May 2018
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I appear to trust more than I do / trusting intentions & trusting followthrough / 77x7 chances

I may seem trusting, perhaps even too trusting. Certainly people have thought that I trusted people because I brought them close to me. (I felt very bad about this after they ended up hurt thinking they could trust someone I trusted, not knowing that I didn't actually trust that person). Let me say this: I trust very few people all the way. I let lots of people know me and get close to me not because I trust them not to hurt me, but because I expect pain in life and I trust myself to be able to stop it before it gets too much. So if you see me spend a lot of time with someone or express affection for them, please don't take that as an endorsement of them as a safe person. Even if they are a safe person for me, they may not be a safe person for you; I tolerate a certain amount of shitheadedness depending on the circumstance. If you want to know if I think a person would be a good candidate for your trust, you will have to ask, because it is extremely unlikely that it will be apparent. I don't get more open around people because I trust them but because I want to know and be known; because I value connection over pain-avoidance. Trust takes time to build and once broken, takes extra time to rebuild.

Then there's different kinds of trust: I can trust someone's intentions differently than their followthrough. For instance, I have 100% trust of Kylei's intentions but only like 70% trust that those intentions will make it through to actions that are good for me on the average day. But I have 95% trust of Kylei's followthrough in emergencies. So overall Kylei is one of my most trusted people, but if I was the kind of person who needs people to be on time and not cancel plans, my trust would be much lower, even though I have no doubts at all of Kylei's intentions. I have 100% trust of Heather in intention but none in emergency or followthrough, because of lack of experience with those. I trust Topaz more than I've ever trusted anyone, at 100% intention, 100% emergency, 90% followthrough. Most people I know I trust at a 60% intention and 0% on the others because I have not experienced those.

This is part of why I have a 77x7 chances policy to anyone who has parted from me in the past. I don't say "never again" even if I've been shattered to the core by someone, because letting them back into my life is the first step in building trust with them again. It is not a statement that I already trust them. It is a willingness to risk being hurt again, with the knowledge that it will probably be a new kind of hurt as I have learned from last time. I am able to do this because I have built the resilience over time with the help of so many deeply loving people. I choose to do this because I have found the pain to be vastly worth the love and learning. I actually do value the pain for itself as well, because every time, it sparks a wealth of new growth in me like a burned forest.

This is building on "trustworthiness requires conflict-management skills."

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bunny: wheelchair
bunnika ══╣bunny: wheelchair╠══
I wish I was able to suspend my trust in people who've hurt me in the past, but I tend to be gullible. If someone says they want me in their life again, they love me, they won't hurt me again, I just go ahead and jump in blindly. This results in me getting screwed over nearly 100% of the time, but I still can't manage to turn it off. I'm also the person to reach out and ask for a relationship to be rebuilt after fallings-out most (all?) of the time, because I tend to write off my pain and just miss the good times so much that I want to believe it can be sunshine and rainbows again.

May I ask how much you trust me? I know we've had our rocky times, and haven't been reconnected for long, and I understand if you don't wish to share, but I figured it can't hurt to ask where I stand.
belenen ══╣confused╠══
I don't really believe in sunshine/rainbow relationships, because all of my favorite connections except one have hurt me at least as much as they have made me happy. I'm okay with that though. I often reach for re-connection with people that I've fallen out of contact with, but if they cut contact then I don't (usually -- I may be forgetting something), because I would feel like I was disrespecting their wishes if I did.

Right now I have a pile of question marks. I feel like the things that hurt me before are not there anymore (except that we disagree on how to handle conflict with mutual friends: that's not a thing that hurts me but it is a thing that makes me feel less safe), but it's so new right now I just don't have any numbers. This is partly because I have no idea how you feel about me, I'm just realizing. So, how do you feel about me?
bunny: frazzled
bunnika ══╣bunny: frazzled╠══
Like I said, sunshine and rainbows, lol.

More seriously, it's a tapestry of feelings, really. I feel like we've both grown toward the same set of social mores (not identical, but really close), which is an extreme comfort to me. I feel like I'm not going to have to have the "don't tell rape jokes around me" conversation, or the "that's cultural appropriation" or "please don't use ableist slurs" discussions, which is actually pretty rare among my friends, just because it's rare among people at large. Those that innately "get" that stuff make me feel safer than those who don't actively give a damn about social justice. And I've found that the don't-give-a-damners tend do do or say things that hurt me, then get mad at me or gaslight me when I object, and I end up getting hurt even more.

At the same time, we're on pretty different life paths, and I've found that tends to be a barrier in friendship. My life is very much about my family, and I've found that child free people tend to grow sick of my stories about runny noses and homework and general misadventures in parenting. This is only going to grow, as I'm ttc, and when you have a baby, your life becomes very much about that tiny person, because it has to for its survival. And, in my experience, only other parents tend to care about diapers and nursing and tummy time. I become hard to empathize with, is I think the problem. Regardless, lots of my child free friends just tune me out. So I end up feeling alienated and unloved. Those who don't tune me out really only want me around at any given time, which doesn't really work, especially when I'll have a baby. My kids are all gonna be joined to me at the hip, so people uninterested in them are uninterested in a huge part of who I am. And I know it's entirely possible you may be interested in that part of my life, because child free people are not a monolith, but it's a fear I have because it's a fear that's been realized with so many other friends.

I'd also be lying if I said I didn't feel awkward about what you and Ashe went through. It puts me in a difficult position, because you guys have such different stories about what went down, and I don't feel either of you are specifically untrustworthy in your stories (and I feel like me believing that is going to be counted as a betrayal). I don't know if it was just the worst wire-cross in history or what, and I feel like there's a loyalty being asked of me on both sides, at least one of belief, one for the sake of trust. And I can't do that, because it would require a condemnation of someone's actions, and I just don't feel like it's my place to issue that.

I put my friendship with Ashe at risk by reconnecting with you, and it makes me feel wary. I'm afraid of reaching out too far to you, because if it's just a superficial attempt on your part, I feel like I'd be risking a friendship for an acquaintanceship, which is a trade that would leave me feeling empty. (Of course at the same time, I worry that Ashe will cut me out if I get too close to you. It feels lose-lose, which is obviously not what I want.) I want to have two friendships well and apart from each other, but I don't know if that's desired on either of your parts. I don't know if I'd be forgiven for asking that.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I'm actually not childfree but on the fence about kids -- don't want them now, but might in the future, and I love reading about good parenting (like yours). So, you don't need to worry, I will be interested in your kids.

With Ashe, I feel like you chose zir over me (I think you unfriended me without explanation after Ashe and I broke up the last time, but you stayed friends with zir, unless I'm misremembering something) and that makes me hesitant. I feel like you probably heard Ashe's story, but didn't hear mine, and that doesn't feel good to me. If someone hears something negative about me, something that would make me a less trustworthy person, I want them to ask me flat-out, "did you do this? what are your reasons?" I don't need people to make a choice on who was 'right' but I want to be given the chance to explain myself or disagree with something that has been said about me. I do not want a friend to ever accept someone else's story about me without my input. That feels like I am being untrusted and unimportant, because it is letting someone else's perception color me instead of seeing me directly. There's always context. I want to know that you're not going to listen to anyone say stuff about me and not confront me about it to get my perspective.

You never need apologize for stating your desires with me. I feel like we have a lot of unexplored potential for real friendship and I would like to explore it. I don't make superficial attempts because that's a waste of energy that I don't have a lot of. So, that's how I feel. I'd like to be real friends.
bunny: despondent
bunnika ══╣bunny: despondent╠══
I didn't even realize I backed away after you and Ashe had gotten into it. That had nothing to do with it.

Honestly I just felt like you didn't really care. What tipped the scales for me was a post you made. I'd made this really personally difficult post about how Vince had given me a parting gift from our marriage: herpes. And it really tore me up, for lots of reasons, and then soon after, you made your post about your own infection. And you hadn't had anything to say on mine, and I just sat there staring at the screen and feeling like things were really one-sided. And I could've said something, handled it better, but I was in such a sensitive state because of everything that was happening to me that I felt safer just withdrawing into people who I felt were reaching out to me. It was a reclusive period in my life, and I didn't have the energy to reach out to people who I didn't feel were reaching out to me.
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
Ah, I can understand why you made that choice, I might have done the same. I wasn't keeping up with my friends page well at that point, and hadn't yet learned the trick of getting notifications for posts by people I didn't want to miss. So I never saw your post. If I had I would have empathized. I'm sorry.
rainbowfox9 ══╣╠══
This is incredibly interesting to me. I would count myself as one of the most dependable people in my friends groups (well, maybe not recently or currently, but in the recent past I would) because I would drop everything in a second for anyone, and I have really tried to stay good on my word of being places or with people. I hate committing myself to things because I'm not sure if I can actually do it (if it would feel like an obligation thing, or if I'm doing it because it would genuinely make me happy). I prefer to know about things and then just show up if I feel up to it. More often than not I show up, but I can't overcommit myself.

I know that I am very trusting, and I let people get very close, but never to the point of changing who I am. Even in the moment, if I'm totally with them and all, I have learned to separate my energy from them and take a step back after the experience and not try to hang onto the experience like *they* are the reason why that experience happened. It's because we were both open hearted and both open to each other in the moment.

I think I'm much like you -- I can relate to others on all different kinds of 'wavelengths' but most of the people I know wouldn't necessarily mix well with others who I also know.
marsidotes ══╣╠══
I get the whole trust thing. I've got one friend in particular that I've known since high school, and that is a very long time. We've been friends for 54 years. Though I know she loves me and I her. . . I've never been able to truly trust her. It is sad. But, at least I know where I stand.
adi_stroyer ══╣╠══
I've always felt that opening up to someone is a calculated risk. You don't have to trust the person, just be aware of the harm they can do and try to be prepared to work through whatever hurt they could inflict.

Reading this also made me think of something that might come off as insulting but I hope that it doesn't. In knowing you and Kylei I've become less trust worthy. I used to be a person who would no matter what do everything I said I would and drop anything to help a person I cared about. That was EXTREMELY unhealthy for me, I spent years ignoring self care to make sure that I always kept my word and that I was always there when someone needed me. Which meant I wasn't there fully. So thank you, for showing me I can take care of myself without making everyone hate me. Without becoming a bad person.
adi_stroyer ══╣╠══

Am I in there? What colors do you see me as?

raidingparty ══╣╠══
Good to think about - I have a similar thing about playing diplomat with a lot of people to whom I'm not close.
My mothers have talked about how strong barriers help trust - they have known each other for decades, and know each others' vulnerabilities, but creating a strong bubble helps both of them feel safe around the person who could, because of said intimacy, hurt them the most.
It's really counterintuitive, and several spiritual people have avidly rejected the concept, but I see how it works for my mothers, and understand the need for personal safety (especially in intimacy).
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.