Trust is a funny word. It’s rather difficult to explain, to be honest. The story behind my trust? Well, that’s not so hard. My trust was first broken in two, snapped like a dry stick, when I was 12. The son of my mother’s friend decided it was time I learned what it meant to be a woman, and we all know what that means. I figured out what he was doing was wrong not too long after it started, and I realized he had both lied to me and betrayed me. That started paving the way down a dark road, because I never told anyone. It was my fault it happened, right?
The second time was when a friend in middle school broke off our friendship, then tried to patch it saying she had turned over a new leaf. That lasted less than a week, until she insulted myself, my friends, and my family all in one go. I stopped trusting people’s words at the age of 13. Being hurt was more painful than being lonely. I was quicker to bite the hand that fed me than most of my peers, and people could tell.
I floated through high school in a haze of self-deprecation, nonexistent self-esteem, and a struggle to make friends. I made friends, then did my best to distance myself from them after I decided I was bothering them. The fact they didn’t try to break through these walls was evidence to me that they didn’t care, and the cycle continued. I now realize that I had convinced myself that no one would care, so when they didn’t prove me wrong, I was automatically right.
College was where the cycle got shattered into pieces. People saw my walls, decided enough was enough, and battered them down with all the force of determined friendship. Suddenly I was accountable to people for my negative actions. If I didn’t eat, people would come find me. I went off on my own after a sports practice? Someone followed me and sat with me until I spilled what was wrong. An open door policy almost 24/7 meant that understanding silence or advice was never in short supply. Eventually I started listening to the gut instincts that told me trusting this or that particular person was alright. I began to listen to them, and so I began to heal.
I am not completely healed, nor do I think I will ever be. There are long weeks where letting anyone touch me is not okay. There are days where I sit in my room and wonder why my friends are still my friends, despite everything I’ve put them through. There is a long list of all the people I will not let stand behind me, out of my vision. There is a short list of people who I will touch, and an even shorter list of those who I will allow to touch me without jumping or shying away. Barely a day goes by where I don’t doubt the word of a friend, where I wonder if they’re truly being honest. I have to remind myself that my friends keep their promises and say what they mean. My trust was broken, but not irreparably.