Trigger Warning: The following article is full of references to abuse issues and mentions things that may be triggering to some. I do not and will not write specifics of abuse on my blog, but the emotions that even talking briefly about these issues can be upsetting.
Before I begin this piece let me first state that I apologize for not writing an article before today. I’m usually very prolific and active on my blog, but I’ve been sick with seasonal allergies and settling into my new college classes for this semester.
Trust, a word that’s meaning is elusive to many, including myself. So much so I had to google it to see what the definition of it could be.
The Merriam/Webster dictionary gives the following definition:
“belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest.”
Having been raised in a highly dysfunctional environment, I do not understand or feel this definition towards anyone. The ability to do so, in fact, may be now beyond my ability. I am very rueful of this thought, but I am also helpless to change it. The understanding that someone might be reliable, good and honest escapes me. I trust my brother Mike more than anyone, but even that trust is limited. I once had a therapist I trusted very much, but she retired, her doing so seems to have served to validate my deep-seated feeling that I should never emotionally invest in anyone.
What causes someone to lose the ability to believe that someone or something is reliable, good, or honest?
The answer is almost as variable as there are humans on planet Earth. For me, it was the maltreatment I experienced as a child. The very people on whom I should have been able to depend for comfort, love and to help me self-regulate my emotions were at best distant and at worse abusive. One of my abusers was notorious for behaving kind and generous one moment and then turning savage the next. I would have been much better off had they exhibited the negative behavior toward me all the time, but the waffling back and forth set up in me a horrible dread of trusting anyone, dooming me to a life of being alone. Their treatment of me left me emotionally bankrupt, both wishing for a loving relationship with another human and terrified of that closeness at the same time.
I dream sometimes of having a loving, sexual relationship with another, but then the fear gets in the way. I feel a great human longing for closeness but also a dread that keeps me isolated and alone. I try to explain this to people who become interested in me amorously, but they don’t understand. How could they?
It always brings me to tears when I consider all that I am missing trapped in this damn fear. I have tried to conquer it, I even got married once, but eventually the fear took over and I ended the marriage. The poor man never understood the complexities of how confusing I found our relationship. I tried very hard to settle in and enjoy sex and closeness, but I couldn’t do it. While married to him I began to drink and abuse my prescription medications, trying desperately to escape the conundrum playing out in my heart and soul. Eventually this internal conflict almost cost me my life.
I put on a tough face and say that I’d rather be alone, but that’s not totally true. I don’t relish never enjoying an intimate evening or having rapturous sex with someone else, but I’m so petrified inside that someone will take advantage of me that I go out of my way to avoid a relationship.
Abusive adults just don’t stop to think what harm their behaviors are having on the children in their care. The things they say and do today will echo in that child’s mind forever. Too often they fool themselves into believing their victims will forget the abuse or outgrow it. That simply is not true. That child being fondling or talking dirty to today will be scared and may not be able to accept love or enjoy sex for the rest of their lives.
Why did I decide to write this piece? I guess I wanted to say this. If you are like myself, afraid of relationships and isolating yourself, you are not alone. There are many, many folks out here in the real world who are like you and understand your plight. I don’t have the answer to this problem, if I did I would not only cure myself but be very wealthy as many people would pay well to have it. I just wanted you to know that life isn’t over because you have trust issues as badly as I do. Yes, we are isolated and hate it, but there are worse things to have to face in life.
I found the following video a long time ago. I share it with folks who need reminded that they are never alone. So long as people like myself are around shouting from the roof tops about the horrible consequences of child abuse, so long as there are still people in the world who care and who understand, even though you are lonely, you are never alone.