WHO CAN I DEPEND ON?
for sure NOT my family!
Early Trust Betrayal
REVIEW post: ‘Parents Blaming us’
1. DEF. of Legitimate Trust
• being able to rely on our own observations, judgement & intuition
• when exposing vulnerabilities to someone, assuming they won’t take advantage of or abuse our openness, but knowing we can’t control their reactions
• having 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
• having 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
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:
• in a safe environment the child will develop optimism, trust, confidence & security
• in an unsafe home, the’ll develop insecurity, worthlessness & general mistrust of the world
ACoAs often say : ‘I can’t trust anyone’ – the focus being on ‘anyone’ ie. everyone. This is not totally accurate, because although 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!)
MAIN reasons we say this is that unhealed ACoAs :
a. haven’t learned to trust our own observations, experience, intelligence & 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 whomever 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 & the 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
• 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’ is UNrealistic (before we can trust), which makes us vulnerable to always getting disappointed, leaving us in the same old place – convinced that ‘people’ are not trustworthy
• There are legitimate reasons to not trust certain kinds of people – especially the not-so-obvious one! – 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’.
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 action to change the situation or relationship
NEXT: Lack of Trust (Part 2)