When you start working/healing through PTSD, trusting the “red flags” is scary. It’s an element of trusting yourself and you really feel like a failure and should not trust yourself. Overall though, it’s a relatively easy part of the healing process, because it adds a layer of protection. For those struggling with PTSD, protection is the ultimate goal. To finally feel safe again, whatever it takes to feel that way, even if the method itself is unhealthy and not really keeping you safe. PTSD is fun like that.
At any rate, trusting the red flags around specific people IS a good practice, for everyone, but specifically for people who have gone through a traumatic event that included some sort of abuse.
But, what I have found is REALLY difficult is trusting something else inside of you. The ability to discern mostly who is decent, who will generally not seek to harm you, but will like yourself, inevitably disappoint others. Disappointment and hurts in a typically healthy relationship is “normal.” Someone seeking to harm or destroy you is a whole different ballgame. And it is kind of terrifying trusting your ability to discern who is safe.
It’s not like trusting the red flags, which put bricks in your wall of defense. It’s actively not only not putting bricks up in a wall that needs to be there for someone with signs of an abuser, it’s actively taking bricks out of sections of the wall, to let someone considered to be safe, in, entrusting that they will be an active member of your life that is also willing to invest healthfully in your life and sort of… take the place of those bricks. That when those that DO seek to harm you have come (and they will), they will be there to invest love and support. And protection.
It is scary to trust yourself with that specific ability. Will I fail at this aspect – again – what will it cost me, my family, my children, if I have?