Emotional trust

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Emotional trust
« on: August 10, 2018, 09:10:00 PM »
One of the big issues I am being forced to deal with now (and I do mean forced -- I hate dealing with emotions -- but it's affecting my sleep now) is emotionally trusting/connecting with others. Basically, trusting/believing on an emotional level that other people care about me.

I can trust people in other ways. I can trust them to be my friends, to generally treat me well, to listen, etc. I can open up and tell safe people about my childhood issues, for instance. But that's because I view it intellectually: I am sharing data about myself with people that are willing to receive that data in a good way. I can understand on an intellectual, abstract level that my close friends and family do love me.

But when it comes to putting my emotions on the line -- believing on an emotional level that someone truly cares about me -- I can't. Even thinking about it sets off lots of alarm bells and I end up in a rage or panic. My therapist has told me to work on calming my body down, figuring out what is tense and consciously telling it to relax, but this hasn't gotten me very far yet. I can relax, but as soon as I start to think about emotional trust I get panicked again.

I know it's because of my childhood with my borderline mother. My mother was, depending on her mood, smothering, verbally abusive and critical, dependent on me to comfort her, infantilizing me and wanting me to be dependent on her, etc. The only way I had to protect myself was to shut off my emotions and my emotional attachments to whatever extent I could. I even remember making a conscious decision as a young child to not be emotionally attached to any of my toys. My therapist has asked if I remember what my relationship with my mom was like before I did that, but I can't remember. I suspect I shut down as soon as I possibly could.

Has anyone else had a similar issue and made any progress with it?

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Deep Blue

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Re: Emotional trust
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 01:48:50 AM »
Hello Finding My Voice,
Iíve read your post quite a few times in the last couple days.  I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this.  I donít really trust that anyone will be there for me on an emotional level either.  Sorry no advice... just sitting with you in this

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woodsgnome

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Re: Emotional trust
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 03:53:56 AM »
I sometimes think I'm making progress with this. But then I find that thinking falls apart. There's an emotional undercurrent that never stops aching.

I try mantras like 'you are loved' and such, along with various ways to meditate/contemplate and while I find them soothing, in the end all I am left with is the bald fact that I wasn't wanted, and never ever heard the words 'you are loved' or 'we/I love you' from so-called caregivers. This no longer puzzles me, it just infuriates. I mean we're talking 20+ years of that, mixed in with other abusive behaviours too creepy to relay, but within my own mind they smash in regardless.

My only solution is to keep trying to find my own way. But know what? I'm so worn out with that and it seems so cheap, almost reinforcing their message of no one wants me, it's my own fault, etc. I've mountains of evidence of people I've touched in years since then, some rather deeply and some who did sincerely use the word 'love'. It seems nice but it always seems the memory gates swing back to block my emotional acceptance that there is such a thing as love that can be felt or is really a part of my destiny.

Which leaves me frustrated and with no solid advice and/or confidence that I could even  suggest any way out of this dilemma. Whatever one tries saying, it all comes off sounding like platitudes and lame efforts to console what's inconsolable. Earlier I mentioned that sometimes I feel like I'm 'progressing' but it's a long haul, and can never fully patch what happened...so I kind of give up and it's odd to say but giving up sort of resets the system. I guess it could also be called surrender. Sorry if that sounds defeatist, though; I just have a hard time finding adequate language. That's how this seems to work--it's all like trying to re-invent life, even if just to make it through another day.

Sorry if 
« Last Edit: August 14, 2018, 03:59:16 AM by woodsgnome »

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Wattlebird

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Re: Emotional trust
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 05:24:46 AM »
Yes very similar
I also had a borderline mother and have serious emotional and trust issues.
I have made a lot of progress but it needs to be very slow or I start dissociating again. if it's too overwhelming step back a bit and think of a smaller step to take that is easier to cope with. Little by little
Sorry I can't be more help,