Life Traps | Pt. 7: Mistrust

Posted by Maria

TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains talk of abuse (all sorts), and everything related.

In this post, we take a look at the Life Trap of Mistrust and Abuse. I often found myself in these situations because of other traps such as Recognition-seeking and Failure, which we have talked about in previous parts of this series. 

A brief summary based on what the book, Tunne Lukkosi by Kimmo Takanen, tells us of the Life Trap of Mistrust:

I’m afraid that people will wound me, use me, and abuse me. I don’t feel safe, instead, I see threats in my relationships. It is very hard for me to trust people and I am continuously on guard. People will betray me one way or another in the end. 

I don’t trust in people being good. Nobody gets near me, I keep things to myself. This leads me into avoiding close and deep relationships. When people are nice to me, I often wonder what they are trying to get out of me.

When compensating for this Trap I may mistreat people so that they wouldn’t hurt me. I may be aggressive and try to stop the perceived incoming hurt (be it real or not) by any means necessary. It is hard to control my anger when I feel abused.

I may get attracted to people that are abusers, and let them treat me poorly. In these cases, I may end up in relationships where I will be dealing with one or more of abuse’s many faces, from physical to financial and back. The repetitive hits eat away at my sense of self-value and may lead to a situation where it is hard for me to let go of a relationship where I’m treated that way. 

My history with abuse is unfortunately quite long and rounded. 

Starting from being bullied in grade school, I’ve got beat down emotionally, grabbed in a dark alley on my way home (and on several other occasions), I’ve had to deal with people trying to take advantage of me in different situations (again, both physically and mentally), I’ve been slammed against a wall, I’ve been in a situation where all my money was taken each month… the list goes on. 

Most of my friendships ended in a bloody betrayal ranging from being just cut off to cursing me in public and pretty much-destroying everything they could possibly destroy. When even your family members start turning on you and taking the side of an abuser, it is very difficult to try and find any hope for humanity.

It is a very stressful life when I understand that the basic nature of humanity is to be selfish to the core. Family, friends, lovers… Everyone is a part of the same toxic pond, and I want nothing to do with it. 

Sucks for me that I also can not be alone.

My experiences have left me in a place where I genuinely can’t trust anyone, sometimes this hits even my husband. People don’t care, they only care about themselves, and they will do whatever they feel like doing to get there, typically in my case, it means stomping poor Maria to the ground. 

Having gone through my life like this is what initially made me hate humanity and not want to be part of it. Having to be scared of everyone, to be ready to get attacked in whatever way, gets very tiring. I prefer to be on my own, in my own peace, which is probably why I was so fine with being without any contact with anyone but my partners for many years. 

So far I’ve yet to meet a person that didn’t want to take advantage of me (other than my husband, and my mother) in some way. Be it favors in-game, taking my money in real life, or just plainly trying to take advantage of me when I can’t resist. To think that people have scrutinized me for not being more social like there’s something fundamentally wrong with me.

Here comes the fun part for me as a Borderline:

There is a thing called splitting in BPD, which means basically that I can adore someone one moment, and want to hurt them as the devil in the next. Paired up with a Life Trap like Mistrust, this becomes a very volatile combination. 

As my perceptions are skewed based on my emotions a lot of the time, there are bound to be some messy situations, just because I perceived something as a threat. And I perceive a lot of things as a threat.

Tones and changes in them while I’m spoken to, not talking to me for a while, loud sounds like bangs and claps, certain smells – they all trigger my defense response. Try having an argument with me, and I’ll either dissociate and zone out, or I will come at you like a drunk moose on a vendetta. 

My anger knows no bounds when I feel threatened.

When it comes to my past relationships, I feel like I need to give it a spin-off, as there is too much to unwind there. I will try to depict it briefly though, as it heavily influences the Life Trap of Mistrust and in turn, my life.

My first boyfriend ever, that I was very enthralled by, ended the little kid’s game by bringing his next in line girl to one of our dates. That was a nice introduction to this thing people call love-life. After that, there were some shady people, some very pushy people, I never felt safe around anyone really. Sadly I also had my Borderline whispering to me and as a very young child, I went online and talked to all of these wonderful people that would compliment me and speak nice things to me. And I mean, there are so many of those guys online, parents, keep your kids safe!

Later on, I entered into my first real relationship, which would go on for over a decade. In that relationship, I got cheated on, neglected, abused physically, mentally, and financially, all the way to the point where my value as a human being was nonexistent. To have to go through life without proper clothes, stuck in a cycle of not knowing if I have value or not, and wanting to get out to the point where I didn’t want to live for so many years… It’s tough. I’ve just recently found out that I am actually capable of not wanting to die, and wanting to live life as it comes. 

I was watching a snippet of Dr. Phill and his wife the other day, and they talked about domestic abuse. Apparently, the number one weapon of an abuser is isolation.

That relationship of mine got to a point where my finances and even my family-relations were handled by my ex-partner. Somehow it became a norm in that life that I wasn’t talking to my parents or anyone else for that matter. And when the time came for all of this to unravel, I was blamed for that happening. 

In that relationship, a little after the cheating, it was decided that we’d open it up. That gave me the opportunity to start up my online excursions again, and oh boy did I get some recognition as a gamer-girl.

I am sad to say, the online gaming community tends to be very toxic. Friendships, love, alliances, they seem to all be just a charade, cover by the screen are the horrid true faces of abusers and the privileged. In there, everyone will lie, cheat, and lead you astray to get what they want. And when you are no longer of use, well, delete/block. 

The book says that when the Life Trap of Mistrust is reloved,

We’ll learn to see potential in people and to better distinguish the trustworthy ones. We’ll learn to avoid abusers and to trust the ones that are worth it. The shields will go down gradually, and we won’t have to be afraid of showing vulnerability. Life will be safer, and we will know how to defend ourselves when it is needed.

I am on my way to healing, though the happenings around my marriage and my past grip me tightly. Life with these Traps is incredibly hard, not to mention the Borderline aspect of it all. From one extreme to another, I am still hopeful that one day this life will see me free from the chains. One little crack at a time, I will break them.

Do you have trouble trusting people? Leave a comment below!

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