Trust: An Almost Four Letter Word
Trust. Its like a four letter word plus one extra letter for an extra punch. It is the one major issue that I am dealing with, and the one major issue that I don’t even know how to start fixing. You will see throughout this blog, that trust issues are a reoccurring theme for me. No matter how much I overcome in my life, no matter how much progress I gain, no matter how many issue’s I sort out, I never seem to make any headway in the trust department. I seem to swing wildly between trusting no one, and trusting someone way too much, which usually ends being someone that I should have never trusted.
Right after I got out of my marriage, I met a man. He was great. Funny, sweet, adoring, and he said all the right things. So perfect in fact, that I didn’t trust him at all. No way could a guy like that want someone as broken as me. Somehow though, we still became friends. When he continued to push the idea of dating, I was resistant. He, on the other hand, was overly persistent. He would say things that had literally fallen off of a Hallmark card and out of his mouth. “You don’t need to trust me right now, I can wait. I have the rest of my life to prove to you that I will never hurt you.” I would cry and tell him that I couldn’t trust him, that something was inherently wrong with me, and that eventually he would see that. That I must harbor an innate flaw that made people want to hurt me. That he just hadn’t seen all of the terrible things about me that my parents and my ex had seen, and that eventually he would see them too, so save us both the time and trouble and JUST STAY AWAY. He would assure me that my ex was “a waste of oxygen and working organs,” and that my “parent’s deserved to be damned to hell,” and that he wanted to be the first one in my life to show me what unconditional love looked like. Eventually, after months and months of his persistence, I allowed myself to fall for him. HARD. When I found hard evidence that he was cheating on me, I confronted him about it, and he blatantly lied to my face. I knew he was lying, but I made the stupidest decision to ignore it anyways. I figured that it was me, that I was again doing something wrong, and that if I just tried harder, things would get better. He was good to me on the surface, so I convinced myself that it wasn’t an issue with him, it had to be my fault. When he ended it, his exact words were “You had to be kidding yourself to think that I was going to pick up a wife and two kids that someone else had thrown out like trash. I’m not a garbage man.”
Any faith I had of ever trusting someone again, was gone.
And yet, I’m lonely. I walk this fine line where my heart longs for someone to share my life with. Where I yearn to find “my person.” Where I crave knowing that someone has thought about me before they went to bed, and that I have crossed their mind when they woke up. As much as I try and shove it down, tell myself that I am enough for myself, that I don’t need anyone, I really do want to feel wanted. I just want to know, that in this whole big world, that I am someones priority. But that is really hard when I don’t let anyone get near me.
I do ok in the dating game. I get asked out quite a bit. My best guess is that I fall on that fine line on the attractiveness scale where guys look at me and think “Hum, well, she is cute enough to date, but not pretty enough to be out of my league, so I think I’ll ask her out.” Either way, I have had my fair share of dating opportunities since my ex left. But do you hear about any boyfriend’s around here? Noooooo. “Why” you ask? Because as soon as I start to like them, as soon as they start to really show an interest in me, I kick em’ to the curb. One guy was getting a job transfer to Florida, and offered to pass it up to stay with me. Super sweet, right? No. I broke up with him. Another guy, remember dweeb face? We dated for a little while until he told me that I was amazing and he wanted me to meet his family. That was our last date. The list goes on and on.
I sit around and I whine that I have no one, and yet, its my own damn fault. But I just don’t know who to trust. I feel like every time I let my guard down, I am wounded a little bit more. Honestly, I feel like if I let anyone close enough to see my cracks, that they will pull my entire wall down and everything that is holding me together will collapse to the ground with it. So I keep shoving people away.
Each new relationship starts out full of hope, that just maybe this will work, but yet when it does, I cut it off and move on, because its scary. Letting someone in, giving someone the chance to hurt me again, it is downright terrifying. I often wonder, as strong as I feel, will one more emotional wound break me?
So here we are today. I started dating a guy a few weeks ago. Great guy, super sweet, cute, and a lot of fun. He would ask about my family, different questions about my life, and I kept giving him the same response. “It’s complicated.” It is always so hard to figure out what, and when, and how much to tell someone when you have a past like mine. Will they run away? Will they feel pity for you? Will they have some weird superhero complex and make you their next “fix-it” project? So, I use the standard “its complicated” line for as long as I can. So this guy, he said everything right. “Its ok, you don’t have to tell me, but when you are ready, I’m here.” “I don’t know what you are scared of, but I don’t run easily if that’s what you are afraid of.” “Give me a chance to surprise you.”
So eventually, one night, after making him swear up and down, left and right that this would stay between us, I told him nearly everything. That, in the history of ALL my relationships, has NEVER happened. So what did he do? He turned around and he told his brother. When I told him I couldn’t believe he had done that, he was fairly nonchalant. “What, its my brother, I tell him everything.”
So I broke it off. I basically told him that there is a difference between talking to your brother about relationship issues such as “oh my girlfriend is always nagging me, what do you think about that,” and telling him downright personal information that has nothing to do with anyone but me. But more so, it was about a broken promise. It was the fact that he heard what I said, promised to respect my wishes, and then decided he didn’t care, he was going to do whatever the hell he wanted to do anyways.
He felt awful. Or so he says. He said that he had not thought of it that way, he didn’t realize that his intentions and his actions didn’t line up, and asked me if he had a chance at retribution.
So that’s where I am at now. I don’t want to continue to live in a lonely little world behind a wall so high I can’t see over it. And yet, I don’t want to continue to be hurt. I simply have absolutely no radar when it comes to who I should and shouldn’t trust. My poor best friend, deserved every reason in the world for me to trust him, and I didn’t. I hurt him, deeply, and I have yet to be able to fix it.
I am at a loss and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to begin trusting people. I don’t know why I consistently choose to trust the wrong ones. I don’t know what the realistic expectations are when it comes to trusting someone.
How do you know who to trust? What is it, what skill do people have, that I am inherently lacking? I feel as though I have been attacked by a bear in my past, and now, every time I walk through the forest, I am on such high alert that every leaf rustling, every twig snapping, has me running for my life. I am so lost, and being so lost, is just making me more alone. I don’t want to continue to sabotage my life and my relationships, but I cannot continue to be hurt.
The only thing I have ever known, for as long as I can remember, was that I was not loved. I was not cared for. That there was no one to protect me. That I would be used and abused and then tossed aside like trash. That my feelings, my well being, were not of importance to anyone. That no matter what or who I was, I was always less than someone else.
How do I recover from that? I am finally at the point where I no longer believe all of those things to be true. I finally I love myself, and place value on who I am as a person, but how now, do I allow other people to get close enough to me to show me that as well? How do know who to protect myself from, and who to let in?
So, because all of you have been so AMAZING with your reflections on my life, and have given me the most awesome advice, please help me out with this one. Should I trust the guy that told his brother all my secrets? Am I overreacting because of my own past issues, or is this a red flag that I should not ignore?
I am posting the screen shots below from a conversation that I had with him tonight. He knew that I had had a rough day, and was asking to come see me tonight. He lives two hours away in the state above me, four hours round trip. I told him that I had an article to write tonight (which ironically I had decided this morning after breaking up with him, was going to BE about him).
(I really wish I had known how to take screen shots when I wrote my “From The Minds Of The Dark and Twisted” post. That really would have made things a lot easier for that post.)
For some reason, the phone was going wonky and the first few texts I got were out of order. I will help you out, the first one reads “Ever since we met you have had excuses as to why we would never work and I keep trying to show you we could. I know I lost your trust and am trying to find a way to win it back. But fact is I want to see you and I don’t mind driving to see you. Seeing you is well worth a two hour drive.I want to fight for you, but you have to give me the chance. If you disagree just say so and I won’t come down, but I really like spending time with you and would like to see you tonight. I don’t want to come off as creepy, I just want you to know what’s in my head, no filter.”
Then you guys can take if from the bottom of the second screen shot.
So, would you trust him? Is this a “forgivable sin,” or a “sorry, you crossed a line, time to move on” offense?
Photo Credit Trust: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/
Photo Credit Warning Danger Sign: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/
Photo Credit Bird on Hand: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vogelium/