Trusting Friends

Back in September my sister Judy shared an article on self-care.  I decided to write my perspective and share her link but then life happened for both of us.  I am not complaining or sad, it just happened.  A lot of what happened was good and awesomeness.  She got back on track with sharing her perspective and I made excuses…I don’t have time, I am stressed over another big thing I am doing, I haven’t read her ideas, I need to do this or that….truly excuses not to move forward on self-care. How weird is that, I make excuses not to self-care.  I perpetuate the neglect and lack of self-care that I was taught as a child.  I learned by example, now I am working at changing what I learned.

2. Actually trusting that my friends care about me and want to spend time with me. I have a very difficult time believing that my friends (best advocates and loving people including my spouse) actually like me. I always think they’re just tolerating me. This isn’t logical. And I know that they love me. But it’s still a constant nagging.

Judy’s response:

I struggle with this.  I assume that I am a burden.  I assume that I am the problem.  I mistakenly think if I do enough for someone else then they will  love/care for me.  Just no.

The problem with trusting people is that I was taught actively that I should trust my abusers, my mother, the adult neighbor that enjoyed hurting me, and others that hurt me and I was taught to say I love you and accept whatever they did to me.  That isn’t trust that is abuse.  I didn’t know what trust looked like.  When I met someone trustworthy it felt odd, unusual, not sure what was going on.  Waiting for the ‘Gotcha’ that wasn’t coming.

I started counseling and my therapist spent plenty of time teaching me what trust was.  He was trustworthy.  He also taught me which people in my life were also trustworthy.  He taught me to look for the people that had boundaries, said no and let me say no, those that listened to me, willing to change with me, didn’t expect me to do more for them then they were willing to do for me.  Give and take, sharing, consideration were also part of my training in counseling.

Part of my counseling was the arduous task of ripping out my entire foundation of living and starting over.  Trust was dissected and observed.  I was also taught that even trustworthy people will mess up.  Sometimes it is how big is the mess up and how willing are they to work at rebuilding trust.  I lost friends.  I stopped contacting family members.  I changed who I interacted with on a daily basis.  I learned that just because I am around a person often doesn’t mean I should trust them.

I still make mistakes and give my trust to an untrustworthy person but I no longer blame myself for their behavior.  That is a huge change.

Bene Brown has a great TED Talk on Vulnerability and that is a part of trusting.

I learned that I needed to be trustworthy.

I learned that I needed to trust myself.  Years ago I was praying for the answer to this one and I came across an article on about taking martial arts.  I blew it off with the thought that is for soldiers.  Again I was prompted to try, I looked up a person that would teach me.  I tried a few lessons and figured out fast the person wasn’t trustworthy.  I decided to take karate with parks and recreation.  WOW.  My teacher is awesome.  As I train my body to do more and more difficult moves I learned to trust my ability.  I didn’t see this as the results of taking karate classes.  I was allowed to make mistakes and improve.  It was ok to fail but encouraged to try again and again.  I took bigger and bigger risk.  As I gained confidence in myself, my perspective of other people changed and I believe for the better.

Trust is one of those complex things that I could write for hours. This is just a small part.  As I trust myself, I become a better judge of who I should trust.




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