Thursday, June 2, 2016

Trust Issues and Later No Contact Issues

 Please watch Narcissism Survivor's Trust series videos when you get a chance.

This series which Joan showed me, thank you Joan, is helping me a lot and he is dealing with some very deep issues, I am dealing with now.

This includes major trust issues, not being able to feel close or connected to new people, or trusting them. In my case having to walk from so many people it has been difficult outside of my husband, a few friends and online friends, I have been struggling myself with who I could trust. I had been burned so badly.  Narcissism Survivor has dealt with the same issues.

 His video on where we have a negativity reflex at the behest of narcissists reigns true in my life. I learned to hide happiness to protect it. When I smiled and laughed, punishment awaited with the sheer focus of making sure my happiness ended. Because of the circumstances of my life, hope got very hard for me to hold on to. I tend to look at the dark side of life a lot. I have not had an easy life would be an understatement.  I don't want any abusers anymore screaming at me to be positive and using that as a hammer but I am working on trying to find more happiness and positive things even in the midst of troubles. We all need balance. This may be a struggle for ACONS. I have my good days. I compartmentalize parts of life to keep the happy places but I know it's time for more integration, and it's time to be more relaxed and enjoy the freedom.

  Lucy and the football, we all have lived that one, where Lucy snatches away the football and that sums up our narcissists always destroying us, when we put trust in them. And yes it does affect our trust in other people. We learn not to be vulnerable. Trust is a very hard issue for me right now.

I have been betrayed in this last year more then any other year I ever remember in my life. When I was in contact with my abusers, I was "asleep and in denial", like Narcissism Survivor mentions in his negativity reflex video, I did not want to deal with things. After I woke up and figured out that not everyone thought like me, and cared about other people's feelings, it has been a very hard lesson to learn and live in with. While we have to learn to listen to our intuition on who not to trust, we have to be careful of the pitfall of closing ourselves out from all of humanity.

 In this third video posted at the top above, Narcissism Survivor is right we are still dealing with the fall out of the smear campaigns and the loneliness after the original no contact. It has wiped 40 people from my life, and I have realized the damage done to untold relationships. I spent time trying to fix some family relationships realizing those were lost before giving up on those this year. Our trust has been altered. "We don't trust because we don't want to be hurt".

I know this is a very hard issue I have been struggling with. He is right about the shame inside that makes you withdraw. Inside I too have that fear, always that I will be rejected and hated by new people like how my family hated and rejected me. I feel that shame too, where I think "Well if one's own family hated me, who will love or like me?"  I think all ACONS struggle with this to a degree. I also know in my case losing so many people to death and my last community left me emotionally devastated too.

He says "I don't want the people around me to look at me like those others I have been isolated". His feelings of isolation and embarrassment have carried over to the new people who have no contact with the narcissists, and I am dealing with that too. It certainly is NOT fair to them and is something that will create distance even with the good people. It can be a paralyzing fear.

I kept wondering recently why my own social confidence since going no contact has sunk like a rock to the point I have asked myself "what is wrong with me"? It is something which has troubled me. I told my husband this development worried and scared me.

These videos were a godsend in the way, as they have answered my questions. I told my husband I feel scared of people like I was whisked back to teenage years. Sure I'm an Aspie but I didn't use to be this afraid. Even yesterday I was at a social event [disability book club] and feeling socially on edge. He talks about not wanting to be set up for that fall again. I feel that so badly. For so many years, I took so much abuse, and had so many lies told about me too. We don't want to be hurt again. I know inside I am scared of being hurt too.

 This past year I have had so many betrayals, that it's never been like this before in my life. With the catfish, the spiritual abuser, the false friend of 30 years duration, life got scary for me. Then having the family all choose my mother's side to the extreme where there was no validation or notice into the extreme edges of the extended family, and realizing that I truly meant nothing to them was some very hard and disappointing stuff to take. I fell into that pit of trying to explain myself to people who were not interested and I had to face facts that there were really no relationships in places I imagined there to be and it hurt. Even strong effort on my part was not going to change these realities.

The smear campaign die had been cast and I had no control over what people thought and what side they choose. While we need to go no contact to save ourselves, there can be some price to it all. Perhaps ACONS who are newer at this need warned. It can be a very difficult process in the early years. No Contact for me was like picking at a scab and finding a giant infected wound from hell, beneath it. Now there has been healing but it has been so much harder then I ever have dreamed it would be. Three years in, I finally have unbound myself from the last of the enablers and monkeys who I have given up on and who made me feel just as horrible as the original narcissists I cut ties with.

 I have made decisions I never would have imagined three years ago. Things have kept changing even now. The me of even a few years ago is different. Discovering the huge wound underneath tied into me WAKING UP. A good past deceased friend of mine would talk about how I was sleeping my way through life, I didn't get angry at her but did not understand what she was talking about, now I do. I had repressed and denied what was happening to me to survive. It's like my eyes were opened and I looked around with myself with horror but finally knew the truth and dealt with. It has not been without some pain.

 With new people, these trust issues need confronted. He is right that somehow we have to get over that. Not everyone is going to harm us. We will miss out on good people. They have nothing to do with the narcissists. He says "We gotta to start trusting, we have to figure out a way to put ourselves out there." I know in my head, I am having to think things like "Not everyone is like your narcissistic family!" I am glad he talks about the feelings of being frightened on ever having to deal with people who think so badly of us, and not being able to deal with it again.

 I wonder if no contact since it is an eye opener can bring up some more social anxiety issues in the first few years? Please tell me what you think. Did you deal with trust issues too? Your eyes are open and facing reality and reality can be a hard thing to face. Trust issues are bound to crop up, where you ask yourself now "Who can I trust?" as you understand what you have faced and learn to protect yourself and understand you don't accept abuse anymore. You cleaned your life of abusers and now you want to make sure there are no new abusers. You want people you can trust and be vulnerable with who won't hurt you.


  1. I could probably write a whole series on trust. I've never been very good at it. On a site for relationships I frequent it is taught that in dating it is imperative, will weed out the bad guys quicker. For trust is a value you give, sort of like money, and what you get back can only come from a good stable person. And that no one is completely and thoroughly 100% trustworthy anyway, and we tend to try to find someone who will never fail us, but we are talking about humans here, they are fallible. So it gets complicated, this trust thing, its hard to understand.

    I am afraid of trust for it will mean my guard will be down. In the meantime, I can enjoy my alone time, its never boring, but I do get lonely. Trust is imperative in relationships, and I have never trusted who I am with. My last ex-husband I had been closer to, and have conversations with, I know it was because he was charismatic, but this one is hard. He is not like me, he knows he is not trusted by me, he has said so, so many times and I didn't know what he meant. I'm learning now. I want to learn to do this, to find a way to get it. When people feel that they are not trusted, how do they act? What do they do?

    Oh, and when he talked about the part where we feel like we are bad for our Nparents said so, I feel this one very strongly. My mother told me that I was so horrible, that is why she had to own me, and be me basically. This I find completely unbearable, to unlock the safety I had worked so hard to create for myself, and let some joker in. But this is key in having good relationships, not superficial ones. But where to start, that is the hard part too.

    How I saw myself, mother told me, and there was no disputing that. How do I even know if I'm a likeable person? I have yet to completely get to the real authentic me. Its scary to breach some areas that feel closed down.

    But I know what you mean about not being positive all the time, but to find balance. What I found quite helpful is to take it one step at a time. We need happiness but we need pain too, and to realize that it all gives us a balanced life. I know that's tough and words are easy, but just a little at a time, and being comfy in that.

    So where does trust go? I am glad for the timing of this posting, at a time I surely needed it the most. I've been wondering what to do in my life, and this along with my relationship teachings will allow me to sort this thing out.

    Thank you Peep.

    1. Hi JOan, if you do write on trust I would like to read it too. Yes no humans are perfect and everyone will let us down but I guess this is the huge breaches of trust and the people you definitely cannot trust. It does get complicated. The dating world is one of the most risky ones for trust or developing it too.

      Yes I have that feeling of fear for trust because letting my guard down has gotten me in trouble. With a few people we have let our guard down and been okay and trust has been developed but letting one's guard down in bad relationships either ends it, or you are open to abuse. LOL it's true when alone these are non issues but humans being social animals that one is tough. I wish it was easier.

      Lack of trust in a relationship can form a barrier. He needs to do actions that will have you feel safer on his end. Trust can be a risk. I would allow small steps of trust with him see if it brings out better from him. People don't like it when they are not trusted. I know that much. There is usually distance in the relationships. Well some of us have been on the receiving end of that via smear campaigns and what not too.

      Yeah its scary to let people in. I got big time burned doing it, this year. Maybe this year was worse then others who knows. Yes our narc parents make us feel unacceptable, and scared and nervous around people. I had this thought why am I always worried that people won't like me or that they will hurt me? Surely it has the roots in the never comfortable arena of my upbringing and even how I felt as an adult around those toxic people watching my back all the time.

      I used to watch people who got along, they seemed relaxed not locked up inside. This doesn't mean they showed everything or poured their guts out but they weren't nervous, and felt accepted and like they belonged. I think that is a feeling every ACON longs for.

      Yeah with the positive thing have to take one step at a time. I know some of the negativity I have was rooted in false expectations laid on me and what I was told life would be like. That is probably an American problem in general where they tell people the job, family and white picket fence life will be yours. Whose prepared for rare disease at a young age or divorce or sociopaths or other troubles. I also worry fun has gone out of fashion too making people more negative in general, even though we are told to be positive. Where life has become all about drudge. Forget that.

      Yeah with trust, the other people have to earn your trust and it's supposed to go step by step. I worry about issues of closeness with others. Some warned me as an Aspie, that true closeness comes rare, so do not think I am weird to have only a few close friends. But we have to give people the chance to earn our trust too. I trust my husband and others but these relationships are so long in the tooth. I wonder if the social disconnection of society and all the moving and break up of ties, has affected over all trust? It is interesting to think about.

      One main reason I'm gone from my family and narcs is I don't trust them anymore and they broke my trust too many times to count.

    2. We have to be ready to pick up the pieces for our own selves if necessary if all falls apart. This is difficult if your formative years only taught you that you are crap and that is why you got dumped on.

      Part of life is taking chances but having support and love inside our own selves. Yes, I think I'll be writing soon, about this, and I was, I actually got a lot written down, need to hire an editor, lol, jk. Dealing with my own personal issues, and the trust thing is part of my problem. There is no value to us if we don't trust, that's the thing. No one wants to be distrusted, it makes them feel bad about themselves, and won't go the extra mile for us either. And why would they? They feel like we are intangible, and only see us as being untrustworthy ourselves. And we never get to really suss them out for who they are, we just get caught up in this, and we actually burn ourselves out, only the narcs need apply, if you know what I mean, it only attracts the freaks, for they alone don't mind crapping on you anyway, they can cross the boundaries, it doesn't matter. They know how to be that horrible and destructive, and normal people don't understand lack of trust from us, it comes across as being aloof.

      To be relaxed and not locked up inside, we have to be prepared to take the loss, and be prepared to walk away, if need be. And be ok with all that, its part of living. We can find out who is trustworthy and who is not, by adding the value of trust and see where it goes, if it goes. We wonder what the water tastes like, and for that we need to taste it, and for ACON's its all been poisoned water, I think, its hard.

    3. I agree. We have to pick up the pieces the best we can. This does include learning to love and support ourselves. I hope you do write about this soon Joan, will look forward to it. Yes trust is hard for me. I want to get closer to people but it is not easy, even then being Aspie I have to run through many social rules in my head. One error I made was opening up too soon to some as well like the catfish. If we don't trust then we don't get close to anyone. Even for a marriage to survive, there has to be trust, and building up of it. I have trust in that relationship but it's seems a difficult issue elsewhere. I remember even when people make promises to me like "I will pick you up" I always get scared they won't do it, and there was once even with a good friend, where he took car to park in a big city we were visiting in, and I had weird thought, what if he left us here? I don't even have money to get home if I hitchhike. It was a fleeting thought I shoved aside as this friend never has done anything to hurt our trust, but I knew what that was rooted in. The treatment of the parents where I never could count on them or trust them. Yes people who don't trust are seen as aloof and intangigle, very few want to cross the moat and climb the wall though some of the predators definitely try. So yeah it attracts the freaks. I have asked myself what would attract the nice people? Being more calm, and not so wary for one. I think the predators can sniff out the wary and the nervous and they go in for the hunt. Yeah they don't mind crapping on us.

      I get tired of the "locked up feeling" inside, like I can't talk to anyone about anything. But then this puts one in danger because if a predator comes by and they are so eager to listen, you can pour forth and ruin your own boundaries and they are there to collect information against you or hurt you. I have realized now even if someone shares with you, that does not make things safe like with the catfish. Some will lie to get you to open up.

      I agree we need to find out who is trustworthy and be a trustworthy person ourselves. We do need to know what water tastes like not the poisoned kind, that is a good analogy. One can be oneself with trustworthy people too.

  2. It seems like since my parents had no shame. It was up to me and my sister to be their conscience. We were talking about being kids and how their legendary fights would spill out the door and into the yard and me and her were the ones that felt embarrassment and shame for it. They sure never felt any shame for their actions so it was heaped onto us. This wasn't quite his point but we just got it heaped on us by default. It was after my fathers death that we became fodder for my mothers smear campaign. And that's when she began using our friends and spouses for her triangulation. But by then we had been cast in our role as her doormat. So it seemed natural to let her roll over us uncontested.

    1. I agree your parents had no shame. When kids are made to be the conscience of parents it is not a good thing. Like me as a kid saying to my mother, "Why can't you be nicer?" or to my father, "Stop throwing hammers and pliers at us, you may put one of us in the hospital". It's like we were not only sin-eaters--thinking of one creepy book I once checked out from the library years ago, but shame-eaters as well, infusing all the shame they lacked, so yes I agree it was heaped upon us big time. Everyone got touched by my mother's smear campaign and triangulations. So you went through the same thing. I was made a doormat to the whole lot, like I did not deserve anything and simply did not matter. When they get so many on their team, it is like a brainwashing, they watch our ill treatment and it's business as usual. I remember the others would get mad at me even during the times I stood up for myself.

    2. Trust is dead with all flying monkeys. In the recent relationships I ended, I asked myself "Do I trust these people?" With the closed down cousins, it is obvious they did not trust me but on my side my trust was gone too, with others, it was broken and gone as well.

  3. In the first few years post NC there is a lot of "pruning" in my experience as well-and it's mutual: Other family members may believe the abuser(s), we may realize we've accepted the unacceptable from others as well as from the family members we NC'd etc. It's a period of reorganization that leaves no area of our lives untouched because there is no area the CBs left untouched.

    Once you open the door to self-awareness it's impossible to just slam it shut because what's "in there" looks too big, too scary, too hard etc. We can't "unknow" what we have learned through the process of NC. I don't think it's so much we "attract" CBs because in general, they audition all kinds of people so sheer numbers alone are on their side in terms of finding and exploiting people who will tolerate their intolerable behavior. And we do tolerate a whole lot more BS than the average person and we know why. So it makes sense initially post NC we're gonna review all our relationships with a very different lens of awareness. We pretty passively accept about anyone who wanders into our life and ignore huge waving CB indicators and transparent Shit Tests because we don't trust ourselves and our own perceptions. There's process of grooming that ensues before a CB is assured we'll continue to serve them and their needs without attendant reciprocity on their part.

    Sometimes, we're just too nice and too polite for our own good, frankly. The first time someone pulls some really hinkey behavior, either call them on it and see how they respond or walk away and don't look back. These aren't "misunderstandings," they're indicators of what's to come.

    A CB will groom, send up Trial Balloons and a Target will swoon-instead of listening to themselves and taking protective actions in response. It's your vulnerabilities a CB exploits, not your strengths. Being mindful of who we allow to share our lives instead of accepting who ever wanders by spares a lot of grief down the road.

    I view this period of pruning as necessary to allow sunlight and fresh air to permeate our lives: "You can't step in the same river twice." So take each step with thought instead of by chance and circumstance. There will always be people who aren't trustworthy-but that doesn't mean no one is. If you don't trust your own perceptions how is it possible to trust anyone at all? Sometimes I think we allow people in our lives as a self-fulfilling mechanism to confirm what we believe about ourselves. They never let you down, do they? ;-) They're familiar and don't challenge us to grow. And some people are simply terrified of being alone and will volunteer/settle for any kind of crappy relationship while concurrently playing the Victim Role yet again. It's not healthy or productive but it's what we know so it's "safer."

    1. Thank you TW for telling me there is a lot of "pruning" in the first few years NC. Yes that is definitely the process happening here. Even pruning the extended family who still treated me in the way the malignant narcissists guided them too was too much and it was time to walk. It's hard because my family believed my abusers and even for the very few I attempted conversation with it was futile.

      YES I accepted the unacceptable for so long. I used to think "Don't be hard on people" or "People have their faults" and would put up with a lot. Even some of the friendships I ended, it's like they wanted me on one hand but on another saw me as a "bother". The one friendship I ended the month I went NC, I knew she only called when she needed advice, she took no other note of me.

      Yes we have opened a door. I had to face what was happening to me on multiple levels. I was taking treatment the Ns had trained me take even in friendships. Even with one friendship I ended I asked why am I taking constant criticism and judgment from this person whose own life is far from perfect order and has far less medical and other issues then I do? There was a lot of getting honest with myself. In many relationships, including the 30 year old friendship I ended from college, I had thought for YEARS, "She treats me the same way my family does" as expendable. So yes it's true once ones eyes OPEN and SEE, you can't UNKNOW it. I even got smarter in other areas, where I realized how I am "seen" and "treated" The narcs did us a huge disservice teaching us not to trust our own perceptions but once we are able to get away and start doing so, it can change a whole world view.

      I agree with many of the NS they go through a huge number of people. So we may be just standing there in the way. I think those who are self aware and trusting their own perception know to get away quicker. That occurred to me about some of my relationships. Others weren't so patient and had removed themselves from the scene far earlier then me.

      I agree about the grooming part. One person I believed even took on a hobby they knew that I love crafts and it was interesting to me the day they were ripping me down, they told me they hated this hobby and it sucked. I thought later, was the hobby a fake act to get me in their good graces? It makes one wonder. But now if someone is playing games, I am not going to be so nice, and stick around because I had so many moments of that, INTUTION where I got burned so many times where I thought, "They are putting you down passively aggressively" or "Something doesn't add up here" or "Why is everyone else by their reckoning a failure and a loser"? I have formed new red flags to warn me of CBs. One of course is Don't ignore your own intuition or perception! If you feel bad around them there is usually a reason.

      We have to be careful of our own self fulfilling mechanisms that's true. We may stick with what is safe and "KNOWN" and it takes work and effort to break out of that.

      I agree fear of loneliness keeps many many people in bad and toxic relationships. I know its been a danger for me. So yeah one can end up in the Victim role and end up ALONE anyhow because they got a CB in their life they have to run away from. I actually got asked by one person regarding my NC and cutting so many people off, "Are you afraid of being alone?" and "You are going to end up alone!" [she knew things were stable with my husband] I said, "I am already alone when it comes to these relationships!".

      I know I had to rethink a lot of relationships and even my role as a friend. I ask myself "What kind of people do you like? Who do you want in your life. I know some really sweet and kind people to me that is a value. We need to even examine our values in our social world and make our path there too.

  4. Good comment TW. I just heard a line that might apply. “No one forgets the truth; they just get better at lying.” I hope this is true

    1. Yes very good comment TW.

      I tend to think people know the truth but just choose to ignore it.

  5. “Once you give up your integrity, the rest is a piece of cake.”
    That was J R Ewing.

  6. Exactly, its the self-trust that must always come first. And even Maya Angelou said that part, that she would never trust someone who doesn't trust themselves.

    A very horrible time for me was the time just right after NC from mother, for she went NC from me, she was punishing me. I spent 2 years trying to work my way to a fake apology for mother. I sat for 2 years feeling so guilty about it, but when I read online about narcissism, it was my ticket out. I never felt guilty about it again. Even after mother died, there is a satisfaction of knowing I really did not add to her abuse of me, so I don't feel guilty, I actually did the right thing. So I have complete trust in that. It was my first decision on my own, and it was the best decision.

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