Where is the balance between trusting too much and not at all?

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
For me, I am learning to trust myself more to handle the outcomes. I am taking more risk in authenticity as well as vulnerability in many areas of communication as well as socializing. Instead of double guessing or being too judgmental on myself or on the response by others, I now try to lean into a middle ground by taking incremental steps within sharing what seems appropriate in that microcosm or moment.

This attitude has seemed to take the weight off or calmed my prepackaged intensity of being afraid of erring on the side caution while missing an opportunity to grow within my new normal. Learning to sit in my discomfort of change is a work of progress, still. However, most of what I attempt to share has been already integrated beforehand in some manner. What I have noticed also, less of a blaming stance for communication break down and more of a …” Oh h3ll that didn’t fair so well🙄.” approach. So I try another method or time position stance or perhaps accept it is what it is with that particular dynamic. I mean after all… I am on the mental health spectrum.

Great thread!
 

Friday

Moderator
Is it simply a matter of self-love or something deeper?
For me? Nope. Neither. It’s a matter of making decisions.

I’m not always willing/able to make decisions. And the black and white // all or nothing extreme of trust everyone -or- trust no one, requires no decision making. I don’t have to use my judgment, at all. Coming to know the content of someone’s character? Hell, I don’t even bother sketching their character! Making real connections with people based on who they are, rather than just interacting with a faceless personality-free mass of vaguely human-shaped blobs, all the same, all equally trustworthy? Done. Having the courage of my convictions? Again, pfft. I don’t have to know myself. I don’t have to know them. I don’t have to have any self confidence, or make decisions, or adapt to changing circumstance. I “get” to be laaaaaaazy. No thinking. No decisions. No judgment calls.

^^^ A big part of why I tend to isolate when I’m too stressed. The ability to make decisions and follow through and adapt as needed/wanted? Isnt somehing I always have... but it’s something I have learned to always want/insist upon... when I’m dealing with people.

The thing I hate most about PTSD, hands down, is losing the ability to trust my own judgment. Because there IS NO judgement when I get stressed enough. Much less good judgment.


It just suddenly dawned on me that it is who I am trusting that is the problem. I am trusting other people over my own intuition because of the conditioning that trauma placed on me. So I have been asking the wrong question. I need to ask this instead., How do I learn to trust my intuition more?

Oh thank you Universe, the answer just came to me. Practice, practice, practice.
Yep. That.
 

scout86

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not sure I'm going to be able to clearly explain this thought, but here goes.

One of the things I've learned about "trust" is that I've tended to look at it as an all or none proposition and that probably isn't accurate. People might not just sort into two clear groups "trustworthy/ not trustworthy". There might be gradations in between and the cost of making a mistake varies too.

For example, I've got a good friend who I can, and have, trust with my life. But you can't trust him not to cheat on his wife. (She knows that.) That's just the way he is. (There's reasons, but that's a different story completely.) I've got another friend who I could count on to drive through a blizzard to take my sick dog to the vet if need be, but she can't be "trusted" to remember she promised to give you a ride to town a week from Tues. Why? Because that's not the way her brain works. She doesn't mean anything by it, she just has a huge problem remembering stuff like that. Does it mean I can't trust her? No, it means I can't trust her for some things and I had to get to know her well enough to know that.

Related to that, and something I've come to believe from working with my T, I need to ask myself, quite literally, "What is the consequence of being wrong about trusting this person in this case?" My brain tends to think that all mistakes are created equal and they're NOT. Trusting someone not to laugh at me and being wrong hurts, but not nearly as much as trusting someone to hold a horse in a way that keeps me from getting kicked and being wrong about THAT. A lot of the time it turns out that trusting someone and finding them to be untrustworthy really has no consequences at all. It's just information. "George isn't trustworthy, at least not in this situation." A lot of this stuff, I try to look at it as an experiment, nothing more. But there's some part of my brain that's so worried about this it makes everything seem life or death. It's not.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
I'm not sure I'm going to be able to clearly explain this thought, but here goes.

One of the things I've learned about "trust" is that I've tended to look at it as an all or none proposition and that probably isn't accurate. People might not just sort into two clear groups "trustworthy/ not trustworthy". There might be gradations in between and the cost of making a mistake varies too.

For example, I've got a good friend who I can, and have, trust with my life. But you can't trust him not to cheat on his wife. (She knows that.) That's just the way he is. (There's reasons, but that's a different story completely.) I've got another friend who I could count on to drive through a blizzard to take my sick dog to the vet if need be, but she can't be "trusted" to remember she promised to give you a ride to town a week from Tues. Why? Because that's not the way her brain works. She doesn't mean anything by it, she just has a huge problem remembering stuff like that. Does it mean I can't trust her? No, it means I can't trust her for some things and I had to get to know her well enough to know that.

Related to that, and something I've come to believe from working with my T, I need to ask myself, quite literally, "What is the consequence of being wrong about trusting this person in this case?" My brain tends to think that all mistakes are created equal and they're NOT. Trusting someone not to laugh at me and being wrong hurts, but not nearly as much as trusting someone to hold a horse in a way that keeps me from getting kicked and being wrong about THAT. A lot of the time it turns out that trusting someone and finding them to be untrustworthy really has no consequences at all. It's just information. "George isn't trustworthy, at least not in this situation." A lot of this stuff, I try to look at it as an experiment, nothing more. But there's some part of my brain that's so worried about this it makes everything seem life or death. It's not.
yeah @scout86 I get that. You explained it well 🙂
 

grit

Not Active
This is how I see your post from my vantage point:

1. Trauma – you know what it is and how it is impacting you so nothing to add here.

2. Manifestation – it appears to me this is you want to connect and be liked and maybe your approach is more about you feel good being liked but have less intuition is gauging others’ intention or mentalization…this is just my opinion because your post is oscillating too much or too little. That tells me whatever in the trauma is one thing so you do that or you do the opposite most of the time. There balance is too small for your to recognize…even though I feel you probably have it but it is just under your radar.

3. Symptom/behaviour – is saying too much. Sharing too much. Or not saying anything and not talking.

4. Reaction/Recovery: you did not mention but I wonder what is your recovery when you feel your trusting has get you undesirable result? How much compassion or self-hate do you practice?

I think the first two might be much harder to change (meaning or action and or could be life long journey) but the last two you have much more control physically and emotionally and intellectually as you note here…by using language.

You could say (so you can hear yourself out loud)…sorry about that…sometimes I overshare and trust too much …so you are alerting your brain. Or something along the lines of I do not feel sharing that now but ask me again another time if that makes sense in the context (when you are not trusting) – this is having control over your behaviour in talking and language. By saying, you are becoming conscious and forming a habit. It may be a bit more trusting but better than being hurt after. IMHO of course.

The recovery and reaction in your internal dialogue – I cannot say much here other than how you recover may completely overcompensate all of these other areas. After all you are human who makes mistakes as we all do in trusting or not trusting so how you rebound is important. And I think even writing this post is in this arena! And a good start.

I think if you trust too much in a person in your life and you get hurt or burned - to me that is part of life and something we all do in order to allow vulnerability and love and depend on others and when things do not work - we lick our wounds and do it again...but it seems to me you might be talking about new interactions and new people and your noticing how you act is not giving you the results you are aiming for.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
it seems to me you might be talking about new interactions and new people and your noticing how you act is not giving you the results you are aiming for.
Wow, you are spot on about meeting and interacting with new people. I have been introduced into a new Community of sorts and I noticed that I tend to share too much about myself or too little and I just have difficulty finding a balance, but I have been acting out of fear and not sharing my "true" self out of fear of rejection.

I have come to learn this morning that I can trust myself to be okay if I decide to share about the fact that I am disabled with PTSD. People may or may not react well to my sharing this knowledge but I need to trust myself to be okay in either case. I need to trust my own intuition about people and situations and stop allowing trauma fears to scare me away from being my true self if that is what I choose to do.

I need not apply fear programming or allow trauma memory to decide my every action or inaction. In this case, I choose to be open about myself to a group of people who I do not know well, so there is a part of me that is afraid.....it is my child-self. I am gonna suck it up and be the adult and allow myself to be vulnerable and trust.

How it goes is yet to be seen, but I am much less afraid of being vulnerable than I am to not living an authentic life and being my true self....warts, scars, and all. I choose to trust in this particular case and I guess that is what I needed to figure out....how to allow some fluctuation, some balance in trusting myself to be alright regardless. It is not either or as I had first thought, but rather what do I choose to do in this instance.

I am not at anyone's mercy, because I am not as afraid of rejection as I thot I was. Yes, it worries me a little but I would rather be disliked for who I am than to not allow others to know the true "me" because if no one knows me how are they gonna love me? if I am not my true self? I have taken much information into consideration about this situation and have decided that "mostly" I trust this group of people, but yesterday I was not so sure of myself. I was reacting to pure fear rather than the reality of the situation...if that makes any sense. I want to be close to this group and so I am gonna take the chance to be who I am and trust that I will be alright.
 

grit

Not Active
Wow, you are spot on about meeting and interacting with new people. I have been introduced into a new Community of sorts and I noticed that I tend to share too much about myself or too little and I just have difficulty finding a balance, but I have been acting out of fear and not sharing my "true" self out of fear of rejection.

I have come to learn this morning that I can trust myself to be okay if I decide to share about the fact that I am disabled with PTSD. People may or may not react well to my sharing this knowledge but I need to trust myself to be okay in either case. I need to trust my own intuition about people and situations and stop allowing trauma fears to scare me away from being my true self if that is what I choose to do.

I need not apply fear programming or allow trauma memory to decide my every action or inaction. In this case, I choose to be open about myself to a group of people who I do not know well, so there is a part of me that is afraid.....it is my child-self. I am gonna suck it up and be the adult and allow myself to be vulnerable and trust.

How it goes is yet to be seen, but I am much less afraid of being vulnerable than I am to not living an authentic life and being my true self....warts, scars, and all. I choose to trust in this particular case and I guess that is what I needed to figure out....how to allow some fluctuation, some balance in trusting myself to be alright regardless. It is not either or as I had first thought, but rather what do I choose to do in this instance.

I am not at anyone's mercy, because I am not as afraid of rejection as I thot I was. Yes, it worries me a little but I would rather be disliked for who I am than to not allow others to know the true "me" because if no one knows me how are they gonna love me? if I am not my true self? I have taken much information into consideration about this situation and have decided that "mostly" I trust this group of people, but yesterday I was not so sure of myself. I was reacting to pure fear rather than the reality of the situation...if that makes any sense. I want to be close to this group and so I am gonna take the chance to be who I am and trust that I will be alright.
Just so lovely to see how you are processing your own thoughts and vulnerability...honestly imho trusting is good if others are assholes - that is their problem and hope you enjoy this new community and find your balance. Good luck.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I have noticed I have a very hard time reading people's emotions and reactions to me. Its real work and subtleties seem lost on me. It's like I can read some emotions while others are lost. It's like the FFF is the foundation for my emotions and that's where I judge others from.

Stuff like Zoom? No Way. Don't know why but I suspect a limited view restricts some of my body language cues I count on to read people. It's been worse since therapy started too. Like a 2 year old who suddenly starts running up to everyone saying Hi and reading their reaction, I think I see them and don't know what they mean.

I think in a lot of ways that affects how I access for trust...it's hard to when you can't tell what someone is thinking or feeling about me. All the subtle hints are missing.
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
@Freddyt ^That is a great post! Speaks to your strengths actually within self-awareness and observation.

for @Lionheart note * just realized I cross- posted in a different direction perhaps than what might be relevant to you…apologies LionHeart.❤️

Recognizing social cues is extremely challenging for myself as well. Mine is rooted in trauma development within family of origin. Gaslighting, discrediting or nullifying narratives often leaves the victim scrambling for ‘what the other wants’ in order to survive the situation versus what may be the actual whole picture. This conditioning is not a solid base for socializing in the norm. Codependence for me became a pattern of core disconnect from normal social cues or lack of disconcernment when a micro-expression or mixed message flagged me into freeze mode to wait for a bit for safety.

Corporate environments during on-line meetings also offered further complexity during change as to what was the current SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) criterion currently being implemented by the higher-ups. An contribution of self can then become quite a delicate dance to be part of the flow and of authentic value.

All in all, I think you are within a stronger position as of now to find your own positioning as you reflect on what cues are left to you during Zoom and then capitalize on those cues. Voice tonal qualities, demeanor of their offers (fast, cryptic, calming, power in their voices, with line expressions around the eyes, mouth as well as head movement offer their conviction or mixed feelings. Knowing yourself can lend to a practice run in the mirror to offer neutrality with interest face or pose. Facial expression are universal and can open an invitation to communicate when we are in touch with ourselves! Go get ‘em tiger! You are off to a great start.
 
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Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
So, I missed answering the question with the previous post...

Trusting someone and having them hurt you in any small way with PTSD for me feels like failure on my part. That alone is difficult. But its such hard work to get to that point of trust. There's more expectations on that relationship and thus it carries more weight emotionally. That's why its hard to get to trust in the first place. It's a tough place to go. When anything happens it hurts, it hurts bad. Over a lifetime you can build up "scar tissue" and its just hard to get past casual acquaintance. That's how I feel too. I know there are a couple little things my wife has done that upset me took days to get past, and thats little stuff.

All in all, I think you are within a stronger position as of now to find your own positioning as you reflect on what cues are left to you during Zoom and then capitalize on those cues. Voice tonal qualities, demeanor of their offers (fast, cryptic, calming, power in their voices, with line expressions around the eyes, mouth as well as head movement offer their conviction or mixed feelings. Knowing yourself can lend to a practice run in the mirror to offer neutrality with interest face or pose. Facial expression are universal and can open an invitation to communicate when we are in touch with ourselves! Go get ‘em tiger! You are off to a great start.
**One of the things common between PTSD and Addison's is visual senstivity/light senstivity. Zoom helps that feed the hypervigilence monster.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
I think it's tempting to rely on a wall and not trust much, because then nothing really hurts, and it doesn't matter if it's founded or unfounded, don't need to even question it. Like @scout86 said, it shouldn't matter anyway. But like @Freddyt said, it takes so much to try it feels too tenuous and painful. I too feel at those times that I failed. Not the other person's fault, they're free to do what they want, but mine. I guess that does go back to questioning one's own judgement as @Friday said, or regretting vulnerability when I could/should have chosen privacy instead, and avoided all of it. Or avoided the feelings of self-questioning, shame, disappointment, etc. I actually feel bad at those times for the other person, and myself. I either think ill of them, or question if it's fair to, or feel bad I'm aware of it. And too much self-pity for myself, too. Quite a mess, even if true. But mostly self-blame.

I guess you have to choose to go out on a limb to try something different.
 
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