What I’m about to say is going to make me sound positively loopy but it’s about time I admitted it, I have some serious trust issues.
I’m not about to delve deep into my psyche and try to pinpoint that one event which made me so wary and distrustful, but I always assumed that as I got older, as I became more secure and happy in myself, I would learn to trust people and be able to believe what they said….sadly the opposite seems to be true and believe it or not, nowadays I’m nipping at Woody Allen’s heels for the title of ‘neuroticism’s top dog’. There are few people I trust. Most of my family and some of my friends but it’s taken me nearly 20 years to get there. The trouble is I don’t believe a word anybody says, ever. I read copious amounts of subtext into everything and always assume the worst. Admitting this makes me wonder how I can get through the day if I am constantly second guessing every statement, trying to extract motive and cut through the perceived crap which in all likelihood doesn’t exist.
When my boss says to me, ‘We think you’re really good and we’d like you to stay on.’ do I hear that? No, what I hear is, ‘We can’t find anyone good to do the job right now so would you mind covering until we do?’
I once had a boyfriend who asked me to marry him every other week. I naturally thought he was joking and always laughed it off, but what if he wasn’t, what if I broke a little bit more of his heart every fortnight?
The latest manifestation of my inability to trust came on Saturday morning when my date for the evening rang me up to arrange where to meet. After some small talk he asked, ‘Shall I come up your way?’ It took me a while to recover from my childish sniggering but then I thought about it and decided the only reason he would be offering to go out in my neighbourhood was because it would be easier to get back to mine so he could literally ‘come up my way’. I couldn’t have been more wrong…he was a gent and I was a bitch, I was the one spouting bullshit statements laden with subtext. I was the one who wasn’t being straight up. Until the 4th margarita when truth bombs started exploding all over the table – but that’s a story for another time.
This date reminded me that although I pride myself on my honesty, it only stretches so far. I am, for the most part, too scared to tell the truth, of saying how I really feel. If you say how you feel it just opens you to the possibility of pain and rejection, and the possibility of submitting someone else to pain and rejection and I’d rather not go there. If I don’t always tell the truth for these reasons, and I believe in honesty, then how can I expect anyone else to? It’s much safer to avoid reality and live a shallow surface existence. The trouble is I am scared that by avoiding deep pain, you forfeit deep joy.
Luckily I have noticed a small shift of late, which gives me hope. With all this public therapy I’ve been giving myself (and submitting you lot to) I am more willing to face reality, to be brutally, gut-wrenchingly honest with myself, and with others. So I hope there is progress being made and the next time someone tells me they like me I won’t think it’s only because they want something from me, but I might think it’s because they actually like me. Just because. And if I like them, or if I don’t, I’ll just bloody tell them, just because. No subtext, no drama, just trust. There can’t be a much better motive than that.