Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Trust is such a difficult issue for survivors of abuse. They are constantly told to trust those around them. There are the doctors they must trust to tend to their injuries. There are the therapists to trust with their secrets. There are the family members and friends that they trust to see the invisible signs and signals. There is also the issue of trusting themselves.
Trust is a sacred part of one's being. It is not something that is freely or slightly given to another. Trust is something that is held delicately in the palms of one's hands, when they offer sacrificially to another. It is, in essence, an expression of a willingness to further build upon an existing relationship. It is also a means of allowing the other person an open door to one's heart and those fragile emotions held within.
Therefore, once a person gives their trust to another, the damage of shattering that trust within the giver's soul is equivalent to the physical damages left behind from a hurricane.
This is why, when an abuser wreaks their havoc upon the soul and spirit of their victim, the damages are uncomprehendable. There are the high winds of cruelty, which rip through the heart of the victim, yanking out any evidence of security, stability or a firm foundation. There are the floods of fear that eventually harm the victim and cause paralysis of the soul. Lastly, there are the after effects, which those that assist the victim must then tend to. They must rebuild the city of the heart within the victim.
Trust is not something that is given away much like one would give away a leftover meal. It is sacred. It is to be cherished. It is to be honored. Therefore, when a child victim of domestic violence has given you their trust, take that gift and treat it with the highest regard. Do nothing that will cause that trust to shatter in your care. Treat it with gentleness, for it is truly fragile and vulnerable. Treat it as something that is sacred, for it genuinely is.