Today I read a post that pegged me and fostered self-examination. So of course I have to try it out on you. The post is Trust.
Ritual abuse, the sort that is in the name of religion and cult, is quite real and I am relieved to be informed without having to have had first-hand experience.
When I was young, I trusted everyone I met with everything about me. Frightening, isn’t it? As an abused child, I wasn’t a discerning adult; I wanted and craved close relationships instead of superficial ones and silence.
I’m still learning to trust and how to trust, not just whom to trust. After a particularly disastrous choice to trust, I no longer trusted my own judgment. I began eliminating friends, family, co-workers and anything that appeared to be an attempt at a relationship. I did well and soon had no one to which I could turn—or hurt or be hurt by.
After seven years of isolation, I am relearning the skills of small talk, which I despise. My counselor and I discussed having a group of friends to meet with and laugh with; this is foreign, intimidating. It was my brother who put it into perspective: Start with “hello” to the checkout clerk and “thank you” to someone who guided you in some small way. When you meet someone for the third, fourth, fifth time, it is okay to ask how their day is going.
There is an older gentleman who works at a national chain store near me. I see him nearly every time I enter the store. He speaks to everyone and I used to just nod. Then I began to respond quickly as I pushed my cart past him. One day he wasn’t in uniform; he was hanging out at the store on his day off. I immediately recognized he was lonely. He said he was checking his schedule—while standing in the middle of a main isle of the store. I had an actual conversation while waiting for my husband to join me.
No commitment there for me, and he appreciated the recognition that he was a part of the store’s culture.
I’m no master, and I’m learning.