Building Trust

One of the hardest things a person can do is trust. It’s difficult to trust someone else, but what I’ve discovered is that it’s even harder to trust yourself.

It’s especially difficult to learn to trust yourself again after you’ve been in a difficult relationship. In a relationship that ended in lies – but in those lies you were made to doubt yourself, you were made to feel like you were just making things up, you were made to feel like you were misremembering things, you were made to feel like you couldn’t believe what your own heart and brain were telling you. You don’t want to become bitter and distrustful of everyone simply because one person wronged you, but it’s also difficult to be as trustful as you once were.

So learning to trust someone else is hard, because you can’t be sure if you can trust your own judgement any more. You aren’t sure if what you’re feeling is real because of those doubts. So you build your walls high and you’re afraid to let people in. There’s an ache, a physical ache, that is both a longing to let someone in and a fear of being vulnerable.

But I think the hardest thing to explain is that when you do start to trust someone, it’s all or nothing. You let them in completely, although they may not know it. They may not know that what they see as something small is the biggest thing you are capable of in that moment – trusting them to know your past and still willing to spend time with them, hoping you can one day give everything to them.

The simple act of telling someone you miss them is not so simple at all. It’s a gesture that shows that you have reached her heart. Letting someone in every day causes both pain and joy, causes vulnerability and comfort.

When you are learning to trust yourself as well as someone else, it’s not the “normal” things you want when you start a new relationship. You don’t care about the flowers or the fancy dinners out. No, you care about if they text you when they’re thinking of you. You care if they show up when they say that they will. You care about the quiet moments together. These are the things that you want to show that they are safe and worth trusting.

I know that when I care for someone, I care deeply and strongly. So it’s a scary thing to trust someone new. I know that when I trust them, when I care for them, they then have the power to hurt me if they ever leave. It’s a strange and scary thing to be excited to let someone new into my life, while also being unsure of what to do. It’s a like a vortex of emotion that can pull you in – one way or the other.

Sometimes you spiral into excitement of what the future could hold. Sometimes you spiral into doubt.

All I know is that my past has colored who I am and the pain, the guilt – while they have become scars – are still there. I have been left different from who I was before. I am slower to trust, but my heart is still there – wanting to be loved, but needing someone who is patient enough to understand that the dents and the scars have left my rose-colored glasses cracked.

I want someone who can accept that it might take a little longer but is still willing to wait for me. I want someone who isn’t willing to give up and will fight for what they know we can have – someone who will weather the storm of emotions that might finally knock down that wall so they have my full and complete trust and love. It might feel like 2 steps forward, 1 step back – but it is a dance that we will dance together.

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