Trust vs. Mistrust

In our couples counseling yesterday, our therapist diverted away from the primary topic and asked me, “You don’t have a lot of faith in people, do you?” That was an easy answer: no, I don’t. The harder question to answer is, “What has happened to you over your life to make you not trust others?”

I’m a mistrustful person by heart, sadly. Being burned many times over throughout my life, especially by those I thought to be loved ones, has taught me to hold myself at arms reach from others, questioning all motives and locking my gaze of inquisition on people until they are proven trustworthy.

Even when I was a child I learned not to expect anyone’s trust. Family members and friends let me down, or used words against me, or broke their word to keep secrets. Others forced me to keep secrets that I didn’t want to know in the first place. Several people were repeat offenders, and yet because they were close to me I continued to try trusting them, thinking that maybe this time would be different, although it never was. I only wish I could share those stories.

As a teenager, I was already more wary of people. I kept my thoughts to myself at first, waiting until friendships were well-formed before truly placing any trust in the person. But more often than not, those “friends” would quickly sell me out if something – or someone – better came along. During my high school graduation all I could think about was how happy I would be to get out of that town.

One friend borrowed things from me all the time, and then the one time I asked for something back, taking it off her nightstand, she said it was hers and accused me of trying to steal something that wasn’t mine. (Wha??) The guys I dated in high school and college? Nearly all cheated on me.

I’m not saying that everyone I’ve ever met has been untrustworthy. There were some nice people in high school. I have some very good friends who I could turn to for anything, as well as some family members who are the first I call when I need an ear.

As usual, the bad stands out more than the good, and those first reactions I learned from years of conditioning have taught me that most people will smile to your face and then laugh at you behind your back. I don’t like to immediately think that, but I was bitten far more than once to make me shy.

Which then leads me to ask: why do I blog? Why should I put myself out there for all to see, sharing thoughts I never say out loud, when I would never do it in person?

Well, at first I didn’t share too much about myself. The blog was mainly about the frustrations and joys of being a new parent – something anyone could relate to. But slowly I began sharing more of myself, and those teasing glimpses have led to my desire to run streaking through my blog, my thoughts naked for all to see.

You could say that blogging is my personal social experiment. Anyone could be reading this blog, but on the other hand, no one could be reading. I’m opening up before entirely trusting the reader partially because it is impossible to trust everyone passing through. I guess I’m teaching myself to be more of an open book, letting everything that has been trapped inside me out. It feels good.

And I’m learning that there are even more great people out there. Sure, trolls still exist and they’re a minor annoyance, but I can’t imagine not sharing most of me with many of you.

Hey, it’s far cheaper than even more therapy, right?

And speaking of sharing most of me, please click over to Hot by Blogher and see how much my figure has changed in 22 days thanks to the 30 Day Shred and diet. I’ve lost only 5 pounds, and didn’t think I’d see much of a change until the photo proof was in front of me!

Family members are once again reminded that they should probably not follow that link, because there are photos of me in a sports bra, and you have to see me in person again someday. It’s better for all of us.

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  1. Hey, I’m the first commenter (for once!) Congrats on the success over the last couple weeks of exercise – you look great already!
    I know it’s hard to open up (for heaven’s sake, I find it basically impossible!) but I’m so glad you do on here – I see so many of my own experiences and thoughts in yours and it’s great knowing I’m not alone! And even though we’ve only gotten to meet in person once, I think I could trust you – not something that comes easily – so I guess I’m just saying there are some of us out there.
    Here’s thinking happy, trusting, weight-losing thoughts!

  2. I followed your link, and wow, wow! You must be so proud of yourself to have such great results. I need to get focused like you.

  3. Congrats on your success with your new fitness program! It must feel great to see that kind of progress and to be inspirational through your blog.

    I often find myself questioning how much I put myself out there in my blog, but you’re right it is like a social experiment.

    I think somewhere along the way we all have trust issues as well and we’ve all felt the pain of having people let us down. I just hope that you can find the strength to make it through these things and maybe find out a little more about yourself along the way.

  4. I am the exact opposite. I tend to be overly honest, so I have always assumed everyone else was too.

    Not so much.

    Still, I trust. I have been burned, but a lot of times people will live up to what you expect of them.

  5. Hi! I can really relate to this post. Party hopping and participating too so stop in for a visit.

  6. Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children says:

    I find myself not trusting too many people either. It’s hard when so many people just aren’t who you think they are.

    I do think that initially blogging allowed me to be more open but lately I’ve been feeling like I share too much. That feeling has taken some of the joy out of blogging.

  7. The difference is noticeable, esp in your waistline and butt. I do ten push-ups every time I go to the bathroom (against a wall if it’s a public one) and it adds up to a bigger impact on your arms, chest, and abs.

  8. Major Bedhead says:

    I don’t trust people either. I want to, I’d like to, but I’ve been burned so many times in the past that I now expect the worst from everyone and I don’t open up that much to new people I meet.

    Blogging seems to bring that out more in me, which is a good thing (I think). I don’t have a lot of traffic to my blog, so I’ve only had one or two trolls but those have often blindsided me and left me in tears, which leads to me being a turtle again and retreating behind memes and links. I keep taking baby steps, though. That’s all we can do.

    I left a comment on your post but I’ll say it again here – your before and after pics are the best advertisement for the Shred thing I’ve ever seen. All your hard work has really paid off – your results are amazing.