The truth about trusting someone else is that the only certainty is that there is no certainty.
Because there is always an element of faith in the trust we give people, after a betrayal all one can do is analyse the situation and do an appraisal of what you think might be the likely behaviour in the future.
Some things are not meant to be fixed though, so when there is physical, emotional, financial abuse, the best option is most probably to walk away.
It is damn near impossible to trust a person when you do not trust yourself. The fear we feel when it comes to trusting again is that we won’t be okay if they repeat that same behaviour again. We are afraid of the emotional devastation that could possibly cripple us, humiliate us and that they will just go ahead and mess us up again. The emotional toll it can take on us is huge, hey.
It can mess up our self-esteem and everything. The fear of the limited information we have at hand, can be overwhelming and we make it worse by making up scenarios in our heads about what is or what is not.
If we’ve decided to forgive, this is the part where the hard work will come in because then we need to assure ourselves that we will be ok without the other person, and not focus on why we wouldn’t be okay with either outcome.
We always come across this drivel about self-forgiveness and the question is like … What am I forgiving myself for here, actually? I’m not the one that messed up and lied and made it necessary for all this work to be done now that I now have to get back to the emotional place of trusting this person, I mean …?
The truth though is that you can only start rebuilding trust when you have dealt with your own emotional well-being. And the only way to do that is to make peace with the situation… Urgh, like why would I want to make peace with the fact that somebody deliberately deceived me, right? We struggle with forgiving people because we don’t want to let the perpetrator off the hook for carrying on nonsense that easily, right?
What is important to note though is that forgiveness is not about the other person at all, but about our own emotional and psychological freedom. You need to take the focus off of the event that is taking place and rather focus on what the other person’s perspective might be. This is no easy feat, I know; but it serves the purpose of removing you from the very real hurt and frustration you are feeling and trying to be understanding and make the situation less personal (if that makes any sense at all).
Seeing that person as a whole person with sides and shades and flaws just like you can also make it easier to forgive (if that is the route you’ve chosen).
In those moments when you are raging about the situation (cause that will happen), try to remember about the better qualities you know the person has and acknowledge that we all make mistakes and have imperfections.
Seriously though, forgive yourself. We have this obsessive tendency when we are hurt and we are trying to understand the situation, that we try and manufacture a reason and an explanation for everything, no matter how unreasonable it sometimes is.
We go as far as blaming ourselves; was I not trustworthy enough; did I give the impression that I am judgmental; am I just not good enough? If I wasn’t the worst kind of foolish this would’ve never happened to me.
We beat ourselves up in the process of trying to pinpoint what flaw there was in the relationship so that we can fix it and so it doesn’t happen another time.
When you are forgiving yourself it means acknowledging that even with your imperfections, you are valuable, worthy of love and respect and you deserve to be treated right.
The other person’s behaviour is not a reflection of you but of them; their insecurities, their choices; their dishonesty.
Forgive yourself for beating yourself up and for allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by a situation that you did not cause and had no way of determining.
Get out of bed, have some tea (or coffee, if that’s your thing), open the windows and start making your favourite meal.
Think long and hard about whether or not there is anything worth salvaging in your situation and should you decide that it is worth it, put in the work.
They say that it is easy to break trust and a challenge to sustain it, but once it is broken, it is damn near impossible to regain.
So be sure your effort will be worth the trouble, and that the one that broke your trust does not take it for granted.