always getting disappointed, leaving us in the same old place – convinced that ‘no one’ is trustworthy

• There are legitimate reasons to not trust certain kinds of people – especially the not-so-obvious narcissists! – which we definitely need to acknowledge, & then stay away from.
Past experiences with them should not be ignored, especially as we become sure of our ‘evidence’.

EXERCISE : Keep a log for a month (or as long as needed) of each time you feel unsafe with someone, & see what patterns show up. Then take a small, definite action to change the situation or your part in the relationship

ACoAs often say : ‘I can’t trust anyone’ –  the focus being on people outside of ourself. This is B & W thinking & not totally accurate. Although it[s true that our parents were not safe, most of us do have/ or have had a few people throughout our life who have proven themselves trustworthy (even if not perfectly!).
❇️ Instead – trusting needs to be focused internally – on our own intelligence.

MAIN reasons we say this ⬆️ – is that unhealed ACoAs :
a. haven’t learned to trust our own observations, experience, & intuition!
b. keep picking & staying with toxic people, & keep getting burned. Strange that we’re surprised each time!
c. want / expect / demand the assurance that whatever or whoever we put our trust in will never ever let us down, disappoint, abandon or hurt us!

This demand is:
• B & W ‘all or nothing’ thinking (a CD) – typical of children & thdemanginge emotional immature
• the position of the WIC, who wants everyone to be the good parent we never had, so we don’t have to grow up & take care of ourselves
• an expression of co-dependence – being focused on others, outside of ourselves, instead of internally listening to what we know to be true

NEXT: ACoA Lack of Trust (Part 2)

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