OOP Survivor Blog

Four women and five children die every day in the U.S. due to domestic violence. Read President Barack Obama's Presidential Proclamation announcing his commitment to reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in our country.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How do you trust again?

I recently received an email from an incredibly insightful woman who is on her own journey of recovery and healing where she hopes to regain the ability to love again. She asked me how my experience of being in an abusive relationship has shaped my actions and perceptions of men.

I thought this was a great question and it really made me stop and think. I know I've gone through stages over the past year where I've felt a total lack of faith in ever being able to have an honest and loving relationship again. Men seemed like the enemy. I was so blown away by all of the overwhelming deceit and the horrific abuse that I experienced while married to Neil Zucconi, that it was difficult to look beyond it all and envision myself dating again.

Fortunately, I happen to have some really good men in my life who have helped me tremendously through their friendship as I've gradually gathered my strength and my faith back. My first husband has been my steadfast best friend through thick and thin over the past 25 years. And I also have some fantastic friendships with men whom I've known since elementary school, as well as colleagues, family friends and neighbors, who have all helped me shift my perception and renew my faith in the fact that only a very small percentage of men out there are bad eggs. I just happened to pick one, but it was through no fault of my own.

I guess I got to a point a few months ago when I made a decision not to let what my ex did to me affect my inherent trusting self. I've always been a very trusting and open person. And I'm not going to let a monster change that. Because that's part of who I am. And I won't let a person or a life event strip part of me away. I feel good about dating now. I've got myself back - my confidence, my sense of humor, my happiness, my tremendous appreciation of my life....and I'm happy to share it with someone else.

I know that I'll find more heartache and struggle and I proceed through life. I don't bother with having faith or trusting that I won't. That's futile. Because it's going to happen. But.... I also know that I'll get through it.

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