Here’s the deal. Here’s what I’ve come to know; I absolutely, positively, have trust issues BUT I also don’t “just have” trust issues. I have trust issues AND ALSO LIAR issues. Do you get my gist? I have issues with people who say they’re going to do one thing and then don’t follow through. I have issues with people who set expectations and then get angry when you hold them to their word… These trust issues I have are conditioned responses to the utter violations of respect and boundaries people have committed and 50% of that is my fault.xx, Me
I wish I could give you the exact moment I lost my trust in my relationships with men; maybe it was in my childhood in not seeing kisses and intimate moments between any of the adults I knew; maybe my first boyfriend who hooked up with a girl with more advanced biological features who was known to do more advanced things than I was; maybe when my first “true love” cheated on me the first week he was in college and berated me for even daring to ask such a stupid question about why he would ever do something so awful (which he later admitted to me he did, in fact, actually do); maybe when I sunk so low as to cheat back, which I still feel guilty for to this day. The reality is, probably all of these things contributed to my sh*tty sh*t inability to ever trust; it has never let up. Until now.
Now? OK. Well, I mean, not now and also now in the sense that I don’t have any trust issues because I am by myself right now. Or maybe it’s because right now I know I am with someone I can trust to look out for the person in my life I should protect and care for the most: me. I have my best interests at heart. I have my safety and protection in mind. And no one who is going to disappoint me is going to do so, unless it’s myself. That’s quite a paragraph to write.
You guys I don’t want to be a dumpster-fire of insecurity, believe me. I wish I was as confident in relationships as my friends are. But also, if I’m being honest, I think (and have yet to be proven wrong) every single one of my friends who talks about trust like it’s some definitive never-changing thing you should just give blindly is honestly just asking to have their trust eviscerated; I don’t mean to be cynical, it’s just, I’ve never been shown anything other than this. And the two or three friends who keep telling me to trust my partners without exception and not be so uptight, got cheated on by the very people they said they trusted implicitly. Not a good batting average, if you ask me. I sometimes feel people share things out loud because they need to hear it coming from their own mouths, confidently, to convince themselves. And honestly, good for them. I admire them for their bravery in trying their best to put a positive spin on trusting men. I just don’t.
I promise you, I WANT to trust romantic partners. I really do. Do you think I liked being home feeling a pit of burning coal charring my insides any time my ex-partner promised he was going to come home and didn’t? How about when he said he was only staying for one drink and I supported it and said ok let’s try this trust thing again and then when he said he would be home soon two hours later he wasn’t, didn’t answer my call, and when he finally did text me it was to say he was not going to come home until he felt like it, after HE was the one who set the expectation of when he was coming home in the first place. When I got frustrated, he told me this is why he doesn’t want to come home to me, because I’m too controlling. TOO CONTROLLING? For asking you to let me know if you change your mind? To not drink and drive? To at least communicate with me so I’m not waiting around with the dinner I made and the movie I rented, all the while my frustration growing with every passing moment I’m left in the dark? And somehow I’m told by his friends and mine I should just let him do that, that I need to not be co-dependent and should let him make his choices. How in the world am I supposed to not communicate my disappointment to someone who set the time and expectation of when they would be home, who said they wanted to do dinner and watch a movie, and then after a few drinks (a habit he didn’t WANT to control) have him tell me he doesn’t ever want to come home to me because I expect him to be someone he’s not, because the person he is doesn’t want to have to follow-through with plans or the expectations his own words set! Talk about a mind-f*ck!
Or how about the time when an ex told me he wasn’t drunk and I put down the phone we were facetiming on only to witness him pour straight vodka into a glass and set it next to his wine glass (that was also full of alcohol) just to then tell me I was nuts when I asked if that was vodka in the glass. He literally lied to my face and said it was water when I WATCHED HIM OPEN THE VODKA AND POUR IT IN THE GLASS. Are you kidding? I felt like I was taking crazy pills!!!!
Here’s the deal. Here’s what I’ve come to know; I absolutely, positively, have trust issues BUT I also don’t “just have” trust issues, I have trust issues AND ALSO LIAR issues. Do you get my gist? I have issues with people who say they’re going to do one thing and then don’t follow through. I have issues with people who set expectations and then get angry when you hold them to their word. I have issues with people who tell partial truths, knowing full well they are omitting part of it, like the time a recent ex told me he was going to get his hair cut by a “friend” and later I find out the friend is the last girl he was sleeping with before we started dating and he not only got his hair cut with her but he then drove her home. He didn’t bother to tell me the “friend” was this girl until after the fact, and then apologized as if asking for forgiveness was better than letting me know beforehand. He swore they were just friends. When I explained to him he couldn’t be “just friends” with a girl he was sleeping with over the span of months who he then told he wasn’t interested in going any further with and she said it was ok to be “just friends,” he told me I was wrong. Cue a week later when she found out he was dating me. Cue her sending him NOVEL sized text messages proving my exact point that she was not interested in being “just friends”; she was interested in spending time with him for as long as it took for him to maybe one day realize their “friendship” was more. And he couldn’t see it because he told himself the lie that he wanted to hear; he wanted to have his cake and eat it too. And he thought I was going to sit back and watch it happen. Now that’s the real thing I have issues with. And I am SO f*cking tired of being told it’s my issues that cause these things to be lied about. I am tired of being told someone lies to me because I bring it out of them; no mother effer, you lie because you’re a liar!! Let’s get real for one second: the reason I don’t trust you is because you are not trustworthy! And the angrier you get about me saying please don’t lie just be honest with me, the clearer it becomes that you ARE in fact lying. I truly don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as angry as a man-boy lying, getting caught, and then fuming because he got caught, knows it and is pissed off I called him on it. You know exactly what I mean, right?
When it comes down to it, everyone lies. I get that. Even I have been known to tell them (though I am not proud of that fact and work every day to be more honest with myself and every one else). Lies like, “absolutely I think it’s AWESOME you go out and drink with your friends (even though you haven’t given me any money towards our utilities in three months).” Or, “of course you should stay out and drink with your friends (even though I’ve been taking care of our dog for the past 10 hours and could really use a break to go to the gym).” Or my even more favorite one, “Of course I want to pay to put gas in your car to miss my family on Christmas day to drive to your family’s house after I just had to buy their gifts (because you won’t get a second job to take care of your half of our bills or buy thoughtful gifts for your family, let alone me, for this holiday you knew was coming because it is literally the SAME EXACT DATE every single year and I know that can be confusing…it makes sense you wouldn’t want to get a second or different job so you could afford that while I go to a job every day that makes me want to rip my hair out), of course baby, I love that idea…”
The reality is lies suck. And even the most itty bitty little tiny lies that seem insignificant and irrelevant in their content, maybe even helpful, seem justifiable if you are a person who pats yourself on the back for being a person with partial principles and so-so boundaries. BUT, the honest truth is, lying is nearly always a selfishly-motivated choice because the dishonesty is happening to make things go more smoothly. Dishonestly is always a choice, and ethically dishonesty is really always wrong because it is based in deceit. And so let’s go one step further: when you are basing your statements or choices in deceit you are being dishonest with yourself and are carving away at YOUR moral compass, which can then accrue like piles of sh*t in your heart, thereby later rendering you resentful and angry you had to lie. And then guess what? The simple itty bitty little tiny lies end up harming the numero uno you SHOULD have protected from the start… YOU!.
Most people I have experience with, unfortunately, lack in the discernment department about what lies are helpful, good and harmless (if we can say any are) and those that are more questionable, self-serving and cowardly to tell. The truth, though, is lies are always a place to hang your hat when you are not being strong enough to be honest.
Here’s the even bigger thing when it comes to lies: one teeny, tiny lie can pick up debris like a snowball down a mountain; at first it’s the size of a pebble, but as time passes it collects more and more momentum and absorbs it’s surroundings until a boulder-sized lie comes tumbling down the mountain, and that lie also now has the name of shame, and at that point you just, can’t, stop it. The other problem is, as research has shown, once a lie has been told and accepted, the TELLER of that lie forms pathways in the brain that signal that lying is not only ok, but carries with it no true repercussions. What’s even worse, that pathway in that brain actually has been shown to CHANGE over time so the lies they tell actually feel like the truth when they tell them. Just a little tidbit there if you were wondering if lies are always harmful; I always feel anything that conditions us to be less ethical probably isn’t a great thing to do, especially when it eventually harms the people we love (including ourselves).
At the end of the day, this whole rant is to say, I have trust issues. I know that. I know I look at things very critically and my already overactive brain processes things before the person telling the lie even understands the full impact of what they’re doing. It is a blessing and a curse to have a mind like this. I also have this internal instinct system that gives me a racing in my heart and nausea in my stomach when someone lies to me or is making a choice to harm me. Call it my reptilian brain from past experiences (and if you don’t know what your reptilian brain is I urge you to explore this), call it all of the ancestors inside of me screaming not to touch the hot stove, call it whatever you want. The reality is, my body ALWAYS tells me when something is off, and I have VERY RARELY been wrong about the conclusions my instinct has made before I mentally process all of the information as the concrete data becomes available.
Trust yourself people. Trust your instincts. Trust your observations. Trust what you feel when someone looks you in the face and tells you something and you feel it’s off. I’m not urging you to not trust any one, I’m not saying every one is a liar, but I am saying let trust be proven and earned and trust yourself first.
And most of all, understand that it is always a choice to let someone lie, to let them get away with that lie, and to not adjust your boundaries because of it. So that means these trust issues I have are conditioned responses to the utter violations of respect and boundaries people have committed and 50% of that is my fault. As I like to say, trust is a jar that is empty at the beginning of a relationship. Either you are adding marbles in to establish more trust or you are taking them out. If someone makes you feel badly when they cause a marble to be displaced from that jar do NOT blame yourself but step-up and assert your boundaries. STOP MOVING THE LINE FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T DESERVE IT! A good person, someone worth being with, will always work to make you feel safe, heard, loved and respected and the second they don’t, you have to see the red flag for exactly what it is. Don’t settle for less than this. Trust me, it’s a waste of time, energy and life you will never get back.