Health & Medical Self-Improvement

Learning to Trust Yourself

Learning how to trust ones self is essential for victims of abuse.
In therapy, I call this trusting your gut.
Many individuals have never learned about a gut feeling, or why they should trust their gut.
Another word for a gut feeling is your intuition.
What is that? Intuition is knowing or learning something without the conscious use of reasoning.
You might describe it as your body (or gut) talking to you.
All humans have this ability, but it is not often discussed, nor do we learn to rely on it.
Part of the explanation is our use of reasoning.
The gut feeling comes from our body, the reasoning from our mind.
Victims of abuse often become aware of trusting their gut belatedly.
When asked in counseling sessions if there were warning signs of the abuse, the answer is almost always yes.
In most cases, the person ignored the warning signs by "talking themselves out" of the evidence.
An example of trusting your gut is a woman who suspected her husband of having an affair.
She had many clues, and had even confronted him about her suspicions.
He denied all of her accusations, and so she began to doubt her own feelings.
Months later, she found her husband had condoms, despite the fact that she had had a hysterectomy.
She finally realized that her gut was accurate! Another sad example is a teenager who visited her new boy friend's home for a family dinner.
After the meal, with the parent's permission, the boy invited her up to his room to listen to music.
The teen felt safe in the home, with the parents nearby.
When she walked into the bedroom, she notice that the boy friend had girls panties hanging up on a rod.
She immediately got a gut feeling of danger.
Sadly, being young and inexperienced, she ignored the feeling and "hung out".
She was subsequently date raped in her boy friend's room.
Your gut is your internal "radar".
It is an internal warning system.
In most cases, the gut feeling is accurate.
Having a gut feeling is not the problem, it is not listening to, or ignoring this feeling.
In counseling, clients learn to trust their gut, and use it to help make healthier, safer decisions.
When counseling young victims of sexual abuse, we make body drawings and label the "gut feeling" to draw attention to this concept.
Listen to your body, and pay attention to your gut.
It is there for a reason.
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