I have them. I have severe trust issues. It takes a long, long time to get to know me properly. It takes a lot of work to make it through even half of my defenses. Most people give up. That’s okay. I didn’t ask you to scale my walls. If I wanted you inside, I might open the door instead of making you climb over the wall, swim the moat and enter the dragon’s lair.
I was sexually abused as a seven-year old child by someone my parents trusted to live in our home. This trust was not earned; it was granted. He received an all access pass from my family, which included access to me. For a year, he violated that trust every night.
I was betrayed by my parents. When I finally told them what was happening in my room, they did not believe me. They continued to let that monster come into my room at night, tie me up and gag me, while they slept just across the hall. The knowledge that their child was being molested under their own roof and they knew about it did not sink in. The abuse continued for months.
I was in an abusive relationship in my early 20s. He pulled any tiny shred of innate trust that I still had left out of me and destroyed it. I will never be able to trust anyone, including myself, the same way I did before I met him. I include myself because, when you are a victim of abuse, you can’t trust your own judgment. I was the one who allowed the monster into my life in the first place. Either through his cunning or my blindness, I did not see it. My judgment is not to be trusted.
I cannot trust you and I cannot trust myself. I hide behind my high walls looking out. My words, like this post, make it to the other side, but not much else does. I remain inside myself and very few people ever come in. I don’t even trust you entirely. I allow you to come into my blog and read my words. I read your stories and sympathize, yet somewhere in the back of my brain, I don’t trust your words at face value. I cannot believe your stories 100%. It’s nothing personal. I don’t believe anyone completely.
Since I was seven, I have never let anyone in all the way. Not one soul. Not my family, not my friends and definitely not significant others. Male has gotten pretty close, but he’s still not there all the way. I honestly doubt anyone ever will be. I trust him more than I trust most people. I trust that he would never intentionally hurt me. He will not hit me nor sexually assault me. If I told him something bad was going on, he’d believe me. That’s more than I can say for my own blood.
I spent most of my childhood alone, isolated and unable to trust the people who were supposed to protect me, let alone anyone else. This is what my childhood became:
Apart, alone, facing away, not making eye contact with anyone. That girl turned into an adult with all of those mechanisms in place and very functional. They are so ingrained now that there’s no way to stop them, even if I wanted to. My walls are so high and so thick that if I ever found myself on the outside of them, even I wouldn’t be able to get in.
I never had anyone come to my rescue, not when I was a kid and not when I was an adult. I had to fix it myself.
Nobody ever offered to help, not when I was a kid and not when I was an adult. I had to fix it myself.
I’m tired of living all bricked up. I’m tired of struggling. I’m tired of fixing it all myself. I am goddamn tired of having to explain.
Trust is fundamental to the human experience. We trust that, when we walk down the street, not everyone is going to get stabby. We trust that laws will function and that 99% of the time, that car will stop for the red light so we can cross the street. We trust that when I pay you by credit card for your product, the money will come out of my account and go to you. Trust is necessary for society to function.
If we don’t have trust, what do we have? Something has to live there in its stead. For me, trust is replaced by anger. Anger is my go-to emotion. It burns brightly inside that cold dead heart of the child I once was. It burns away the fear and the hurt and the terrifying backstabbing betrayal of my family.
I am betrayed. I am hurt and confused and furious. And I am tired. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of feeling betrayed every time I think of my family. I’d like to know how to trust, but I haven’t had any experience with it since I was seven years old.
Can trust be learned or is it innate? How does one go about learning to trust again? At the very least, I’d like to completely trust myself.