I just realized that I don’t ‘trust’ very well. Well, not the meaningful kind, anyway. There are two basic kinds of trust in our society. The generic kind that we basically trust in our fellow man, our shared routines, etc. These are manifested by our laws, morals, and values. So, we all trust that others will follow traffic rules. We all trust that when we call a business, we will reach someone who (most of the time) will try to answer our questions. We trust that basically, all others have the same trusts and wants and needs. For the most part, this is true. Most of the time, things move mostly smoothly because of this basic social contract.
But I am talking about the much more deep, more scary and anxiety provoking kind of trust. The personal trust that we give to others, in varying degrees. Others such as co-workers, acquaintances, friends, and family. I have fooled myself into believing I am an average ‘truster’, but the truth is, I trust no one with my personal trust. I only trust in the social sense. The only people whom I trust enough to give my personal trust to is my kids. I don’t trust my R, my ex. I really want to trust him, but everytime I begin to open up, he abuses it and reminds me why we are exes. I don’t even have my mother in my life. I have 2 elderly cousins as my only other family, but I can only trust them so much because they often misunderstand, which upsets us all. I used to trust my Dad implicitly about everything, and I know he always had my back. But he was the only one I ever truly trusted with all of myself, and he’s not here anymore. So, basically, I trust no one with my personal trust completely. And I trust only 3 family members to a limited degree. I trust you all in the blogosphere more completely than those in my real life that I trust at all.
I spent a long time in my early life telling myself that it didn’t matter that I had no one to trust, no one that would have my back. I told myself it just meant I had to be stronger, more self reliant, more of a fighter for what I needed and wanted. That I couldn’t let ‘them’ hold me back, keep me down. And so, by being angrily determined, I succeeded in getting a BA on my own, with no help. I got every job I tried for. I took care of myself. Then, for many years, I trusted R, the ex. But all of that trust was found to be misplaced many years later, as it was used to manipulate me. And still, R is the only one in the whole world who truly knows the real me, and it is so so hard not to trust him with that information. Sometimes I forget, I feel nostalgic, I don’t know…and I share something with him, hoping because he truly knows the real me and because we are mostly friendly with each other now, that he won’t use it to hurt me. But he does, and it reminds me how I can’t trust anyone other than my kids and my 2 cousins. And I can’t even trust them 100%.
As a matter of fact, the thing that opened my eyes to the fact that I don’t allow myself to trust anybody is because I did just that–I almost trusted him with my inner self, perceptions and thoughts. But this time, before I did trust, I stopped myself. It is so lonely to have no one to trust with your inner self, your inner secrets. To have no one with whom you can share your thoughts, dreams, anxieties, fears and occasional irrationalities. It is somewhat sad as well to realize you really are truly all on your own, with no one at all to rely on, in this long, strange, and sometimes miserable journey through life.
What this realization has meant for me is 1) finding out that I trust no one completely, and then only a few, 2) that even when we don’t know how to trust or who or when, even if we have never learned or just learned to be too wary of giving trust, we still want to, desperately, 3) and finally even though we continue through life mostly alone, we can be fine, good, happy, okay. But it is a loss that most of us who have lived through trauma will still occasionally feel sad and a bit lonely about, even if we do make it just on our own most of the time. So, I see now how because I can’t trust, how lonely the road is that I am travelling is and has been most of the time. I see now it is not my fault that I don’t know how to trust well, or that I don’t feel safe in trusting. It is something that my mom took away from me a long time ago, and made me afraid to get back. This is just one more thing she did to hurt me, that has hounded me my whole life, that is not my fault and never was. Maybe I can learn to trust again one day?