talking trust

July 7, 2015 at 9:13 pm 14 comments


Dr. Val and I have been talking about trust on and off.    I think she can’t believe that after all this time, I still don’t trust her. I don’t really know how to respond to that, I can’t make myself trust people… it’s a process and I don’t actually have much control over when I feel safe enough to trust someone. In fact, I don’t even trust myself.

Dr. Val and I w1iplEU.So.156ere talking about when I lived on the streets, after aging-out of the fabulous foster care system. I mentioned that the police sometimes had good advice that was worth listening to.  That cops fell into one of two categories – those that wanted to help and those that wanted to bust your chops.  I said the ones that wanted to help usually had advice like “get a job,” “go back to school” or locations where shelters or soup kitchens were.  Just because I listened to the cops doesn’t mean I trusted them.

Crap, I didn’t want to be a statistic, so if I listened, I didn’t make alot of trouble.  In fact, I was seen as a peacemaker on the streets, because I would try to prevent fights, attacks, bullying, etc.  Not because I was smarter or wiser than others, but because when your situation is already so bad that you are living on the street, fights and attacks don’t make it better.  Crap, I had seen enough violence…

I don’t trust anyone.  Period. I trusted my pets, especially Moonlight because she was straight up.  If she was mad, she let you know it; if she was feeling bothered, she let you know it; if she waths happy, she let you know it.  She would bite me when mad, annoyed, bothered, etc… and stand straight with her tail in the air if she was happy and feeling safe.  Easy to trust that… no games.

People play games.  My bioparents played games.  “Come here LT” — and then my mother would burn me with a cigarette or they would throw me in a closet. How can a little kid trust anything when shit like that happens? I thought I was getting some “caring” only to be hurt.  In foster care, sometimes as you know, it was the same.  Hurt was disguised as caring.  “LT, if you do xyz, you can eat dinner or get a present.”  Nothing was straight up. So how do you learn to trust when everything in your world is masked? On the streets, it was screwed up too…street kids could be very loyal, but they could also turn around and screw you in a heartbeat if it was better for them. Remember, John, the “guy” I hung around streetrapewith on the streets for awhile. Well he is a perfect example of non-trustworthy, streetkid.  He was caring… until he needed money to get out of town. Then he took everything I had, wanted me to get some more (use your imagination how) and smacked me around because I refused. He then took off and I never saw him again.

How can you trust anyone after experiences like these?

I can’t say that I ever trusted anyone really.  Some foster parents (Ms. Liz, the Hippies, Sara and Bill) I learned to have less UNtrust in as time went on, but I still never trusted them 100%, as I knew they were going to send me back like everyone else.  I did things that showed I never trusted them — hiding things, testing them, hidfeeling-safe-at-st-labreing myself, running away, etc.

Trust has alot to do with safety.  If you feel unsafe, you can’t trust your world or those who are in it.  I am often jealous of people I see that are trusting because that means they feel safe and secure.  I don’t.

So what does it mean?  I sit in therapy, experiencing Dr Val as caring, but waiting for the other shoe to drop, for her to try to hurt me too. It’s not just Dr. Val… it’s anyone and everyone.  My life has set me up to NOT trust anyone. If you had a normal childhood and adolescence, trust comes naturally because you feel safe in your world. You don’t even think about it.  My world I never felt safe, still don’t. The only person you can trust in an unsafe world is yourself.





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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. manyofus1980  |  July 7, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    You make a helluva lot of sense LT. Especially your last line, about only trusting in yourself when you dont feel safe. Keep working on it with Dr Val. Maybe in time things will be different. It takes time though…XX

  • 2. jnkmailacc  |  July 7, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I don’t trust anyone either and I had a normal childhood. People are so selfish and you never know how people are when they are alone, hence I leave my children with NO one but my mom, dad, sister, etc. I was never a huge fan but when I was a teenager I once watched Oprah talk to Maya Angalou and she said, ” when people show you who they are, believe them.” I never forgot that quote because if you pay attention people do show you who they are and even tell you who they are. “I’m kind of crazy. I’m an addict. Sometimes I just make shit up.” When people talk, listen. Same with actions, if a guy did something effed up I was gone. He just showed me who he was and how he felt no matter what he said. I owe her big for that life lesson.

    • 3. Lane  |  July 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      There are definitely people in this world that are evil and it is wise to have your guard up…If an abuser can see that they are hurting someone and they continue to do it…that is pure evil…!!

  • 4. s00147954  |  July 7, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I liked what you said about moonlight. Animals are so straightforward and easy to read. I’ve always loved that dogs don’t hold grudges, they can go from mad or annoyed to happy within seconds.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself LT, these things happen at different times for everyone. I have trouble trusting people and I haven’t even been through half of what you have. You’ve had almost a whole life of not being able to trust people, no-one can expect you to be able to change that overnight.


  • 5. Jen Layton  |  July 7, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I’m encouraged for you in that you are able to see that you have “learned to have less ‘UNtrust'” over time. With all of the trauma you have been through I expect that it doesn’t surprise me that you don’t trust anyone 100%. My hope for you is that you can remain open to learning to trust, little by little.

  • 6. Stephanie  |  July 8, 2015 at 12:03 am

    I believe you will not stay in this place of untrust forever. I believe you are changing and growing and small steps + LT’s timing = Big, awesome things. I understand what you mean about animals, they are straightforward and there is not much guessing; I wish more people were like that too. Whenever I read your blogs, I always think there is something awesome in store for you. You are very, very wise and have an important voice. Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

  • 7. Linka  |  July 8, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Good evening, LT! I think that being able to trust in yourself is a good foundation. I feel that over the several years I have been part of your blog crew, that we have seen you develop that trust in yourself. I don’t think it was always 100% there for you. Jen’s hope for you is mine as well-little by little, day by day. That is how it develops in the first place in human beings-little by little, day by day. You have the disadvantage of having had WAY too many experiences that make that day by day journey into trust a rough road to trod. Being able to trust yourself is actually a miraculous thing for you, I think! Trusting that you make the right choices, trusting enough to listen to Dr. Val and consider her perspectives, trusting that you CAN overcome the trauma that has been walking with you on your path for oh, so long…you must trust that, or I don’t think you would still be here on this planet with us…a big part of my learning to trust myself as I have grown and developed has been learning how to listen to my gut…you know, that “gut feeling” you can get about things…I don’t know if you and Dr. Val ever talk about the fact that the gut KNOWS…tuning into your gut when you are with Dr. Val, or KC, or anyone else, will let you know if you can trust them. Tuning into your body, when you have experienced trauma, is something you might need help with if you haven’t learned how yet, or have become disconnected from it. People who have experienced trauma have a trend of shutting down feelings, including the feelings the gut gives for our personal guidance…Just my thoughts before I am off to bed. Know I think about you every day, and pray for your highest good. (I do trust that prayers work. My gut tells me so, lol! Not to mention lots of people affirming so all throughout history…just an interesting fact, for your current exploration into spirituality and religions-there are 4 common beliefs shared by all organized AND unorganized religions: a Higher Power, angels/spirits, prayer, and miracles.) Blessings!

  • 8. onemorewithus  |  July 8, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Hi LT!
    I can imagine how you feel… It saddens me to know you suffer as you feel unsafe all the time.
    I don’t know, friend. I wish there’s more I could do to help.

  • 9. silentlistener2510  |  July 8, 2015 at 12:27 am

    Hey Lt,

    Thank you for articulating all of this.
    Sometimes you don’t even trust yourself.
    I hope you have a way to escape the exhaustion of guessing. then again, that’s what dissociation is for lol

    What an asshole.

    Some things just make sense and the police can be just as horrible as the ones they claim to defend. Agree with your assessment for the most part.

    Thinking of you,

  • 10. Foster Mom in Training  |  July 8, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Trust takes time. Maybe a lifetime. Listen to your gut. Don’t stress yourself out about it. As you said, you have learned to have less UNtrust in some people. Perhaps, over time, that will lead to trust. Don’t push yourself. Things will change when you are ready for them to change. The fact that you are contemplating this, choosing to feel the discomfort, shows you are growing stronger within yourself. (((Hugs))). Don’t try to be like everyone else. Just be you. You are a diamond, LT. I hope you will come to see yourself as you truly are. 🙂

  • 11. CMC  |  July 8, 2015 at 4:12 am

    I think there are different levels of trust, and you should celebrate the fact that you can reach any of them with the experiences you’ve had.
    Do you trust that Dr. Val will show up for your appointment?
    Do you trust that the waitress won’t spit in your food?
    How about that the librarians will empty the overnight box and you won’t get charged late fees?
    Can you trust that you’ll get comments on something you post here?

    Count your little victories, then try to push yourself to go a bit further.

    There’s a quote that’s something like “the best way to know if you can trust someone is to trust them.”
    And it’s kind of true, you need to let people in a little bit for them to prove that they won’t screw you over. You don’t need to tear down all your walls and be completely vulnerable, just depend on someone for something stupid and small and let them surprise you by coming through. Then you build on it by trusting a teeeeeny bit more the next time.

  • 12. RFL  |  July 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    According to Erik Erickson, trust versus mistrust, is the first stage of psychosocial development. Not all is lost LT, you can still develop a sense of trust. It just takes time.

  • 13. Lisa  |  July 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Lt, I’ve been reading your posts for quite awhile and I just want to pause to comment on how much how much growth I see in you. Your posts have always been very well-written, descriptive, and helpful for us who live or work with hurting kids. Now, I sense you reaching for deeper understanding of why you think and feel the way you do. I just wanted to say that in case you don’t see the growth, which looks like healing to me.

    On trust. I’m with you on that. I have a pretty short list of who I “untrust less.” I’m not sure what it feels like to really be able to trust a person, but I bet it’s wonderful. I hope you will visit this topic again in the future and let us know how you are doing.

  • 14. mv49496  |  July 10, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Thanks for expressing this.
    It makes sense to me. That’s a lot of trust trauma to get over.
    Praying that you find Jesus to trust in.
    He is the ultimate source of stability when it’s hard to trust everyone else.
    Praying for your continued healing and for a blessing on your therapy with Dr Val.
    If there’s anything specific you want prayed for, please feel free to ask me.

    Date: Wed, 8 Jul 2015 01:13:44 +0000


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