Day sixteen of my 365 Day Blogging Challenge sees me having to write about someone I trust…
Trust. When I think of this word I think of three things:
1. An emotion that I used to give it all too freely, much to my detriment.
2. The beautiful 1990 film by Hal Hartley.
3. That over the course of several events, my ability to trust has been destroyed.
The most catastrophic event was the emotionally abusive relationship I found myself in.
Over the course of this friendship/relationship my self-confidence and self-belief was eroded over months of veiled and open attack that focussed on every factor of my life. All that I felt, thought, did and believed was maliciously criticised and ridiculed. My physical appearance was open slather and, no matter what, fault was found even when I was doing precisely what this person had requested I do.
There were times that my ‘crimes’ were deemed so severe I was punished with public humiliation; not something that is going to go down too well with someone suffering from social anxiety.
There were times when I was forced to isolate myself from family and friends as I knew my girlfriend would turn on me if I didn’t do as she desired. On one occasion when I chose to spend forty-five minutes with my family – against this person’s wishes – it triggered a nine-hour attack that lasted until four ‘o’ clock in the morning.
That all of this happened at a time when I was suffering from Glandular Fever and was working to rebuild my life following a period of depression after the end of a long-term relationship did not help. With my emotional, mental and physical self being in a constant state of exhaustion I was ill prepared to identify what was happening or put into place ways to counteract it.
In 2002 I emigrated to Australia from my home in the UK. I did so following an eighteen month relationship with a woman whom I had met in Scotland. A relationship I desired to continue.
After spending years working through the restrictions of working holiday visas, temporary residence and the heavy stress and cost of permanent residency my partner informed me that in the months preceding my arrival in Australia and for a period of time afterwards, she was engaged in an affair with another man.
She did so because she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to be with me or him.
However much pain this affair caused, it was nothing compared to the betrayal of being lied to or the futility of the sacrifices I had made. Contrary to popular opinion emigrating to another country – especially as one as far from home as Australia is to the UK – is not simple.
What also hurt more than the affair itself was the continuing denial of the affair. I had suspected since before I moved to Australia that it was occurring. My questions over my suspicions were not only met with emphatic negatives but laced with the implication I was a terrible person for suspecting she was capable of doing something like this.
And then, screening from 2001 – 2003, they made another “final” trilogy. Despite some amusing lines and the joy of seeing the excellent cast again, they left a bad taste in my mouth after such an excellent ending seven years earlier.
Why didn’t the BBC just leave it alone? Sometimes ratings are not the most important thing.
The assaults I received in 2007. Nuff said.
Homelessness.I won’t go into much detail of this here in fear of overlap with my Reflections on being homeless series, but if there was anything (other than emotional, physical and sexual assault) that will erode your trust in the world to the point of nothing it is homelessness.
Given my trust in the world had already been eroded, it shouldn’t be too difficult to work out the effect this had on my ability to trust.
In late 2011 I was told by a psychiatrist that when I was twelve years old I should have understood in intricate, detailed knowledge my sister’s mental health diagnosis. As such I had no right to react the way that I did and have only myself to blame for the issues it caused me.
Therefore, there was – and never has been – anything wrong with me.
Sitting here now, with the ghosts of the last five years haunting my thoughts, I struggle to believe I will ever trust again.
On a daily basis I’m hounded by the voice of my abuser and the unequivocal support she received from my friends. Since she told me my voice was so boring and monotonous it inflicts pain on anyone I talk to, and that I should kill myself to cease inflicting this pain, I have been paranoid whenever I talk to anyone. I am not a sadist, nor have I ever wished to be.
Given I spent years sharing personal and intimate information with her, only to discover our entire friendship had been a carefully constructed ‘game’ (her admittance), why would I open myself to the same pain by opening up to someone in the future?
How can I believe in a world that allows people to suffer in dehumanized states of homelessness and despair? How can I trust in television companies when they refuse to leave shows that reached a logical nigh on perfect conclusion alone? How can I believe in people when there are so many out there who inflict such grotesque destruction for no other reason than their personal pleasure?
More than anything I want to be able to trust again.
After years of being unable to trust others whilst growing up I’ve never been able to forgive the perpetrator of the abuse for undoing this hard work and reducing me to nothing; all under the defense of “wanting to change me”, to “fix me” so I can be “a better person”.
The simple truth is, as should be clear by now, I don’t trust anyone. Not a soul. I have done in the past, but I cannot bring myself to do so anymore. Why would I open myself up to be the recipient of such pain again?
How can I trust anyone when I don’t even trust myself?