It’s A Trust Thing
My life growing up is a blur. I have repressed a lot of it. Every now and then something triggers me to react a certain way and I know it is because of something that happened in my childhood. One of the biggest problems I have is trusting people. Trusting them to be there. Trusting them to support me. Trusting them to encourage me. Trusting them to not bring me down.
I have a gigantic wall built up from being hurt so much and having trust broken throughout my life. Constant disappointments or lies laid each brick one by one until I was surrounded and safely enclosed. The problem with this is I would still let people come into my fortress because they could convince me they have changed. So I would trust them again and again and again. I will always want to see the best in people.
As an adult I have learned to build up my fortress even more which is a good and a bad thing. I don’t ask a lot of questions and I don’t open up easily if I’m unsure if I can trust you with information. I have my own little family I need to keep safe. I won’t let many people into our world because I have had someone close to me try and hurt my family with their own selfish actions. My desire to have more privacy is currently a bunker being built in the depths of my heart because in our current social, political, and economic environment there is none. The general human population and their relentless desire to hurt one another with words and/or actions leaves the taste of bile in my mouth. I can’t bring myself to want to participate in society.
My biggest trust obstacle: my siblings.
I have a lot of siblings. Technically I am an only child, but I have seven half siblings. I grew up in a house with my father and one younger sibling the majority of the time - on the weekends I was with my mom I had two younger sisters in the house. All of my older siblings lived out of state so I never really got to know them. (Yep, middle child syndrome force is strong) I love all of my siblings and their families, I really do. However, I don’t share information openly with them. Out of the seven there are three that I am open, honest and vulnerable with. Why? Why can’t I be that way with all of them? Well the honest answer is I don’t trust them enough… yet. I don’t know how they feel about certain heated political issues, how they feel about education, how they feel about anxiety and depression, how they feel about healthy eating and fitness… I can’t trust them to not hurt me as a person because those are the things that make up who I am. I can’t trust that they won’t up and leave or take advantage of me. (Deep down some logical part of me knows they wouldn’t do these things, but I don’t know them well enough - I have faced enough disappointment for several lifetimes.)
I am working on trying to be more open with my other siblings but it is painful for me. I have social anxiety when I am in their presence. My inner brick layer starts adding to the three foot thick wall before I know what is happening. Somehow she applies a layer of concrete to my mouth before I dare try to speak in a meaningful conversation. Imagine being put in a room full of people that are experts on bio-engineering and trying to maintain a conversation with them.
Do you feel your skin crawling? Does your chest tighten? Do you start looking for exits so you can get fresh air into your lungs? That is what it is like with my siblings that I am not close with. I truly hate the feeling, and I want to feel comfortable with them like I do the other three.
How am I working on it?
Well if you ask my husband, I am not. I am not making a big enough effort to reach out and ask to hang out or go to grab coffee. (He is annoying close with two of his older siblings, I love it but it makes me feel bad for not being close to all of my siblings) I have made very small baby steps in trying to see my other siblings if something comes up I think we would all enjoy or I try to make it to birthday parties for my nieces and nephews. When one of them invites me to an event, I make an effort to budget for the event and a babysitter. The issue lies in these types of things come up about every six months, so the efforts are inconsistent and never fully planned out. Could I call or text them more often? Sure I could. I don’t though. My anxiety kicks in telling me that I am a bother or I may say the wrong thing because I don’t know them all that well.
Trust is a battle I hate to fight, but it’s a battle I can’t afford to lose anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to get to know them or others that come into my life, it’s a matter of trusting how they will treat me later on when they have finished with me.