People who have your back

HealingMama

Sponsor
What is it like to know someone has your back? That they will catch you or help you bury the body or whatever? Please share how it feels in your body, the thoughts and emotions you experience, and any other behavioral signs that someone is loyal and trustworthy.
 

Nevermore

MyPTSD Pro
Bury the body? 😄
In my life I've only had two friends THAT close, and one was my partner. Both of those are no longer with us, but I do still have one friend that I absolutely know has my back and trust implicitly. I feel real when I am with that friend, as i did with the other two. I feel real because I know that I am fully seen and known, faults and all, and loved nevertheless...which goes both ways.
With most people I kind of feel a bit empty or unreal, like not quite fully connecting. When there is this kind of very rare trust, it almost feels like many things are possible that usually feel impossible for me.
In my body, it feels like most of the time I am kind of out of my body, restless, agitated, distracted, disconnected, but when in the presence of someone I trust like this, I feel centred and available, alive and living. Creative too.
How does it feel for you?
 

Friday

Moderator
What is it like to know someone has your back?
Uncomplicated.

Most people have limits, boundaries, a price to be paid, expectations, priorities, etc. Because those are actually healthy, life-building, sustainable, valuable aspects to encourage in one’s own life. Which makes individuals & their lives, & therefore their relationships as those lives intersect, complicated.

When someone has my back, either personally (because of who I am to them) or professionally (the job requires it)? That’s all there is. Simple. Complicated doesn’t enter back in until later, and the need for either of us to be having the other person’s back has passed.

And short lived.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a very short list of people I would drop everything for if they whistled, that I’ve known for 20+ years. Losing my job, my home, my citizenship, my freedom, or my life; without second thought, drop everything. A list that -today- has a grand total of 2 people on it. One of whom is my kid. A slightly longer list that has some f*ck-you-hard-limits attached (I’m not willing to even risk ABC, much less nuke them, and my actions XYZ have this ceiling, and this basement).

IE I don’t mean short lived as in the relationship itself is short lived, but the time someone is on my six, or I am on theirs, is a matter of minutes to hours. Anything beyond that requires -at the very least- rotating vigilance. Someone being on watch. Not just in a military sense, but say, kid sick in a hospital sense has 3 shifts of nurses + monitoring equipment. So no one is on 24/7. And for more often/commonly? HUGE periods of time where that level of backup is neither necessary, nor useful. Ideally, unless it’s one’s profession, years.

and any other behavioral signs that someone is loyal and trustworthy.
Oh, these are WILDLY different things. Someone having your back? Is in noooooo way indicative of them being in any other way loyal, trustworthy, or even a halfway decent person, much less someone you would like, respect, share values with, want to spend time with outside of an emergency, etc.

I remember waaaaaay back when I thought that either that was true, or there was some kind of correlation/connection between loyalty/trustworthyness : how much I liked someone : and the lengths they’d be willing to go for me. That preconceived notion came out of combat training dented all to hell, utterly died the first mission we flew, and over the next several years came to make about as much sense as only good things happen to good people, and only bad things happen to bad people. It’s a bizarre correlation that I can’t even begin to source where the hell it came from. It must be some kind of zeitgeist, because I’ve known so many people who seem to have grown up with the concept… and a scary number of adults who still believe it (along with other fairytales). Shrug. The upsid of that, I suppose, is that DOES flag the person as untrustworthy, and unlikely to be loyal. Possible, but we’re talking snowflake’s chance, in my experience. Much like non-parents talking about how THEY won’t ABCXYZ that every other parent on the planet actually does <roll eyes>.

Which is also not to say that countless people I wouldn’t trust on my 6, are equally unsupportive in every other way. I know. The f*cking double negatives. It just parses better with examples; the person who would throw me under the bus at the first opportunity in situations A-K? No better ally when dealing with the school board, or to vent about spouses after work, or to leap into watching my kid and be thrilled to do it 24/7/365, or for phenom career advice or even rabbi’ing.

^^^ Very specifically tailored avenues of support, that fall within their own limits, priorities, ethics, skill sets, expectations, et al. Doesn’t mean they have my back, nor that they’re trustworthy in any other area of life. But very much means they’ve “got” what they do best. Whilst at the same time having their quirks, foibles, limits, expectations, priorities, prices, etc.

Meanwhile someone who DOES have my back? May very well

A) After swearing, and chasing me in, and handling shit… grab me up by my hair, smash my face into a table breaking my nose & one eye socket, and growl that if I EVER put them in that position, ever again, they’ll kill me, light my body on fire, and send video to my loved ones. ((Very much like I’d chase my child into the street, but I wouldn’t be happy about doing so, and damn straight, he would know that! Different methods, for sure, but I’m not buying him ice cream and encouraging/rewarding bad behavior. Ditto if I am diving into f*cked up shit, or someone is is for me, that either of us disagree with.))

B) Cut all ties with me, forever

C) Be someone I would NEVER want in my life in any other position, up to killing them on site if they showed up.

That someone has no limits as to what they’re willing to do for you, in a very short period of time? Speaks to NOTHING about them as a person, you as a person, your relationship, or any of the more complicated moments in life. It speaks to that moment. And you, and they, in that moment. What follows? And what precides? Is completely unscripted.

That said? Yep. I not only long for those times when I knew others had my back, and I had theirs, but also the very black & white simplicity of those moments, as well as what led up TO those moment. Which was always chaos, and crisis, and not-normal-life.

It’s become a bit of a tell.

When I’m contemplating chaos, and crisis, and not normal life? I very much tend to crave both the situations and the people who make up those moments. Who have no limits. And who are willing to do anything, and everything to achieve those moments.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I have my partner and my friends. I know they have my back.
However, it's not a blanket all encompassing statement. It comes in different forms. It's dependent on what is going on for them. It's not static.

Take: my partner. I know she is there for me. But she doesn't understand everything. She doesn't want to hear everything. And there have been periods in our relationship where she hasn't been there for me as she has been dealing with her things and hasn't had the headspace for mine. Those times were hard and I didn't know if we could survive. But we did and if anything, it helped us understand each other better.

What does it feel like? Validating. Some sort of contentment inside. Shock? Surprise? That someone understands. A sort of solid feeling inside. A strength?

So it's not a 'has my back' versus 'doesn't have my back'. It's a never ending shifting thing. With 'empathetic failures' along the way (on both sides). But enough good bits to outweigh the challenges.
 

Sideways

Moderator
So it's not a 'has my back' versus 'doesn't have my back'.
Exactly this.

There's a couple of friends who would be my go-to in an emergency. Because they're good at that.

People who are closest to me? Don't support me unconditionally. They're complex, I'm complex. More important? I respect them because if I seriously f*ck up? It may very well influence our relationship, depending on the kind of mistake. They're people who aren't going to bury a proverbial body with me - they'd call the proverbial cops on me. They'd do the right thing, rather than the right thing by me.

Definitely not black and white, good/bad, loyal/untrustworthy, etc. My experience of humans and relationships is they're infinitely more complicated than that. And while they may go through periods of simplicity? Life has a way of making things complicated again soon enough.

I do, however, like knowing someone has my back l, no questions asked. I got a dog to fill that void (not a joke).
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i'll salute the notion that it is impossible for a single person to have my back every time, most especially because i seldom need to bury bodies, etc., at predictable times or locations. those oddball events always seem to happen in the most unusual of circumstances.

but i DO know what it feels like to know when the someone divine intervention sends me has my back. it feels like a divinity which i have no words to describe. i might describe it as hope for humanity.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
I trust my husband explicitly and implicitly and I believe he has my back. But, I feel this like I feel safe in my thoughts and feelings in my body...it is there but I do not 100% depend on it because I am conscious of his own human limitation.

I feel the closest to this is a mother child duo but even that has a condition of physical limitation.

We are very complex creatures and nothing is ever what it may seem but I do feel my husband has my back, some of my sisters and more importantly I have their back but again....to a point!
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
It's very hard to tell right now. In all the PTSD stuff I have found more things and one of the parts is called rejection sensitive dysphoria.

It's not good because it twists what happens with others and adds heaps of bad feelings around interactions with others.

Because of that there are three people I know for sure have my back but there are likely many many more that do have my back.
 
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