One of the first things we learned from the abuse that we were part of, was that you can’t trust anyone. In particular, you couldn’t trust the little girl that went stumbling through life in a dissociative daze. She was unable to see the potential harm that would result from following the instructions given to her (part of her conditioning was to obey without question). As a result, we experience a total lack of trust of anything and anyone. With this in mind…
How do you learn to trust someone else to help you heal, when you don’t trust your own judgement?
Our conditioning has meant that we find it incredibly difficult to question authority of any kind. We perceive the therapist as an authority figure. They may have toys in their office, have an open body language and tone; but we still see them as authority. This is because they have qualifications (they are meant to be the expert at this healing thing), we pay for the appointment (paying for a service from a professional) and we go to their office (on their turf or comfort area). So the power dynamics are off from the start. As a further complication, the mother is a nurse. This fact means that we live in fear of the medical field, but yet are totally sucked into obeying it without question – I hate being a product of my environment!
Looking at the decisions we have made over the years, it’s obvious that we still haven’t learned to trust our instinct about people. A prime example is the ex-husband, Management tried to end the relationship very early on, but wasn’t able to communicate the reasons why he shouldn’t be trusted, so we ended up marrying him with disastrous results. In regard to therapists, the decision-making is even more warped. We don’t know how to begin to trust them and the power dynamics make it almost impossible. We’ll sometimes get clues that the relationship isn’t working as it should, but sometimes we look at these as us creating blocks. It can be very hard to differentiate between the two – are we avoiding going to therapy because we don’t trust Liz, or because we don’t want to do the work? It feels like we’re walking a tightrope. Needing to trust yourself and your own judgement, but knowing from past experience that this judgement is flawed.