This is such an important issue for trauma survivors, and it is *so* difficult. We have trouble trusting even those we love most. When we do form trust, it’s precarious. It can be jilted so easily, and sometimes not at all by the person in question. Sometimes (usually, in my case) it’s our perception of a simple circumstance as indicative of a need to protect ourselves from further damage or to protect those we love from us. We often see ourselves as forces of destruction. It’s much easier to assume that all those bad things done to you were done because *you* are this evil person who doesn’t deserve to breathe. As odd as that probably sounds to people who did not grow up in trauma situations, taking the blame on yourself is easier than letting yourself believe those people you loved and trusted so much did things to you because of a fault in *them,* not something you did.
That initial person– the small child who has no knowledge of how things work Out There– can only base her perceptions on her world. The parents (or parental figures) she sees in her earliest existence form her thoughts on trust. Because she is so small and defenceless, this child must depend on her parents to survive. Even though she is still too young to conceptualise it, she places all of her trust on those parents. She assumes inherently that they will take care of her. When that trust is broken through trauma, the child’s concept of trust centres only on its ability to be broken. Every relationship thereafter is affected by this initial trauma.
More than anything else, this is the aspect of being a trauma survivor that bothers me most.