“Everyone suffers at least one bad betrayal in their lifetime. It’s what unites us. The trick is not to let it destroy your trust in others when that happens. Don’t let them take that from you.” Sherrilyn Kenyon
When I see people that I have not seen for a long time they often ask me how my love life is. “It has been a long time now, you need someone in your life, surely you must need sex, why don’t you go online dating, have a bit of fun….” it is a long litany of bad advice that I generally tend to ignore..
They mean well. They do not realise how traumatic my experience was, because they do have any reference points in their own life. They think that in order to forget my ex, the best thing to do is to replace him with another man. They believe that a toxic relationship is like a hangover and the best method to help recovery is the hair of the dog.
I have never been a partisan of the hair of the dog method after a night on the tiles and I certainly do not want to apply it to my recovery. Narcissistic Abuse is not something that we recover from easily. It takes time and effort and it is something we have do to on our own without using the external crutches of another romantic or intimate relationship.
I have been burnt and now I am keeping away from the fire until am fully healed. I am afraid that starting a new relationship now, when I am still vulnerable, would lead me to make the same mistakes that I did when I first got with him. I failed to see the red flags of an abusive relationship. I was too trusting. I trusted him to have my best interest at heart. I trusted him to respect me. I trusted him to keep me safe. I trusted him with my life, my dreams and hopes.
Unfortunately, he took my trust, abused it, trampled on it and threw it to the dogs. Now, I am wary. I am hesitant. I do not want to put myself in a position of vulnerability again. I am not ready to trust. In fact, I am not sure if I will ever be able to trust again. I have become hypervigilant. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Waiting for the moment I will undoubtedly be betrayed and hurt. Waiting for the end before the beginning.
I do not want to become like him, though. He believed that everyone was a potential enemy. He believed that he could not get close to anyone because they would eventually abandon him. He believed that because everyone was out to get him, he would get them first. He trusted no one.
I am not ready to trust yet, but I have not banished trust from my life. One day I will have to jump in the deep end. As Ernest Hemingway once said: “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”