Why I Don’t Really Have “Trust Issues”.

I’m a negative person.

I’ve mostly always been a negative person. I’ve had several normal childhood experiences and high school experiences robbed from me. I was abused and retreated to a dark lonely place where I couldn’t connect with my peers. I was bullied. I was fat. I lived in a small town before the internet existed really, so I didn’t even have social media to help me find my ‘tribe’. It was a miserable existence remedied only by watching trashy TV with my mom after school and being fortunate enough to always see the light at the end o the tunnel.

Up until now, every man I’ve ever dated abandoned me, or treated me badly, or gave me a reason to never believe in love or trust men again. I gave up on men. I gave up on “romance”. For a long, long time dating became a game of me where I was being taken advantage of and I dished it right back because that was all I really knew how to do. Love wasn’t sex and sex wasn’t love, and it was all this confusing blur of assholes and head games and waiting for texts that never arrived.

I lost two of my best friends in the whole world. They’re probably talking shit about me right now, about what a sad and messed up person I am, about how I’m settling in life, or whatever it is girls say about other girls. They hurt me, never apologized, never acknowledged my hurt, never gave me the benefit of the doubt as if they never knew me. This wasn’t the first time I had friends ditch me or treat me badly, but it was the worst and most memorable because it happened with girls who were like sisters to me, who were ADULTS and not 12 or 13-year old silly teenagers trying to climb the social ladder.

Do I trust people?

Yes. Of course I do.

I trust people that society would tell me to mistrust. I leave belongings in my car overnight and have met up with strangers I met online (in dating and non-dating contexts) because I trust them. I gave someone I worked with who I REALLY didn’t care for at all, keys to my apartment to feed my cat over Christmas break one year because even though I didn’t like her, I trusted her with my fur baby’s well being and I’ve never been led astray. I look at friendships as something to be careful of a little admittedly, but it’s not because I don’t trust people but because I’m self-conscious about being intrusive or encroaching on the spaces, friend groups and dynamics of others. But I trust people. And I’m happy and proud to say that people can trust me, and I don’t spread other people’s personal secrets to anyone, especially secrets that are NOT to be shared.

Trusting others is something that is crucial to functioning in the world. If we are suspicious of others, even when we’ve been given a reason to be suspicious of others, we’re letting suspicious and untrustworthy people get the better of us and we’re not owning our own instincts and feelings. If we spend our lives being mistrusting, we miss opportunities to love, make new friends, enjoy the company of our fellow humans because we look at them as ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

I’m a teacher and the most important lesson I learned about teaching is to always look for the good in every student. Trust that what they tell you is the truth at first glance until you can prove it is a lie; like something about every student, even when they say or do something horrible and unforgivable. Because chances are, someone else has given them a reason to be horrible and unforgivable, and all they need is to trust someone and have someone trust them in return.

Looking back on the people who have wronged me, it’s hard for me to explain how I still have a fierce trust in mankind. But in all honesty, I’ve seen love and miracles and truly witnessed the good in other people. I have seen body-positive messages spread around the internet and the celebrations of freaks and weirdos and outsiders in a way I’ve never seen in my own childhood, my own friendships, my own past. I have seen disempowered people become empowered. I have seen art and listened to music and met very, very sweet and kind strangers. Sure, I’ve been wronged but I refuse to let being wronged destroy me, weigh me down or damage my ability to be happy and look for honesty in others ever again.

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