There’s a certain extent to which you follow your head. Thoughts, logic, a process of analytical decision-making. Taking the facts, breaking them down, and using them to come to the best conclusion. This is how I live most of my life.
But there are times when logic doesn’t make sense. There are times when emotions and intuition are the most powerful tools for making the best choices. Sometimes they are the only tools for making decisions.
The sad thing is our society trains us not to trust these instincts. We should consider feelings only in-so-far as they make sense to our minds. In today’s society, we demand proof, reliable sources, and intellectual argument.
But intellectual argument doesn’t change what happened. In fact, in my experience, argument and societal constraints have only served to reinforce the power of the abuser, and the shame of the victim.
Today, I want to discuss intuition. In most cases, we intuitively (and sometimes only on a very deep level) know who we can and cannot trust. We know what we want and don’t want. Who we want and do not want. But I know in my case, I often ignore these glaringly bright emotional reactions for the sake of “logic.” I second-guess myself and my instincts, mistrust my gut-reaction and how I feel, and reason those emotions away by telling myself I’m overreacting, making things up, going crazy, being ridiculous, etc, etc.
But they are instincts for a reason. They are gut-reactions for a reason. And 99% of the time, we are not being crazy when we have these feelings. They are our bodies trying to tell us something very important. And most of my problems have occurred when I ignore these instincts.
For example, with my ex-boyfriend, the one who was domestically violent, I knew I shouldn’t have dated him before I did. I knew, from the time I met him. I just had a feeling I couldn’t shake. But I ignored myself.
He’s cute, I thought. Everyone says he likes me so much. That he has a big heart. I shouldn’t be so cold, I shouldn’t judge him without really knowing him, I thought. I should give him a chance. That’s what I always hear anyways about relationships. I should this. I should that. I ignored my gut-instincts (that I should stay as far away from him as possible) and mentally beat myself into the submission of dating him.
I didn’t want to be cold, judgmental, etc., etc. So I gave him a chance. I ignored myself. I second-guessed my intuition. And in the end, I wish I had never dated him. Because in the end, my intuition was right. He was not a nice guy. He was not a good boyfriend.
Intuition is an amazing thing. We know who to trust for the most part. However, if you’ve been abused, chances are you’ve been trained NOT to trust yourself. You’ve been taught to need someone else to guide you, someone else to tell you what to do. You are “too-flawed” to be in control of your own decisions. These are the things my childhood abuser convinced me of. And if I’m out of control of my own choices, and not secure in myself, that leaves room for the abuser to step in and take control.
As I grow older, I learn to trust my intuition. Chances are, if I believe in my gut someone is not right for me, or that I shouldn’t be close to someone, then I’m right. So trust yourself, trust your body, trust your feelings, trust your judgment. And don’t second-guess yourself into letting people who make you uncomfortable into the driver’s seat of your life.