Valiant Living Blog

Trust and Trauma in Recovery

Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Trauma impacts an individual in many unique ways, any of which can make it difficult to cope with daily events. Those suffering from traumatic experiences can find their thoughts invaded by unwanted and harrowing images, and even a good night’s sleep can feel like a distant impossibility. However, before an individual can begin to tackle these traumatic symptoms through recovery, there is one key aspect that has to be addressed — the idea of trust after trauma.

Trauma Affects Trust

Traumatic experiences, whether they be childhood experiences or tragedies later in life, can directly impact one’s relationships by creating an overwhelming feeling of betrayal or danger. Those closest to the individual, such as parents, spouses, or friends, can all feel this degradation of trust, even if they weren’t part of the traumatic event. However, opening one’s self up to recovery begins by understanding that it’s essential to challenge these walls and entertain the idea of trust in one’s relationships again to progress toward recovery.

An individual suffering from trauma may even begin to keep secrets from those closest to them due to a changed perception of what it means to feel “safe,” whether physically or emotionally. Partners of those suffering from trauma can find this first hurdle incredibly difficult, as it can feel impossible to even begin to reach out to help.

Deconstructing the Barrier

Overcoming the prevalent feelings of endangerment or betrayal in recovery is not a simple process. However, it is important to understand that the deterioration of trust isn’t necessarily done with malintent. Rather, it is a self-defense mechanism intended to protect those still recovering from trauma from exposing themselves to any more similar situations.

Acknowledgment can be a more effective path than directly challenging the issue of trust. Accepting that a person has felt endangered, helpless, or otherwise physically or emotionally compromised is essential for taking the first step in overcoming this particular hurdle of recovery. For support systems, it isn’t about who is or is not trustworthy, but accepting that the trauma has affected them in such a way that such practices are necessary. Rebuilding an intimate relationship through this hurdle requires that each person first accept that feelings of betrayal or unsafe emotional conditions are dictating the framework of one’s mind and that blame in such a situation can only work to hinder the healing process.

Trauma and trust can influence each other in a person’s day, continuing to reform how a person develops and sees relationships for years. At Valiant Living, we understand the difficulties that trauma can present throughout each day. We will work with you to help develop your plan to recover through trauma, addiction, and any other co-occurring mental health disorders. Our men’s facility is home to an atmosphere of acceptance and freedom, with your time being spent in a personalized approach to your own recovery story. For more information on the various ways we can make your recovery plan a unique and powerful experience, call us today at (303) 952-5035.