Growing up in a world where adults meant manipulation. Adults meant neglect. Adults meant they fucked you over in any way they could leaves you a little lacking in the world of Building Trust Foundations. But, I always believe this can be remedied. So, throw that one in the face of any adults that brought you something of the little list above, and the added extras I fail to mention. It is never too late to fill the gap of needs you didn’t have met in your youngun days.
There were the adults in my life that lived around my life, but turns out never were truly in it. Because I feel like if you were in it, all of what went on would simply not have. Surely? Maybe that’s me being naive. Maybe that’s me being hopeful. That I will never really know. For me, school also holds a well of examples where the Trust and Let Down Game could be played, and taught, so much better. Teachers sending you out of the lesson, failing to consider there might be reasons for you pissing around and playing up. Failing to wonder whether the reasons why you continued to cause comical disruptions and perform painful procrastinating, rather than dedicated concentration like your mates….well, at least some of them. Instead, it seemed to just be put down to the fact that I was a lazy twat.
Well, I was a little bit. Lazy, not a twat. But I was hurting and I was also bloody knackered from the home life I’d hit the moment I left the school gates. I couldn’t be bothered to try and gain the trust of the teachers because surely they would just fuck you over? And I certainly couldn’t be bothered to do the work properly: I had a full time job at home putting up with constant shit storm after constant shit storm. Keeping guard so my mum didn’t lose her life or try to take her own.
Put me in a lesson of a subject that I loved and I was all yours (Sport or Art). Put me in a lesson where I couldn’t give a fuck, or where the teacher despised me just as much as I despised the crap they tried teach, you’re just asking for a recipe of disruption (any other subject in the Curriculum). On the odd occasion I was purposefully so mean. On the odd occasion I purposefully tweaked a teacher to get my way. But this only happened the amount of times I have ever taken drugs. And that’s about twice, ever. (I’m not really that hard-core. All these swear words are just to look cool. And in my opinion, it works.). And hey, all my classmates were doing that too. (Being naughty. Not drugs.)
Hitting those adult years and watching supposed ‘mature’ adults, fuck you over too and let you down when you least expect it, just dug deeper into that wound and ripped more foundations that might have brought the growth of trust. Watching strangers abuse you and rip your innocence away from you. Watching systems that you are supposed to rely on to support, fuck you over spectacularly and terrifyingly at times you need their supposed support the most. Experiencing those you let in to trust you with the process of healing – of therapy – end up being as shit as the one you tried to let in before. Watching the way people scarper and run at the slightest sign of weakness of incapability.
I grew up truly believing that I was on my own in this. And the years that followed this upbringing only proved to me that this was true. This was never in a self-pity way, I just literally did not know it was possible to know anything else. Until last year. This was when I learnt the true meaning, or even the words, unconditional love. I felt like a stranger in the world – I felt like how the hell did I not know about this?! The truth is, from the young age of three, I was on my own in it. I was let down by the surrounding adults, my mother and father and family included in this. In fact, they were the ones that shone royally in this let-down business.
I filled my life with older sisters. Any adult of a parental age can/could take a fucking hike. There was NO WAY in the slightest that I was going to ever trust a Proper Adult. Looking back and knowing that so many loved adults stood by and watched what happened, happen with my ma and I. Watched and knew, and simply just commented on how incredible it was how well I was handling it all. The truth is folks: I DIDN’T KNOW ANYTHING FUCKING ELSE. Any chance you could use your Adult Brain and consider that I might have been struggling? The fact that no adult that I loved during my time growing up, wondered about gently bringing a stop to this uniquely twisted and painfully fucked up relationship between my mother and I, and responsibility I carried from such a young age, just blows my mind. And I think it always will. I can rationalise. I can understand. I can find that knowing that life really is not as simple as that. But that’s being rational. And feelings are often the opposite of this. Yet I feel as though my feelings hold a shit tonne of logic with them too. I feel as though logically one would feel fucked over and let down by all those around them considering the situation.
So, I am allowing myself to feel all of this. And you know what? It feels fucking great.
But. It does leave that open wound of Trust, right out in the open ready to be ripped apart even more. Because I am touching in with all that pain from those years, and the years following, it brings with it reminders of how untrusting and fucked up the world is. So, my natural reaction is to shut down and tell this world to fuck off. I am back in this on my own. To step back into that role I lived in for so many years. How could I think I could trust anyone?
Right now people tread of thin trust ice around me. The slightest cock up or let down, and my trust with them dwindles and falls faintly into Space. When the pain softens though, I begin to see those rational thoughts that float by, and I realise that nobody is perfect and everybody lets down sometimes. But also, there are those other times in your life when your fragility, vulnerability, and inability to be so rational, is at a higher need than other times. And this is okay. In fact it’s bloody healthy in my opinion. Because it means you’re growing and building your foundations back from scratch.
Beneath this fresh pain and mistrust that so easily comes from the slightest hint of let down, and this desire that stems from this to shut off from the world or the person that the pain is stemming from, there is something inside me that is noticing this, but is not fully living by these words. I think of it as the Trust Bud. It’s there and raring to grow, but it just needs some good quality and consistent compost and watering in the sense of proof of this unconditional love and support, and the following through of offers given. If I did live by this rule – and the natural way my heart wants to go after all those years of practise – I know that I would land myself in so much more pain than is needed, right now or ever. And I watch myself fall into the pattern, and fall right back out of it because I am reminded of how fucking painful it is to feel like you can’t trust the world. This is something that brings tears to my eyes, because for me this means healing. It means that for the first time in my life I have two things. I have this Trust Bud able to let people in, gently, which was never there before. And it also means that for the first time in my life, there is a small handful of Proper Grown Ups that I am trusting. There are three. And these three bring so much healing. So much healing because they are still there…they haven’t gone anyway. But they also SO MUCH fear, in case they do decide to run off like the rest in my have done. In case this Trust Bud gets trampled down and I then realise it was stupid to think it was possible to let it grow into a blossoming flower anyway. But, there is something else that keeps me going, keeps me trusting, and keeps me hoping. And I love this bit, and I love that it is there. And I know it isn’t ever going to not be, too.
I hope your Trust Bud is growing too.