I’ve been feeling a distinct lack of trust in my life lately. Usually I’m fine in my independence, but sometimes I need someone I feel comfortable talking to. It is a weird sort of loneliness, as if everyone who knows me is content with their own perceptions of who I am, uninterested in anything other than casual understanding. I feel like I’m on no one’s priority list. I wish I felt comfortable talking to someone, but even when I talk to my mom I feel like she has no confidence in my abilities and no desire to accept that I’m not the person she has always wanted me to be. She will read this and, as usual, think that I’m painting her in bad light instead of realizing that I feel this way because, though I love her, talking to her causes me stress and that I haven’t felt comfortable telling her what is close to my heart since junior high. She will feel attacked instead of wondering why, whenever I talk to her, the only thing I hear is disapproval. My uncle Collier gave me some frank and excellent advice about this while fishing in Canada one year, which is one reason why those trips are so special to me.
I’ve been trying to help people out with their problems, small and large, quite a bit lately. I get the idea that other people need my help more than I need theirs. So on the rare occasions when people ask me if I need anything, I feel obligated to say no. I don’t want to bother them with my uncertainties and fears. This is a problem I’ve always had. I don’t like appearing weak or vulnerable. This comes across as aloofness or arrogance to many people and prevents me from becoming close enough to tell and trust someone with the things I need help with.
I think my fear of trusting was born from three different sources.
- My father: finding out that he cheated on my mother, seeing his violent, hate-filled and hurt side to the point where jumping out of a car was a viable and best solution. That was much worse than his normal casual indifference and manipulative disapproval.
- My mother: In junior high, sharing with her the initials of a girl I had a crush on, and her asking around and finding out who it was. I was mortified that other people, strangers, knew who I had a crush on. Also, when she put my dog Rosie to sleep without telling me. Coupled with her disapproval, I’ve not felt secure talking to her about anything remotely personal since then.
- My roommate: Pretty much the only friend I had in the class of 2003, he hooked up with a teammate he knew I had a crush on when I went home for my mother’s 50th birthday and proceeded to blatantly fool around with her in our room for the rest of the school year.
Writing that last part made me realize that the whole reason I started this weblog was to place my trust issues in a place external to me where they can be examined and [most likely] forgotten about for a time. I might be creating my own internal informational cascade. Lately I’ve been doing my best at being completely open and honest about my insecurities with one person, but it is very scary because, even though I’ve been doing so, I still don’t know if I can trust them.
I expect that I’ll get a few comments saying “You can talk to me, man.” but that will be the same mechanism as when someone talks about how they need a hug and someone immediately offers one. Some of the authenticity of the offer is lost. Of course, the previous is also just me preemptively saying that I don’t need any help. A cleft stick of my own devising, and the only way out is to just go ahead and trust.