This article is mostly about early childhood development, but I think this is a beacon of hope for all survivors.
“Although this sounds dire, reparative experiences of attachment can help us grow and resolve our trauma. These experiences can come through therapy, but they can also come through stable, intimate relationships where we can feel safely held and nurtured and experience ourselves as worthy of compassion and love, perhaps for the first time.”
Of course, for survivors, it’s more about letting people in and trust. We, rightfully given our childhoods, don’t trust people right away. It takes time to build that, if we allow it at all. It is difficult to learn who we can trust, and how to trust them, but without that we will also have a great difficulty developing these kinds of safe, intimate, relationships. The key that I have found is developing enough self-worth and self-care skills to know that if something doesn’t work out, that I will be OK. It will not be the end of the world, because I’m strong enough to take care of myself and continue forward.
Those are skills we can learn, that don’t require other people’s actions. I’d argue that if you grew up in an abusive situation, and you are still here, that they are skills you already have to some degree. You’ve been strong enough to get here, you can be strong enough to continue doing that even if a friend you trusted turns out to not be trustworthy. But it sure doesn’t hurt to have a number of people you can turn to who are trustworthy. It’s worth it to find those people, despite the risks involved.