Is Trust Mandatory in Healthy Relationship? The True definition of Trust

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The definition of trust
Trust Me… by Theodora MacLeod

One of the biggest stick points on the journey to emotional healing has to do with the subject of TRUST. Somewhere along the way I came to believe that I had to trust people until they were proven untrustworthy. That is a false understanding of trust. It was through understanding how I learned the meaning of the word ‘trust’ in a manipulative way that really only served the ones teaching me that false definition of the word trust, that I was able to realize the truth;  I didn’t have to trust anyone until they proved to be trustworthy. By the same token, I do not expect people to blindly trust me either. Trust in healthy relationship develops over time. Trust in healthy relationship is not mandatory and ‘blind trust’ does not prove acceptance or love. NOT trusting someone does not mean anything ‘bad’ and it is not a judgement against that person. Not trusting someone that you don’t know well enough to decide about trusting or not, is healthy. When I am expected or required to trust someone blindly, I consider that a red flag about the person who has this expectation of me.

From the Free Dictionary.com ~  Here is the definition of trust:

1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

2. Custody; care.

3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.

Noun~ Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something

Verb~ Believe in the reliability, truth, ability or strength of

Based on this definition of Trust, I can see how I had the false understanding of the word and concept in the first place.

Trust is optional. Trust is something that needs to be earned more than it needs to be freely given without any knowledge of the persons ability, strength or reliability. As children, everyone older than us has ‘positional power’ over us. We learn to submit to that positional power because NOT submitting to it is a sure way to bring on a punishment, rejection, physical abuse and a host of other unwanted results. I learned to submit to positional power and I got my learned understanding of submission mixed up with the concept of trust.

As children we are taught to trust through other people; the people in charge of our welfare communicate that we will be safe with those people. If these people are untrustworthy, what choice do we have in the matter anyway? How many of you remember not wanting to ‘go with someone’ or not wanting to be babysat by someone, but having no choice (or power) to change the situation.

In this way I learned ‘blind trust’ and basically I learned that everyone was worthy of my trust. It was shocking for me to learn in my forties that through the truthful understanding of what trust is, my mother wasn’t trustworthy. She did not prove herself to be reliable, truthful or even able when it came to me. I had a few friends that were not trustworthy. In fact most of the people in my life, including my husband were not trustworthy when it came to having a relationship with me based on equal value and mutual respect.  But I had been taught, groomed and brainwashed to believe in “the reliability, truth, ability or strength of someone or something” of those people. Blindly. Not believing in their reliability, ability, truth and strength was ‘disrespectful’ and there were unwanted consequences to that ‘disrespect’.

I ‘trusted’ the baby sitter who sexually abused me. I was a little kid; I trusted my parents and they trusted her. The fact that my parents trusted her was enough for me to trust her. And as a child it would not have done any good if I didn’t trust her; she was in a power position over me, I had no choice but to submit to her.

And since I believed my parents would protect me, (or I wanted to believe that) it was pretty confusing when someone that they have left me in the care of, abused me.

I trusted my grandmother because I was taught to; when she violated me I got really confused about what trust really was.

My parents warned me NOT to trust my grandfather who was a pedophile and had been caught sexually molesting my cousin. They continued to expose me to him by taking me to his home to visit. This caused me more confusion about trust. Why did they take me to visit there if he was dangerous and untrustworthy when it came to children? If he was untrustworthy, why did they want us to have a relationship with him?

I trusted the doctor who told me that nothing was wrong with me and treated me like a dramatic hypochondriac who was wasting his time, which caused me to invalidate how I felt and how sick I felt, which in turn caused me to ignore my needs which in truth were the beginning of a serious illness. The illness went undiagnosed until it was in the later stages at which time it was much more difficult to heal. I trusted that he was right, instead of trusting myself that I needed a second opinion because I was sure that I was sick.

I ‘trusted’ a co-worker I had who was a police officer just because he was a police officer in charge of the security in the large hospital where I worked. The fact that he was a police officer didn’t stop him from assaulting me as soon as he got me alone. The positional power he had over me because he was a police officer prevented me from reporting him. I believed that he would be the one ‘trusted’ in the situation. I was used to taking the blame for whatever happened to me. Had I NOT trusted him, I would not have gone with him where he could get me alone.

I think that we are brainwashed into believing we have to trust straight away. (Controllers who misuse their power have set it up this way since the dawn of time)  I have learned to trust when I feel that a person is ‘trust-worthy’ not because they have a degree or title. My clients don’t automatically trust me just because I say that I know what I am doing. Many of them begin to trust me because they have read enough of my blog to catch a glimpse of my beliefs and my integrity, but that doesn’t mean they have to trust me. They come along with trust as our relationship progresses. And I don’t ask them to trust me. That is up to them. Trusting until proven un-trustworthy is a backwards way of entering into relationship. Trust is not mandatory in a healthy relationship. Trust happens over time when people prove their reliability, truth, ability (and) or strength.

My biggest problem with trust turned out to be that I didn’t trust myself to know when to trust or not trust. I had learned the wrong definitions of ‘trust’ and ‘love’ and I learned to discount my needs, my feelings and even my intuition. I had not had permission to feel most emotions or permission to have my own thoughts. Having permission NOT to trust, was a very big beginning on the path to freedom! Having a choice and permission to have a choice in the matter of trust put things into a different perspective.

At the end of the day, learning to trust myself and building my relationship with myself to the point where I knew that I could actually depend on me was a huge layer of recovery which resolved all my misunderstandings about trust.

Please share your thoughts about ‘Trust’. Were you taught that trust was a must in relationship? Did you have a choice when it came to trust? Did you believe that not trusting was wrong? Do you now or did you ever believe the other big lie; that you have to ‘trust someone’ in order to heal? It was in changing the way that I looked at and understood things that I was able to change my default and mistaken understanding of words and concepts like ‘trust’.

Exposing Truth ~ one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

 

For related posts see the highlighted phrases in bold print throughout this post.

110 response to "Is Trust Mandatory in Healthy Relationship? The True definition of Trust"

  1. By: kate Posted: 5th February

    Ah, I know them well. Those that are loyal to my parents and pretend to friend me. Their lies never end.

  2. By: Taz Posted: 4th February

    Hi Darlene,
    Thanks for commenting it really helps to know someone hears me. I am somehow her “posession”, yet the very one she goes out of her way to harm!
    Hugs, Taz

  3. By: Taz Posted: 4th February

    To add to my last post, I wanted to say that I no-longer “trust” myself to know who and who not to trust! I have struggled with this the entire weekend along with the idea that my mother may soon know almost every detail of my daily life as it is. I want her to know absolutely “nothing” that I do because I do not “trust” her! UGH, the relationship still feels so icky, I just want it to go away so I can embrace the happiness that crosses my very path.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 4th February

      Hi Taz
      Ya, I hear you about ‘black and white’. This is not an easy thing to untangle!
      Why do mothers think they get to decide who you are friends with? That is such an example of control over someone else!
      Thanks for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Taz Posted: 4th February

    WOW, what an eye opener this article was! I have been burnt so many times by entrusting another physically, emotionally, and financially.

    I became closer friends with my mother’s friend (dangerous I know), but I trusted her because she has great wisdom and told me the “other side of the story” which I believed was helpful. She kept telling me “it’s just not normal” for her to be jealous that you are visiting me – even to the extent to tell me “RUN, THIS WOMAN IS CRAZY”! It seemed that eventually she would end her relationship with my mother and therefore I “TRUSTED” her with every detail of my life. Now, after a blow-out between the two and an apology from my mother to her I was told that our relationship (friend and I) has to end unless my “mother is deceased” then we can be friends. So needless to say I “trusted” and got bit now I am suffering the feelings associated with being valued and respected.

    I have ended my relationship with my mother about a month ago so I am new at this whole new world of freedom. I really wish there was a black and white list to embrace this process.

    Thank you so much Darlene for your article it surely helps!

    Hugs, Taz

  5. By: Tember Posted: 3rd February

    Thanks for writing this! I agree that trust needs to be earned. I don’t trust many people (maybe not anyone, I’m not sure!). when I feel like someone seems creepy at the grocery store or wherever, I stay away from them. I’ve been told that I think everyone is creepy. I guess I need to ignore what people say and trust my own feelings. I think when you’ve been abused it is hard to trust anyone. You see your abuser in strangers. (At least I do). Of course my “parents” made it seem like everyone was going to kidnap or rape us, so I learned not to trust anyone from that. For me doing things that people I saw as an authority figure wasn’t about trust, it was about being to afraid to go against what they said, for fear they might do something worse.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd February

      Hi Tember
      yes, being abused or mistreated in any way causes there to be trust issues. And there is nothing wrong with that. I totally agree with you that doing things required of us from authority was not about trust, but about the fear of going against them ~ that is what gets so mixed up about trust. We learn to discount our intuition/gut feelings and comply out of fear.
      Thanks for sharing!
      hugs, Darlene

  6. By: Karen Posted: 2nd February

    Your writing is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! You are helping me out SO much!
    No doubt you are helping so many others!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 3rd February

      Hi Karen
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      I am so glad that my work is resonating with you!
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Charmaine Posted: 2nd February

    Originally when replying to the comment, I was not going to reply on the group site, but to you only vie the notification email.

    Through the notification email I got once again, this is how it shows:

    Emerging From Broken (email address has been removed)

    Yes it was tough losing my mother, I was very close to her. She spent the last three years of her life, due to dementia in a nursing home. The past year before she passed away, her health was declining. We were surprised that she made it to Christmas Day. The first couple of weeks after her passing away, was especially difficult for me, but I am doing much better now. I have thought allot about discussion my mother and I have had in the past – she would not want for me to have a mental health setback when she passed away and would want for me to carry on with my life, so that is what I am trying to do.

    Charmaine

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd February

      Hi Charmaine
      I looked into this and the subscribe to comments aplication had the old email address so thank you for pointing it out to me! (It has been fixed now however, like I said before I can’t read what comes to me that way because I have run out of time and have to screen personal emails that have to do with EFB)

      I am so glad to hear that you are carrying on with your life.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Charmaine Posted: 2nd February

    Thank you so much for commenting back to me. I just looked at my comment to you and noticed allot of typo’s and realized it was rather late when I commented on your blog and I had also at that time just taken my psych meds, so they too were taking affect on me. I knew in my mind what I was intending to type, but they were coming out as different words. But I saw that you still got the jest of what I was trying to bring across.

    I have been in a relationship with something for nearly 12 years now and as a result of the more downs than ups we have had in this relationship, I unfortunately do not trust him completely. Sad but true and am at a stage of this relationship now that I do not know what the future for 2013 holds for us. I just lost my mother Christmas day 2012, and losing her has forced me to re-evaluate my life too.

    Will for sure continue to follow your blog.

    Charmaine

    * Tried to comment back to you vie e-mail, when I got the notification at my email that you had commented back to me on your blog and the server bounced the email back at me that you did not have a rogers account at rogers

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd February

      Hi Charmaine
      To comment on the blog one has to be on the blog. Replying to the notification email should be sent to the current email I associate with this blog so I am not sure why that email address came up; it is very old and I no longer have it, but even if your comment was sent to the new address, it would not be posted here and I get hundreds of emails so I screen them anyway. I only read the comments here in the site.
      I am sorry to hear that you have lost your mother, that is always a tough thing to deal with.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Charmaine Posted: 1st February

    My mother raised myself or my sisters that it was expected of us to trust anybody and in fact, each of us raised, that when it came to trust, that nobody who it was, whether it be a family member, friends and/or even people in the community – that trust was an emotion that was not ever easily to be given – but one emotion especially that had to be earned. Even then, it can be difficult to judge if people that try to earn your trust, are worthy of it.

    I have had many friends over my life-time to come and go, now in the past 20 years, I would have to say that most of them go. They at first try to appear as genuine friends, but once they really get to know me – they plain on my emotions – make excuses as to why they cannot get together with me and yes sometimes I can wear my heart on my sleeve and want to trust too easily, but in the past 5 years, I have been trying to be more, and more cautious about trusting people and who I befriend. I would rather be alone and not trust anybody, then be taken too often for granted, and played for a vulnerable fool ..

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 2nd February

      Hi Charmaine
      Welcome to EFB!
      All too often that is the story. That we are taught that NOT trusting is wrong. I decided (at one point) that I would rather be alone too. And it was then that I began to grow! I was willing to let go of dysfunction (first with friendships and then later with family) ~ that was like a beginning for me.
      Glad you are here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Alaina Posted: 1st February

    Great! I’m glad everything is okay! And I understand why you would want to explain further—I’m sure I would, too, in that position. I wanted initially to try to write what I wrote without reference to you, but it seemed impossible, that it would be obviously coming off of what you wrote, anyway. If I could go back in time, I’d write my comments differently to make it more clear that there’s room for differences in people and situations, where you might be coming from, etc., but to be honest I just wasn’t there yet in my thinking. xo, A

  11. By: Diane Posted: 1st February

    Alaina…I enjoy a good discussion…and I think part of having a good one is to clarify when necessary…when there are feelings of misunderstandings. I appreciate what you wrote and like I commented to Darlene…I felt a bit misunderstood and wanted to explain further since you specifically named my name. Everything’s okay on my side of this! 🙂

  12. By: Alaina Posted: 1st February

    Hi Diane,
    I was typing up my response before I saw your comment. I’m glad you understand!

  13. By: Alaina Posted: 1st February

    Hi Diane,
    I’m sorry about this and I totally understand why you would feel like I was questioning what you in particular were doing with this particular friend, as if I were telling you that you shouldn’t be doing what you want to do here, which is why I was worried about saying something in the first place because I didn’t want to break boundaries or intrude, and I knew that my words would be walking right along that line because I was speaking straight to your scenario. It’s just that when I read your comments, the IDEA behind them made me nervous or didn’t sit right with me if I were to take it and apply it to my own life and I wanted to talk about that. I knew it was tricky like that and I probably should’ve written more last night, when I realized that you thought I was nervous about your exact scenario and what you were doing/going through, but I was on my way to work and didn’t have to time to think/write. I totally respect what you are saying and the kind of relationship you would like to have—particularly after all the history with her, if you can do it, want it and feel completely comfortable with it, it makes sense and would be worth pursuing, and I can imagine it would be a kind of revelation and relief, that you can have a relationship with her if you want to, when you thought before that you couldn’t. For me, I couldn’t or at least it would be difficult, uncomfortable, and so I wouldn’t want to pursue that kind of relationship. Putting myself in that kind of situation would be unhealthy for me because of who I am and how I would feel, which is not necessarily true for you or anyone else. At the time of reading your comments, however, I suppose I was wrestling with what you were saying as they might pertain to me in my life and I guess that’s where my need to talk about it and state my own feelings about it came from—to ascertain where I stood vis-a-vis myself, to figure myself out. Again, I’m sorry about all this and totally understand the way you took it because of how close my words were to seeming like judgment or advice. But, yes, it was like Darlene said—it was about me and what’s true for me isn’t necessarily true for others. I hope that clears it up!
    xo, A

  14. By: Diane Posted: 1st February

    Darlene, it’s okay with me…I actually just felt a tad misunderstood so I wanted to explain more. I appreciate your comments and insights greatly, and I also understand what Alaina was saying….but I felt since she brought my name into it, I wanted to explain it too! 🙂

  15. By: Wendy Posted: 1st February

    Thank you Darlene xx

  16. By: Wendy Posted: 1st February

    Hello Tracy,
    Just noticed that you have mentioned gut feelings.
    Apologies to all I have been grasshopping through the comments insted of reading from the begining.xxx

  17. By: Wendy Posted: 1st February

    Hello Diane,
    I have just been reading your reply(37) with interest.Its seems your friend is never pleased or happy for you is because it is JEALOUSY.You are a thorn in her side.When you try to share something good about yourself I bet her face is like a jar of worms,until the conversation turns back to her.
    This last couple of weeks my lovely beautiful cat has been really poorly and we have cried buckets.Today I met up with an old old friend from when we were 3yrs old. I told her about my cat and she turned the conversation to her dog that died years ago.She never actually asked what was wrong with puss.We sat there had lunch whilst she told me all about her family her holidays everything about the cost of all of it.In other words it was an “audience with A–“.3 hours later I managed to mention something good about us.What did she do? Put a dampner on everything to do with my good news.Her face was a jar of worms.Well Diane I joined this site at Christmas time just past and believe me it is doing me the world of good. Regarding my friend of who has always thought herself better I stood up for myself and let her know some good things about me.Always in the past I have felt as if I should not upset her with my good news because that was the gut feeling I always had that she couldnt cope with my pleasure.Remember Diane when you have a gut feeling about something be brave and take the challenge stand up to so called jealous friends because GUT feelings have a solemn way of being right.Thank you for reading this if it is no relevant to what is being discussed sorry.xxx
    Darlene have you ever done a blog on jealousy??

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st February

      Hi Wendy
      I don’t think that I have written specifically about jealously. I have mentioned it I know, but I think it is lumped in with all the messages that squish a person down and remind them that they are NOT as ‘valid’ as everyone else or the message that ‘your win’ is making someone else uncomfortable.
      Hugs, Darlene

  18. By: Diane Posted: 1st February

    Darlene and Alaina, I appreciate what you both are communicating. I think what is not being understood, or maybe it is and I am still so in the middle of the process that I am the one not understanding this topic as fully as I thought I was….is that certain people are in my life for certain reasons. One thing I feel I just learned is that the level of intimacy is something I choose..and want to choose and I think that is based on trust. With my friend, I had an epiphany of sorts yesterday and was so happy and excited about it that I shared it here…but didnt go into detail in explanation because I didnt feel it necessary then.( and I didnt edit! ) What I think about my friendships is that they dont all have to be super intimate. There are ppl I go out to lunch or dinner with and we get to know each other to a certain level , and there are ppl I have to or choose to socialize with and we rarely see one another, but I count them as my friends, although we arent deeply intimate in what we share.( I have grown up with and been around social situations my entire life where it is fun, but not deeply intimate…country clubs, book clubs, church things etc) I have had issues with trust on the deeper levels with this friend… and with others that I thought I wanted …and tried…to be closest to in my past. I have also felt used many times..and not known how to stop that. Maybe I am totally off here, but I now dont see that choosing to not be as close and intimately sharing things that I am aware of that will make my long-time friend react the way she does as a bad thing. I dont feel that I need at this time to throw her completely away and go no contact. We have done many many fun things together that dont center around my personal happiness. Shopping, coffee, hair appts,lunches, couples things, etc and we worked together for many years. I guess what I think is that we have a decent enough history to still do things together. My epiphany is that I can still have a healthy relationship with her, without there being THAT level of trust. I dont feel now that I NEED her in that deeper way in my life because it isnt fair to me. I dont know how to explain how that will work for ME, but I dont have to be super deep with HER, if that makes sense, to still enjoy her company doing things together. I dont fear losing her anymore either. It is a total shift in my thinking about trust with her….and with everyone. I am excited to develop this in my life and I am excited to understand this for myself and “practice” it with others in an equal way. Maybe to some, what I have going in my life isnt what they would ever want in theirs…and I understand that….but I am happy to be in this process and feeling victory and new levels of confidence that I never had before. A feeling of assurance that I can handle myself with people now…and that I am not always second guessing myself! That is a huge deal for me. I havent made any permanant decisions about my friend, but I am thinking on it in this manner.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st February

      Diane
      I was only responding to what Alaina said; that I could relate to the content in her comment. I am not saying you are wrong. I understand what you are relating in your comments here too. Of course you can have a healthy relationship without having to be ‘super deep’. I get that and I do it too! But I didn’t think that is what Alaina was saying her comments. She was saying that someone that was not interested in HER was not someone she would be comfortable with and that is how I feel too. I wasn’t actually responding to what you said in your prior comments. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Alaina Posted: 31st January

    No worries, Diane! I didn’t actually become nervous outside the blog into my own life, because, you know, she’s not my friend and it’s not my life. Anyway, I get what you’re saying— after 30 years of friendship, and there being more to it, etc.
    xo, A

  20. By: Diane Posted: 31st January

    Hi Alaina….I don’t want to go into the very long and tedious explanation of my nearly 30 year friendship with the person mentioned, but I will say this….we have an incredibly long history with a lot of great times that aren’t solely focused on my life and my happiness…we have done and experienced most of my life together…and the relationship isn’t entirely dysfunctional, although it may seem that way based on the few things written here that I have definitely struggled with. I have problems articulating exactly what I mean so this may not have come out quite right or in a way that anyone here who doesn’t know me, my history or friend may understand. I am sorry for being unclear….and I hope you will not focus too strongly on what I wrote and remain nervous! This process is so different for me, and in my excitement at seeing something in my journey so clearly….I think I should have edited what I wrote!! I realized after I submitted it that I had been so excited and happy that I didn’t look it over first. Peace and comfort to you! 🙂

  21. By: Alaina Posted: 31st January

    Sorry, make that “necessary” for a healthy relationship of any depth and substance, not “mandatory.” “Mandatory” has the connotation of you being forced to do it and that’s not what I meant. I just meant that trust would be a natural occurrence in a good, healthy relationship of depth and substance and so from that angle trust is necessary.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 1st February

      Hi Alaina
      I understand what you are saying. I became aware of many unhealthy relationships that were ‘one sided’ when I came out of the fog. As for freindships, there were not ‘lifetime’ friendships but the lifetime or longtime friendship thing reminds me of the parent thing which HAS been a lifetime of relationship/history. For me this was the difficulty in the whole decision about drawing a boundary. My mother was never happy for me, never celebrated with me, was often jealous of me, but because she was my mother……. Something that I realized along the way was that I had a lot of freinds/relationships that mirrored the one that I had with my mother. ALL of it had to change and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be because I am not the same person anymore and I am not happy in relationships with people who are not interested in me, don’t care about me, etc. There was a process after coming to the realization that someone was not actually trust worthy; it took me a little time to ‘decide’ what to do, just like it did with my mother. I went throught all the self doubt, self questioning, reasoning, FEAR etc. And it’s okay to be IN the process! In the end none of my friendships with untrustworthy people continued except with people who met me half way.
      Hugs, Darlene

  22. By: Alaina Posted: 31st January

    Thanks, Darlene.
    …I’m wondering about something here. For me this post is about not trusting people right away without first establishing whether there is reason to trust the person, which is different than going along in a relationship and then along the way finding reason to not trust the person but then saying that’s okay, I don’t have to trust the person and can still have a relationship with them even if I know they are untrustworthy—I just have to remember that they’re untrustworthy in whatever particular way. I mean, if it’s a little thing, okay, you might just keep it in mind and let it pass but otherwise… It’s just that I read Diane’s comments and they made me a bit nervous. I’m not sure if I’m intruding and I certainly don’t mean to break boundaries here, but for me, if I had a friend who couldn’t be happy for me when good things happened in my life, that would sound off alarm bells. I would think that person is in competition with me, maybe, or doesn’t really care about me because if they cared about me, they would be happy for me when good things happened, so I would feel apprehensive around that person for, what I think would be, good reason. The idea of just telling myself that, well, I don’t have to trust this person, so that’s okay, and I’ll go back to reach out to her… that doesn’t seem right to me. At least for me. If I had reason to become apprehensive around someone and didn’t think there was any reason to expect them to change, and there was no necessary reason to have that person in my life, yes, I would pull away because to me, yes, in the long run to answer the question of your blog post, I think trust is mandatory in a healthy relationship—at least for a relationship of any depth and substance. But it’s something you slowly build towards and don’t just blindly jump into that place of trust—which is what I understood your post to really be about. And yes, trust can be broken and then slowly reestablished through action, etc., but…. Do you see what I’m saying?

  23. By: Diane Posted: 31st January

    This has been such a wonderful topic! Yesterday morning I was at a meeting and a woman that I dont know very well asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch with her so that we could get to know each other better. We had been getting along so well each time we interacted, so I agreed. She asked me all sorts of questions about myself ( and I asked her questions too)…nothing too invasive, but the usual kind…and as I was answering, I found myself realizing over and over again how differently I was relating to this woman, and in fact,because I was realizing that I dont HAVE to trust her. I realized with such clarity that I can choose how much to divulge and that I wasnt feeling like I had to try and please her at all. Up until reading this article, I hadnt thought much about the definition of trust, or that I didnt have to trust people…and how reverse it all has been in my world before. To have the understanding of this felt empowering to me! It made me feel EQUAL.

    I wanted to write this because this came out of a place of brokenness for me…I never expected to feel this way even though it is something I have been working towards. Trust is a huge key to feeling equal…trusting myself first and foremost, and then realizing that I dont have to trust people…in fact, I am now thinkingt that there should be a lack of trust until you get to really know someone and find out how or if they are realiable. And that it isnt wrong or bad not to trust, but to instead begin by building trust.

    Before we parted, she said to me something about someone she knows that she was feeling badly about not trusting. She is also a christian and the belief is strong amongst christians that I have known that to not trust someone is somehow sinful or akin to not loving them according to scriptures and commandments in the Bible. I spoke up and told her that I think it is okay not to trust people right away, but that they should earn our trust…and she looked so surprised when I said that, but then she agreed.

    This has brought me to thinking about the friend who now doesnt talk with me…the one I wrote about in an earlier comment. I have thought about our relationship “through the grid” of this article, and realize that my perspective is changing. I was so hurt before, but now I am not. Before, I felt the distrust when I would share something good about my life with her…I knew she would become unhappy for some reason. I knew that I had to downplay my joy a LOT in order for her not to be so unhappy and “sad”. This always bothered me but I didnt view it like I do now. I was hurt by this and confused. NOW, however, I am seeing it more as a choice I now have in relationships..including her and I…that I dont have to feel like I MUST trust her, and therefore I dont have to EXPECT her to respond with happiness for good in my life. I dont know if that makes sense to anyone else, but it does for me! I feel freer now to enjoy our relationship…I might even reach out to her again! Now knowing that she will likely never change, but now I dont need that from her because I realize that I will never trust her to be happy for me, so i am free to say whatever I want to her or to choose not to say things to her, and it is okay now! This topic is setting me free in ways and at different levels that amaze me! Thank you so much Darlene! 🙂

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 31st January

      Hi Diane
      Thanks for sharing this! That is awesome! I love the way that you have written it all out!
      Hugs, Darlene

  24. By: sojourner Posted: 31st January

    kate…good idea. i have an assessment with a new counselor in 2 weeks…couldn’t get in any sooner. if i had i might not have lost my job tuesday. i think the last counselor wanted me to have some coping skills before we addressed the ritual abuse and she did not believe i was did. i was thinking i wasn’t even going to mention the ritual abuse up front,let alone the did. maybe i will ask her about the RA and leave the did alone for now. i don’t know.

  25. By: kate Posted: 31st January

    Sojourner,
    I have had a lot of disappointing sessions with therapists, so I am not necessarily offering advice from success in my own life. But, if we approached the whole process up front in an initial interview of some sort, and asked questions that would help determine if this person is willing to help us with the specific issues we determine, might that help? I am asking aloud here.

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