12. How can an abuse survivor ever trust anyone again?

Please go back and review, Question 11. the two questions are related. One of the biggest losses, for victims who have experienced collusion or rejection following revelations of abuse is the loss of community. It hurts terribly because the capacity for intimacy, based on trust, is diminished greatly--initially and possibly for many years to come, if not permanently.

Since victims, before abuse, often have a naïve or idealistic view of trust, your current trust level may not be as unhealthy as you consider it to be. Nor as unhealthy as many of your friends and acquaintances believe it to be. Remember that old friends and acquaintances are likely to judge you based on their own naivety and idealistic or magical thinking about other people. See the article Of Course You Trust for more insights.

Dee Ann Miller is the author of Enlarging Boston's Spotlight: A Call for Courage, Integrity, and Institutional Transformation (2017) How Little We Knew: Collusion and Confusion with Sexual Misconduct (1993) and The Truth about Malarkey (2000)