More on Trust

There were some errors in the ritual calendar, but they are corrected now.

Mary and Karen’s comments on “Trust” are right on. Some of us consistently have the problem of trusting too much, rather than too little. Others oscillate between the two extremes.

There are several possible reasons to be overly trusting. Probably most important, it’s a protection against feeling helpless. If everybody else is good, then if they hurt you they are doing it for your own good. So, if you change your behavior, they won’t have to hurt you any more. And if you try hard enough, you can change and everything will be fine. The illusion of being in control gives a strange sort of hope. It was a very depressing day when I figured out that nothing I did would prevent me from being hurt.

After having been taken advantage of once too often, I found I was being overly trusting to differentiate myself from my abusers. They did not believe me when I told the truth, or, if they did, they didn’t let on. Therefore I bent over backwards to believe people when they lied. If I misjudged, I would hurt myself, not the other person. How many times, in cult situations, do we choose to hurt ourselves rather than others? Even knowing that it will make no difference, that the people we were trying to protect would be hurt regardless, we hurt ourselves. If we hurt the other person, we would be like our abusers in our own eyes; that was unbearable. And the other person might think we did it willingly. That was unbearable, too.

Sometimes I see people being overly trusting, like a big floppy golden Labrador retriever. It makes me think they are trying to be ingratiating. “Like me! Like me! Pay attention to me! Look how nice and friendly I am!” Maybe it works sometimes, but trying too hard usually comes across as needy, not appealing.

Me, I think I am both at once. On the surface I trust everybody until they prove they are out to screw me. And they don’t get a second chance; they get many chances to prove me wrong. But underneath I expect everybody to betray me, and so I don’t let myself be vulnerable, don’t let others in. I guard my deepest self as if my life depended on it, which it certainly did once.

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3 thoughts on “More on Trust

    1. Trying (and may have already done it) to let you know how clearly you expressed my experiences, feelings and behaviors. I catch myself sometimes now (after much internal work), but other times only see how I have been too trusting after the fact. Thanks for all of your posts.

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