I have, for the most part, felt perpetually abused and unloved. I didn't trust anyone. I didn't trust myself.
Expect the worst and you'll never be disappointed.
I was married to a man I didn't trust. I was surrounded by people I didn't trust and I didn't know how to escape from it.
And then, one day, it hit me. The worst has already happened and I've survived. I have hidden myself away and still been injured. I have been abused at work, in a place where I felt like safety was guaranteed. There is no certainty in this world. The only surety I have is myself.
I've got this.
So I re-framed my thoughts. It didn't matter whether I opened myself up and allowed myself to trust and gotten hurt. That was no reason to keep me away from trusting all together. No. Because I realised that if I trusted and someone betrayed that... well, that wasn't on me. That's on them.
I used to fear my Husband would cheat on me. Don't let him in completely and then it won't matter if he leaves. How ridiculous. Because I was protecting myself from something that had nothing to do with me. His actions, anyone's actions, are on them. You can't protect yourself for a blow that may never come. And you can't close yourself off on the off-chance that someone will wrong you.
If my Husband were to cheat on me, that would be on him. I can't do anything to stop it. I can't not trust and believe and have faith and, quite simply, not enjoy my life because of the threat of maybe.
And I've since discovered that trusting is a heck of a lot easier than not. Holding on to the what ifs? is challenging and all consuming. It's twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Not trusting and living with walls is positively endless. And it's no bloody fun.
But, I must admit, it's really hard to tear down your walls and trust yourself. I think when you're parent-less, even if it's by choice, there's the pervading notion that you are worthless. You are unlovable. You are nothing. And, so, not trusting is really the simplest conclusion to draw. Because not trusting means never getting hurt. Or, rather, it seems if you don't trust you'll always be prepared for the inevitable blows.
My parents didn't love me as I am. They didn't love me in the way I needed. But that doesn't make me unlovable. That just makes my childhood really sucky. But that doesn't mean the rest of my life has to be.
You know what I've realised about trust? When I started to love myself, when I started to trust myself, trust that I could weather any storm, trust that if it was just me for the rest of my life that I would be okay, trust that I can do this, well, that's when I could trust other people. And, after awhile, the doubt no longer lingers and you're no longer suffocated by the what ifs? and you're just you. And you're living and it's really fucking fabulous.
I suppose it's really easy for someone whose past all the icky stuff to spout on about how great life is on the other side -- on the side of trusting and loving yourself. And it does seem really easy now but for years, in the back of my head, I heard a voice telling me to let my guard down, to let myself say "I love you" without fear, and I didn't do anything with it because I wasn't ready.
It took a long time for me to get there. It took two men mistreating me to see my value. It took two men diminishing my worth for me to see how fucking amazing I am. Maybe, without them, I would never have gotten there. Or maybe it would have come with age or time or genius. Who knows? What I do know is this --
If there is that voice telling you to give it a go. To trust. To finally start living. Don't push it down. Don't hide it away. Keep listening. You might not be ready today or tomorrow. It may take ten years or more. But one day you'll be ready to listen to it and it will be magical.