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Monday, December 13, 2010


This word has always fascinated me. One definition seems obvious: "The state of relying on something or someone," but another definition leaves me mystified: "Certainty based on past experience."

The first, in my world, is negative. I must never rely on anyone--ever. It's a mantra which became ingrained in my head as far back as I can remember.

The second, in my world, is something I am trying to negate. Most of my certainties are based on extreme circumstances which, hopefully, the majority of people will not experience. Given such extremity, my certainties are unreliable and often untrue.

Add to this the prevailing synonym for the word "reliance" : TRUST.

None of this adds up for me.

[The state of relying on someone or something] = [Certainty based on past experience] = Trust

My head just exploded.

One does not rely on other people.

Past experience tells me that I will likely be used and abused and left alone to clean up the remaining mess.

Trust is scary beyond belief.

Once Therapist asked me who I trust. I thought for a very long time before I finally answered...No One. I trust no one. But in the process of drawing that conclusion, I thought about Darrin, who certainly deserves and has earned my trust, and friends like Tolkien Boy, and Jason, and AtP, and Ambrosia, and Sister P., and many others who became my friends nearly four years ago and who are still here--who still welcome me into their lives and try to help me when I need it.

Why don't I trust them?

It's not that I distrust them, either.

Tolkien Boy told me recently, that he relies on me. When I pressed him for an explanation, the words he said, in my mind, were interpreted thusly: Somehow, I have become an integral part of his life. Sometimes he enjoys sharing with me the things he thinks about and experiences. He likes knowing who I am and where to find me.

There is a part of me that wishes to find every person I love deeply and bind them to me somehow--not in a way that's harmful, but in a way that lends strength and support, if that makes any sense. But it also does not wish to ever let them go away, and that's the part which causes an equal and opposite reaction which says, no one should ever belong to anyone in any way and my desire is wrong. My whole purpose in being involved in someone's life is to point them toward the time when they no longer wish me to be there and they have the freedom to leave whenever they wish.

Have I confused the heck out of anyone yet? Because I'm completely muddled at this point.

Is there a way for me to enjoy the people I love without feeling I've committed some sort of trespass?

Will there come a time when I stop counting the days that AtP pops in and says hello, tells me he just woke up, and wanders away to find something to eat--when I exhale slowly and enjoy one more exchange with him, simultaneously dreading the day when it no longer happens?

Someday, will I understand exactly what it means when Tolkien Boy tells me he expects we'll be friends forever, rather than assigning that statement my cynical definition which says, "Eventually Samantha will become boring and then we can go to that tradition of sending annual Christmas cards...what a relief..."?

Will I ever relax enough to figure out that when Jason and Ambrosia say they enjoy spending time with me--that's exactly what they mean? And no amount of analysis will add hidden meanings or slanderous undercurrents, because no one really wants to work that hard and, honestly, what would be the point?

Someday, will I finally recognize that for some people, love changes and wanes and even turns to hatred or resentment--but not for all people? Sometimes love grows and brings acceptance and structure and familiarity and security, and it's okay to expect a hug or a smile, or even a hand to hold when life feels scary or sad.

And maybe it's okay, once in awhile, to rely on someone and to allow them to rely on me, as well--whatever the reason.

And maybe one day I will have stored up enough new experiences that my certainties will be based on my interactions with people who truly love me; who act in healthy, constructive ways; and for whom the idea of hurting me is completely foreign.

And maybe, in the meantime, I can try out this trust thing. I think I'll probably be very bad at it, and there's a possibility it could backfire--but one never knows until one tries, right? And it's also possible that it won't backfire and one day I'll wake up, realize I'm a very old lady and I've finally figured out the equation for reliance--and perhaps it will even make sense, barring senility and Alzheimer's.

However, should the senility/Alzheimer's thing happen first--I think we should never play hide and seek. I'll end up being lost forever. On this you can rely...


  1. I was just thinking about trust yesterday. I have some issues, I think, too, though a little different and with much less justification from my past, as far as I can tell. *shrug*

  2. I've been told that it's normal to have trust issues--and actually a good thing because it helps us be cautious about trusting people who will use us. And I don't necessarily believe one must be justified to have feelings of wariness about other people, especially when we have past history of any type of misused trust.

    I've also been told that unless we learn to allow greater access to ourselves through appropriately trusted individuals, we begin to feel isolated and freakish...and I'll admit that there are times when isolated and freakish seems preferable.

    Anyway, I'm working on it. I wish you luck as you do the same. :-)