How Can I Ever Trust Again?

Trust again

For the last two years, my biggest personal hurdle has been trust. I was burned to ash and left with the constant question of “how can I ever trust anyone again?”  How many years would I have to be with someone and how deep would the relationship have to be for me to feel comfortable again that I could trust as I had once before?

Within the first of the  last two years, I let two other people into my life, let them get close, and ventured a toe out onto the ice, believing that I could trust.

That I wanted to trust. That I didn’t want to be jaded.

Both were people I had known for quite some time and had never seen any bad behavior from either of them. Unfortunately, they both showed a back-stabbing, vindictive side full of deceit that I never would have guessed for either. Then again, I suppose that’s what I was looking for in every relationship, both new and old, platonic or romantic, drawing it to me because I could still smell the smoke in my clothes from the last one.

One of my newer friends, a very gifted intuitive, sat me down about halfway through the second year and talked to me about trust.

“How could I ever trust anyone again?” I asked her. “I’ve been trying but every new person to walk into my life seems to be a reflection of a past relationship. And as soon as their wavering images solidified into something recognizable, I ran like hell for fear of being manipulated again.”

“You will trust again,” my intuitive friend assured me. “You have much happiness coming to you. And you will–” she emphasized will yet again– “you will trust again. More quickly and more deeply than you can imagine.”

I shook my head. “I just don’t see it,” I told her. “I mean, how can I ever get there? It would take–oh, I don’t know–at least five years, maybe a decade, before I could ever trust anyone again.”

She laughed at me. “I don’t know how, just that you do. And that you go through a long tunnel before it happens. But it’s not too far off. The weather will still be warm.”

I woke on a warm September morning and knew that everything had changed. I couldn’t say what had made it change, exactly. My astrologer friends reminded me that Venus had gone direct during the night, but it seemed something more. I woke knowing that there are people in my life that I trust with my life, and this knowing was sudden. It hadn’t always been so, or if it had, it hadn’t always been obvious, but I had a small handful of close friends and family who would back me up on anything. Though I tend not to ask for help, I knew that any one of them would come to my rescue if I were truly in trouble.

I knew because of little things that they had done, that meant so much. Not because of promises that weren’t kept. When one of my children was in a serious car accident, my brother rushed to the out-of-town ER to be with her until I could get there. When I was too sick to take another step, my adrenals overstressed and me not knowing how I could keep being everyone else’s pillar of strength in a particular situation, it was my younger daughter who, out of the blue, decided to come be with me and be my pillar of strength. When my heater died on a record twelve degree night, my friend Trae volunteered to leave his family (and his warm home) and drive 40 miles to get out in the cold with a flashlight and tools to get my heat going again sometime between midnight and 1 AM.

None of these instances were times when I had to ask for help, let alone beg for help. They each saw that I was in need and they were there for me. These are only three instances that come to mind now. There are more, both from these blessed people in my life as well as from others. All people I can trust, and people I do trust.

But I woke on a September morning knowing that it’s not about promises to do things for me, promises to be with me, or promises to be a good steward of my heart. It is, instead, about doing, about actions, about the proof inherent in their support.

The other thing that has changed since my intuitive friend told me I would be able to trust again is that I now can trust myself. I’ve heard it said that people who have a problem trusting others really have a problem trusting themselves. I don’t think that’s entirely true. When someone actively kills your trust in them by lying or manipulating, it’s more than a matter of being able to trust yourself, but I understand now the point about trusting yourself first.

I trust myself now in ways I never did before because I’ve now done that deep personal excavation of understanding my childhood and understanding how my father’s mental illness shaped my view of the world. I understand that my strength comes from the worst wounds in my life, as far back as three years old and as recent as two years ago.

I trust myself now. I trust myself that I will always be all right and that there will always be people in my life who truly are worthy of my faith in them.