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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Midweek Musings: Trusting

Today, at the end of a long and difficult counselling session, Carol pulled out some Angels With Attitude cards and asked me to choose one or more. She gave me the option of looking through the deck in order to choose, but I decided to pull one at random. As she began to fan the deck out in front of me, I pulled one of the more exposed cards and turned it over.

"Trust", it said, and I laughed through my tears. What an appropriate card for me right now.

In spite of everything, I am generally a very trusting person. I am naive, innocent, gullible and I both believe and believe in people. I trust in the basic goodness of most people. I trust that most people don't do things for bad reasons. I typically believe what people tell me, provided I have not been given a compelling reason not to.

Some of that, I suspect, is a subconscious mask, and other parts probably come from a desire to be seen as perhaps less intelligent than I might truly be. This is part of who I have been and it is part of who I am.

There is, however, a deeper level of trust, and it is here I often fall down. I easily trust outward; I do not easily trust inward. I do not trust my own self - my responses, my thoughts, my intuitions or my beliefs. I do not trust that I will use the right skills at the right time. And this lack of inward trust does extend outward; because I do not trust that my responses or emotions might be valid and appropriate, because I do not trust that I have much value, I do not trust that others will see it in me indefinitely, either.

Tell me that you will be here, and I will believe that you believe that... but I will not trust that you will stick around. I still spend far more time than I am comfortable with 'knowing' that as much as you believe you aren't going anywhere, this could be the time I mess it up. This could be the time I say the wrong thing and you realise how much you are sick of having me in your life.

Frustratingly, this lack of trust is often cause and effect all by itself. And, as is the nature of things when one has no internal self trust I alternate between responses.

I hear "go away" when you say hi and I think you hate me, but I challenge what I have heard and seek reassurance. If you are not very clear when you say "go away", I will hear "go away" and think you hate me, but I will challenge what I have heard and convince myself it's all in my head. Sometimes I get it right and I even respond accordingly, but more often I do not. I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be for those on the receiving end of both wrong-answer scenarios.

To constantly reassure me must be terribly annoying. To constantly be trying to get a message across to me when I keep telling myself you're sending a different one, equally so. How can I blame anyone for getting tired of this endless battle? I cannot; I do not.

I need to learn how to trust myself, because until I understand which thoughts to trust and listen to; how to balance checking in with others and understanding that I am not responsible for, or at fault in, every situation and interaction I have, until I can learn and understand that... I will always live in fear and sadness and anticipation that this is the day you walk away.

And in the meantime, I need to draw on those other layers of trust that I do have, that I can rely on. I need to trust in that basic goodness that I believe is in most people, because I'm going to need it over the next few weeks. I need to trust that if people have a problem with me, they will tell me. I need to allow myself to trust those safe people in my life as much as I can, because if I don't, I am going to lose everything I have worked so hard to gain and be.

Cheerleading/Challenge Statements:
It's okay to trust that my friends will tell me clearly if they don't want me around.
I have the skills and the ability to live through everything that comes my way - whether it comes by chance or invitation.
I have the right to look after my needs and wants.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way. And of course, don't forget to blog your own version of Sanguine Saturday sometime this week and let me know so I can link you next Saturday! ;)


  1. it's exhausting to be constantly wondering when you will be alone. to feel like you constantly have to be thinking and rethinking, dodging and re-dodging, guessing and re-guessing. makes your shoulders feel tight and your lungs feel squished. i hope you get to relax that feeling soon.

  2. I never really realized until recently how big of an issue trust is for me. Oh, and I can really relate to your cheerleading/challenge statements, especially the last one: "I have the right to look after my needs and wants." Thank you for sharing! *hugs*

  3. I used to do this all the time and especially at work because I never got feedback. Now that I am in a really supportive workplace I am learning to trust them. They have shown this again and again and I have to force myself to not believe them when they tell me something that is good and supportive, that tells me they must be lying. Isn't this exhausting, I know myself how it makes me feel. Thinking of you.

  4. Wow, this describes so much of how I feel. My heart to you, because I know it's tough as hell.