How to Overcome Doubt and Rebuild Trust After Emotional Abuse

One of the devastating costs of living with an emotionally abusive gaslighter is the doubt that seeps in. Even as you recognize the lies, distortions, and insults, the constant drip, drip, drip begins to make its imprint, just as water can reshape resistant rock.

And when you doubt, you become afraid. Afraid to trust yourself, trust your intuition. Afraid to step out with your chin held high and state your truth, your essential message, to offer your unique gift to the world.“Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ writes Marianne Williamson. “Actually, who are you not to be?” Indeed. Who taught you that you had no right to take up space?

One frequent worry shared with me in my psychotherapy counseling practice is a fear of being “too much.” Particularly for women, there is great pressure to remain small, proper, and sweet. Loud, opinionated, and successful are adjectives both inspirational and loathsome.

So we have to choose. And remember, not choosing is itself a choice. Generally, it’s the choice to remain small. It may be comfortable, but be sure it is an active choice before accepting the simple life. Complacency and contentment may look alike, yet are worlds apart.

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