Coping with Loss – Chapter 22 – Trusting

When you lose someone important, it is often you feel like something has been stolen from you. This can lead some to fear when they might lose again while others might be lead to fear their own inevitable demise. Personally, I felt like a trust has been broken, leaving me with a bitter sense of distrust towards everything I once found comfort in believing.

I have always been somewhat forthcoming when it came to trust. I’ve had my share of backstabs and betrayals like most anyone has. I learned the hard way that people will just as easily befriend you simply to toss you aside when you are no longer useful to them. It is just a sad but true fact of life. I have also be in many a situation where the trust of family members has been my folly, almost as many times as strangers have backstabbed me. Yet I still found myself finding ways to overcome and learn to trust again. You act, you fail, you learn, and you repeat this cycle until your successes begin to outweigh your failures.

When my mother passed away, what I felt was not that she had been stolen from me, but rather that a promise had been broken. As naive as I may have been, when she told me in my youth that she’d always be there, I truly believed it. As I grew up, I realized just how important those small words meant to me. Having someone always there to point out my mistakes, to teach me and of course; to stop me from falling into a bottomless pit. She was not a safety net, but more like a reliable beacon that I could always look to when I was lost. When she was gone, she took with her that beacon. She broke a promise that I was foolish to believe she could keep.

As time moved on, and I adjusted to life without her, I realized just how important that beacon was. There are always times in my life that I struggle to overcome. Things that to well-adjusted adults seem trivial in nature. These minor struggles are what I tend to get hung up in the most. I nit-pick at them, like trying to figure out how to move a boulder in my path instead of merely walking around it and moving on. It is fair to say I am just inept at being a function adult, but to some capacity, it is just how my mind works. This is where I would always simply ask, “Is this really as hard as I think it is?” to which she would reply in a kind but mature way “No, you’re just over-analyzing. Just move past it.” Sure I could tell these things to myself, but just like someone with self-esteem issues, hearing it from someone else carries more weight than what you tell yourself.

This all going back to the main issue; with the breaking of such an unrealistic promise, I find myself unable to truly trust others anymore. I notice myself more isolated than I used to be, cautiously waltzing around any topics that may require me to express how I feel. Sure I can mindlessly talk about my opinions on a movie or show, proclaim my love or hate for a type of pizza, but when it comes to a serious conversation about life, I will always be quick to make a joke and brush the topic aside as quickly as possible. That is just my way of coping with mistrust, laughter and sarcasm. This is clearly unhealthy, and the typical response is always the one that makes the least sense; talk to someone about it.

Talk to someone? Like a person, who I must first TRUST enough to share personal feelings with? That sort of logic is always, and I mean always, met with heavy amounts of sarcasm. I find no trust in paying another human to listen to my problems, ergo any sort of psychologist or therapist is out of the question. I also don’t find pleasure in talking about serious issues with family members, as I tend to find the conversation more akin to a debate between two opposed political parties with vastly opposite and radical viewpoints. So then the last bastion of hope would be friends. Since her passing, I’ve not once sat down and honestly expressed how I feel about the situation with anyone I truly call a friend. It is not a lack of their part, but rather, my own disinterest in being that open and exposed with someone, regardless of how good a friend they are. This problem of course was the burden I tossed onto my mother. She was the person who I trusted with all my secrets, all my fears and worries, all my pain and my happiness. She was the only person that at the end of the day, no matter what, would be neutral and open to listening to whatever I had to say.

I recall spending hours just sitting on the couch while she watched television and just talking to her about random ideas I had in my head. I would go on imaginative rollercoasters that borderline insanity, and she would sit there, giving me snarky replies and realistic advice. Ultimately, she was my mother, and best friend. When someone who’s that close to you breaks a promise, it affects you. Regardless of what the promise was, being hurt by that person is worse than being stabbed in the back by one-hundred acquaintances. The way I see it, if even my own mother could break my trust, then surely everyone else at some point will as well. However, if I don’t give them anything to break, then nothing will get broken. So I sit and stupidly hoard all my trust, like a child unwilling to see the benefits in sharing, scared of what might but not necessarily could happen.

I am not sitting here trying to pander for someone to trust. I know that there are those in my life that I should trust enough to talk about how I feel with. The problem is just in learning to overcome that deep cut that you never expected to happen. I honestly wish I knew the answer, I would probably be happier if I did. The only thing I know is that at some point, there will come I time when I can’t keep bottling up everything. At some point the pain will begin to rot away at me, crawling on the back of my every thought and action. Slowly tormenting me until I can no longer handle listening to the things I should have gotten rid of years ago. I hope that I can find a way to overcome my trust issues, but until then, I just have to do my best to keep holding in all the things that continually weigh me down.