When you're in or just ending a traumatic relationship, there are certain understandable ways you would try to protect yourself from further pain.
While these ways are natural and understandable, they are responses that actually keep you from healing. They can also be deceptive in making you believe you've moved on, when you actually haven't.
My hope for this teaching is that you will be able to have a more compassionate understanding of why you've responded as you have to the hurt that has come your way.
In addition, I want to give you the courage to take a different pathway for healing so you can stop ending up in unreliable, uncaring, or abusive relationships. Even more, you can heal enough that you don't have to rely at the last resort of simply remaining alone the rest of your life.
(See also: "3 Symptoms of Relationship Trauma".)
You Can't Trust Anyone
When you've suffered deep wounds, it's natural to raise some defenses to protect yourself from further pain.
One of those defenses is to assume that no one can be trusted, especially men (or women, if hurt by a woman).
Living by this rule makes you feel safe. It makes you feel strong. It makes you feel in charge.
Yet, the truth is that you're actually still a wounded creature who's hiding away from the risks that love and friendship bring.
Are You a People-Pleaser?
Another rebounding response is to try with all your might to never make anyone angry or displeased with you.
That way, it would seem, you avoid setting off a violent reaction from others. Or, it could be your way of making sure no one finds out the real you and rejects you.
Of course, this makes sense as a response pattern if you've loved someone who blew up for unknown reasons and blamed you. It's also an understandable response if the person you loved seemed to be loving you back but was secretly involved with someone else (or with pornography).
A Big Wall Between You and God
How is your relationship with God after being in a volatile or hurtful relationship?
One last sign that you haven't healed is that it seems like God is far off and you just can't connect with him.
The main reason for this is you are angry at him for not providing for you or not protecting you.
Or, you could feel that God is angry with you -- that he is disappointed with how you've lived your life or that he's disgusted with how you've turned out. He seems, therefore, to be sending pain into your life in order to either punish you or to teach you a lesson.
Oddly enough, this also is a protective response pattern. It keeps you from even trusting God and has the feeling of really taking charge of your life.
The Fear-Based Mind
What all of these response patterns have in common is they stem from a fear of getting hurt again.
And, of course, no one would want to suffer what you have and they especially wouldn't want to go through it again.
Unfortunately, when you live your life from a place of fear, you falsely assume control, you block out God as Lord, and you wall yourself off from joy, peace, and love.
God, on-the-other-hand, has plans for good for your life as you follow him. He wants to tenderly show you how to operate from a place of peace and self-control that's rooted in knowing deep-down that you're loved and cared for by a powerful, ever-present Father.
From there, you become strong enough to take the risk to allow love in again, while also standing up for yourself when others treat you badly.