OVERCOMING ABUSE AND LEARNING TO TRUST
To understand why your character is driven toward a certain goal, take time to understand their personality and moral compass using the positive and negative trait thesauri. Also, dig into their backstory to find an unresolved emotional wound. Past trauma is disruptive and can generate unmet needs that, if strong enough, will motivate your character to chase a specific goal to satisfy this need.
FORMS THIS MIGHT TAKE:
HUMAN NEED DRIVING THE GOAL (INNER MOTIVATION):
Self-Actualization: Mistrust, once embedded, is difficult to move past. But should the character need to bond with others (to learn from them, to work together to accomplish a goal or dream, etc.), the need to achieve this goal will drive the character toward healing.
Esteem and Recognition: When a character is abused by others they often feel their power has been stolen from them. A need to reclaim it may drive the character to empower themselves and face their fears.
Love and Belonging: Should a character develop feelings for someone, they may be driven to work past their fears of being vulnerable so they can have that loving acceptance they so deeply desire.
Safety and Security: Safety can often be found in numbers, but trusting others and joining with them can be difficult for an abuse survivor. A character in a harrowing situation whose safety is on the line might be driven to find a way past their fears if allies will increase their level of security.
Physiological Needs: A character in dire need of help (suffering starvation, needing medical attention, etc.) will be pushed by their primal instincts to set aside their fears and accept aid from others.