Trust is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Before my eating disorder/addictions and the trauma in my history, I struggled with it. I didn’t know how to trust people and was under the assumption that everyone would eventually hurt me. Nobody deserved my trust because they would eventually turn it against me.
During my eating disorder/addictions/trauma my sense of trust got worse. I didn’t want to hang out with anyone on their own. I didn’t want people to touch me unless I invited them to. I didn’t want people to even look at me because that would give them too much information.
I didn’t trust people hardly at all. I barely even trusted myself. I didn’t know what I was going to do, how I felt, what I wanted. I had no basis for understanding how trusting people felt.
Trusting people is still something I struggle with. I found that when I started being more open about myself and my struggles, I was better able to trust that people wouldn’t hurt me after they knew me. If I put forward the information first, they cannot use it against me later. That seemed easier.
That still isn’t the definition of trust, but it was the beginning of learning to trust myself. If I could talk about what I’m experiencing and living through, then maybe others could meet me where I was at. It also allowed me to understand more of myself, which gave me some amount of trust in the fact that I know who I am.
I don’t remember how I learned to trust people that weren’t me, but I know it wasn’t a single step. It started as I described above, and has since moved into something entirely different. How I got from “they can only hurt me with information if I don’t tell them first” to “most people are good people and I want them around” is kind of a mystery. That’s okay.
How to get from “most people are good people and I want them around” to “humans are good” is still a mystery. I’m not sure that I will ever make that jump because I am still cautious. I still don’t like being by myself with new people for the first time. I meet up with people in coffee shops and theaters, where plenty of people are around. If I made a new friend and go hang out with them, I have my sister check in with me at specified times.
I had a therapist tell me once that I could not live my entire life in fear. I don’t think this is living in fear, I think it is living in cautious optimism. I still do what I want to do and hangout with who I want to hangout with, I just have backup plans in case my trust in humanity is a little too optimistic.
The truth is, people still have to earn my undying trust in them. Honestly, I think that’s okay. Not every person we meet is to be trusted, and we have to follow our intuition on that. Without the clouding of my eating disorder/addictions/trauma, it has become much easier to find the people I can trust and move on from those I can’t.
Recovery allows me to become who I want to be on a daily basis. Every aspect is a work in progress, but I will always be a work in progress.
After all, here I am, writing this blog, when I know all of this information can easily be used against me. Progress.