In general, I trust openly because I believe in the innate goodness of people. Unfortunately, however, I find it very difficult to trust anyone on more than a superficial basis due to constant betrayals from friends and lovers alike. So on one hand while I trust everyone to be themselves and act according to their identities, possessing faith that their identities won’t violate mine in some way at some time is not something that comes easy.
What contributed to this disposition? An absentee father? Two rapes and a handful of molestations? Having two husbands not understand what “forsaking all others” or “cleave” meant? Having “friend” after “friend” turn on me without warning or explanation after declaring unshakable loyalty? I’m sure all those things and more played contributing roles, and although I’ve accepted and largely forgiven those situations, the fear of betrayal still looms large when encountering new connections.
So how does one break through to the other side when up to this point every last one of their attempts at lasting intimacy has met the fate of having their trust violated? This is not to say all my connections have suffered the same end, but those that I’ve painstakingly worked to render myself vulnerable and let my guard down, after the persons “worked” to assure me they’d never do anything to hurt me… Those number in the thousands and make me question if it’s ever worth getting close to anyone.
Spiritually we are charged to love unconditionally and not allow past transgressions to temper future relationships. But how can I do this when the end result, no matter how much time I take getting to know the person or caution I use in opening myself too fast, continues to be me hurt on the end? I can’t live without closeness. Lack of intimacy is one of my biggest depression triggers. But I also can’t go through life suffering at the hand of the unscrupulous.
In the end, I guess it comes down to choosing better people to trust in and constructing clearer boundaries when it comes to my expectations of them. Fact is, I can’t trust everyone to care or have my best interest at heart. Even those who profess to love me. But I can begin to trust myself to choose those who appreciate and value me in the future.